Pages

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Not Quite So Bad

It won't be quite so bad as the picture suggests. But if you are a night owl at UCLA and use the 405, you may have a problem:

The northbound 405 Freeway will be closed between Getty Center Drive and Ventura Boulevard for construction starting Tuesday night. Crews will be reconstructing the Mulholland Bridge. Ramps were expected to close as early as 7 p.m. and freeway lanes may close as early as 10 p.m. The closure could continue for several nights.

The southbound side was expected to be closed in the same area beginning Saturday night.

Source: http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=resources/traffic&id=8447786

Testimony in Sacramento Coming Up on UC Pension

Two UC officials will be testifying tomorrow about the UC pension at a legislative hearing on the governor's public pension proposals.

We don't know what the UC reps will be saying. Hopefully, it will be a polite version of "no thanks; we have our own plan."

If more info becomes available, we will post it. Meanwhile, the hearing agenda can be found below.


Pension Agenda


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Waiting for the Plans on Conceptual Hotel-Conference Center

Just to keep our blog readers up to date:

The UCLA Faculty Association has filed a formal request for the business plan of the proposed hotel/conference center which so far has not been released. Since at the scoping meeting on the project, the architectural plans were described by the campus architect as merely "conceptual," the Faculty Association is concerned that the business plan may also be in a preliminary stage.

In any event, below is the formal request and acknowledgment from the university official handling such matters.

================================

Faculty Association at UCLA

P.O. Box 33336

Granada Hills, CA 91394-3336

Nov. 11, 2011

Gene Block

Chancellor, UCLA

2147 Murphy Hall

Campus 140501

Dear Chancellor Block,

On behalf of Dwight Read, Chair of the Faculty Association at UCLA, and the Executive Board, I am making a request for information as part of the California Public Records Act, Information Practices Act of 1977.

Please send a copy of the business plan for the proposed $152 million conference and guest center to be built at UCLA to the FA as soon as possible.

The FA understands that the business plan has not yet been submitted to the Regents for a vote early next year, but that is even more reason for the faculty to see what the industry experts have said about the proposed conference center before the Regents take a vote.

The address is:

Faculty Association at UCLA

P.O. Box 33336

Granada Hills, CA 91394-3336

Or email the plan to: ucfa@earthlink.net

Thank you for your attention to this request.

Sincerely,

Susan Gallick

Executive Director

Faculty Association at UCLA

= = = = = = = = = = = =

From: UCLA Public Records

Date: Tue, 29 Nov 2011 08:13:11 -0800

To: FA at UCLA

Subject: PRR 2012-139: Acknowledgement of Your Public Records Request

Dear Ms. Gallick,

This letter is to acknowledge your request under the California Public Records Act (CPRA) dated November 11, 2011 for the business plan for the proposed UCLA Conference and Guest Center.

Records Management & Information Practices (RMIP) is notifying the appropriate UCLA offices of your request and will identify, review, and release all responsive documents in accordance with relevant law and University policy.

Under the CPRA, Government Code Section 6253(b), UCLA may charge for reproduction costs and/or programming services. If the cost is anticipated to be greater than $50.00 or the amount you authorized in your original request, we will contact you to confirm your continued interest in receiving the records and your agreement to pay the charges. Payment is due prior to the release of the records.

Due to our current volume of public records requests, we anticipate it may take up to eight weeks to fulfill this request. If we are unable to close your request within this time, we will provide you with a status update by January 9, 2012. Although the University will be closed from December 22, 2011 – January 3, 2012, RMIP will strive to complete your request without additional delay. We thank you in advance for your understanding should our processing be delayed.

Should you have any questions regarding the status of your request, please call or email UCLAPublicRecords@finance.ucla.edu and reference the request number above in the subject line.

Sincerely,

Aimee M. Felker,

Director Records Management & Information Practices,

Corporate Financial Services

Editorial Note: Eight weeks should be long enough to gin up a business plan, if there isn’t one, as opposed to a “conceptual” plan.

So we are waiting:

video

Update: Brown on Pepper

Jerry Brown says he's 'seriously concerned' about protest response (excerpt)

Capital Alert blog of Sacramento Bee 11-28-11

..."I am seriously concerned that the rules governing the use of force, in particular the use of pepper spray, are not well understood in the context of civil disobedience and various forms of public protest," Brown wrote to Paul Cappitelli, director of the state Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training. "The recent 'occupation' protests in cities throughout California and on campuses of the University of California underscore the urgency of articulating guidelines that are crystal clear and comport with constitutional requirements."

