Regent resigns amid attendance controversy

    UC Regent Haim Saban announced his resignation from the university’s governing body after a newspaper published his record of attendance at board meetings.

    A July analysis of university records by the San Diego Union-Tribune concluded that Saban missed more than two-thirds of meetings since his appointment by former Gov. Gray Davis in 2002. During the 2002-03 academic year, he missed all of the board meetings and attended fewer than one of every five of his committee meetings, the paper found.

    Citing the report, state Sen. Jeff Denham (R-Merced) called for Saban’s resignation.

    In his letter to the rest of the board, Saban cited only “personal reasons” and did not make mention of the criticism directed toward him.

    The media mogul, whose Saban Entertainment and Fox Family Worldwide created the “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” franchise, contributed a total of $150,000 to Davis’ re-election campaign as late as a month before his appointment, according to records maintained by the secretary of state.

    Nominated by the governor and approved by the state Senate, Regents serve 12-year nonpaid terms and cannot be removed for poor attendance. A successor to serve out the remainder of Saban’s term will be named by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    Top NIH pharmacist to join UCSD in October

    Charles E. Daniels, the top pharmacist at the National Institutes of Health, will take on teaching and administrative positions on campus in October, UCSD Healthcare announced.

    In the newly created position of pharmacist-in-chief, Daniels will oversee pharmaceutical activities on campus and at affiliated hospitals. Daniels will also serve as the associate dean of clinical affairs as well as a professor of clinical pharmacy at the UCSD School of Pharmacy, the newest institution of pharmacy in the nation.

    Campus raises $131.9 million in private donations

    During the 2003-04 fiscal year, UCSD received $131.9 million in private support, making it the second most successful year on record. The campus raised more money only in the 1999-2000 fiscal year, when donations totaled $135 million.

    The largest pledge came from Ernest Rady and the Rady Family Foundation to name the new Rady School of Management. It was the largest naming gift in the history of the school, according to a university statement.

    As of the end of June, the university raised more than $600 million for its $1 billion fund-raising drive called “The Campaign for UCSD: Imagine What’s Next.” The initiative is scheduled to conclude by July 2007.

    UC settles Enron class action

    The University of California has reached a $69 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit related to the bankruptcy of electricity giant Enron. The university served as the lead plaintiff in a suit on behalf of the company’s investors.

    If approved by the court, Bank of America will pay the settlement for its role in underwriting the company’s stocks.

    In 2002, the university reached a separate $40 million settlement with the overseas arm of Enron’s auditor.

    University station wins two regional Emmy awards

    UCSD-TV brought home two regional Emmys for a dance video shot in San Diego.

    The independent station, licensed to the University of California, received recognition for its “The Soul of Saturday Night” production at the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Pacific Southwest Chapter awards ceremony in June.

    Co-produced by UCSD-TV arts and humanities producer John Menier and a local dance company, the program won the coveted awards in the categories of Best Direction/Other than News and Outstanding Visual & Performing Arts Program.

    Regents appoint new Berkeley chancellor

    The UC Board of Regents approved President Robert C. Dynes’ pick of Robert J. Birgeneau to head the system’s Berkeley campus.

    The 62-year-old physicist and current president of the University of Toronto is expected to take over the chancellor post at the school in October. Birgeneau was selected from among 298 international applicants.

    Under a contract approved by the Regents, Birgeneau will receive an annual salary of $390,000, an increase over his predecessor.

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