Sunday, March 29, 2015

UCLA Artwork

"Spanish Mirrors" by Guy Dill (1987) sits on the first floor of the "A" building (Collins building) in the Anderson complex.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

What the (Private) Competition is Doing

Good news for brainy but cash-poor applicants to Stanford University: Tuition will now be waived for families earning up to $125,000, up from $100,000, the university said Friday. Stanford also announced that families with incomes below $65,000 (up from $60,000) won’t even pay room or board. Total savings for the lowest-income undergrads next year? $59,836. Undergraduate tuition in 2015-16 at Stanford, considered one of the world’s best universities, is $45,729. Room and board is $14,107...

Full story at

Friday, March 27, 2015

The not-so-happy ending to this program

Days before he stepped down as the state’s top utility regulator, Michael Peevey called an assistant dean at his alma mater, the University of California, Berkeley, to say that a recognition dinner was being held in his honor, and net proceeds would benefit the Goldman School of Public Policy. “Mike asks that you join the host committee,” assistant dean Annette Doornbos wrote to her boss, Dean Henry Brady, on Dec. 15. “He would like to know at your earliest convenience.”

The request appears on the first of 327 pages of emails to and from university officials related to the $250-a-plate tribute dinner that was held Feb. 12 at the Julia Morgan Ballroom in San Francisco. The records show the school struggled with how to react to a barrage of criticism from alumni and supporters, who urged Brady to reject the donations as a public-corruption investigation encircled the utilities commission in general and Peevey specifically.

The university’s emails were obtained by the San Diego advocacy group Citizens Oversight, which sued the school earlier this month after officials failed to release documents in response to several requests under the California Public Records Act. They show Brady and others defending their decision to honor Peevey, who not only graduated from the institution but was an important donor and longtime advisory board member...

[As blog readers will know, in the end the School had to turn down the money.]

Anyway, that's how it happened:

Listen to the Regents Meeting of March 19, 2015

The meeting led off with the apology of the UC prez.  Then came public comments on fossil fuel divestment, student mental and physical health clinics (including union issues and budget), the planned Richmond campus of UC-Berkeley, staff retention and pay of nonunion UC employees, tuition, and training regarding sexual assault.

There was a report on the Dept. of Energy (DOE) labs including the contract dispute regarding financial penalties imposed by DOE. The indication was that the dispute is still underway, but perhaps with a resolution in sight. That session was followed by passage of a proposal to waive out-of-state tuition for veterans (in accordance with a federal law that would otherwise make UC ineligible for GI Bill funds). There were other reports on UC services for veterans.

Finally, there was a report by the UC prez on various awards received by faculty and approval of proposals from the various regental committees.

The audio is at the link below:

All I know is what I read in the papers

Chinese students: Have we got a deal for you!
From the LA Business Journal:

On any given day, sometimes with as little as 20 minutes warning, a bus will pull up to the Beverly Center and let out dozens of Chinese tourists eager to drop thousands of dollars on luxury clothing, electronics and accessories...

Courtney Saavedra, director of marketing and public relations for retailer Kitson, said it hired a Mandarin-speaking sales associate at its Beverly Center boutique several months ago to meet the demand. The Beverly Center also takes things a step further with an exclusive partnership with USC and UCLA to target Chinese students. The mall offers free shuttle services for back-to-school shopping events and, more recently, partnered with Pasadena’s East West Bank to host a job-readiness and networking event at the mall...

Full story at

That's all I know.  If you know more about the reported partnership, please add a comment to this post.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Framing the Issue

The latest Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) poll is out and it includes a question about higher ed funding and tuition. Also included in the poll is a regular survey of Gov. Brown's popularity ratings. More than half of "likely voters" view him favorably, even a third of Republicans. Given that circumstance, and the "nudge" of the pollster reminding respondents of their favorable view of Brown, it should not be surprising that when asked about the more-funding-for-UC-if-tuition-frozen proposal of the governor, voters (and the general population) tend to favor it. Note that the question is framed explicitly as a Brown proposal. See below. [Click on image to enlarge]. There could have been questions that were introduced with language something like "if Gov. Brown and UC president Napolitano reached an agreement that said..." and then gave various choices. But there weren't such questions. The full poll is at:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The governor is right when he says tuition cannot go on rising "forever"

Physicists predict the universe is primed for a “cosmological collapse” that will cause the universe to stop expanding at its current rate and ultimately collapse in on itself to wipe away all known matter. Physicists Nemanja Kaloper at the University of California, Davis and Antonio Padilla at the University of Nottingham proposed the “imminent” collapse – which on the cosmological scale is a few tens of billions of years from today...

Full story - the ultimate story - at

And the governor agrees: