Saturday, February 13, 2016

4-Year UC Graduation Rates

The Sacramento Bee has a listing of undergraduate four-year graduation rates for UC campuses. The numbers come from the National Center for Educational Statistics.

UCLA 72%
UC-Berkeley 72%
UC-Santa Barbara 69%
UC-Irvine 68%
UC-San Diego 57%
UC-Santa Cruz 55%
UC-Davis 53%
UC-Riverside 44%
UC-Merced 34%


After a year, are you beginning to feel bearish about the DC pension option?

Radio commentator Jean Shepherd had some cheery thoughts 42 years ago:

Friday, February 12, 2016

Well-intentioned choices & new normals

As we approach the Presidents' Day holiday, one has a suspicion that Berkeley Chancellor Dirks may not be celebrating his "new normal." From yesterday's LA Times:

...UC President Janet Napolitano said Berkeley was facing more dire financial challenges than the system's other campuses, in part because of its own “well-intentioned campus choices made over time.” Among the factors contributing to Berkeley's problems are an aging infrastructure as the system's oldest campus, higher faculty salaries driven by the need to compete with other elite universities, a fundraising operation less developed than, say, UCLA, and building projects that ran over budget, UC officials say...


Of course, the UC prez may be contemplating the recent Academic Senate's rejection of her own well-intentioned choice with regard to the Tier 3 pension proposal. There seems to be a run of good intentions that lead to questionable results up in the Bay Area of late.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

A regental fine under Title 9?

Title 9 litigation has generally centered on sexual harassment and related matters.* Today's Daily Bruin carries a story about a faculty member who apparently paid a monetary penalty to the Regents of $3,000. It's unclear what that means or how such a "fine" was determined. But the article states:

"He can only interact with students during normal business hours, and paid the UC Board of Regents $3,000."


UC Senate Rejection of Tier 3 Pension

Resolution of the Assembly of the Academic Senate of the
University of California

Adopted February 10, 2016


Through its path-breaking research and providing the state with a high-skilled workforce, the excellence of the University of California system plays a well-documented and vital role in keeping the California economy thriving; and
That excellence is also critical to providing access for all segments of California’s society to a cutting-edge education that makes them competitive for the best jobs and the best graduate and professional schools, thereby aiding social mobility and the goal of a more just society; and
That excellence remains dependent on the ability of the University of California to attract and retain the best faculty; and
That ability is dependent on offering faculty total remuneration that is competitive vis-à-vis other institutions; and
As documented in the Retirement Options Task Force (ROTF) report, the analysis of Professors Chalfant & Hare, UCFW’s report, UCPB’s report, and the Divisions’ reports, the proposal to accept the Public Employees Pension Reform Act (PEPRA) cap and to adopt either pension plan put forth in the ROTF report means offering an inferior pension plan to new employees vis-à-vis the current pension plan (the 2013 Tier), thereby reducing the value of that component of their remuneration,


The Assembly rejects the imposition of the PEPRA cap on the University of California and the discontinuation of the current pension plan in the absence of any plan or program to fund or to provide compensating increases in total remuneration, so as to prevent harming the mission of the University of California by eroding its ability to recruit and retain the best faculty.


As documented in the reports of the Divisions, the cost of providing such compensating increases, as well as other resulting costs, could well exceed any savings resulting from adopting either pension option offered in the ROTF report (including factoring in the $436 million that has been offered by the State), which argues that, at the very least, further analysis and planning are warranted prior to their possible adoption to ensure that the University does not pursue an action that is costly and damaging.
Cover letter:

February 11, 2016


Re: Assembly Resolution Regarding the Imposition of the PEPRA Cap on the University of California and the Discontinuation of the Current Pension Plan
Dear Janet:

At its February 10, 2016 meeting, the Assembly of the Academic Senate adopted the following resolution to be submitted for your consideration. The resolution passed unanimously with one abstention.

J. Daniel Hare, Chair
Academic Council

More on the UC spyware system

From Inside Higher Ed:
Faculty members in the UC system have been up in arms since Ethan Ligon, associate professor of agricultural and resource economics at the Berkeley campus, last month revealed that the university system in August installed network-monitoring hardware and told IT staffers to keep it a secret.
The network-monitoring program, Ligon wrote, can log all the traffic coming and going on the university’s network and store it for 30 days. “This can be presumed to include your email, all the websites you visit, all the data you receive from off campus or data you send off campus,” he added.
Since then, as faculty members have needled the UC system Office of the President for what they say is a lack of transparency, new details about cybersecurity measures have emerged...
Cybersecurity experts said the security measures at the UC system are no more restrictive than those seen elsewhere on the Internet. The university's lack of communication, however, is drawing criticism from privacy advocates...
In an email, Ligon said he disagreed with the comparison. The issue is not the act of collecting information about users, he wrote, but what that information can be used for.
“It’s a tool, which can be put to good ends or bad ends,” he wrote. “It happens to be quite a powerful tool for monitoring data, so it could be put to very bad ends. Whether the ends are good or bad depends entirely on the policy (e.g., things that are searched and stored) implemented on the device. And here's the central point: that policy is not under the control of Berkeley IT staff.”...

Like that Defined Contribution Pension Option?

Well, at least the ride is exciting!