Top UC leader resigns amid investigation

    M.R.C. Greenwood resigned Nov. 4 as University of California provost and senior vice president, the second-ranking position in the system, amidst investigation into potentially illegal hiring procedures and conflicts of interest, according to UC President Robert C. Dynes.

    Inquiries by the San Francisco Chronicle spurred both the UC General Counsel and the university auditor’s offices to investigate a hiring involving Greenwood, Dynes said.

    Greenwood hired Lynda Goff as a faculty associate and, more recently, as director of the university system’s Science & Math Initiative. However, officials found that Greenwood and Goff had owned rental property together until recently, according to Dynes.

    “It appears that Provost Greenwood may have been involved in Dr. Goff’s hiring to a greater extent than was appropriate, given that her business investment with Dr. Goff had not been properly and fully resolved in accordance with conflict of interest requirements,” Dynes stated in a UC press release. “This in no way reflects on Dr. Goff, her credentials, or the terms and conditions of her appointment. This involves only the appropriateness of Provost Greenwood’s role in her hiring.”

    Also under investigation is the hiring of Greenwood’s son, James Greenwood, who last August was employed by UC Merced as a paid senior intern. UC officials are questioning whether or not UC Vice President for Student Affairs Winston Doby used improper practices to obtain the position of James Greenwood.

    Currently, Doby has been placed on paid investigatory leave until the inquiry’s completion, Dynes stated.

    “Let me stress there is no presumption of wrongdoing, and that the university expects to complete its review of these matters shortly,” he stated in the release.

    While Provost Greenwood, a former chancellor at UC Santa Cruz, has offered full cooperation with the investigation, she requested that Dynes allow her to quit her position to “return to her academic pursuits in the university,” Dynes stated. In addition, Dynes temporarily appointed Executive Vice Provost and Vice President for Academic and Health Affairs Wyatt R. Hume to fill Greenwood’s and Doby’s respective positions.

    Theater program to innovate sound

    UCSD’s top-ranked theater program is moving toward another innovation, this time in sound design.

    Conventionally used as a supporting tool, such as thunderclaps, sound design is the focus of a new program, which concentrates on realms of both artistic and technological improvements, according to a university press release.

    Through the theater department’s ties with the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, graduate sound design students will be allowed access to advanced computer and audio technology, according to department Chair Charlie Oates.

    In the approximately three-year program, students will work on four or five productions, including at least one guaranteed professional stint as an assistant sound designer at the La Jolla Playhouse, Oates said.

    The program, launching fall 2006, will be headed by composer, sound designer and UCSD assistant theater professor Shahrokh Yadegari.

    Technology currently in development will herald a new age of theater sound, Yadegari stated in a press release.

    “Once you redefine sound design this way, it becomes an environment for the text to come alive in and be a vital part of a play,” Yadegari stated.

    Yadegari is currently looking for students to be involved, and said the new sound design program is looking for candidates with eclectic backgrounds of theater, composition and electronic music.

    While cutting-edge technology will be a major tool, the program will emphasize creative progress, Yadegari stated.

    “Students will learn sophisticated computing skills in this program,” he stated. “But the focus of their training will be towards their growth as artists.”

    Researchers find malaria weakness

    UCSD researchers have found a unique difference between the single-celled parasite that causes malaria and more complex organisms.

    Specifically, the malaria strain, which accounts for about 1 million deaths each year, contains a different protein “wiring” that sets it apart from the cellular makeup of other organisms, according to a university press release.

    “The demonstration that the Plasmodium protein network differs significantly from those of several model organisms is an intriguing result that could lead to the identification of novel drug targets for fighting malaria,” stated John Whitmarsh, acting director of UCSD’s Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, in a press release.

    The study was authored by Trey Ideker, a professor of bioengineering at UCSD’s Jacobs School of Engineering, UCSD bioinformatics Ph.D. candidate Silpa Suthram and Howard Hughes Medical Institute medical student research fellow Taylor Sittler.

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