We are still waiting to learn the fate of UC Berkeley’s treasured Water Resources Center Archives, which is at risk because of budget cuts. Thank you to those who took a moment to write to the University expressing your support of this irreplaceable library, unmatched in terms of the depth and breadth of its holdings on water in California. Although it is not yet clear what will happen to the WRCA, a decision on the submitted proposals is expected by the end of June. I thought readers might be interested in today’s update:
In October 2009, UC Office of the President’s, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) decided that WRCA would best be supported by a UC campus and vowed to find WRCA a “new home” by June 30, 2010. In April 2010, ANR issued a Request for Application (RFA) to four UC campuses: Berkeley, Davis, Riverside and Merced. The applications were due May 21, 2010.
UC Merced officially declined to submit a proposal, but Berkeley, Davis and Riverside have submitted proposals. Last week, a five-person review panel was announced. The Review Panel consists of Barbara Allen-Diaz, Associate Vice President of ANR; Tim Ramirez, Manager, Watershed and Natural Resources Division, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission; Daniel Greenstein, Vice Provost for Academic Program, Planning and Coordination; Mary Croughan, former UC Academic Senate Chair; and Richard Schneider, Chair of the UC Committee on Libraries and Scholarly Activities.
The panel currently has the proposals but I do not know when they will meet to discuss them. Once the review of proposals is complete, a recommendation will be given to Dan Dooley, Vice-President of ANR, who will make the final decision. The final decision will be communicated to me by Barbara Allen-Diaz.
At this point, we still do not know the future of WRCA. All UC campuses are suffering from severe budget cuts and campus space is at a premium. Needless to say, I have not seen the three proposals. The ability of WRCA to continue to expand the collection, maintain its high level of service and continue its digital initiatives depends on being able to maintain its staff. The amount of transitional funding that ANR will provide to the campus whose proposal is accepted is a pivotal piece of WRCA’s future.
A decision will be announced by the end of June.
If you have any questions about this summary, please do not hesitate to contact me at:
Water Resources Center Archives
410 O’Brien Hall
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-1718