Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Listen to the UC Regents: Nov. 12, 2013
The public comment session included speakers complaining about lack of affirmative action at UC (blocked by Prop 209), inadequate services for disabled students (including those with mental problems), and complaints about the appointment of Janet Napolitano. The last took up a good deal of time with demands that the Regents should fire her, made in part by a group of local high school students.
In a section on an audit report, it was noted that the U.S. Dept. of Energy owes UC $80 million for retiree health costs of nuclear lab retirees, thanks to the sequester. The outside auditor didn't treat this money as a receivable because some Congressional action is needed for the payment to be made. Regents were concerned that not treating the money as a receivable would seem to imply that UC had written off the cost. However, the auditor insisted that proper accounting standards were being followed.
When capital projects were discussed, Regents remain concerned that when projects are approved (which as blog readers will know is "always"), the campuses are given a certain leeway for cost overruns. It is not clear how this concern will be resolved. A concern was also expressed that when projects are proposed with a price tag for construction attached, the price tag may become a floor on bids that might otherwise come in lower.
A new building for a rape treatment center near Santa Monica-UCLA hospital was approved. The costs are being paid for by an outside operator of the center.
You can listen to the audio at the link below:
Note: Although it will be awhile before we can post the audio for today's session of the Regents, President Napolitano announced there would be no tuition increase for 2014-15, according to news reports. See http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2013/11/university-of-california-president-proposes-tuition-freeze.html