Earlier posts noted a pension initiative drive - fronted by San Jose Mayor Chris Reed - that would have swept in UC. For now, the effort seems to have stalled. The proponents have decided to litigate the title and summary by the attorney general of the initiative. Effectively, that will take enough time so that they will not be able to gather the signatures needed to get the initiative on the November 2014 ballot. The decision to litigate may just be a polite way to bow out for now. See: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/30/6116016/public-pension-measure-likely.html
Of course, if your car stalls for whatever reason, you are in trouble:
Of course, the Big Question is usually is there life after death? But we can't answer that one here. The lesser question - Is there Twitter after retirement? - can be answered, at least in the case of former UC prez Mark Yudof. YES! Not surprisingly, Yudof stopped tweeting around the time he left the UC presidency. But then, in late December, came another tweet. It's actually a link to a Harvard Business Review piece, and says:
I always thought the quote was "if you don't know where you're going, any road'll take you there," a paraphrase from Alice in Wonderland. In short, I couldn't make much sense of what the link was all about. But what do I know? Anyway, we await future rockin' links and tweets:
We continue indefinitely archiving the Regents meetings since - as numerous prior posts have complained - the Regents view an "archive" as lasting only one year. Below is a link to the meeting (open sessions only) of Jan. 23, 2014. We have previously posted the morning session of Jan. 22. The afternoon session of that date - which runs well over 4 hours - will eventually also be done. But it takes over 4 hours to do it so yours truly will get to it when he can.
At the Jan. 23 meeting, there were public comments involving (among other topics), outreach funding, a complaint by UC-San Diego students that the fall quarter calendar for 2014 (next fall) had been tailored to accommodate Jewish holidays, fossil fuel divestment, transfers from community colleges, complaints about complaints concerning the Israel boycott issue, and union issues regarding TAs. There was then discussion of the internal audits including issues related to sexual assaults and the UCLA Moreno report. (See our earlier post on Moreno.) There was discussion of various compensation issues related to coaches, a Berkeley provost, the acting chancellor for UC-San Francisco, and the new chief investment officer. One regent requested that coach compensation take account of academic achievement of athletes. The Lt. Governor and one regent dissented on the Berkeley provost's pay. Finally, UC President Napolitano reported on various student and faculty honors. When the meeting was officially over, she can be heard thanking the session chair for "marshaling this herd through its paces."Or maybe we should say she can be over-herd.
No, not because of the cold weather in other parts of the country. Rather, because of the headline regarding Northwestern University's football program in today's Inside Higher Ed:
Athletes Move to Unionize
The Internet – or at least, the
piece of the Internet where people pay moderate attention to college sports –
blew up Tuesday afternoon with the news that some number of Northwestern
University football players are seeking to unionize. The apparently unprecedented step is
a potential watershed moment for athletes in commercial sports programs like
those at Northwestern, who were lauded by outspoken critics and sports
columnists who have driven much of the public interest in whether athletes
deserve more than they’re getting for all the revenue they bring institutions
in the era of highly commercialized sports. If they succeed, the athletes could
gain a crucial say in hot-button issues like safety rules, revenue sharing and
From time to time, we have provided reminders about email problems. One problem - which we have noted - is that at a public university, your emails may be subject to public documents requests.
Another problem is that hackers may try to get into your email account through "phishing," probably to use it to send out scam messages to your contacts. Such an event seems to have occurred at UC-Davis:
Hackers compromised the email accounts of three UC Davis
doctors last month, potentially gaining access to personal or medical
information on as many as 1,800 patients, the university announced
Monday... UC Davis said the attack was a phishing scam, in which someone is sent
an email that looks legitimate. According to a statement on the health
system’s website, data security experts were unable to determine the
exact nature of the breach or whether any email messages were
specifically read. However, it said, “the automated nature of typical
phishing scams makes it unlikely that content from individual messages
was viewed. The content of patient information in the emails consisted
primarily of name, medical record number and limited information
associated with a clinic visit or hospital admission.”...
