UC Merced celebrates 20th anniversary of groundbreaking

UC Merced commemorated the 20th anniversary of breaking ground for the campus’ construction in a ceremony held on Jan. 25.

Over 400 guests — majority faculty and staff, some employed when the university first opened — attended the event held at the Dr. Vikram and Priya Lakireddy Grand Ballroom, according to the UC Merced newsroom.

The university broke ground on Oct. 25, 2002, following over a decade of planning by the state and UC system. 

Chancellor Juan Sánchez Muñoz spoke at the event, addressing the hard-fought battle to house the UC campus in the city of Merced and commending the staff and faculty who were employed when the university first opened.

“[The founding faculty and staff] worked around the clock to prepare for opening day, wore hard hats while teaching courses in buildings that were still under construction, paved the way forward as UC Merced built student programs and support services and, most importantly, they traveled throughout California to recruit students and convince others to join this academic community,” Muñoz said at the ceremony, according to the UC Merced newsroom.

Members of the founding faculty and staff who were in attendance signed a banner commemorating the occasion.

UCLA task force findings highlight inadequate harassment and discrimination report systems

The UCLA Joint Task Force on Investigatory and Judiciary Processes conducted an investigation of the handling of student, faculty and administration incident reports and reported major deficiencies, according to the Daily Bruin.

The task force was formed by the UCLA Academic Senate and administration in response to campus dissatisfaction with investigative services, task force co-chair Clyde Spillenger told the Daily Bruin.

The report — shared in a campus wide email early this month — found that discrimination and harassment were the most reported incidents among students, staff and faculty. The investigation was conducted between 2018 and 2021, and the total number of complaints involving harassment and discrimination rose in that time.

The report also stated that two-thirds of academic departments that responded were unaware of how to process the complaints, lacking the protocol the UCLA Title IX Office and Discrimination Prevention Office employ. 

Both offices were overwhelmed by referrals and inquiries from other university offices due to the ambiguous procedures for investigating complaints, according to the report.

UCLA Academic Senate chair Jessica Cattelino said UCLA must address compliance issues across its campus departments.

“It’s not easy to bring a complaint. It’s not easy to step forward,” Cattelino said. “We’re hoping this can take some of the confusion and frustration out of the process for an individual facing a gigantic campus with a lot of different processes.” 

A version of this article appeared on p. 2  of the Feb. 2, 2023, print edition of the Daily Nexus.


Sindhu Ananthavel
Sindhu Ananthavel (she/they) is the Lead News Editor for the 2023-24 school year. Previously, Ananthavel was the Deputy News Editor for the 2022-23 school year, the Community Outreach News Editor for the 2021-22 school year and an assistant news editor for the 2021-22 school year. She can be reached at news@dailynexus.com.