Brown, who returned to California over the weekend after a vacation out of state, had been silent about the pepper spraying of protesters by police at UC Davis and a clash between protesters and police at UC Berkeley…

Full story at: http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2011/11/jerry-brown-says-hes-seriously-concerned-about-protest-response.html

Monday, November 28, 2011

Listen to Audio from Regents Meeting of Nov. 28, 2011 Until Cut Off

Below you can listen to the audio of the rescheduled Regents meeting of earlier today. The meeting was a teleconference at various campus sites. It consisted mainly of the public comment session. See earlier postings on this blog for further information.

After the public comments session, the Regents attempted to discuss the UC budget. At that point, the audio went on and off, apparently in response to demonstrations. There was a statement that the room at UC-San Francisco had been cleared. The audio finally cut off entirely about 11:45 AM.


Update: A copy of the Regents audio that covers the session after the cut off recorded above has been requested. It will be posted when received.

News accounts of the meeting are at http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-uc-regents-20111129,0,7181269.story [Student protests disrupt meeting of UC regents] and http://www.baycitizen.org/education/story/protesters-demand-uc-regents-raises/ [Despite Angry Protests, UC Regents Raise Administrators' Salaries]

Actions taken by the Regents on state-funded compensation are at http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/regents/regmeet/nov11/c3b.pdf

Actions taken on nonstate-funded compensation are at

The Regents approved a budget that ostensibly avoids a tuition increase (but is unlikely to be what the state gives us):


UC-Berkeley Police Statement

The union representing UC-Berkeley police released a statement to the news media this morning, apparently timed for the rescheduled Regents meeting. It appeared in Political Blotter (link below).

It is our hope that this letter will help open the door to a better understanding between UC Berkeley police and the University community. The UC Berkeley Police Officers’ Association, representing approximately 64 campus police officers, understands your frustration over massive tuition hikes and budget cuts, and we fully support your right to peacefully protest to bring about change. It was not our decision to engage campus protesters on November 9th. We are now faced with “managing” the results of years of poor budget planning. Please know we are not your enemy.

A video clip gone viral does not depict the full story or the facts leading up to an actual incident. Multiple dispersal requests were given in the days and hours before the tent removal operation. Not caught on most videos were scenes of protesters hitting, pushing, grabbing officers’ batons, fighting back with backpacks and skateboards.

The UC Berkeley Police Officers’ Association supports a full investigation of the events that took place on November 9th, as well as a full review of University policing policies. That being said, we do not abrogate responsibility for the events on November 9th. UC Berkeley police officers want to better serve students and faculty members and we welcome ideas for how we can have a better discourse to avoid future confrontations. We are open to all suggestions on ways we can improve our ability to better protect and serve the UC Berkeley community. As your campus police, we also have safety concerns that we ask you to consider.

Society has changed significantly since 1964 when peaceful UC Berkeley student protesters organized a 10-hour sit-in in Sproul Hall and 10,000 students held a police car at bay – spawning change and the birth of our nation’s Free Speech Movement. However proud we can all be of UC Berkeley’s contribution to free speech in America, no one can deny this: Our society in 2011 has become an extremely more violent place to live and to protect. No one understands the effects of this violence more than those of us in law enforcement.

Disgruntled citizens in this day and age express their frustrations in far more violent ways – with knives, with guns and sometimes by killing innocent bystanders. Peaceful protests can, in an instant, turn into violent rioting, ending in destruction of property or worse – the loss of lives. Police officers and innocent citizens everywhere are being injured, and in some instances, killed. In the back of every police officer’s mind is this: How can I control this incident so it does not escalate into a seriously violent, potentially life-threatening event for all involved?

While students were calling the protest “non-violent,” the events on November 9th were anything but nonviolent. In previous student Occupy protests, protesters hit police officers with chairs, bricks, spitting, and using homemade plywood shields as weapons – with documented injuries to officers. At a moment’s notice, the November 9th protest at UC Berkeley could have turned even more violent than it did, much like the Occupy protests in neighboring Oakland.

Please understand that by no means are we interested in making excuses. We are only hoping that you will understand and consider the frustrations we experience daily as public safety officers sworn to uphold the law. It is our job to keep protests from escalating into violent events where lives could be endangered.

We sincerely ask for your help in doing this. Like you, we have been victims to budget cuts that affect our children and our families in real ways. We, too, hold on to the dream of being able to afford to send our children and grandchildren to a four-year university. Like you, we understand and fully support the need for change and a redirection of priorities.

To students and faculty: As 10,000 students surrounded a police car on campus in 1964, protesters passed the hat to help pay for repairs to the police car as a show of respect. Please peacefully respect the rules we are required to enforce – for all our safety and protection. Please respect the requests of our officers as we try to do our jobs.

