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Thursday, January 16, 2020

Sanctuary?

Yesterday, we posted the audio of the meeting of the Regents' president search committee.* If you listened, you will have heard various speakers in the public comment period demand that UCLA (or maybe all UC) become a "sanctuary campus." It's not clear how that would change current policy which appears to be non-cooperation with immigration agents within legal limits.

Below is the UCLA policy in this area. It is followed by a systemwide link to Regents/UC overall policy:


(Click on images to clarify.)
Link to Regents/UC systemwide policy:
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Bond - Part 3

Blog readers will know that there will be a bond measure for education - including UC - on the ballot in the next general election.* It will be called Proposition 13 - not to be confused with Prop 13 of 1978 which cut property taxes. It's not clear if calling the bond measure Prop 13 will help or hurt, particularly since there could also be a ballot proposition that would amend the old Proposition 13 to increase non-residential property taxes.

Anyway, the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) has polling data on the new Prop 13:

Last year, the legislature passed and the governor signed Assembly Bill (AB) 48, placing Proposition 13 (the Public Preschool, K–12, and College Health and Safety Bond Act of 2020) on the March ballot. When read the Proposition 13 ballot title and label, which states that the measure authorizes $15 billion in general obligation bonds for construction and modernization of public education facilities, 53 percent of likely voters would vote yes; 36 percent would vote no, and 10 percent are undecided. In November, 48 percent said yes, 36 percent said no, and 16 percent were undecided. Today, Democratic likely voters (78%) are far more likely than independents (40%) and Republicans (26%) to support Proposition 13. Regionally, support is higher in the San Francisco Bay Area (58%) than elsewhere. Latino likely voters (65%) are more likely than whites (47%) to support this measure; 66 percent of likely voters in other racial/ethnic groups would vote yes. (Sample sizes for Asian American and African American likely voters are too small for separate analysis.) Support for Proposition 13 is much higher among likely voters age 18 to 34 (76%) than among older likely voters (50% 35 to 54, 46% 55 and older). Those with annual household incomes under $40,000 (71%) are more likely than higher-earning residents (48% $40,000 to under $80,000, 53% $80,000 or more) to express support. A majority of likely voters with (54%) and without (53%) children 18 and under in the household would vote yes, while renters (67%) are far more likely than homeowners (45%) to be supportive. 
(Click on image to clarify.)
Given the 53% support among "likely voters," the measure's fate will depend on the level of campaigning for and against.

Source: https://www.ppic.org/wp-content/uploads/ppic-statewide-survey-californians-and-their-government-january-2020.pdf [p. 11]
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*http://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/2020/01/bond-part-2.html

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Nice Gift

Yours truly always likes to point to donations to the university that don't involve bricks and mortar and instead focus on research, teaching, etc. Here's one:

I am delighted to announce that the Humanities Division has received a $25 million gift from Tadashi Yanai, the chair, president and CEO of Japan-based Fast Retailing and founder of clothing company Uniqlo. The funds will endow the Tadashi Yanai Initiative for Globalizing Japanese Humanities, elevating UCLA’s status as a leading center for the study of Japanese literature, language and culture.

The gift is the largest from an individual donor in the history of the Division. A previous donation of $2.5 million from Mr. Yanai in 2014 created the Yanai Initiative, a collaboration between UCLA and Waseda University, one of Japan’s most prestigious universities. The program supports academic and cultural programming and enables student and faculty exchanges between the two universities.

The Yanai Initiative is housed in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures and directed by Professor Michael Emmerich. The latest gift will fund and permanently establish an endowed chair in Japanese literature and will fund conferences, public lectures, faculty research, cultural performances and community outreach. It will support graduate and postdoctoral fellowships and undergraduate awards.

The gift also triggers matching funds from the Humanities Centennial Match and the UCLA Centennial Scholars Match to support UCLA graduate students in Japanese humanities and other areas of study.

Mr. Yanai’s gift is a visionary investment in a field of increasing interest to humanities scholars, students and people everywhere. It will bring new attention to a rich culture that has captured people’s imaginations for centuries.

I am profoundly grateful for such generous support.


