Monday, July 15, 2019

Slow News (Until the Regents Tomorrow)...

...So we will follow our practice of showing the new Anderson building, still under construction:

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Parking Under the 100-200-300 buildings

Arrow shows circular entrance to the underground parking
at the 100-200-300 buildings
Under the new UCLA parking system that went into effect on July 1, hang-tag permits are no longer required and the system is based on scans of license plates. There are no longer gates that have to be opened.

However, there remains the underground parking at the 100-200-300 medical buildings which 1) has a gate to get in, 2) opens the gate when the driver takes a ticket, and 3) normally requires payment using the ticket to get out.

Under the old system, parkers with UCLA permits would take the ticket to open the gate and then give the ticket and the hang-tag to an attendant to get out. Those with permits were entitled three hours of free parking.

So, how do you get out now that there is no hang-tag? The simple answer is that you tell the exit attendant that you have UCLA parking (they seem to like the phrase "e-permit") and then show an ID which has your UCLA ID number. That typically would be your Bruincard. The attendant will take note of your number and then open the gate.

Long story short, yours truly had occasion to try this arrangement last week and it worked. However, the exit attendant may be confused and need to ask someone else what to do. Note that there are other parking lots in the vicinity of the 100-200-300 buildings that have the new no-gate/license plate scan system and which won't require tickets and conversations with exit attendants. So you may prefer to use those.

Friday, July 12, 2019

UC's Budget Pie

The governor's budget for the state is now online. It is instructive to look at how UC fits into the budget picture. Specifically, UC in the current year (2019-20) has a budget of $38.3 billion. How much comes directly from the state?

From the General Fund:   10.3%
From other state funds:   0.5%*
From UC-generated funds: 78.8% 
From federal funds:      10.4%
Total:                  100.0%
*Includes lottery.

Money in Names

[The legislation described below would clearly affect UC.]

Bill to allow athletes to profit from name advances

July 9, 2019, Dan Murphy, ESPN

A California bill that would make it possible for a college athlete to profit from the use of his or her name, images and likeness passed another subcommittee hurdle in the legislative process Tuesday afternoon.

The state assembly's Committee on Higher Education voted 9-0 to move the bill forward, and chairman Jose Medina called the NCAA's threats and requests to slow down the legislative process during the past couple months "akin to bullying."

"I don't take too fondly to threats to the state of California regardless of where they come from," Medina told ESPN on Tuesday evening.

The Fair Pay to Play Act, which was introduced in February by state Sens. Nancy Skinner and Steven Bradford, would prohibit schools in California from taking away scholarships or eligibility from college athletes who use their notoriety to make money. The proposal also allows for athletes to hire an agent or attorney to represent them in business deals without losing their eligibility. Skinner explained that it would not require schools to pay its players, but instead guarantee players the same rights given to Olympic athletes. The law, if it is passed, would not go into effect until January 2023.

NCAA president Mark Emmert wrote a letter to California legislators in May asking that they consider delaying their vote while his organization considered the impact of the law. The NCAA formed a working group in May to examine issues with its current rules, which prevent any student-athletes from marketing their own names, images or likenesses. Emmert said in his letter that if California passes the bill its universities would be violating the organization's bylaws and therefore might not be allowed to participate in NCAA-sanctioned championship events.

The NCAA working group is expected to provide an initial report of its findings in August and a final report in October. California's legislature adjourns for a summer recess at the end of this week and is unlikely to vote on the bill until it returns to session in mid-August. If the bill passes through the appropriations committee and the assemblywide vote, it would next move to the governor's office to be signed into law.

Skinner said Tuesday that California legislators had heard other "Armageddon threats" in response to past legislation and were undeterred by them.

She was joined at the meeting by Los Angeles Chargers offensive lineman Russell Okung among other advocates for the bill. Okung told the committee the NCAA's treatment of athletes was exploitative, oppressive and analogous to how prisoners are treated -- provided room and board and allowed to work without a chance to be paid fair market value for their services.

"Why does a free-market system work for everyone but the student athlete?" Okung asked. "It's about basic civil liberties and repressive measures that still exist today."