The northbound San Diego (405) Freeway will be closed overnight
through the Sepulveda Pass tonight and Wednesday night so
crews can re-stripe the roadway and move k-rail barriers. The
northbound freeway will be closed between Moraga Drive and Ventura
Boulevard, according to Metro, which is overseeing the freeway-widening
project. Ramps will begin closing at around 7 p.m., followed by lane
closures at 10 p.m. and the full freeway closure at midnight, continuing
until 5 a.m...
An interesting analysis of MOOCs in a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper by Stanford economist Caroline M. Hoxby suggests that heavy dependence on online ed won't work for what she terms highly selective post-secondary educational institutions. In essence, such institutions depend in important ways on alumni loyalty which is hard to obtain if students take courses online that come from anywhere.
Abstract: I consider how online postsecondary education, including massive open
online courses (MOOCs), might fit into economically sustainable models
of postsecondary education. I contrast nonselective postsecondary
education (NSPE)in which institutions sell fairly standardized
educational services in return for up-front payments and highly
selective postsecondary education (HSPE) in which institutions invest in
students in return for repayments much later in life. The analysis
suggests that MOOCs will be financially sustainable substitutes for some
NSPE, but there are risks even in these situations. The analysis
suggests that MOOCs will be financially sustainable substitutes for only
a small share of HSPE and are likely to collapse the economic model
that allows HSPE institutions to invest in advanced education and
research. I outline a non-MOOC model of online education that may allow
HSPE institutions both to sustain their distinctive activities and to
reach a larger number of students.
We posted yesterday about the news from UC-Berkeley that many earthquake-prone buildings are located in southern California - including in Westwood. The Westwood-Century City Patch, in picking up the story from the LA Times, blamed USC instead of UC-B, at least in the headline. See above. Probably just as well. Who wants to be the bearer of bad tidings?.
UC President Napolitano issued a response to the (former
California Supreme Court Justice Carlos) “Moreno Report” of Oct. 2013, formally
titled “Independent Investigative Report on Acts of Bias and Discrimination
Involving Faculty at the University of California, Los Angeles.”It includes directives to all campus
1) Every campus should
designate an official to serve as its lead discrimination officer. This
official is responsible for ensuring that an appropriate response is made to
all reports of perceived acts of discrimination, bias, and harassment involving
faculty, students, and staff from all parts of the campus.
* The discrimination
officer will designate the individuals responsible for carrying out such
activities as advising complainants, accepting complaints, carrying out
investigations, recommending informal resolutions, and referring cases to the
Academic Senate or administrators as appropriate.
* The Chancellor
should ensure that he/she regularly meets with and reviews the work of the lead
2) Every campus should
have an official who serves as an ombudsperson, responsible on his or her own
or through other staff for providing confidential advice about perceived acts
of discrimination, bias, and harassment involving faculty, students, and staff
from all parts of the campus. The ombudsperson will remain entirely independent
from the lead discrimination officer and will be located separately from the
lead discrimination officer. He or she may carry out some investigations and
seek informal resolutions of complaints, as well as contributing data to the
3) Every campus should
have a “one-stop shop” website on policies, procedures, and personnel covering
discrimination, bias, harassment, as well as diversity. The site will be able
to accept complaints filed electronically, including anonymous complaints; provide
information for an annual report of complaints and their resolution; and offer
education and training, as well as the reporting responsibilities of various
administrators and staff.
4) The Chancellor of
every campus should continue to advocate for diversity, inclusion, and respect
for all persons and deplore any acts of discrimination, bias, and harassment.
Messages on these topics should be widely distributed throughout the campus,
including on the website described above.