To the University Administration and Regents: Please don’t ask us to enforce your policies then refuse to stand by us when we do. Your students, your faculty and your police – we need you to provide real leadership. We openly and honestly ask the UC Berkeley community for the opportunity to move forward together, peacefully and without further incident – in better understanding of one another. Thank you for listening.

Reproduced in http://www.ibabuzz.com/politics/2011/11/28/uc-berkeley-police-speak-out-on-occupy-protest/

Regents Expected to Approve Rise in Employee Pension Contributions Today

The Regents at their postponed meeting today (11-28-11) are expected to raise the employee contribution to the pension plan to 6.5% as of 2013-14. See the chart below:

This will not be the last increase for either the employee or the employer contribution. No help from the state in sight. Au contraire:

Sunday, November 27, 2011

UC students to protest at regents meeting (tomorrow)

Lisa M. Krieger, San Jose Mercury-News 11-26-11

Student protesters with the Occupy movement will converge on four UC campuses Monday morning to vent their fury at a meeting of the regents, with demonstrators in Davis attempting a campuswide shutdown. The meeting, rescheduled after cancellation earlier this month because of threats of violence and vandalism, now includes a one-hour slot for student voices and other public comment, increased from the usual 20 minutes. The regents will be spread out in four locations -- San Francisco, Davis, Los Angeles, and Merced -- and conduct the meeting by teleconference…

Source: http://www.mercurynews.com/health/ci_19419961

Above: In happier days (1960), UC President Clark Kerr meets with Regents committee to select site for UC-Irvine.

Well, that didn't work out too well, did it?

Update from yesterday's post:

That was then:
video

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

Slow News Day on a Holiday Long Weekend...

...So we will continue yesterday's theme...

albeit with a little music:

video

Even on the Master Plan!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Thought for Thanksgiving...

Eat what you like - but hold the pepper.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Report Highlights Higher Ed Role in California Skilled Workforce

Excerpts from recent Milken Institute report:

…While California has performed relatively well in retaining its highly skilled workers, this shouldn’t give the state license to sit back and relax, especially when competition for talent is increasingly fierce. …California’s share of high-tech employment has been declining for two decades…

The report concludes:

HIGHER EDUCATION: California excels in the quality and capacity of its higher education institutions. They serve as the cradle of home-grown human capital and are key to keeping the Golden State competitive. Unfortunately, California’s budget woes have led to tuition hikes and enrollment cuts. An economic turnaround will eventually recover lost jobs, but it is harder to recover a generation of lost human capital. As other regions intensify their recruiting efforts, it is more urgent than ever to continuously produce a home-grown talent pool.

Source: http://www.milkeninstitute.org/pdf/WhatBrainDrain.pdf

Many Faculty Send Open Letter to Chancellor Block Concerning "Occupy" Demonstration/Related Developments

The letter below appears on the blog https://uclafacultyunited.wordpress.com/ in an entry dated Nov. 20.

Open Letter to Chancellor Block

November 20, 2011

Dear Chancellor Block:

In the predawn darkness this past Friday, a large contingent of police arrived on campus to remove a group of students who were peacefully protesting tuition increases, student loan debt, and the collapse of public funding for the University of California. In an act of civil disobedience, 14 students chose to ignore an order to disperse and were arrested.

Their crime, formally, was to violate a campus policy against camping. But in reality they were arrested for engaging in political speech at a time and in a manner that did not please the campus administration. For this political action, they may face disciplinary proceedings.

As UCLA faculty we call on you, to drop any charges that may be pending against these students. The freedom to debate controversial topics is at the core of university life. The students occupying Wilson Plaza on Thursday night were not posing a health or safety risk. They were not disrupting the educational mission of the university. They were holding ongoing discussions—what they call a “general assembly”—to share information and experiences, and decide together how to face the future.

So far UCLA has avoided the bitter conflicts between campus police and students that we have seen at Berkeley and Davis. However, you will recall that in 2009 UCLA Police engaged in questionable use of force that injured students and triggered an internal review. While different people may have different perceptions of the Review’s conclusions about the use of force in 2009, no one would disagree with their reaffirmation that “[w]hen members of the university community peaceably assemble to challenge some aspect of University governance, their rights to advocacy must be respected.” (44)

We have a chance to find another path at UCLA. As UCLA’s own “Principles of Community” declare, “We are committed to ensuring freedom of expression and dialogue, in a respectful and civil manner, on the spectrum of views held by our varied and diverse campus communities.” As anyone visiting the protest site can attest, the protesters were upholding their end of this charge—far better than we see in most of the political debate in this country. To stifle their voice would shortchange the future. At both Davis and Berkeley, campus police have deployed deplorable violence and injured students and faculty. On both campuses, police introduced violence while students, staff, and faculty were engaged in peaceable protest. We call on you to ensure that UCLA does not follow in their footsteps and fail to uphold the principles for which the University stands.

