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Friday, December 15, 2017

UCLA Also Brags About Setting Records

A previous post today noted that Irvine was bragging about setting records in applications. UCLA does it, too:

UCLA has shattered its own record as the nation’s most popular college choice for high school seniors, attracting more than 113,000 freshman applications for fall 2018, according to preliminary data released Thursday. Applications to the Westwood campus soared among California high school students and across all racial and ethnic groups. UCLA again led the University of California’s nine undergraduate campuses, which collectively received more than 181,000 freshman applications — a 5.7% increase over last year...

Full story at http://www.latimes.com/local/education/higher-ed/la-me-edu-ucla-applicants-20171214-story.html

Fires? Droughts? Earthquakes?

Don't complain about California. Yours truly is in Cambridge, MA at the moment:

Change of heart at Irvine

Remember last year's un-enrollment scandal at UC-Irvine in which admitted students were un-enrolled on technicalities? It led to apologies, regental action, etc.

Now it seems that Irvine is anxious to brag about record applications:

The number of applications from both incoming freshmen and transfer students vying to be part of the fall 2018 class at the University of California, Irvine totaled 116,192 — a campus record, school officials said Thursday.
It’s an increase of 12,000 applicants over last year’s high of 104,000 and a 41 percent increase over the last five years, representing the largest surge in the UC system, according to UCI officials.
“The verdict is in: high school and transfer students understand that UCI’s distinctive combination of quality, accessibility and affordability makes it a preferred destination among America’s leading universities,” said Chancellor Howard Gillman. “Earlier this year, the New York Times selected UCI as the college `doing the most for the American dream,’ and these 116,000-plus applicants exemplify our continued commitment to inclusive excellence.”...

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Waivers won't be taxed

Inside Higher Ed is reporting that taxation of grad student tuition waivers has been eliminated from the Republican tax bill:
Senate and House negotiators meeting this week to craft compromise tax-reform legislation plan to exclude from a final bill some controversial proposals affecting students and colleges, according to multiple reports.
Lawmakers from the two chambers of Congress agreed to drop provisions that would treat graduate student tuition benefits as taxable income and repeal student loan interest deductions. Both provisions were included in House tax legislation passed last month but left out of a bill that narrowly cleared the Senate Dec. 2...
Full story at: 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Unclear

The Sacramento Bee has a report on one of the now-common sexual harassment cases that came to light long after the event, this one involving a UC-Davis emeritus professor. (In this case, apparently same-sex harassment was involved.) The news report contains the following excerpt:

...Gray, director of academic employment and labor relations in the office of the vice provost for academic affairs, provided an advance copy of his blog post to the university last week. That sparked negotiations over the weekend between the university and Holoman that resulted in the professor agreeing to relinquish his emeritus status, said UC Davis spokeswoman Dana Topousis.
Holoman agreed to be demoted from distinguished professor to professor and relinquish his emeritus status, which means he can no longer teach or pursue research related to the University of California, according to a disciplinary letter signed by the university and Holoman on Monday. Holoman can, however, use the university library to finish his current projects as long as he has no contact with students...
It's not clear - despite the news report - that a ladder faculty member's emeritus title can be removed without some participation of the Academic Senate. Of course, there might have been some Senate participation which the news item missed. And the individual in question could voluntarily agree not to exercise whatever emeritus privileges the title offers. If there was no Senate consultation involved, maybe someone at Davis ought to take a look. Or maybe someone in the Academic Council. Bad cases make bad precedents.

Secret

UC submitted its bid to continue in a managerial role at the Los Alamos National Lab (LANL). But it won't say who its partners are. As blog readers will know, it has been reported that UC is partnering with Texas A&M.

The University of California was the only organization to confirm Monday it had submitted a bid to manage and operate Los Alamos National Laboratory for the next five years.

Bids were due to the National Nuclear Security Administration Monday. The NNSA would not release information about the contractors that submitted bids and would not say when bids would be opened.
The UC system confirmed its submission in an email to the Los Alamos Monitor.

“I can confirm that UC submitted a proposal today for the Los Alamos National Laboratory management contract. We aren’t confirming or discussing any of our bid partners at this time,” UC Spokeswoman Stephanie Beechem said.
UC is a managing partner in Los Alamos National Security LLC, the consortium operating the lab...

Many contractors on a list of possible bidders reached out to the Los Alamos Monitor Tuesday. While none that responded indicated they sent in a bid, many gave reasons why they did not bid. Many said after considering the issue carefully, that their companies would be better off in a support role to the companies that did put in a bid and later won the contract.
“Keystone has not committed to a team and does not have a plan to do so,” Keystone International President Michelle Detry said. “We believe our long-term options are best served by supporting whichever team wins.”

Bechtel, a for-profit company that is also in the LANS consortium, was also on the list of prospective bidders.
“We won’t be commenting on the procurement process right now. We’re concentrating on managing the Lab safely and efficiently as part of the LANS team,” Bechtel Nuclear, Security and Environmental Manager of Public Affairs Fred deSousa said. Other potential bidders said they thought that on further examination, it just wasn’t the path they wanted their companies to take at the time...

The UC system also manages the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and is also a partner that manages Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. 

The University of Texas system, which was expected to submit a bid to the NNSA, did not return requests for comment about whether the system submitted a bid.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Extra Billion

There's no evidence that he actually said it (and maybe you don't know who he was, anyway.)
The latest state controller's cash report though November indicates that there was an extra billion dollars in revenue during the current fiscal year. So, although the governor will undoubtedly push for fiscal prudence, more in the rainy day fund, etc., as he does with each budget message, there will be a counter-push in the legislature toward spending increases. Will UC benefit? We'll see.

The report is at:
https://www.sco.ca.gov/Files-ARD/CASH/November%202017%20Statement%20of%20General%20Fund%20Cash%20Receipts%20and%20Disbursements.pdf