Sincerely,



David Schaberg
Dean
Division of Humanities
UCLA College


Source: http://view.eamail3.ucla.edu/?qs=134ac2d4b8904c819b56cdb51c26ba98db444d4430f00859da0be695726ed5cd2e0bd074b959ee8662524cf29d09d228114ad8ce2bc1f670fba0d24bd4b1086ac7ac34e15d092abf842b380d82e7a0d8

No Parking

From the BruinUCLA rejected a proposal by the local neighborhood council to create on-campus parking spaces where students can sleep at a council meeting Wednesday. As the most expensive place to rent in California, living in Westwood can be a significant financial burden for students. This has led some students to sleep in their cars or temporarily in other people’s apartments. In response, the North Westwood Neighborhood Council and the Undergraduate Students Association Council called on UCLA to establish safe parking spaces on campus and collect more data on students experiencing homelessness last year.

UCLA considers the proposed safe parking spaces to be unsanitary for students and is instead considering creating a hostel-like environment where students could pay around $15 a night to sleep, said Administrative Vice Chancellor Michael Beck during the council’s meeting.
“We do not think (sleeping in cars is) safe,” Beck said. “It’s not sanitary. It’s something that the University of California, in general, doesn’t support. We evaluated what the options are and how potentially we can make that work, but it’s not something that we think is a good idea to solve the problem, but we do want to better understand the problem.”...

Money Due

From the Mercury News: UC Berkeley teaching assistants may be owed back millions of dollars in tuition and fees after an arbitrator sided with them in a Monday ruling. UAW 2865, or the UC Berkeley chapter of the Academic Student Employees at the University of California, filed a grievance against the university two years ago. In it, the union alleged that the university appointed hundreds of teaching assistants, including undergraduates, at the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences department at a part-time rate. Most were hired for eight hours per week.

This means, the union maintained, that the university avoided paying contractually mandated tuition, fees and child care to these employees because they were just shy of the 10 hour per week minimum to qualify. The UAW said the university owes them back at least $5 million in tuition and fees. On Monday, an arbitrator in the case ruled in favor of the union, ordering the university to retroactively pay back tuition and fee reimbursement to all the affected TA’s and graduate student instructors, according to UAW. The ruling also effectively stops UC Berkeley from continuing this practice of denying tuition reimbursement...

Full story at https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/01/15/cal-tas-declare-victory-in-multi-million-grievance-fight/

Listen to the Regents' President Search Committee Meeting of Jan. 14, 2020

Yesterday, there was a meeting at UCLA of the special presidential search committee set up by the Regents. There will be another such meeting at UC-Riverside tomorrow.

The meeting began with public comments. Most of the speakers in that segment were students. Topics included diversity, climate change, employee pay and contracting out, labor relations, sanctuary campus demands, the state audit, student food insecurity, mental health, and affordability. The segment was followed by a formal program of speakers from various organizations with educational interests. Topics included accessibility, and coordination with K-14 including transfers. There was some discussion of whether UC campuses should give admission preferences to applicants from their local regions.

Two things were noteworthy about what occurred. First, there was no formal consultation with faculty groups including the academic senate built into the program. Students took advantage of the public comment period, but faculty did not. (Perhaps at Riverside, there will be some faculty input.)

Second, the focus was on all the things the speakers at members of the search committee thought UC should be doing. There was little real focus on what qualities the new president should have as opposed to what the new president should do. Should the new president be an academic, for example, as had been the practice until the current appointee, Janet Napolitano, came along? When Napolitano - a political figure - was chosen by the Regents, the reason seemed to be that then-Gov. Brown was actively intervening in UC details and a politician was needed to deal with another politician. Do the Regents think the relationship with Gov. Newsom will be different, so that a political appointee won't be needed as president this time? Perhaps there was such discussion during the closed segments of the meeting, but there was none in public.

You can hear the public portion of the meeting at the link below:

or direct to:
https://archive.org/details/ucregentssearchucla

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Telescope Trials

From Hawaii News NowAfter several delays, the trial has started for the first group of people arrested while protesting the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope.
In court Friday, the four defendants ― Marie Alohalani Brown, Maxine Kahaulelio, Raynette Robinson and Kelii Ioane ― insist they’re not guilty of obstructing Mauna Kea Access Road. The charge is a petty misdemeanor which carries a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail... 

Prosecutors say the protesters held “Aole TMT” (or no TMT) signs and that they broke the law with a calculated plan: A blockade that included Hawaiian elders sitting in chairs across the road... Defendants and their attorneys say it was government that blocked the activists from practicing their religion and culture, which is protected under the law...