Saturday, July 21, 2018

5 Years Ago: Napolitano Appointment

Five years ago, this blog published an audio recording of a TV interview with then-Assembly Speaker John Pérez on the appointment of Janet Napolitano as president of UC. Below is a link to that recording:

Royce's Book

For those who don't know, Royce Hall at UCLA is named after Josiah Royce, an early historian of California and philosopher.  The only copy of the debates of the original 1849 constitutional convention for California that is on the web turns out to be a scan of Royce's copy of the book:

Friday, July 20, 2018

Listen to the Regents Meeting of July 19, 2018

We again preserve the audio of yesterday's Regents meeting, since the Regents "archive" their recordings for only one year. The Thursday meeting is described below. Probably, the most noted element was the $60 cut in tuition. That $60 was the result of an earlier surcharge imposed when the Regents lost a lawsuit involving a tuition increase and had to refund the overage. Apart from its financial rationale, it sent an implicit message to students. Sue us successfully and other students will pay. So current students should think twice about supporting such suits by earlier cohorts. No one said it quite so bluntly, of course.

The Daily Cal has a summary of the Thursday meeting below. Below that is a link to the audio.

The UC Board of Regents convened Thursday at UCSF Mission Bay to discuss the 2018-19 budget plan and other aspects of the university that pertain to student life.

At its morning meeting, the board approved the university’s revised 2018-19 budget plan, which indicates increases in state funding, maintains the student service fee at its current rate and reduces tuition by $60.

“I hope and I pray that it is the first of a new trend,” said Regent Sherry Lansing at the meeting.

According to a UC Office of the President press release, the new tuition — reduced from $11,502 to $11,442 — is a result of the university recovering almost all the damages from two class-action lawsuits by fall 2018: Kashmiri v. Regents and Luquetta v. Regents. These lawsuits were filed because students claimed that the university increased their tuition without adequate notice. Ultimately, the litigation process cost the university $100 million.

Judith Gutierrez, president of the UC Student Association, expressed her support for the tuition reduction.

“As we move into the new year, I hope you are already thinking about how we can proactively build towards budget negotiations that will permanently prevent tuition increases and establish a precedent of funding the UC and subsequently rolling back the tuition every year,” Gutierrez said at the meeting.

Gutierrez credited the prevention of an increased tuition and the funding increase to public comment sessions, visits to budget subcommittees in Sacramento and meetings with the Department of Finance and the governor’s office.  

Dominick Williams, a rising senior at UC Berkeley, discussed concerns related to economic and racial diversity. He advocated for an increase in collaboration to “change the model.”

“Outside of financial assistance, the No. 1 way to get students to the UC is confidence,” Williams said at the meeting. “Seeing another student from their high school with that blue and gold smile is the best way to build that confidence.”

Rachel Roberson, incoming president of the UC Graduate and Professional Council and doctoral candidate in education policy and organization at UC Berkeley, spoke about issues of concern relating to UC graduate students and professionals.

According to Roberson, the UC Graduate and Professional Council will work to mitigate the immigration policy threat impacting international graduate students’ careers and prioritize affordability and access to ensure “viable training for our future careers.”

Roberson stated that the UC Graduate and Professional Council will be focusing primarily on issues related to Title IX.

“We are both apprentices under our (principal investigators) and advisers. That interesting power dynamic is unfortunately all too ripe for being taken advantage of, and it happens far too frequently,” Roberson said at the meeting. “We also happen to be in various areas of direct service with undergraduate students. That shared trust and respect puts us in a position to hear too often the issues of violation.”


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Divestment Bill

The bill to which the item below refers seems designed by its sponsor(s) to shield state public pensions from political divestment campaigns. (There is a link to the bill below.) However, CALPERS seems to be opposing it because it would create an outside entity that might infringe on CALPERS' autonomy. The bill doesn't require UC to be involved but requests it to do so.

CalPERS fighting divestment review bill

Arleen Jacobius, 7-18-18, Pensions and Investments

CalPERS is opposing a state bill that would establish a separate body to review divestment legislation that would affect itself and CalSTRS.

The bill requests the University of California establish the Pension Divestment Review Program to analyze divestment-related legislation affecting the $354.7 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento, and $224.9 billion California State Teachers' Retirement System, West Sacramento. The analysis would include the financial impact to the pension plans including the effect of divestment on the plans' unfunded liability.