We urge you to drop all charges and disciplinary proceedings against the students arrested in Wilson Plaza, and also to respect students’ rights to protest the pressing issues of our political, social, and educational life.

Sincerely,

Tobias Higbie Associate Professor of History; Michael Meranze, Professor of History; Jenny Sharpe, Professor of English and Women’s Studies; Michelle Clayton, Assoc Prof Comp Lit & Spanish & Portuguese; Chris Looby, Professor English; Nouri Gana, Assoc Prof Comparative Literature; Jan de Leeuw; Distinguished Professor and Chair, UCLA Department of Statistics; Joseph Bristow, Professor English; Saree Makdisi, Professor English; Steven Nelson, Associate Professor of African and African American Art History; Carole H. Browner, Professor Anthropology; Jeffrey Prager, Professor of Sociology; Jessica R. Cattelino, Associate Professor of Anthropology; Jack Chen, Associate Professor Asian Languages & Cultures; David Delgado Shorter, Associate Professor World Arts & Cultures; Noah Zatz, Professor of Law; Katherine King, Professor Comparative Literature; Matthew Fischer, Assistant Professor English; Gerry A. Hale, Emeritus professor, Geography Department; Peter McLaren, Professor, Graduate school of Education and Information Studies; Michael Cooperson, Associate Professor NELC; Andrea Goldman, Assistant Professor History; George Baker, Associate Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art; Allen F. Roberts, World Arts & Cultures/Dance; Susan Curtiss, Professor Emeritus, Linguistics; Henry A. Hespenheide, Professor Emeritus of Ecology; Kathleen A. McHugh, Professor, Department of English, Cinema and Media Studies Program; Valerie Matsumoto, Professor, History and Asian American Studies; Sondra Hale, Professor, Anthropology and Women’s Studies; Elizabeth DeLoughrey, Associate Professor, English; Stephen Yenser, Distinguished Professor, Department of English; Robert Brenner, Professor of History; Vinay Lal, Associate Professor of History; Sharon Traweek, Associate Professor of Women’s Studies and History; Susan Slyomovics, Professor of Anthropology and Near Eastern Languages & Cultures; Susan L. Foster, Distinguished Professor, Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance; Teofilo Ruiz, Professor of History, Spanish & Portuguese; Rafael Perez-Torres, Professor of English; Jason Throop, Associate Professor, Anthropology; Kenneth L. Karst, Price Professor of Law Emeritus; Susan Plann, Professor of Applied Linguistics and Spanish & Portuguese; Alex Purves, Associate Professor of Classics; Helen Deutsch, Professor of English; Yogita Goyal, Associate Professor of English; Michael Salman, Associate Professor of History; Jan Reiff, Associate Professor of History; Chris Tilly, Professor of Urban Planning; Grace Hong, Associate Professor Women’s Studies and Asian American Studies; Lowell Gallagher, Associate Professor English; Arthur Little, Associate Professor English; Carollee Howes, Professor Education; A. J. Julius, Assistant Professor of Philosophy; Robin Lauren Derby, Associate Professor of History; Jonathan H. Grossman, Associate Professor of English; Robert N. Watson, Distinguished Professor of English; Andrew Apter, Professor of History & Anthropology; Calvin Normore, Professor of Philosophy; Victor Bascara, Associate Professor of Asian American Studies; Ching Kwan Lee, Professor of Sociology; Francoise Lionnet, Professor of French and Francophone Studies; John McCumber, Professor of Germanic Languages; Juliet Williams, Associate Professor of Women’s Studies; Jorge Marturano, Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese; Peter Lunenfeld, Professor of Design Media Arts; Ruben Hernandez-Leon, Associate Professor of Sociology; Douglas Kellner, George F. Kneller Chair in the Philosophy of Education; Héctor Calderón, Professor, Spanish and Portuguese; Sandra Harding, Professor of Education; Barbara Fuchs, Professor of English and Spanish and Portuguese; Michael Chwe, Associate Professor, Political Science; Michelle Erai, Assistant Prof. Women’s Studies; Felicity Nussbaum, Professor of English; Mishuana Goeman, Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies; Sherry Ortner, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology; Anurima