University calls service strike illegal

    In an e-mail message sent to campus personnel, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Human Resources Rogers Davis said the university considers the one-day service strike scheduled for April 14 to be “illegal.”

    “The university Office of the President has stated that the strike will be illegal, because the university and [the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees] have not yet completed the statutorily mandated impasse process,” he stated in the e-mail. “The university also believes that AFSCME has failed to participate in the impasse process in good faith and has advised the various unions of its position on this matter.”

    Rogers said that all picket lines are “expected to be peaceful demonstrations,” asking employees to call ahead of time to alert their supervisor of a planned absence. Employees claiming an absence due to illness will be required to provide medical documentation upon their return or risk not getting paid, the e-mail stated.

    In a response sent out by e-mail to fellow union members and forwarded to the press, UCSD library employee Glen Motil said the letter was filled with “disrespect, disdain and disregard” and that the new sick-leave policy constituted “petty distrust” and “overreaching of authority.”

    “Picket lines and demonstrations are not ‘peaceful,’” Motil stated in an e-mail. “They are meant to disrupt the common flow of everyday activity and call attention to human rights violations.”

    Software to improve Wi-Fi network handoff

    New software, developed by two UCSD computer scientists, may one day allow for seamless roaming between different Wi-Fi wireless Internet networks. The technology may make it possible for users of various wireless devices to remain connected to high-speed networks as they travel from one access point to another — say from an airport lounge to a nearby Starbucks.

    The software dramatically reduces the amount of time needed to hand off from one Wi-Fi network to another, one of the major current barriers to roaming. At the present time, weakening signals far from access points cause Wi-Fi-enabled laptops to lose packets of data. The program, which is patent-pending, would continuously scan surrounding access-points to ensure the fastest possible handoff. Current technology begins scanning only when the present signal is running low.

    Study shows drug may delay Alzheimer’s

    Researchers, including the chair of UCSD’s department of neurosciences Leon Thal, believe that taking the drug donepezil may delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease in patients suffering from mild cognitive impairment, but provides no long-term benefits, they reported in a new national study.

    First published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the study compared the effects of donepezil, Vitamin E and a placebo. It was the first of its kind to suggest that any agent can delay the diagnosis of the disease. However, the researchers warned that the study “did not provide support for a clear recommendation for the use of donepezil.”

    Eight UC researchers receive fellowship

    Eight University of California researchers have been named among the 30 Pacific Coast recipients of the prestigious Guggenheim fellowships for 2005.

    In total, the New York-based John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation granted more than $7,112,000 in its annual awards to 186 artists, scholars and scientists from the United States and Canada. More than 3,000 researchers vied for the money.

    Political science professor Peter Gourevitch was the only UCSD faculty member to receive the award for his research on financial institutions and corporate governments.

    Job outlook remains strong for grads

    Sixty-two percent of hiring managers included in the most recent job outlook survey by said they were planning to hire recent college graduates and a quarter also said they planned on raising their starting salaries over last year’s. Only 6 percent said they planned to cut salaries.

    The survey, conducted over the previous two months, included more than 600 hiring managers across the nation.

    Overall, 59 percent of hiring managers said they expect to offer less than $30,000, while 26 percent said they plan to pay between $30,000 and $39,000. An additional 10 percent said they expect salaries to range between $40,000 and $49,000, while 6 percent said they would offer $50,000 or more.

    The hiring managers ranked “relevant experience” as the most desirable attribute in new recruits.

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