5) Every campus should
compile an annual report that includes the number and types of formal and
informal complaints about perceived acts of discrimination, bias, and
harassment, including confidential complaints, how they were investigated, the
findings, and the consequences should a complaint have been found to have
We have followed the LA Times' story of the concern about certain concrete buildings in the southern California area which might be at risk in a major earthquake. The Times identified some buildings in an earlier story but noted that UC-Berkeley had a survey list of buildings. Berkeley was reluctant to provide the list because its intent was to get an estimate of the number of such buildings based on public records rather than evaluate each building directly. It has now provided the Times with the list, along with a legal disclaimer. The Times now has an interactive map on its website along with an article. I punched in "Westwood" in the search engine on the map and got the result seen above. (I have deleted one building which was not in Westwood but had the name Westwood in its title. There are also other buildings in the Westwood area that can be found by searching but which do not appear under a "Westwood" search.) Click on the image above to enlarge and clarify. Or go the the Times article and search for whatever you like.
As promised in previous posts, yours truly is slowly working through the Regents meetings audio. Below is a link to the audio for the morning session of Wednesday, Jan. 22.
The Regents, for unacceptable reasons in an age where public meetings are archived indefinitely, archives them only for one year. Moreover, it appears to be policy not to make the audio files available directly. Hence, they can only be preserved by recording them from the temporary archive in real time. That is, to preserve one hour of Regents time requires recording from the archive for one hour.
[More in our Regents coverage. See earlier posts.] The Regents spent some time on the old Master Plan for Higher Ed. There was discussion, according to news reports, among representatives of UC, CSU, and the community colleges on better coordination.
...“This report shines an important light on the need to have a central
body whose sole focus is guiding the Legislature, governor and our three
higher education segments as we plan and build for the future,” (Assembly speaker John Pérez) said.
Um, does no one remember CPEC, which still exists in ghostly form as a website (see screenshot above), after the legislature cut its budget to zero? It was supposed to be the coordinator. So will it be revived?
We continue our indirect coverage of the Regents. Eventually - as promised - we will post the audio for posterity. [The latest explanation I got for why the Regents post for only one year is that CSU does it that way. Hard to see putting a QED after that. As I have noted in past posts, my home city of Santa Monica posts indefinitely, so why not can't the Regents do it that way? Oh well!]
Anyway, from today's LA Times:
The UC regents on Thursday hired an executive of a Canadian
investment fund to be the chief manager of the university system's $82
billion in endowment and pension investments and will pay him more than
$1 million a year if he achieves good returns. Although that pay package
triggered little public discussion, the salary for another new
executive hire attracted more opposition at the regents meeting here.
Some regents opposed the $450,000-a-year salary for Claude Steele, who
is becoming UC Berkeley's provost and second-in-command. They complained that the pay is higher than that of some chancellors. For the new investments chief, Jagdeep S. Bachher, the regents
approved a $615,000 base salary and set a maximum total payout of $1.01
million if UC investments perform well. That would be slightly less than
the $1.2 million that Marie N. Berggren was paid in 2012, her last year
before she retired in July. The compensation comes mainly from
investment returns, not tuition or tax revenues, officials said...
We noted in yesterday's posting (in the update portion) on the Regents public comment session that there were spokespeople complaining about anti-Israel activities on UC campuses including course credit on one campus, pushes for divestment, etc. Earlier postings noted statements by the UC prez and several chancellors (including Block) opposing an academic boycott of Israel by several academic societies. Today, the LA Times reports:
A group of lawmakers has formed the California Legislative Jewish Caucus
to weigh in on issues of priority to members, including immigration,
civil rights and Israel, according to its chairman, state Sen. Marty Block (D-San Diego)... So far, the new caucus has nine full members, including Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento)...
Among the issues the group will address: In the last two years, some
University of California student organizations and governments have
approved resolutions urging the U.C. Board of Regents to divest from
companies linked to the Israeli military. Block said there was also concern about incidents of anti-Semitism on
California university campuses and cases in which professors have
taught anti-Israel lessons...
We have also noted on this blog the progress being made in getting the state to assume responsibility for the UC pension. [Indeed, the UCLA Faculty Assn. made the first break-through with the Legislative Analyst's Office on that issue.] The Regents also noted the progress so far and also the need for UC to be treated the same as CSU regarding pension funding. (CSU is part of CalPERS for which the state assumes liability.) Thus, calls for political use of pension and other UC funds (including continued calls on the Regents to divest from fossil fuels) could end up being costly for UC by undermining that progress. At present, UC gets about the same funding as CSU, but UC has to make pension contributions out of its state funding while CSU does not. As time goes on, and pension contributions have to be ramped up, this difference - if it persists - will be a source of an ongoing budgetary squeeze of UC and upward pressure on tuition.
