Thursday, May 26, 2016

We'll Do Our Part for Online STEM - Part 8

We continue with our efforts to assist the governor with online STEM education at the secondary level & in support of UC Scout:

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Our salute to the "progress" of the UCLA Grand Hotel

And our salute would not be complete without music:
(Won't work in iPhone)

We'll Do Our Part for Online STEM - Part 7

We continue with our efforts to support the governor's idea of more UC-supplied online STEM education for secondary school students. They might even earn a badge! Who knows?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Shoes and Such

One of the products
Jumping into the new arms race in college sports – schools battling for massive sponsorships – UCLA has landed what is believed to be the biggest shoe and apparel deal in NCAA history.
The 15-year, $280-million contract with Under Armour was scheduled to be announced at noon Tuesday, university officials told the Los Angeles Times.
The marketplace has exploded in recent months as Michigan, Texas and Ohio State have signed lucrative agreements with Nike. UCLA entered the picture with its Adidas contract set to expire next year.
“We knew that we were well-positioned to cut a deal,” said Dan Guerrero, the UCLA athletic director. “Under Armour came at us hard.”
The upstart Baltimore company was looking to add a major West Coast program to a stable that includes Notre Dame, Auburn and Wisconsin...
And you never know what's in the shoe:


Legislature Should Fund, Not Micro-manage UC

By Dick Ackerman and Mel Levine 5-24-16

Dick Ackerman and Mel Levine are Co-chairs of the California Coalition for Public Higher Education. Ackerman is a former legislator who served as State Senate Republican Leader. Levine is a former Democratic member of the State Assembly and Congress. Both are graduates of UC Berkeley. 

The University of California is the Golden State’s ultimate success story, but there is always room for improvement. Certainly, there is broad consensus around the goals of admitting more California students and for increasing diversity. These goals, however, are not going to be advanced by legislative micro-managing and more shortfalls in State financial support for UC and the California State University system.

The latest example of misguided meddling is an out of the blue proposal for a six-year plan to increase UC enrollment of California residents by 30,000, while reducing the number of out of state students by 10,000 and further reducing the State funding per student.. The devil is in the details or, in some cases, the lack of details.

* Half of the cost for accommodating the new in-state enrollment would be achieved through increased State General support and unspecified efficiencies and savings by the University. In other words, instead of the State funding the $10,000 per student required for increasing enrollment, the plan calls for only $6,900—a 20% reduction in State support.
* Out of state students already pay tuition and fees about three times the amount paid by California residents. This has produced a significant revenue source for UC educational operations. The 6-year plan would theoretically offset the lost revenue from the 10,000 reduction in out of state enrollment, by significantly boosting tuition and fees for the remaining out of staters—an optimistic estimate at best.
* The proposal does not take into account the housing and dining accommodations for 20,000 additional students—facilities that are not financed by the State
* No provision is made for capital investment to cover the costs of new classrooms and laboratories. UC already has about $3 billion in facility projects that require funds and a $1.5 billion backlog of deferred maintenance needs. The legislative plan does not address existing capital needs, let alone what will be required for an additional 20,000 students.
* The six-year plan does not take into account support for more graduate students, who are integral to both under-graduate education and research.
* The proposal includes the imposition of an Inspector General for UC—an additional layer of bureaucracy that is unlikely to produce significant benefits, since UC has already made and is continuing to make great strides in reducing expenses and achieving greater efficiencies.
* The proposal does not take into account the logistical viability of increasing enrollment—the equivalent of adding a new campus—in a six-year time frame. Neither does it do anything to advance efforts to improve diversity on UC campuses.

The 6-year plan, proposed by Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) was rushed through his Assembly Budget Sub-committee without public notice or consultation with UC. Since this idea wouldn’t take effect until the 2017-18 fiscal year, what is the rush? Do we really want to transform our high quality research campuses into diploma mills? This kind of drastic change deserves thoughtful consideration and involvement of UC, other higher education stakeholders and the community.

The University is a standout by any measure of performance. It is constantly ranked as the top public research university in the world. A New York Times survey found that six of the seven colleges doing the most for low income students were UC campuses, including the top five. UC is a pillar of the state’s economy and a source of creativity and innovation. UC is the gateway to a better life for succeeding generations of Californians.

It is far more important for the Legislature, in this year’s Budget deliberations, to address the funding needs of our entire system of public higher education. UC capital and deferred maintenance needs should certainly be on the table. CSU requires an additional $100 million to avoid turning away thousands of eligible California students. Tinkering with the systems won’t get the job done. Additional State investment will.


Stanford B-School "Affair" Coming to an End

Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business today (May 23) named the former chair of the university’s economics department as its next dean. Jonathan Levin, the son of former Yale University President Rick Levin, takes over the job on Sept. 1, succeeding Garth Saloner who announced in September that he would step down from his job at the end of this academic year...

Levin clearly will have his work cut out for him. Stanford fell to second in U.S. News & World Report‘s ranking this year, the first time in seven years that the school failed to hold first place on its own or in a tie with another school. Aside from the school’s fall in a key ranking, Levin will take over a business school that has been embroiled in a headline-grabbing controversy through much of last fall when news broke that Saloner, now 61, was having an affair with a GSB professor, Deborah Gruenfeld, who was married to another professor at the school. (see Stanford Confidential: Sex, Lies and Loathing At The World’s No. 1 Business School). Even worse, Saloner remained involved in personnel decisions directly impacting the husband, Jim Phills, who brought a lawsuit against the university alleging that he was unfairly dismissed.

Some 46 current and former GSB staffers, moreover, accused Saloner of disrupting the collegial, close-knit culture of the school and turning it into an environment of fear and intimidation, where the back-stabbing politics were so thick that few would dare challenge the dean. Those current and former employees had unsuccessfully urged the university not to reappoint Saloner to a second term, claiming that he created a “hostile workplace” in which staff, particularly women and people over 40, were hounded out of jobs and roles amid numerous violations of Stanford’s Code of Conduct and HR policies (see Anatomy Of A Rebellion: Inside The Revolt Against Stanford GSB Dean Garth Saloner). For Levin, job number one will be to restore that collegial culture at a school whose lofty mission is proudly proclaimed to “change lives, change organizations, change the world.”...

We'll Do Our Part for Online STEM - Part 6

We continue in our efforts to please Gov. Brown by providing our own version of online STEM education at the secondary level (as a supplement to the UC Scout program):