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Oliver Johnson Award for Distinguished Leadership in the Academic Senate

2012 Recipients:

John B. Oakley and Sandra J. Weiss

John Oakley

John B. Oakley is Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus at UC Davis. He was chair of the Academic Council and faculty representative to the Regents in 2006-2007. At the systemwide level, he also chaired the University Committee on Faculty Welfare in 2004-05, and the UCRS Advisory Board in 2009-10. At Davis, he has served on numerous Senate committees, including the Faculty Welfare Committee, which he chaired from 1999 to 2003, and the International Education Committee, which he led from 1992 to 1995.

     As chair of UCFW and the Senate, Professor Oakley was instrumental in drawing attention to and advocating for the importance of closing the faculty salaries competitiveness gap and protecting total remuneration for faculty, particularly to off-set the restart of UCRP contributions. As chair, and then member, of the Academic Council Special Committee on Laboratory Issues (ACSCOLI), he shepherded a plan through the Senate that ensured the continued involvement and input of the Senate into the operations of the UC-managed DOE Laboratories, as their organizational structure transitioned to shared management and partial independence as limited liability companies. In 2007, he helped author a guide detailing UC’s relationship to the new Los Alamos and Livermore LLCs and their nuclear weapons research. He also navigated the Senate through a contentious debate over academic freedom and the tobacco industry that led the Senate ultimately to oppose on academic freedom grounds RE-89, a policy ultimately adopted by the Regents that places restrictions on faculty acceptance of research funding from the tobacco industry. He is also notable for taking over as systemwide Senate chair after the existing Council chair was removed in March 2006, giving him the distinction of having the longest-ever consecutive term (one and a half years) as Senate chair.


Sandra Weiss

Sandra J. Weiss is a Professor of Nursing who holds the Eschbach Endowed Chair in Mental Health in the Department of Community Health Systems at UCSF. She served as the Academic Council chair and faculty representative to the Board of Regents in 1997-1998, and as the UCSF Senate division chair in 1994-1995. She is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.

     At UCSF, Professor Weiss negotiated the addition of the Senate chair to the Chancellor’s Executive Committee as a standing member and broadened the UCSF Executive Committee to include the chairs of each School’s Faculty Councils and the Parliamentarian. She also instituted a joint Senate-Administration Strategic Planning Board, which continues to have direct faculty participation in discussions related to budget allocations at UCSF.

     At the systemwide level, Professor Weiss created a Senate Membership Task Force, which recommended new policy protections for In Residence faculty across all campuses, and a Senate Health Sciences Committee that provided a mechanism for the Senate to advise the Council and UCOP on key issues facing the health sciences. She also chaired the Task Force on Senate Governance between 1996 and 1998, the Council on Research and the Task Force on Research Climate in 1995-96, and the Health Sciences Committee between 1987 and 1989. She participated in early planning decisions around the UC Merced campus, and is credited with regularizing the now standard practice of giving the Council chair a designated time during Regents meeting to report directly to the Board.

     She chaired the Provost’s Task Force on Research Climate to address concerns about support for research. Changes were made, including making bridge funding available to ensure the continuance of research support for some faculty.


Past Award Recipients

Nomination Process

Professor Oliver Johnson