NEWS BRIEFS: Grand Room Gets Grand New Wi-Fi

Carenous room at Shields Library, with students seated at study carrels
<strong>Can you hear me now? Yes! Thanks to new wireless access points in the Main Reading Room at Shields Library.</strong>

Quick Summary

  • Repair day at Network Ops Center, this Saturday
  • Damage assessment continues at Scrubs Café
  • Applications due April 1 for staff advisor to regents
  • Staff seats on UCRS advisory board up for election
  • 2 new presidents have UC Davis ties
  • Train for mental health ‘gatekeeping’

As much as students like Shields Library’s Main Reading Room, one of the grandest rooms on campus, they wanted better Wi-Fi than a signal coming from downstairs. And now they have it, after the library and Information and Educational Technology teamed up to install three wireless access points high on the room’s south wall — providing the technology to handle more than 300 smartphones, tablets or other wireless devices at a time.

The improvement was “in direct response to social media and other comments,” said Chris Clements, IET network operations manager. “Keep letting us know. We hear you!” IET also plans to improve other heavily used locations around campus, with a focus on providing efficient spaces to study.

Read more about the Wi-Fi project and the room.

More from TechNews: Repair day at Network Ops Center, this Saturday (March 30)

Damage assessment continues at Scrubs Café

Scrubs Café is still closed after steam filled the building for hours the weekend of Feb. 23-24, and officials say they are still assessing how much repair will be needed before the eatery can reopen.

The steam leak, the result of a failed flange gasket on a pipe, went unnoticed for 15 hours, because the café is closed on weekends.

Facilities Management brought in two vendors to help with cleanup efforts: a water damage restoration specialist and a hygienist to monitor the moisture content.

The water damage restoration vendor set up heavy duty dehumidifiers, and the hygienist has been conducting weekly moisture tests, with the latest test results expected toward the middle of this week.

“These results will allow us to better understand how to proceed if some areas come back with some moisture content,” said Christina Blackman, customer experience manager for Facilities Management. “If the moisture has dissipated and no additional damage is found, the scope of repair will involve repatching, painting and completing a full cleanup of the building prior to occupancy. If moisture is still evident, then more comprehensive work will be required.”

In the meantime, food trucks are stationed outside Scrubs during lunchtime hours. A schedule is available online.

Applications due April 1 for staff advisor to regents

Sherry Main mugshot

Sherry Main is encouraging her fellow staff members to apply to succeed her as a staff advisor to the Board of Regents. The deadline is Monday (April 1).

Whomever is selected will serve as staff advisor-designate in 2019-20 and staff advisor in 2020-21. Similarly, Kate Klimow, chief administrative officer and director of external relations at UC Irvine Applied Innovation, steps up to staff advisor for 2019-20 after a year as staff advisor-designate.

Main is assistant vice chancellor for Public Affairs at UC Irvine, returning to that campus after a stint as chief communications and marketing officer at UC Santa Cruz. Earlier, as Staff Assembly chair at UC Irvine, she participated in the systemwide effort to establish the staff advisors program, which launched as a pilot initiative in 2007.

More than a decade later, she welcomed the opportunity to serve in the role herself — an experience that confirmed her commitment to the value of the staff perspective.

As her term comes to an end, she shares the rewards and challenges of the staff advisor role in this article from UCnet.

Staff seats on UCRS advisory board up for election

The application period opened March 22 for staff members interested in running for one of two open seats on the UC Retirement System Advisory Board. The board meets three times a year to discuss issues of interest to UCRS members, retirees and beneficiaries, and shares its opinions on these issues with the president of the university.

The path to candidacy starts with an application for nomination, due by May 1. To qualify for the ballot, staff must be active members of the UC Retirement Plan or active Savings Choice participants in the UC Defined Contribution Plan, and meet other eligibility rules.

More information in English and Spanish is available online. You can download nomination materials from that page or get them at local benefits offices.

Qualified candidates and their statements will be posted on the election website in mid-May. The election will be conducted online by Election-America, May 20-June 17.

2 new presidents have UC Davis ties

Carol L. Folt mugshot

UC Davis is prominent in the CVs of the University of Southern California’s new president, Carol L. Folt, and the University of South Florida’s president-elect, Steve Currall.

Folt earned a Ph.D. in ecology at UC Davis in 1982, while Currall served as dean of the Graduate School of Management from 2009 to 2014 and as a senior advisor to the chancellor until late 2015 when he moved on to Southern Methodist University as provost and vice president for academic affairs — a position he still holds.

Steve Currall mugshot

The USC board of trustees announced Folt’s appointment last Wednesday (March 20) to lead the private university with an enrollment of 47,500 (undergraduate, grade and professional). The former chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is scheduled to take office July 1.

USF trustees put forth Currall as their choice for president last Friday (March 22). His appointment is subject to confirmation by the Florida Board of Governors, which oversees the state’s 12 public universities. A news release states the board will conduct a public interview and vote on Currall’s confirmation at a meeting this Thursday (March 28), and that, if confirmed, he would take office July 1.

The USF president oversees the USF System, serving more than 50,000 students at the main campus in Tampa, and at USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota-Manatee.

Train for mental health ‘gatekeeping’

April brings six more sessions of “Gatekeeper Training,” to equip teaching assistants, staff and faculty with skills and knowledge “to comfortably and confidently speak to students about mental health concerns and then refer them to appropriate mental health resources.” The term “gatekeeper” derives from the fact that TAs, faculty and staff often serve as students’ gateways to help.

The free training is offered as part of a study sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs.

All of these two-hour training sessions will be held in the Student Health and Wellness Center or the Memorial Union. Here is the schedule:

  • Wednesday, April 10 — 10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 11 — 10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 25 — 2-4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 30 — 10 a.m.-noon

If you or your department is interested in a training, send an email to the study team, specifying one training date and time. In return, you will receive an email from “Support UCD Wellness Study” with the subject line, “Invitation to a UC Davis Pilot Study of Training to Support Student Mental Health,” and instructions for completing a pretraining questionnaire.

For more information, contact Professor Carolyn Dewa by email, or you can send an email to her research assistant, Bushra Shaikh.

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