Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Growing pains at San Diego

From the San Diego Union-Tribune: Once again, you’ll need ear plugs to block the din of construction at UC San Diego. Faced with intense pressure to grow, the university on Monday will begin building the largest complex in campus history, a $627 million neighborhood that includes housing for 2,000 students, academic towers, parking and retail space.

The North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Center (NTPLLN) represents the start of a $1.6 billion expansion that will enable the La Jolla campus to add at least 3,300 students by 2021, pushing enrollment to 40,000. 
The $627 million "neighborhood" will provide housing for 2,000 students, two new academic towers and retail space. The project is part of a larger $2.5 billion expansion and renovation. Enrollment could eventually hit 45,000, making UC San Diego the same size as UCLA and almost three times larger than Stanford...

Full story with video at

Monday, June 18, 2018

Moving to Berkeley

Two more professors involved in a legal case against the University of Rochester over its handling of the Florian Jaeger case have resigned. Celeste Kidd and Steven Piantadosi, married assistant professors of brain and cognitive sciences, announced on Twitter that they’re moving their labs to the University of California, Berkeley, saying they leave not with anger but with “unshakable sadness” that students on campus “have no one in the administration who will support them.”

Last year, Kidd, Piantadosi and seven other past and present students and professors in the brain sciences department sued Rochester for what they described as an inadequate response to the sexual harassment concerns they raised about their department colleague, Jaeger, whom the university cleared of misconduct. Other professors involved in the case already have left the department to join other institutions...

Full story at

Op Ed from the UC Prez

Prospering with an affordable college education

By JANET NAPOLITANO | June 17, 2018 | Orange County Register

Millions of American college students will walk across the graduation stage this spring cheered on by family and friends. They will laugh, cry, celebrate and plan for the future — one profoundly bolstered by the lasting value of a college education.

But seemingly oblivious to the joy and promise of graduation season, members of Congress are pushing a bill that would undermine college access and affordability and increase college costs for students and their families.

In its current form, the Higher Education Act reauthorization bill, known as the PROSPER Act, would make higher education more expensive, undermine student aid programs and eliminate important student consumer protections.

Under the bill being weighed by lawmakers, some 72,000 University of California students would feel the effect of eliminating the in-school student loan subsidy, an action that would add an estimated $70 million in student loan debt to each new freshman class. It would eliminate other loan and grant programs and cut federal work-study programs vital to both undergraduate and graduate students, potentially putting a UC education out of reach for the many first-generation and low-income California students we serve.

In addition, the bill excludes mandatory inflation adjustments for Pell Grants, further eroding the value of a grant that has already decreased substantially in purchasing power over time. In 1975, Pell Grants covered 79 percent of the cost of higher education, while today they cover just 29 percent, the lowest level in more than 40 years.

While the University is glad that Congress is working to reauthorize the Higher Education Act, it has become clear that the changes proposed in the PROSPER Act will destabilize critical federal financial aid programs that help college students of all backgrounds access a life-changing education.

That’s why I joined California State University Chancellor Timothy White and California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Oakley in sending a letter to Congress outlining our concerns about the PROSPER Act.

Our public institutions of higher education are committed — as they have been for generations — to providing affordable, accessible and equitable pathways to success for our students. Unfortunately, the PROSPER Act would negatively affect the 2.8 million students our institutions collectively serve, and many millions more across the nation.

UC is proud to offer one of the nation’s most robust financial aid packages — a combination of institutional, state and federal aid that work together to ensure that cost is not a barrier to enrollment and graduation. If Congress is truly committed to supporting students as they work to improve their lives through higher education, members need to craft a new reauthorization bill that truly benefits students — without further mortgaging their futures.


Listen to the Regents Health Committee: June 5, 2018

The Regents Health Services Committee convened on June 5th in an off-cycle meeting. Much of the meeting was apparently taken up with closed (non-public) business. The open segment ran about half an hour. There was a public comment section which unlike many meetings did not have the "usual suspects" (really the usual topics). In it, one speaker spoke about essentially "quack" remedies being offered at various UC medical centers. The rest of the time was devoted to a presentation by UC Health VP Jack Stobo.

A committee has been formed to look at various issues related - among other things - to the Huron report and its potential effect on that segment of UCOP that deals with the medical centers. As has been the case in the past, Stobo tended to push for autonomy from standard oversight of the centers on the grounds of market needs to be "nimble." The new committee will work during the summer and present something in September.

As usual, we preserve the audio of the meeting indefinitely - since the Regents only keep their recordings for one year.  You can find the link below:


Saturday, June 16, 2018


A UCLA group called "KELPS" - said to stand for Knights Earls Lord Potentates Sultans - operated in the late 1940s and early 1950s, apparently mainly to play pranks on USC.