Friday, July 3, 2015

In this case, forgetting is not forgiving

A news report carries the story of the aftermath of a faculty raid by USC against UC-San Diego:

UC San Diego on Thursday sued the University of Southern California and a nationally recognized Alzheimer's disease researcher, saying they illegally conspired to take over a major Alzheimer's study it is running. The lawsuit, filed in San Diego Superior Court through the UC Regents, also names as defendants eight colleagues of the scientist, Dr. Paul Aisen. He left UC San Diego to head a new Alzheimer's institute founded by USC in San Diego, bringing the eight with him. While universities commonly recruit or poach faculty from each other, lawsuits arising from the recruitment are much rarer. This lawsuit says USC and the other defendants went beyond recruitment to commit a variety of illegal acts, including interference with contract, breach of duty of loyalty by employee, commission of computer crimes and civil conspiracy. UC San Diego said it has been deprived of access to data for the Alzheimer's project because of the actions of Aisen and the other defendants.

The university is seeking an unspecified amount of money, to be determined through a jury trial...

Full story at

Is this a new level of intercollegiate rivalry?

Diddy Do It or Didn't He?

Follow up to earlier posts* on the Diddy story:

Music mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs won't face felony charges after an alleged assault last month at the university where his son plays football. Combs was accused of assaulting someone with a kettlebell and arrested last month on three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, one count of making terrorist threats and one count of battery after an incident at an athletic training complex at UCLA, the university said at the time.

Ricardo Santiago, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, said Thursday that prosecutors there have declined to charge Combs with felony assault and battery. They've referred the case to the Los Angeles city attorney's office for misdemeanor filing consideration, he said...

Running on Empty in Westwood; Running on Full in Pasadena

Various publications have taken note of the retirement of UCLA Prof. Don Shoup, the nation's expert on parking issues. An article on the LAist website provides the Shoup story on why Westwood continues to struggle with empty storefronts despite being adjacent to UCLA while Old Town Pasadena booms. His story differs from the standard Westwood explanation about a gang shooting that killed a visitor:
In the '80s, Westwood Village was a destination hotspot that was as popular as Old Town Pasadena is now. Old Town on the other hand had a reputation for being Pasadena's skid row. The reason? It's all about parking, says Donald Shoup, a recently-retired UCLA professor of urban planning. The author of the influential 2005 book "The High Cost of Free Parking," explained his theory to KPCC.
"In 1980, anyone who predicted that Old Pasadena would soon become hip and Westwood would fade would have been judged insane," according to an article Shoup co-wrote with Douglas Kolozsvari, a former associate planner at the San Mateo County Transit District.
Their argument is that free or super cheap parking isn't a good thing for any city, because drivers will end up circling around looking for spots, clogging up the streets, and causing accidents with pedestrians or cyclists.
"What underpricing can do, however, and what it does do, is create a parking shortage that keeps potential customers away," according to Shoup and Kolozsvari. "If it takes only five minutes to drive somewhere else, why spend fifteen cruising for parking?"
It all started in 1993 when Westwood Village store owners banded together to drop the price of curb parking in hopes of getting more customers. However, that same year, Old Town Pasadena ended up installing parking meters, and charging what Shopu and Kolozsvari said was the "unusually high rate of $1 an hour." They figured that customers who didn't want to pay the meter fee would ditch the spot and make room for people who were willing to pay, and more likely be willing to spend more money at the stores and restaurants. The district then used the revenue from the meters to beautify and clean up the city, planting trees and adding streetlamps. Basically, it made the village safer and more desirable to visit.
And Westwood Village? Well, let's just say they didn't come out victorious.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Applications and Admissions

You can find data on UC admissions at A sample chart is above. [Click to enlarge]

Of course, if you can find the data, so can the legislature (which may not be entirely pleased):

Annual Percent Change: Fall 2014-Fall 2015
Resident Freshmen:                   -1.7%
Community College Transfers:         +0.2%
Non-resident Freshmen:              +12.8%

Know Ye...

Ex-state Sen. Leland Yee pleads guilty to racketeering in corruption case

A sampling of past posts on Yee: [Use the search option for more posts]
UCLA Faculty Association: End of Yee?
Mar 26, 2014
Normally, we don't blog about political scandals. However, State Sen. Leland Yee has not been a friend of UC and has introduced bills that would have mucked around with the UC pension plan in unhelpful ways. He is now ...

UCLA Faculty Association: The End
Mar 27, 2014
We noted yesterday that state senator Yee, not a friend of UC particularly on the pension, is in deep you-know-what after his arrest.  He is termed out of the senate and his candidacy for Secretary of State has undoubtedly come to an abrupt end.  And what an end! 

UCLA Faculty Association: The More Yee Know
May 02, 2014
Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, was suspended from the legislature in late March after his arrest on federal corruption and arms trafficking charges, it was unclear exactly how the sudden exit of a perennial political adversary of ...

UCLA Faculty Association: Seeing Through Calls for ...
May 06, 2015
Former State Sen. Leland Yee was not friendly to UC, to say the least. He and another state senator are now under indictment for a variety of nefarious activities. But there is some irony in the legislature - which keeps calling ...

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

In case you had any doubt...

...prices are higher in California than in most other states. The chart above [click to enlarge] was prepared by the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the U.S. Dept. of Commerce. "Prices" in California are 12% higher than the U.S. average. Note, of course, that there is likely to be considerable variation within locations in California. But when UC pay is compared in nominal dollars with other universities, there is no adjustment being made for the higher prices in California.

The chart comes from

Parallel Universes

Are there parallel universes?

In pondering that question, yours truly came across this email which seemed to confirm the theory:

Dear UC Advocate,

As my last act as chairman of the University of California Board of Regents, I want to thank all of you for your help in achieving a state budget outcome that bodes well for our students and our campuses.

Your advocacy on behalf of UC played an important role in securing a strong financial position for the University over the next four years and providing our students and their families with a predictable means to budget for their education.

I and my fellow Regents cannot thank you enough for your phone calls and letters to members of the Legislature and the Governor on behalf of UC. Your collective efforts were instrumental in a final budget agreement that will keep the world’s best public research university robust.

I would also like to thank Governor Brown, President Napolitano, Speaker Atkins, and Senate President pro Tem de Leon for reaching agreement on a final budget, and my fellow Regents for all of their support. At the same time, you may want to reach out and thank your local members of the State Senate and Assembly for their support as part of the budget process here.

As I have said before, the state of California and the University have grown together and each has benefited from this symbiotic relationship.

The caliber of education, research and public service the University of California provides is more important than ever in the knowledge-based global economy in which we live.

You should be proud of your role in maintaining the excellence of the University of California. We are forever indebted to you for your help.


Bruce D. Varner
UC Board of Regents
Who knew?