Strike Over, But Disagreements Still Loom Over UCLA

Workers striking at University of California facilities as part of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) wrapped up their five-day protest with a rally on July 18.

Speakers included one state senator, five assemblymen and Maria Eleno Durazo, the executive secretary-treasurer of the L.A. County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. They were all Democrats, and they all spoke in support of the striking workers, despite the fact that the workers’ exhibition taking place at UC facilities was prohibited by a court order.

Though the visible strike may be over, little has been achieved. The University of California schools are still hoping to reach an agreement with the workers but intend to provide uninterrupted service should their employees strike again. The five-day strike did not affect the UCLA hospitals where a number of the AFSCME employees work.

L.A. Price Tag Pain in Neck for Would-Be Doctors

Dr. Thomas Calcaterra, a UCLA professor emeritus of head and neck surgery, along with his wife, Ellen, have donated $2 million to the Head and Neck Surgery Division at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, in order to bolster faculty recruitment. Dr. Calcaterra served on the UCLA faculty for more than 35 years and hopes to preserve the Head and Neck Division that he felt was one of the most preeminent training programs in the nation.

The retired professor cited the cost of living differential between Los Angeles and other big medicine school cities that might attract great doctors away from the teaching hospitals at UCLA.

NAACP/NBC Screenwriting Fellowship Awarded

Michael Hazzard, a screenwriting student at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, has been named the second recipient of the annual NAACP/NBC Fellowship in Screenwriting.

The fellowship is a $20,000 package awarded to a graduate student studying screenwriting who may help give a voice to more underrepresented minorities in the entertainment industry. The recipient is required to hold internships at NBC and the NAACP’s Hollywood bureau, with executives at each business acting as the winner’s mentors.

The NAACP/NBC Fellowship is one of the many awards that have been created as part of the university’s overarching Ensuring Academic Excellence initiative launched in June of 2004. It is a five-year plan which hopes to garner $250 million in private funding, which will be invested in recruiting and retaining the best faculty and graduate students, as well as $50 million of that going to fund fellowships and scholarships in the various UCLA schools.