Banerji, Assistant Professor, Department of World Arts and Cultures; Laure Murat, Associate Professor of French & Francophone Studies; Shane Butler, Professor of Classics; Elizabeth Upton, Assistant Professor of Musicology; Sorin Popa, Professor of Mathematics; Elizabeth Marchant, Associate Professor of Women’s Studies; King-Kok Cheung, Professor of English and Asian Am Studies; Zrinka Stahuljak, Associate Professor of French & Francophone Studies; James Gelvin, Professor of History; David N. Myers, Professor of History; John Dagenais, Professor of Spanish and Portuguese; Timothy Taylor, Professor of Ethnomusicology/Musicology; Gary Blasi, Professor of Law; Barbara Herman, Professor of Philosophy; Joanna Schwartz, Acting Professor of Law; Thu-huong Nguyen-vo, Associate Professor, Asian Languages and Cultures and Asian American Studies; Namhee Lee, Associate Professor of Asian Languages & Cultures; John Carriero, Professor of Philosophy; Brian Kim Stefans, Assistant Professor of English; George Dutton, Associate Professor of Asian Languages and Cultures; Samuel Cumming, Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Law; Sheldon Smith, Associate Professor of Philosophy; Gil Hochberg, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature; Mark Sawyer Professor of Political Science; Karen Brodkin, Professor Emerita of Anthropology and Women’s Studies; Andrea Fraser, Professor of Art; Chon Noriega, Professor of Film, Television, and Digital Media; Peter Peterson, Professor of Mathematics; Chris Chism, Associate Professor of English; Victoria Marks, Professor, World Arts and Cultures|Dance; Kathleen L. Komar, Professor of Comparative Literature & German; Richard Elman, Professor of Mathematics; John Papadopoulos, Professor of Classics; Dana Cuff, Professor, Department of Architecture and Urban Design; Natasha Heller, Assistant Professor of Asian Languages and Cultures; Carlos Alberto Torres, Professor of Social Sciences and Comparative Education; César J. Ayala Professor of Sociology; Ghislaine Lydon, Associate Professor in History; Cameron Campbell, Professor of Sociology; William Roy, Professor of Sociology; Jerome Rabow, Prof. Emeritus, Sociology; Nicky Hart, Professor of Sociology; Darnell M. Hunt, Professor of Sociology; Phillip Bonacich, Department of Sociology; Stefan Timmermans, Professor of Sociology; Miguel M. Unzueta, Assistant Professor, Anderson-HROB; Alan Garfinkel, Professor of Medicine; Patricia Gandara, Professor of Education; Joel F. Handler, Professor, UCLA School of Law; Michael Heim, Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures/Comparative Literature; David Lopez, Professor Emeritus of Sociology; Gail Kligman, Professor of Sociology; Maylei Blackwell, Assistant Professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies; David Gieseker, Professor of Mathematics; Lyle F. Bachman, Professor, Department of Applied Linguistics; Pamela Munro, Distinguished Professor of Linguistics; Aisha Finch, Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies and Afro-American Studies; Tova Brown, Assistant Adjunct Professor of Mathematics; James Ralston, Professor of Mathematics; Walter Ponce, Professor of Music; Joshua Foa Dienstag, Professor of Political Science; Olga T. Yokoyama, Professor Department of Applied Linguistics; Abel Valenzuela Jr., Professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies; Catherine Opie, Professor of Art; Richard J Jackson, Professor of Environmental Health Science; Steven P. Wallace, Professor, Department of Community Health Sciences; Inwon C. Kim, Associate Professor of Mathematics; Otto Santa Ana, Associate Professor Department of Chicana/o Studies; Dwight W. Read, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology; Kelly Lytle Hernandez, Associate Professor of History; Christopher Erickson, Professor of Management; Maia Young, Assoc Prof of Human Resources and Organizational Behavior, Anderson School of Management; Jody Kreiman, Professor of Surgery; Michael J. B. Allen, Distinguished Professor of English; Stephen Cederbaum, M.D. Professor Emeritus, Psychiatry, Pediatrics and Human Genetics; Ali Behdad, Professor of English and Comparative Literature

