Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 3: The Regents Session of 11-18-10

Below are links to audios (videos with a still picture) of the Regents meeting of 11-18-10. (The audio is divided into 13 parts due to duration limits of video-Yahoo.)

The meeting began with public comments. In that session, a message was read from Assembly leader Perez protesting the tuition increase. President Yudof cited the lack of state pension contributions to UC in rebuttal. As in the previous day, the comments were those of students objecting to the tuition increase and unions generally objecting to the benefit changes and lack of input into them. Students also objected to the switch in terminology from “fees” to “tuition” as a symbolic departure from the Master Plan.

Note that the change in pensions and retiree health will not be voted on by the Regents until their December meeting. The terminology change was approved.

Some highlights: UCLA Chancellor Gene Block spoke of the impact of the increased pension costs on the campus budget. In the Regental discussion of the tuition increases, there was a suggestion by some who dissented or were reluctant that raising tuition encouraged the legislature to avoid appropriating to UC. The rebuttal tended to be that UC had gotten as much from the legislature as possible. (Editorial note: Isn't it time for a formal sit down between UC, legislative leaders, the incoming governor, the Legislative Analyst, and the Dept. of Finance on precisely the issue of future UC support?) UC Senate representatives complained about lack of appropriate consultation on certain professional school fees.

At another point – which you can find by going to Part 11 below and playing the beginning – Peter Taylor cites the two-decade pension holiday for UC’s pension woes. But he seems to blame it all on a lack of employee contributions during that period. He does not mention that the holiday also included an absence of state/employer contributions. His statement is problematic on its face. But it is also the case that from an economic view, there is little analytic distinction in the long term between employee and employer contributions. The distinction is particularly blurred since employee contributions are given the same tax treatment (paid in pre-tax dollars) as employer.

Meeting Agenda:

8:30 am Committee of the Whole (public comment)

8:50 am Committee on Finance (open session)

10:15am Joint Meeting: Committees on Finance and Compensation (open session)

11:30 am Committee on Compensation (open session)

11:45 am Board (open session)

Audios of the session are below:

Regents 11-18-10

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13 (end)

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