California Controller Betty Yee, who is a CalPERS and CalSTRS board member, opposes the bill. "Spending additional resources to create a (body) that will simply replicate the work of the state's pension board staff is not a productive endeavor," said a statement from Ms. Yee included in materials for CalPERS' July 16 off-site meeting.

"Rather, improved communications with the pension boards should provide the same information (to be sought by this bill), and in a quicker and more cost-effective fashion," the statement said.

One of the CalPERS board's concerns, according to the agenda materials, is that the financial criteria established by the bill do not "address the impact of divestment proposals on the risk and volatility of the investment portfolio, which, in turn, will impact funded status, returns and retirement contribution rates for CalPERS and CalSTRS."

The bill, SB 783, passed the California Senate in January and is now before the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.


The actual bill is at

Listen to the Regents Meeting of July 18, 2018

As we always do, we have preserved yesterday's Regents meeting in audio format, since the Regents delete their recordings after one year. You can hear the various segments at the links below. And just below what you are reading is a summary of what took place from the Daily Cal.

‘A global, diverse world’: UC regents discuss student advocacy, nonresident student experience

Revatti Thatte and Sakura Cannestra, Daily Cal, 7-18-18

Deep dives into the student experience and continued budgetary advocacy dominated discussions at Wednesday’s UC Board of Regents meeting.

Several people at public comment during the board meeting brought up figures from UC’s recently released admissions data, which showed an increase in transfers overall but a decrease in the number of transfers admitted to UC Berkeley specifically. Students also urged the regents to include students in budgetary efforts at earlier stages and emphasized taking the student experience into account.

According to UC President Janet Napolitano, the funds from the state budget — signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on June 27 — will allow the UC Office of the President, or UCOP, to recommend that in-state tuition remain flat for the upcoming academic year. Additionally, the money will be used to roll back in-state tuition by $60.

The rollback will not affect nonresident tuition, which the board voted to increase in March.

“I want to recognize our students, alumni, faculty, staff, regents and friends of the university for their tireless advocacy efforts on behalf of the UC,” Napolitano said at the meeting. “Your voices were heard and your actions made a real difference in further securing UC’s financial future.”

Outgoing UC Student Association President Judith Gutierrez and incoming Vice President of External Affairs for the ASUC of San Diego Caroline Siegel-Singh gave a presentation to the board about the importance of social media in advocacy, particularly the #FundtheUC campaign.

Gutierrez and Siegel-Singh also cited repeated student attendance at budget hearings as a key factor in persuading the legislature to increase funding. According to Singh, UC students outnumbered staff and lobbyists at most budget hearings.

“The takeaway of this presentation is to institutionalize these advocacy efforts,” Gutierrez said at the meeting. “That way, we avoid reinventing the wheel every time students take new office.”

At the morning board meeting, Napolitano said the board would discuss multiyear budgeting Thursday, which is intended to help families plan ahead and allow the regents to “look more strategically at the future of the UC.”

Planning multiple years in the future would prevent the possibility of postponing budget proposals. In a previous interview with The Daily Californian, UCOP spokesperson Stephanie Beechem confirmed that postponing the tuition vote in January also postponed the UC’s budget confirmation.

As part of former student regent Paul Monge’s effort to make the student experience more accessible to the regents, the Academic and Student Affairs Committee heard from a panel that included Chancellor Carol Christ and former ASUC external affairs vice president Rigel Robinson regarding nonresident students at UC campuses.

Robinson recalled walking onto campus his freshman year and seeing newspaper headlines that said the UC was phasing out nonresident financial aid and, later, capping nonresident enrollment.

“To students, the message these developments send is that they aren’t welcome — that the university isn’t really interested in being a home to nonresident students, but does see the potential revenue that can be generated out of them,” said Robinson, a Missouri native, at the meeting.

Christ said that having out-of-state and international students on campus benefits in-state students, as about 80 percent of in-state UC students do not study abroad. The interaction with nonresident students, Christ noted, allows California residents to learn about diverse points of view.

In discussion, however, Regent Eloy Ortiz Oakley noted how international students’ enrollment in the UC system has increased from 5.2 percent in 2008 to 17.2 percent in 2017, yet the cost of attending a UC as an international student is three times that of a California resident student. Oakley, who is also the California Community Colleges chancellor, said at the meeting that he was concerned about the income diversity among international students.