The blog post contains directions for those faculty members wishing to sign the letter above:

Email uclafacultyunited@gmail.com. Subject line: add my name. Put your name, rank and department in the body of the email message.

Bruin article on letter at:

http://www.dailybruin.com/index.php/article/2011/11/more_than_40_faculty_condemn_arrests_of_occupy_ucla_protesters_in_letter_to_chancellor_block

===

Other developments:

UC-Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi announced tonight that she is calling for all charges against 10 individuals in last Friday's pepper spray incident - nine of them students - to be dropped, and that the university will pay the medical expenses of students injured by campus police using pepper spray… UC President Mark Yudoff announced that he had appointed Will Bratton, the former head of police departments in Los Angeles, Boston and New York, to conduct an independent review of Friday's (UC-Davis) incident

Full story at http://www.sacbee.com/2011/11/22/4074483/university-offers-to-pay-medical.html

Interview with UC-Davis chancellor by student TV:

Note: The postponed Regents meeting will take place Nov. 28 through a teleconference at various campuses. At UCLA, the location is the James West Alumni Center. The meeting begins at 8:30 AM.

Official statement from President Yudof:

President Yudof launches initiatives to address policing and protests

Date: 2011-11-22
Contact: University of California Office of the President
Phone: (510) 987-9200

University of California President Mark G. Yudof moved on two fronts today (Tuesday, Nov. 22) to address policing issues in the wake of the pepper spraying of UC Davis students and other incidents involving law enforcement officers and protesters.

Acting in response to a written request from UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi, Yudof agreed to conduct a thorough review of the events of Nov. 18 on the Davis campus.

As a first step, Yudof reached out to former Los Angeles police chief William J. Bratton to undertake an independent fact-finding of the pepper spray incident and report back the results to him within 30 days.

Bratton, who also led the New York City police department, now heads the New York-based Kroll consulting company as chairman. He also is a renowned expert in progressive community policing.

"My intent," Yudof said, "is to provide the Chancellor and the entire University of California community with an independent, unvarnished report about what happened at Davis."

Assembly Speaker John A. Perez also had made a request to President Yudof and UC Regents Chair Sherry Lansing for an independent investigation.

Under the plan, Bratton's report also will be presented to an advisory panel that Yudof is forming, again at Katehi's request. The panel will consist of a cross-section of students, faculty, staff and other UC community members.

The advisory panel, whose members will be announced at a later date, will review the report and make recommendations to Chancellor Katehi on steps that should be taken to ensure the safety of peaceful protesters on campus. She will present her implementation plan to President Yudof.

On a second track, Yudof appointed UC General Counsel Charles Robinson and UC Berkeley School of Law Dean Christopher Edley Jr. to lead a system-wide examination of police protocols and policies as they apply to protests at all 10 UC campuses.

This effort will include visits to campuses for discussions with students, faculty and staff, and consultation with an array of experts.

The review is expected to result in recommended best practices for policing protests across the 10 UC campuses.

"With these actions," Yudof said, "we are moving forward to identify what needs to be done to ensure the safety of students and others who engage in non-violent protests on UC campuses. The right to peaceful protest on all of our campuses must be protected."

Source: http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/26712

Earlier posts on this topic:

http://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/2011/11/another-pepper-apology-lets-focus.html

http://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/2011/11/uc-davis-pepper-spray-controversy.html

http://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/2011/11/yudof-issues-statement-on-events-at-uc.html

http://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/2011/11/campus-demonstrations-recent-back-in.html

http://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/2011/11/ucla-recent-history-nov-9-demonstration.html

Further update: Email from chancellor and EVC of 11-23-11 below. Note that it says that UCLA will consult with the LA city attorney about the arrests of demonstrators. It does not say what it will be asking the city attorney to do.

--------------------------------------------------

Office of the Chancellor
Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

To the Campus Community:

The images from events at UCB and UCD have shocked and troubled all of us on campus and across the system. Our hearts go out to the students, parents, faculty and staff at Berkeley and Davis during this trying time.

At UCLA, a small number of protesters identifying themselves as the Occupy UCLA movement established a camp last Thursday and were asked to disperse early Friday morning. They refused to disperse and preferred to be arrested. All the protesters that morning were peaceful and cooperative. The police worked with Student Affairs and the students to ensure that the process went forward smoothly and the encampment was removed without confrontation or injury. On Monday, after the actions at Davis, the protesters held a series of teach-ins, and decided to set up tents on the lawn in front of the Morgan Center. Under the circumstances and at the urging of faculty and the Senate leadership, we decided not to intervene. Today they have dismantled their tents on their own accord.

The peace and safety of the campus is a high concern for us, as is the freedom of expression. Our aim is to achieve both in a time when feelings are running extremely high. We have worked closely with Student Affairs, Legal Affairs, and UCLA PD to ensure that the campus adheres to our principles of community and that everyone acts with restraint, respect, and tolerance in all circumstances. The meeting of the Regents at UCLA this coming Monday may bring demonstrations, and we will work strenuously with all parties to ensure as far as we are able that they remain safe and peaceful. We have been in constant discussion with our students and campus leadership, and have stressed firmly that we all must act in a responsible manner that preserves the core values of the campus.

We are pleased that so far the UCLA community has managed to avoid the kinds of wrenching events that have torn our sister campuses. That we have done so is testimony to the civility and restraint shown by our students, faculty, police, and staff in difficult circumstances.

We will consult with the City Attorney next week concerning the charges against our students.

