Kudos to Kelly

Photo of Morris Ratner and Kelly Weisberg.

Hastings professors Morris Ratner and Kelly Weisberg teamed up to bring a fantastic program to UCSC. Photo by Christopher Dydyk.

My wife, Kelly Weisberg, does a lot for UC Santa Cruz, most of it behind the scenes, so it was pretty nice last night to see her recognized for a very public, very lasting contribution: She was the driving force behind the new 3 + 3 program with UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco.

Kelly is a Hastings professor, and she saw what struck her as a natural affinity between UCSC and Hastings, two campuses with enduring commitments to social justice. Thanks to her leadership, and the hard work of a number of people on both campuses, we now have a new joint program that will enable UCSC students to earn a bachelor's degree and law degree in six years instead of the usual seven. Kudos to you, Kelly!

Kelly was also the inspiration behind the new UC Hastings Social Justice Speakers Series at UCSC, which began last night with an amazing talk by Hastings Professor Morris Ratner. He is well known in legal circles for his successful prosecution of Holocaust-era private law claims on behalf of victims of Nazi persecution. What a fascinating talk—and a convincing reminder of the power of the law to bring about positive change. Who would think it would be possible to recover $8 billion in assets, most of which went to victims who were mere children during the Holocaust, and their heirs? That's the kind of bold, audacious thinking we at UCSC like.

On a final note, Kelly and I recently attended a screening in San Francisco of Anita, the new documentary about Anita Hill, who famously accused Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his 1991 Senate confirmation hearings. The really striking – and lesser known -- thing about Hill's life is that she has spent most of the intervening years fighting to safeguard the rights of women and men in the workplace. She has worked tirelessly to put in place sexual-harassment protections so others don't have to endure what she experienced. Another story of using the law for good. One side note: Guess who served on Hill's defense team? None other than Janet Napolitano, current president of the University of California. If you watch Anita, keep an eye out for her.

Comments or questions? Write to chancellor@ucsc.edu and put "Ratner" in the subject line.