Thus far, no one seems to have noted the interconnection between these various issues. So you read it here first.
In his first iteration as governor, back in the 1970s and early 1980s, Gov. Brown emphasized the "era of limits." Yesterday at the Regents, however, he apparently wanted to push those limits when it came to online education:
Jerry Brown pushes UC to find "outer limits" of
...Sitting in on part of Wednesday's meeting, Brown challenged
regents to develop classes that require no "human intervention" and
might expand the system's reach beyond its student body.
"If this university can probe into" black holes,
he said, "can't somebody create a course — Spanish, calculus, whatever —
totally online? That seems to me less complicated than that telescope you were
talking about," referring to an earlier agenda item. After receiving pushback from UC provost Aimée Dorr, who
delivered the presentation, that students are "less happy and less
engaged" without human interaction, Brown said those measurements were too
soft and he wanted empirical results...
Note: As yours truly reported yesterday (see the prior posting), due to teaching and other obligations, it will take awhile before the full Regents meeting can be posted for posterity (or at least longer than the one year Regents are willing to do.) But we will get there.
The governor is due to give his State of the State address today. What, if anything, he will say that might have a connection to UC and higher ed is unknown. The Regents are also meeting today (and tomorrow).
Inside Higher Ed today is running a list of average annual snowfalls (in inches) at selected universities. So whatever happens at the State of the State or the Regents meeting (or if you have followed weather reports for other parts of the country today), remember that things could be worse:
1. Michigan Technological University: 200
2. Syracuse University and SUNY Oswego: 124
3. University of Rochester: 99
4. State University of New York at Buffalo: 94
5. University of Minnesota at Duluth: 86
6. University of Vermont: 81
7. Southern New Hampshire University: 69
8. Western Michigan University: 67
9. Cornell University: 65
10. University of Alaska at Fairbanks: 62
UPDATE: Yours truly was able to hear most of the governor's speech. Why "most of"? Because the calchannel system evidently was overwhelmed by folks tuning in on the web. So, again, a cautionary note on the technology solutions to higher ed costs is warranted. The speech did mention UC in connection with research. Other than that reference, however, the governor focused on fiscal prudence, debt, drought, K-12 funding changes that divert resources to disadvantaged students, "subsidiarity" (mainly local assumption of prisoners), environment and greenhouse gas, and poverty. At the same time the governor was speaking, the UC Regents web broadcast also had problems. Parts of the public comment session I heard involved fossil fuel divestment, complaints about anti-Israel lectures and course credit for such lectures, and sexual assaults at Berkeley. I heard part of UC president Napolitano's report. Among the topics: cap on UCOP staff, consultants, travel. There was a reference to development of a new funding model for tuition to be unveiled in the spring and "efficiency" initiatives. Academic Senate chair William Jacobs spoke mainly on UC undergraduate programs. The Committee on Finance heard a report on federal budget issues, particularly the squeeze on research funding. Federal funds also flow to UC through student aid, Medicare at the hospitals, etc. The latest budget deal in Washington was seen as a positive. As far as the state budget proposal of the governor is concerned, UCOP noted (as it has before) the CSU's pension is taken car of by the state via CalPERS but not UC's. It was noted that the governor now lists the UC pension as part of state debt and the Legislative Analyst is moving toward that position. Since the Leg Analyst is projecting more dollars than the governor, perhaps - at the time of the May revise - UC might get more funding and put some of it in the pension fund. The tuition freeze was noted as well as lack of an explicit enrollment growth factor in the governor's budget.