We wish you all a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

Gene D. Block
Chancellor

Scott L. Waugh
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

-------

And there are complaints about the Bratton investigation:

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-uc-davis-20111124,0,1010444.story


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Another Pepper Apology? Let's Focus Instead on the UC Budget

The UC-Davis chancellor has now apologized for the pepper spray incident last Friday. Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports that the incident has gone viral with creative images such as the one above on the web. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/arts-post/post/pepper-spray-cop-works-his-way-through-art-history/2011/11/21/gIQA4XBmhN_blog.html

Below is video of the chancellor's apology. A story about it is at:
As noted in last night's blog post, instead of trying to regain "control" via crisis management techniques, it would be nice if the Regents and the powers-that-be at UC focused instead on the ongoing UC budget emergency. Please see last night's blog posting for a link to the UCLA Faculty Association's position - as expressed to the Regents - back in 2009 on the budget emergency:


For example, UC needs the legislature and governor to step up and take some responsibility for funding the UC pension system. No immediate state cash is needed; an IOU from the state - as was done back in the days when the state did take its responsibility seriously - would be helpful to UC. Under the current arrangement - in which the state has decided it never heard of the UC pension system - from every dollar that the state gives to UC for its core academic operations, there must be a subtraction to fund the pension. That situation does not exist at CSU (which is under CalPERS). Whether anyone intends it or not, the result of current state policy (or non-policy) will be a slow-moving and unspoken privatization of UC. The Regents can't collect taxes. They control only tuition as a revenue source. Every dollar that should go into the pension plan on behalf of the state, but does not, costs the plan $2 in contributions from non-state sources.

Want to know more? Try

As has been pointed out ad nauseum, the lack of state funding for the UC pension is not an old folks or retiree issue. It is a young folks issue, since it taxes the limited budget appropriation the state does provide for core academic programs.

Update: Latest tweet:

Mark G. Yudof
Please note: **There is no tuition item on Monday's regents meeting agenda, nor was there ever a tuition item scheduled.**

There may not be a tuition item but there are budget items:

Update: Legislature schedules hearing on UC's use of police

Capitol Alert 11-22-11

The Legislature will hold a hearing next month to investigate the recent use of police force in response to protests on University of California campuses. The joint hearing of the Assembly Higher Education Committee and Senate Education Committee will be held Wednesday, December 14, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez announced today…

Full article: http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2011/11/legislature-schedules-hearing-on-ucs-use-of-police.html

Monday, November 21, 2011

Pepper Spray: Regent Chair Reacts

Regent chair Lansing with a message to UC community

2011-11-21

UC Board of Regents chair Sherry Lansing says in a video statement that she is "shocked and appalled" by the images of police actions during recent student protests at UC Berkeley and UC Davis.

Lansing supports UC President Mark Yudof's effort to review systemwide procedures so that students can engage in peaceful protests.

"We regents share your passion and your conviction for the University of California," Lansing says. "We want all of you to know that we fully and unequivocally support your right to protest peacefully."

Lansing also invites the people to express their views at the Board of Regents meeting on Nov. 28. The rescheduled meeting will be open to the public and connected by a teleconference with regents participating from UC San Francisco-Mission Bay, UCLA, UC Davis and UC Merced. As usual, the meeting will also be streamed online. The public comment period has been expanded from 20 minutes to at least one hour.

Source with video: http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/26709

Appreciate the sentiment but maybe a bit more creative choice of words would have helped:

video
More seriously, one has the sense that the usual crisis management advice - get out ahead of the story - is being followed here, perhaps with overkill, to get "control" of the situation. There are national issues that are the subject of the Occupy demonstrations over which the Regents have no control. But they do control UC. The UCLA Faculty Association noted some time back in a 2009 open letter to the Regents that there is a budget emergency facing UC and that the business-as-usual regental meetings every two months don't appear to be an emergency response. See http://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/2010/07/after-faculty-assn-letter-to-regents-of.html

Tax Leak

Over the weekend, a group going by the name “Think Long” started leaking plans to put something on the ballot in 2012 that would revamp the California tax system and raise more funding. It is funded by billionaires so getting the signatures (typically at a cost of $1-$2 million) won’t be a problem. Even a big campaign for the votes – tens of millions can be involved especially for TV advertising – can be handled.

Example of the leak/preview from the LA Times:

Joining the battle over California taxes, a group of billionaires and political insiders say they will place a $10-billion tax increase on the November 2012 ballot. The Think Long Committee, which includes Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, former governors Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger and Los Angeles philanthropist Eli Broad, says its proposal would provide $5 billion more for public schools every year and billions for public universities and local governments...

