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Current budget woes may force certain UCSB departments to limit the amount of courses offered at the beginning of the 2009-10 academic year, according to university officials. Along with an increase in student fees, statewide budget cuts have forced the university to increase class sizes, diminishing the number of classes offered by some departments. Class cuts could be announced by June.

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A satellite launched from French Guiana last week contained instrumentation designed by UCSB astrophysicists. Dubbed Planck, the cosmology satellite was designed to further scientists’ understanding of remnant radiation from the genesis of the universe. UCSB astrophysicist Philip Lubin said that this information is being used to learn more about the origin and fate of the universe and the makeup of matter, dark matter, and dark energy, as well as to find evidence of other universes.

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UCSB’s graduate student housing complex, San Clemente Villages, has been awarded a gold-level certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. The rating system recognizes the world’s most energy efficient and environmentally friendly structures in the world. According to officials, the San Clemente project became the largest certified housing facility on any college or university campus in the country, and is the sixth building at UCSB to be acknowledged for its sustainable construction and operation.

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