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Judge Gerald W. Heaney of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, who has written a number of key appellate rulings in the St. Louis-area school-desegregation case, will move to semiretired status at the end of the year.

Judge Heaney, of Duluth, Minn., will turn 71 in January. In his new position as a senior judge, he will handle a reduced caseload.

Appointed in 1966 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, Judge Heaney has generally been viewed as part of the liberal minority on the 8th Circuit bench, which covers Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

In addition to the St. Louis suit, he has been involved in nationally watched school-desegregation cases in Kansas City, Mo., and Little Rock, Ark.

"If our democracy is going to survive, everyone must have an equal opportunity for education, a job, and a home," the judge said in an interview last week. "To me, it starts with education. On this court, we have tried to promote equal opportunity for everyone, and I think we've made some progress. We can't leave large segments of our society behind."

Daniel J. McMullen, a former attorney in the U.S. Justice Department, has been appointed to direct the agency that is moni6toring the court-ordered desegregation of the Cleveland Public Schools.

U.S. District Judge Frank J. Battisti appointed Mr. McMullen, 32, to head the Office on School Monitoring and Community Relations. Leonard B. Stevens, who headed the office from its inception in 1978, resigned at the end of September.

Mr. McMullen, a former law clerk of Judge Battisti, was a trial lawyer with the Justice Department from 1983 to 1986. Since then, he has worked for a private firm in Washington and Cleveland.

Bernard R. Gifford is leaving his position as dean of the Graduate School of Education at the University of California at Berkeley to become vice president of education at Apple Computers Inc.

Mr. Gifford will step down from his university post on Dec. 31 and begin work with Apple on Feb. 2. He will direct all of Apple's marketing activities for elementary, high-school, and higher-education institutions.

Mr. Gifford will take a leave of absence from his position as a professor of education, but will continue to advise students and assist in fund raising. He will also continue as chairman of the National Commission on Testing and Public Policy, a group he established last year to examine the role of testing in the allocation of educational, training, and employment opportunities.

Mr. Gifford has been dean of the education school since 1982.

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