Christ then noted that nations other than the U.S. place higher value on higher education, and that there are cases in which students from lower socioeconomic statuses receive support from their respective home nations. She also suggested that another way to support international students of poorer socioeconomic backgrounds would be to direct state funds toward financial aid for international students.

During the National Laboratories Subcommittee, members discussed the awarding of the Los Alamos National Laboratory management contract. In the morning, members from the UC Student-Workers Union protested against UC’s mishandling of sexual misconduct cases.

“We live in a global, diverse world where we must live and work with people from different places who have a wide range of perspectives and life experiences,” Christ said at the meeting.

Morning segment:

Board meeting and Governance & Compensation:
Compliance & Audit (starts after beginning):
Public Engagement & Development:
Afternoon segment:

Academic & Student Affairs | National Labs:
Finance & Capital Strategies:

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Remember Josh Rosen, the UCLA Football Player? Read on...

Here's something to contemplate while we await today's Regents meeting.

There has been much discussion and litigation relating to paying college athletes. Josh Rosen left UCLA before graduating and is - according to the article below - involved in crafting a route around current limitations.

Meet the California Lawyer Who Has a Plan to Pay College Athletes

Forget about Condi Rice. A relatively unknown lawyer has emerged with the backing of Arizona Cardinals rookie quarterback Josh Rosen to create a new system to pay NCAA players for their names and likeness.

By Roy Strom | July 17, 2018 at 06:15 PM | The American Lawyer

Jeffrey Kessler. Condoleezza Rice. Tye Gonser? There are a lot of names involved in the debate around paying college athletes. This week, a new one was added to the list, even if it is one that most won’t recognize.

Gonser, a Southern California lawyer at a 10-lawyer corporate firm that bears his name, has put forth an idea endorsed by Arizona Cardinals rookie quarterback Josh Rosen to pay student-athletes for the use of their names and likenesses. The 39-page proposal is designed to protect the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s amateur model, while promoting graduation for student-athletes.

Slickly branded “Fairplay 4 NCAA,” Gonser’s proposal creates a nonprofit, “clearinghouse” entity that will work as a go-between for student-athletes and corporate sponsors. Upon entering college, athletes will have the choice to give the would-be clearinghouse the right to negotiate sponsorship deals on their behalf with certain brands.

The clearinghouse would cut deals with sponsors and hold the sponsorship money in accounts for athletes. The money would only be doled out to players who graduate from college within eight years. Money collected for athletes who don’t graduate would be given to a general scholarship fund that supports non-athletes’ tuition and other programs to promote college attendance in poverty-stricken neighborhoods.

The plan circumvents the need for college athletes to hire agents or interact with brands, both of which have been at the epicenter of many of the recent scandals involving student-athletes finding back doors to get paid. That was a key motivator for Gonser. A former college baseball player at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, Gonser previously worked as an in-house lawyer at a sports marketing agency and said he disliked the role money often played in recruiting athletes.

“As much as I understand about this business and this industry, I’m aware there is probably not a perfect solution, and by no means do I think this plan is perfect,” Gonser told The American Lawyer in a Tuesday interview. “Our whole goal is to present something that we think is relatively workable and can help move the conversation forward in a positive and productive manner, which we don’t think is happening to date.”

Talk of changing the NCAA’s amateur model has ramped up since last September, when the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York unveiled fraud and bribery indictments for 10 individuals working in college basketball, alleging a corruption scheme that involved coaches, agents and shoe company executives.

In response, the NCAA chartered a committee led by Rice, the former U.S. secretary of state, who put out a report in April that suggested abandoning the “one-and-done” rule forcing basketball players to attend at least one year of college before entering the annual National Basketball Association player draft. The proposal also suggested allowing more upfront interactions between college players and agents, as well as allowing those players to declare for the NBA draft and then come back to school.

The committee’s proposals were met with some criticism, mostly due to what some perceived as a muted stance toward compensating athletes for the use of their names and likenesses. Rice defended the report against that critique in a subsequent interview, saying there were pending legal challenges to the NCAA’s rules that would need to be cleared up before the commission could propose a model for how players would be paid.

“There is a legal framework that has to be determined, but name, image and likeness—athletes are going to have to be able to benefit from it,” Rice told USA Today.