Opponents of the bill urged the committee to halt the process to give the NCAA time to explore potentially negative unintended consequences. Long Beach State athletic director Andy Fee attended the committee meeting to say he did not oppose having a conversation about how athletes should be allowed to capitalize on their marketability, but he questioned the need to pass a bill immediately.

He raised the scenarios of athletes accepting endorsements from casinos (giving the gambling industry a foothold in college sports) or marijuana products (a substance banned by the NCAA and illegal under federal law) as potential issues that should be considered. He also said the threat of not being able to compete in championship in the future could negatively affect coaches trying to recruit athletes.

"Where are the protections that prevent these things from happening? That's why I urge a pause," Fee said. "This is a good conversation. It's the mechanism I oppose."

Skinner countered that the law is delayed from going into effect for more than three years in an effort to allow the NCAA an opportunity to sort through some of those issues. She also said the language of the bill allows for the legislature to reconsider if the NCAA passes some type of substantial rule changes to help athletes pursue their fair market value.

Assemblyman Jim Patterson, the one committee member present who abstained from voting, said it felt like the state was "playing a game of chicken with the NCAA and establishing a rule that puts the state outside the NCAA." Skinner and others in support of the bill said the NCAA has had long enough to consider these matters on their own and needed the pressure of legal action to be held accountable.


Thursday, July 11, 2019

Elsevier Stop Confirmed - Part 2

Below is the official UCLA response (from an email):

To:  UCLA Faculty and Staff

Dear Colleagues:
The University of California has been out of contract with Elsevier since January, but until now the publisher continued to allow access to 2019 articles via ScienceDirect. As of July 10, 2019, UC’s direct access to new Elsevier articles has been discontinued.
What is affected: Members of the UC community no longer have direct access to:
What is not affected: Articles published before 2019 in most Elsevier journals (covering about 95% of historical usage) should continue to be available via ScienceDirect.
Please note that the process for discontinuing access is complex, so access to specific journals or articles may fluctuate until Elsevier’s rollout of these changes is complete.
The systemwide faculty Senate has issued a UC Academic Council Statement on Supporting Alternative Access to Elsevier Journals (PDF), encouraging stakeholders across UC to use alternative access methods or contact their campus library for assistance in obtaining articles, and to refrain from any new independent subscriptions to Elsevier journals at this time. “By ‘holding the line,’” the Senate leadership writes, “the UC can help change the system of scholarly communication for the betterment of all.”
How to get the articles you need
Information about other ways to access Elsevier articles is available on the library’s website and summarized below. There are several options — plus, the library is always here to help.
If you need help accessing an article, please don’t hesitate to contact your UCLA Library subject librarian at any time.
What happens next?
We will be carefully evaluating the impact of losing access to new articles on ScienceDirect over the coming months, and will do our best to ensure that you have access to the articles you need. Meanwhile, UC is hoping to reenter formal negotiations with Elsevier if the publisher indicates that they are willing to discuss a contract that integrates our goals of containing costs and facilitating open access to UC research.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at Thank you.
Ginny Steel
Norman and Armena Powell University Librarian

Predictable Tuition to be Mulled at Upcoming Regents Meeting

From EdSource: The ten-campus University of California system is considering a new tuition plan that would freeze tuition for an incoming class for six years while the next group of students could be charged more.
The so-called cohort-based tuition is aimed at providing students and families more stability and predictability about education costs, according to an agenda item for next Thursday’s meeting of the UC regents.
Under such a plan, if the board of regents were to increase tuition by a certain amount, incoming students would be assured that tuition would be fixed for them at that rate and not go up for as long as six years. The regents then could decide to increase tuition again for a subsequent incoming class of students and their tuition would similarly be fixed at the rate they paid during the first year at the university. 
The possible change also could be a less controversial way for the university to increase revenues for hiring faculty, awarding financial aid and running labs and libraries.
“If implemented, such an approach would avoid the unpredictable annual tuition and fee increases over the past two decades that have created planning challenges for UC students, families and campuses,” said the agenda item presented by UC president Janet Napolitano’s administration. The proposal raises the possibility that each group of students could see their tuition increases tied to the California Consumer Price Index for “an even clearer picture of this revenue stream.”
The regents are scheduled on July 18 to kick off discussion about the possible change but any vote on the matter would be months away after consulting with students, faculty and staff...