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Sunday, September 23, 2018

Tax Zips

The LA Times carries an article today about the vulnerability of the California state budget to the economic fates of higher-income earners. A relatively small group pays much of the personal income tax on which the state budget is highly dependent. Such earners' incomes reflect not only the ups and downs of the real economy, but also the ups and downs of the sometimes-volatile financial markets. It includes a list of the top 10 Zip Codes in terms of personal income tax paid in 2016.

Of course, Silicon Valley/tech Zip Codes tend to dominate the list. But Zip Codes around UCLA 90024, 90049, and 90210 make the top 10 list. See the accompanying chart in this blog posting.

Of course, UCLA has its own Zip Code: 90095. Apparently, some individuals use UCLA's 90095 as their tax address so almost $540,000 in personal income tax was collected from it. (There is a link within the LA Times article for inserting Zip Codes to see how much is paid.) But as can be seen from the chart, that sum is mere pennies compared to the top 10.

The LA Times' article is at: http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-pol-ca-next-california-economy/

The UCPath 5

Yours truly checked out UCPath, which is - as of today - operating for UCLA. Yes, it worked. But what makes me nervous is that when you sign in for the first time, you are asked to provide answers to five questions that will be used for a sign-in in the future. Five is a lot, particularly because the questions are not of the usual mothers-maiden-name type which are likely to be recalled. Instead, they are things like your favorite movie, your "dream car" (as opposed to your first car), etc. These preferences can easily change over time. Will your favorite movie be something else a few years from now?

All I can say is that you better write the answers down somewhere and remember where you wrote them.

From today's email on UCPath:

Now that UCLA is live on UCPath, we all can expect to experience some key changes.
 
The UCPath Portal. The new self-service portal will allow you to manage your personal data, view your paycheck, access benefits information, view vacation and sick leave balances, and much more.
 
The UCPath Center. The new customer service support center will now serve as your first point of contact for payroll and benefits questions. You can contact the UCPath Center by visiting the UCPath Portal and clicking on the ‘Ask UCPath Center’ button, or by calling (855) 982‐7284, Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (PST).
 
The New UCPath Paycheck. Starting in October, your pay check will have a new look and feel as it will be generated from the UCPath system...

Saturday, September 22, 2018

UCLA History: Limb Lab

Not sure exactly where this room was, but it is identified as the artificial limb lab at UCLA (1955)

Friday, September 21, 2018

UCPath This Weekend

From an email circulated today:
Dear Faculty and Staff,
It’s almost here! UCPath will launch at UCLA this coming weekend. When UCPath launches, you can expect the following:
The UCPath Portal
The UCPath Portal, our new self-service portal, will open to all employees beginning this Sunday, September 23, 2018 at 8:00 a.m. When the portal launches, you will be able to…
 
View your paycheck
 
Update your personal information
 
View and print your W-2
 
View your benefits
 
View your vacation and sick leave balances
 
View, change or add a direct deposit
 
Update your W-4
 
Verify your employment
Please note that you will receive an error message if you attempt to access the portal prior to the Sunday portal launch.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Title 9 Related Litigation at UCLA

From Inside Higher Ed: More than a year ago, a female student at the University of California, Los Angeles, told the institution she was raped in August 2016. Her attacker, she alleged, had already sexually assaulted another of her sorority sisters. The university found her accusation credible. It expelled the young man, a campus fraternity member, in 2017. In February, he lost his appeal to return to campus.

But the student who filed the complaint was not satisfied. She maintains that the expelled student's fraternity -- and UCLA's fraternity system as a whole -- should have known the assault could occur and should have protected her. The fraternity had hosted a party that August night during which she drank until she couldn't walk, she said.

Last month, the student anonymously filed a lawsuit against her alleged rapist, Blake Lobato (who is named in court documents and whose identity has been widely reported), and his fraternity, Zeta Beta Tau, as well as Sigma Alpha Epsilon and the UCLA Interfraternity Council, the governing body of the university's 22 fraternities. Though the council is a registered student group, it is independent from the institution, which is not named as a defendant.

Her lawsuit comes at a time when the Trump administration intends to overhaul the regulations around Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the federal gender antidiscrimination law that bars sexual misconduct at colleges and universities. U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos last year rolled back Obama-era rules around Title IX, declaring them unfairly slanted against accused students. The Education Department's proposal on Title IX, a draft version of which was leaked to Inside Higher Ed, likely would not even have allowed for an investigation into Jane Doe's case, as institutions would no longer be obligated to investigate assaults that occurred off campus. Title IX experts are debating whether this provision would pass legal muster, as the law is triggered when a hostile environment in present on campus -- such as the presence of a rapist -- regardless of whether an incident occurred on the grounds or not.