The group's plan is based on a reshuffling of California's tax system. It would lower the state's personal income and sales tax rates and create a new levy of more than 5% on services that are not currently taxed, such as legal work or accounting…

Full story at http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-taxes-20111120,0,2206114.story

An earlier news report on this effort indicated that it would modify provisions of Prop 98 which earmarks roughly 40% of the state’s general fund for K-14. If so, there would be strong opposition from the California Teachers Association and other parts of the educational establishment:

…The proposal faces a potential land mine: the state's powerful education lobby. The plan would eliminate a constitutional requirement that the state must repay schools when imposing certain budget cuts. It would also relieve the state of an existing $10 billion obligation to schools.

Full article at: http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2011/11/think-long-coalition-to-propose-california-tax-overhaul.html

On the other hand, the Think Long group has apparently gotten some degree labor support. The Sacramento Bee this morning has what appears to be a draft copy of the document the group’s proposal at

http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/NG%20FINALTLC.pdf

Maria Elena Durazo (head of the LA County Federation of Labor) is listed as part of the group although if you go all the way to the last printed page there is a note that she abstained from endorsing the proposal. The group finessed the public pension issue by referencing the governor’s proposal but saying that the governor, legislature, and local officials should work with public sector unions on the problem. Indeed, there is fuzzy language at the end that says that the report is a product of consensus and that not all members of the group endorse each item.

It is notable that no specific language for a proposition is included.

If you have trouble with the Sacramento Bee link to the document above, here is an alternative source:

Meanwhile, keep in mind that there is a long way to go between presenting a ballot idea and "billions for public universities."

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Yudof on Berkeley and Davis Incidents

Note: See prior blog entries on the "Occupy" incidents at Davis and Berkeley. Links at bottom of this posting.

President Yudof responds to campus protest issues

Contact: UC Office of the President

Phone: (510) 987-9157

University of California President Mark G. Yudof today (Nov. 20) announced the actions he is taking in response to recent campus protest issues:


I am appalled by images of University of California students being doused with pepper spray and jabbed with police batons on our campuses.

I intend to do everything in my power as president of this university to protect the rights of our students, faculty and staff to engage in non-violent protest.

Chancellors at the UC Davis and UC Berkeley campuses already have initiated reviews of incidents that occurred on their campuses. I applaud this rapid response and eagerly await the results.

The University of California, however, is a single university with 10 campuses, and the incidents in recent days cry out for a systemwide response.

Therefore I will be taking immediate steps to set that response in motion.

I intend to convene all 10 chancellors, either in person or by telephone, to engage in a full and unfettered discussion about how to ensure proportional law enforcement response to non-violent protest.

To that end, I will be asking the chancellors to forward to me at once all relevant protocols and policies already in place on their individual campuses, as well as those that apply to the engagement of non-campus police agencies through mutual aid agreements.

Further, I already have taken steps to assemble experts and stakeholders to conduct a thorough, far-reaching and urgent assessment of campus police procedures involving use of force, including post-incident review processes.

My intention is not to micromanage our campus police forces. The sworn officers who serve on our campuses are professionals dedicated to the protection of the UC community.

Nor do I wish to micromanage the chancellors. They are the leaders of our campuses and they have my full trust and confidence.

Nonetheless, the recent incidents make clear the time has come to take strong action to recommit to the ideal of peaceful protest.

As I have said before, free speech is part of the DNA of this university, and non-violent protest has long been central to our history. It is a value we must protect with vigilance. I implore students who wish to demonstrate to do so in a peaceful and lawful fashion. I expect campus authorities to honor that right.

TV report on the Davis aftermath:

See earlier posts on Occupy demonstrations at UC:


Recent Tweets:

mark_yudof Mark G. Yudof

I intend to do everything in my power as President to protect the rights of our students, faculty & staff to engage in non-violent protest.

mark_yudof Mark G. Yudof

I am appalled by images of University of California students being doused with pepper spray and jabbed with police batons on our campuses.

Update 11/21/11: The UC-Davis police chief has been placed on leave:

http://www.sacbee.com/2011/11/21/4070465/uc-davis-police-chief-placed-on.html

and there is this about one of the police officers put on leave:

http://www.sacbee.com/2011/11/21/4070831/uc-davis-cop-believed-to-have.html

Further update:

Even as student protests spread across the state this fall - with national attention focused today on the pepper spraying of nonviolent protesters at UC Davis - Gov. Jerry Brown has kept silent...

Full story at: http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2011/11/jerry-brown-silent-on-davis-incident-student-protests.html

Note: Those who know California political history will know that Jerry Brown - determined not to be like his father who got blamed for demonstrations at Berkeley - got his start as a public figure being tough on student demonstrations as a member of a community college board.