The Committee on Health Services looked at a UCLA health take-over of a program previously run by USC. It's not on the agenda documents, as far as I can tell - at least as of today. There is also a proposal for a joint lab in China that would conduct clinical trials. Significant skepticism was expressed by regents about the risks entailed and having UCLA's name linked to an outside entity - a private firm. [Only one regent seemed to want to ask whether clinical trials in China are subject to the same kinds of controls, regulations, and human rights protections, that exist in the US. UCLA says it will apply US standards.]
A review of the nuclear labs followed. It was reported that past-due pension contributions for the labs had been partly paid and that the rest is expected due to the Washington budget deal.
=========== Yours truly is teaching this quarter and his ability to record and post audio of Regents meetings is limited by other commitments. Nonetheless, it will (eventually) be done because the Regents continue their policy of archiving meetings only for 1 year. Presumably, calchannel will have a link to a recording of the governor's speech so you should have access to that event soon.
You’ve probably heard that Gov. Brown has declared a drought
emergency.So UC is there – Johnny on
the spot – with a pledge to save water for the guv:
California President Janet Napolitano today (Jan. 16) announced a goal of
reducing per capita water use by 20 percent throughout the UC system by the
year 2020.As California experiences
some of its driest weather on record, Napolitano said the university must step
up and contribute to the preservation of the state's most precious resource."The University of California has long
been a leader in conservation efforts," she said. "This new 2020 goal
complements the university's Carbon Neutrality Initiative and its broader
award-winning sustainability efforts. UC is prepared to play a leadership role
in response to California's current water crisis by demonstrating water
sustainability solutions to the rest of the state."Every UC campus already has established its
water usage baseline against a three-year average, and the 20 percent reduction
goal will be pegged to each campus's baseline...
UC prez Napolitano attended her former boss's conference on higher ed in DC last week. From the LA Times:
Obama encourages economic diversity in higher education:
president and first lady are joined at a White House summit by others who have
made commitments to help increase college accessibility for low-income
students. California schools are well represented.
More than 100 colleges and universities, including several
in California, promised Thursday to try to attract more low-income students by
strengthening relationships with high schools and community colleges,
increasing access to advisors and offering more remedial programs...
Each of the nine University of California undergraduate
campuses will expand outreach to low-income high school and community college
students and increased financial and academic support, according to officials...
What a fly on the wall at the event probably didn't hear was discussion of the fact that the big jump in tuition at UC and other public universities was the result of the Great Recession and the sluggish economic recovery thereafter. State funding - not just in California - was cut back for public higher ed as tax revenues declined. There likely was little discussion of effective steps at the federal level to prevent a recurrence. So while more efficiencies in delivery of higher ed are always of interest, big negative macro shocks to the economy are much more a factor in threats to access. It's a question of orders of magnitude.
Of course, yours truly wasn't actually there, but it would have been interesting to hear:
Apparently, freshman applications to UC are up significantly, especially to UCLA:
...Once again, UCLA was the most popular choice in the system, garnering
86,472 freshman applications, up 7.5% from last year; next was UC
Berkeley, 73,711; up 8.9%. San Diego was third with 73,437; Santa
Barbara received 66,756; Irvine; 66,426; Davis, 60,496; Santa Cruz,
40,687; Riverside, 34,899; and Merced, 15,264... Latinos made up the largest share of UC frosh applicants who are
California residents: 32.7%. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
made up 31.7% of that group; whites, 26.2%; African Americans, 5.9%.
We noted in a prior post there would be increased attention to earthquake risks in LA around the 20th anniversary of the Jan. 27, 1994 Northridge quake. One item that began to develop was an LA Times article indicating that various buildings were at risk in the LA area, even though they were thought safe when constructed. One of the buildings in Westwood is owned by UCLA, which asserted that it had been upgraded. It was also reported that a team of researchers at Berkeley had compiled a list of such buildings, but was not making the list available due to litigation concerns. The LA Times now indicates that the list will be made available. See http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-list-of-buildings-at-risk-in-earthquake-will-be-released-to-la-20140117,0,3874307.story
News accounts have focused on this chart in Gov. Brown's recent budget proposal which shows the Latino/Hispanic state population exceeding the white-Anglo population by July. That the shift would occur sometime this decade was obvious from the 2010 Census. A news account indicates that the shift will occur in March. Clearly, putting an exact date on the shift is not really possible. But the change will definitely have occurred by the next Census. (Official state estimates for the California population at the time of the 2010 Census were way off. So interim estimates between Census years always have a significant chance of error.)