The most pressing legal challenge on that front is being led by Winston & Strawn partner Jeffrey Kessler, a veteran litigator who also serves co-executive chairman of the firm.

That case, a multidistrict litigation being heard in the U.S. District Court for Northern District of California, is an antitrust challenge to the NCAA’s restriction on payments of athletes. The suit depicts the scholarship process as an unfair cap on wages; an issue set for a bench trial later this year before U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, which NCAA tax records show received nearly $5.9 million from the registered nonprofit in 2015-16, is representing the organization in that case. (Former White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler, now co-chair of the white-collar defense and investigations practice at Latham & Watkins, which received nearly $7.3 million from the NCAA in 2015-16, is a member of the NCAA committee on basketball reform.)

Gonser said that suit before Wilken may threaten the NCAA’s longtime amateur model and encourage some schools not to offer scholarship-level sports.

“I think they could frankly win, but it would also ruin college sports,” Gonser said. “A lot of the best institutions in the country would probably say they won’t do it, and they’ll just have club sports.”

Gonser said his plan could be easier for the NCAA to swallow because it would benefit all parties involved: the NCAA, schools and players. The revenues Gonser envisions his system bringing about could be from a rebirth of college video games and from individual licensing deals for stars.

That money would be split up differently depending on the type of sponsorship deal. For broad group licensing agreements, a “player pool” of all the players of any sport would receive 50 percent of the revenue; the clearinghouse takes 25 percent; the NCAA gets 15 percent; and the general scholarship fund gets 10 percent. Individual deals send 50 percent of the money to the individual athlete; 25 percent to the clearinghouse; 10 percent to the NCAA; 10 percent to the player pool; and 10 percent to the scholarship fund.

Gonser said he went public with the proposal after finding hesitation among the NCAA’s vested interests to his pitch through more regular channels. He said he had spoken with athletic directors in four of the five collegiate power conferences. They were interested in the idea, but none were supportive enough to sponsor it as a legitimate challenge to current NCAA rules. Gonser now hopes public support and pressure may motivate them to act.

“It just feels like nobody wants to be the person who stands up first in that world and be the champion behind it, which I understand,” Gonser said. “Unfortunately, the NCAA tends to be a very reactive institution.”

Gonser said he worked on his proposal on Sundays when he wasn’t doing his typical legal work: representing business owners who often happen to be professional athletes. Frustrated at the slow pace of his proposal, he hired an intern, then-University of Southern California Gould School of Law student Bryan Bitzer, who is set to take a first-year lawyer job at Los Angeles-based Weinberg Gonser in August.

As for Rosen’s involvement, Gonser said he was introduced to the former University of California, Los Angeles star when Rosen was a freshman at the school. Gonser’s office is close to the UCLA campus and he said he became something of a mentor to the controversial Rosen.

The two men began talking early last year about challenges to the NCAA amateur model, possibly sparked by a decision Rosen had to make: whether to forego his senior year at UCLA or become eligible for the NFL draft. The Cardinals eventually drafted Rosen with the 10th overall selection in late April. Had Gonser’s system been in place during Rosen’s college career, Gonser said the star quarterback may have stayed for his senior year.

“He’s wildly intelligent,” Gonser said. “But what really drew me to him as we built a relationship was that he really cares about people and social issues in a way that I don’t see many people in general do; especially not 20-year-olds.”


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Empty Seats

Entering its final meeting of the summer, the UC Board of Regents will have had five vacancies for about three months, after two term-outs, two resignations and one death.

Usually, there are only two vacancies, which are due to regents reaching the end of their terms, according to Student Regent Devon Graves, and this year was former regents William De La Peña and Bruce Varner’s turn. The death of Bonnie Reiss earlier this year and the resignations of Norman Pattiz and Monica Lozano have raised the number of vacancies up to five, the highest since 2013.

“We have to look at the positive side, that there are going to be five new regents,” Graves said. “It is an opportunity to bring in new perspectives.”

There is no strict timeline for when the governor must appoint regents for their 12-year terms, but Gov. Jerry Brown met with an advisory committee in April — the first time a governor had met with the committee in 17 years — to help him choose new regents.

No appointments have been announced as of press time, and there are no appointments on this week’s Board of Regents meeting agenda...

Full story at