Lobato’s lawyer has argued that UCLA's findings against his client were flawed and has requested that a Superior Court judge overturn the sanctions.

A particularly prominent part of the lawsuit are the allegations that fraternities' misconduct isn't isolated to just UCLA -- that alcohol abuse and sexual assaults run rampant among other chapters nationwide, with recent incidents at SAE's chapters at the University of Missouri, Clemson University, Oklahoma University, Northwestern University, the University of Southern California, California State University, Long Beach, and others, as well as ZBT's chapters at Cornell University, Florida State University, the University of Central Florida and the University of Michigan...

Full story at https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/09/20/ucla-student-sues-fraternities-says-they-should-do-more-protect-against-rape

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

More Detail on the Upcoming Regents Meeting - Part 2 (Market)

Local marketing
Yesterday, we posted more detail on the agenda of the upcoming Regents meeting. However, we noted that the links to the detailed agenda for the Public Engagement and Development Committee were broken and that we had so-notified the Regents' secretary. So today the broken links for that committee are fixed.

As it turns out, the main highlight from Public Engagement is a planned marketing study:

"During its September 13, 2017 meeting the Committee requested a study to assess how UC is perceived by the general public and outlined the objectives for a market research study that would build upon prior market research and insights. Interim Senior Vice President Holmes will provide an update on the status of the current market research study. The update will include an overview of key audiences and issues that UC is exploring through the research."

Source: http://regents.universityofcalifornia.edu/regmeet/sept18/p3.pdf

You'll note (below) that the agenda item above has the wrong date as of this posting. We'll again notify the authorities of the issue.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

More Detail on the Upcoming Regents Meeting

Click on chart to enlarge. See below in text for discussion.
We now have more detail on the agenda of the upcoming Regents meeting. The various agenda attachments are now included on the Regents' website. Some highlights below:

The Investments Subcommittee is discussing a proposal to create an investment fund for the use of campuses for endowment-type funds that don't require short-term liquidity (and therefore low returns):

http://regents.universityofcalifornia.edu/regmeet/sept18/i1attach1.pdf

According to the proposal, "the Office of the Chief Investment Officer (OCIO) shall incorporate environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and governance (ESG) into the investment evaluation process as part of its overall risk assessment in its investments decision-making. ESG factors are considered with the same weight as other material risk factors influencing investment decision-making." (Whatever that means.)

It might be noted that the pension fund has been earning less than its "policy benchmark" over the last 3 years: http://regents.universityofcalifornia.edu/regmeet/sept18/i2.pdf (p. 3)

At Compliance and Audit, we learn that the Academic Senate endorses adding time frames to privilege and tenure reviews involving sexual harassment consistent with the state auditor's recommendations:

http://regents.universityofcalifornia.edu/regmeet/sept18/c5.pdf

The Public Engagement Committee at the moment has links to various agenda items that produce error messages at this writing. The Regents' secretary has been notified.

Academic and Student Affairs will include discussion of a detailed report on Native American remains and burial objects now subject to federal regulation on the various campuses including UCLA:

http://regents.universityofcalifornia.edu/regmeet/sept18/a3.pdf

There is also a detailed report on student and faculty diversity. See above for a chart from that report. The report is at:

http://regents.universityofcalifornia.edu/regmeet/sept18/a2.pdf

Readers of this blog may recall the episode in which cuts to retiree health care suddenly appeared on the Regents agenda and then were yanked. There had been no consultation with the Senate or anyone else before the item appeared. A committee was established to look at the matter and as yet there has been no official recommendation to the Regents. However, in Finance and Capital Strategies, we find this statement:

Costs attributable to health benefits for covered retirees and their dependents are likely to rise more quickly as larger cohorts of UC employees decide to retire. UC, like the State overall, can anticipate faster increases in its retiree population as members of the baby boom generation reach retirement age. (PPIC refers to this trend as the “silver tsunami.”) The University continues to explore ways to control costs associated with health benefits for this growing population.

Source: http://regents.universityofcalifornia.edu/regmeet/sept18/f3.pdf  (p. 7)

At Governance and Compensation, it is reported that continuing plans to narrow salary ranges of UCOP execs will be reported to the Regents in March 2019, in keeping with state auditor recommendations:

http://regents.universityofcalifornia.edu/regmeet/sept18/g9.pdf