Headliners

A $22.5 billion state budget that includes $392.5 million for the UMass system gained final legislative approval on June 16. The spending plan covers fiscal year 2005, which begins July 1.

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Two students have been awarded Fulbright grants to study abroad in the coming academic year. Caitlin Boon, a graduate student in the Food Science Department, and Kasim Te, a senior graduating summa cum laude with departmental honors in Chinese language and literature, will begin their studies overseas this fall.

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The University system is level-funded at $337.8 million under a compromise fiscal 2005 state budget package filed this week by a House-Senate conference committee. The $22.5 billion spending plan must still be approved by both legislative chambers before the bill is sent to Gov. Mitt Romney.

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New WORLD Theater has received $60,000 in federal and state grants to support Project 2050, a multiracial program in which area youths, artists and scholars explore pressing social issues.

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John and Elizabeth Armstrong, major supporters of the College of Engineering and numerous other education and science related endeavors across the state, will receive the President’s Medal on June 23 at the annual UMass Evening at the Pops at Boston’s Symphony Hall.

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Although Gov. Mitt Romney has declared Friday, June 11 as a one-time state holiday in observance of national memorial services for former President Ronald Reagan, the campus will remain open for essential business, according to Juan A. Jarrett, assistant vice chancellor for Human Resources.

In a June 9 memo to benefited campus employees, Jarrett said, “While the UMass Amherst campus must remain open for business to accommodate student visits and other essential university business, department heads are encouraged to allow as many employees as operationally feasible to honor the former president by taking the day off. Employees who are required to work this Friday will be eligible to receive another day off, which must be used in accordance with the established time frames for floating holidays.”

For information, call Human Resources at 5-0380.

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Telecommunication Services will temporarily interrupt administrative telephone service on two Fridays this summer, June 18 and July 9. The service interruptions are required in order to upgrade the telephone system. Computer networks and emergency help phones will not be affected; resident student and staff telephones should not be affected.

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Campus researchers are working with state officials to halt the introduction of Sudden Oak Death (SOD), a disease that affects more than 50 species of plants, including oaks, rhododendrons and camellias.

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Kalidas Shetty, associate professor of Food Science, has been named one of five scholars to serve as Jefferson Science Fellows advising the U.S. State Department on scientific issues as they relate to international diplomacy. The announcement was made in Washington, D.C. by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.

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Additional funds for research, business and government partnerships and faculty recruitment could be freed up if the state eases statutory requirements governing various University operations, according to a report released June 1 by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.

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