In terms of voting, the Latino/Hispanic share of likely voters was about half their share of the population in 2010 due to citizenship and voting propensities. But that, too, is changing.
SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced the following appointments.
Richard C. Blum, 78, of San Francisco, has been appointed to the
University of California Board of Regents effective March 2, 2014, where
he has served since 2002 and was chair from 2007 to 2009. Blum founded
Blum Capital Partners L.P. in 1975 and serves as chairman and president.
He has been chairman of the CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. Board of
Directors since 2001. Blum has been a member of the University of
California, Berkeley Haas School of Business Advisory Board since 1984
and was chair from 2012 to 2013. He is a member of the Federal Reserve
Bank Economic Advisory Council and the National Democratic Institute’s
Board of Directors and an appointee to the President’s Global
Development Council. Blum is a founding member of National Geographic’s
International Council of Advisors and founder of the American Himalayan
Foundation and the Blum Center for Developing Economies at the
University of California, Berkeley. He is the Honorary Consul of Nepal
and a member of the board of trustees at the Brookings Institution, the
California Academy of Sciences, the Carter Center, the Glide Foundation,
the Wilderness Society and Central European University. Blum earned a
Master of Business Administration degree from the University of
California, Berkeley. This position requires Senate confirmation and
there is no compensation. Blum is a Democrat.
Monica Lozano, 57, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to the University
of California Board of Regents effective March 2, 2014, where she served
from 2001 to 2013. Lozano has held multiple positions at ImpreMedia LLC
since 2004, including chief executive officer, chair of the board and
senior vice president of newspapers. She has held multiple positions at
La Opinion L.P. since 1985, including owner, chief executive officer and
publisher. She was a member of the California State Board of Education
from 1998 to 2001. Lozano is a director at the Bank of America
Corporation, the Walt Disney Company, the Rockefeller Foundation and the
Weingart Foundation. This position requires Senate confirmation and
there is no compensation. Lozano is a Democrat.
Norman Pattiz, 70, of Beverly Hills, has been appointed to the
University of California Board of Regents effective March 2, 2014, where
he has served since 2001. Pattiz has been chief executive officer of
Courtside Entertainment Group since 2011. He held multiple positions at
Westwood One from 1976 to 2010, including founder and chairman. Pattiz
was an appointee to the Broadcasting Board of Governors of the United
States of America from 2000 to 2006. He is a member of the Council of
Foreign Relations and the Pacific Council on International Relations.
This position requires Senate confirmation and there is no compensation.
Pattiz is a Democrat.
Richard Sherman, 61, of Pacific Palisades, has been appointed to the
University of California Board of Regents. Sherman has been chief
executive officer at the David Geffen Company since 1992. He was a
partner at Breslauer Jacobson Rutman and Sherman from 1977 to 1992 and a
senior accountant at Peat Marwick and Mitchell from 1973 to 1977.
Sherman is a member of the Aviva Family and Children’s Services Board of
Directors, the Geffen Playhouse Board of Directors and the David Geffen
Foundation Board of Directors. He was a member of the Dreamworks
Animation SKG Inc. Board of Directors from 2008 to 2013. Sherman earned a
Master of Business Taxation degree from the University of Southern
California. This position requires Senate confirmation and there is no
compensation. Sherman is a Democrat.
No, this is not about office hours. And it's not about privacy issues raised in prior postings about public access to faculty emails and documents.
Rather, it's about access to research. In the recent spending bill - yes, the same one mentioned in the previous post on the subway - there is direction and funding for federal agencies to establish mechanisms to make federally-funded research papers available to the public in digital format no later than 12 months after acceptance by a journal.
In most cases, researchers want their papers to be available and, if there is a roadblock, it is journal policy.