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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Who Will Pay? Part II

Yesterday, we asked who was going to pay for the damages caused by the flooding at UCLA?  If you read the latest crop of news stories, you will get contradictory answers.  The chancellor on one occasion seemed to assert that there would be no cost to the campus for repairs to Pauley and other buildings - DWP would pay - but in another interview he seemed less clear.  Lawyers suggest there are hurdles in establishing fault.  We also learn that the powers-that-be at city hall would a) like to see the water system's aging pipes replaced but b) don't want to raise water fees to customers of DWP.  Since you can't have "a" without "b", anyone within the boundaries of LA might want to invest in sandbags.

Anyway, here are some sources:

http://m.ocregister.com/ucla/pavilion-630207-ready-season.html

http://www.sacbee.com/2014/07/31/6594863/sorting-out-the-claims-after-pipe.html

http://dailybruin.com/2014/07/30/ucla-officials-assess-flood-damage/

http://www.dailynews.com/general-news/20140730/ucla-chancellor-says-damages-from-water-pipe-break-in-the-tens-of-millions-of-dollars

http://www.latimes.com/local/cityhall/la-me-ucla-flooding-20140731-story.html

http://patch.com/california/santa-monica/water-loss-so-far-sunset-boulevard-20-million-gallons

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Breaking News is Sometimes Broken

LAObserved.com pointed to this video:


ABC 7... got pranked by a caller the station put on the air as "DWP spokesman Louis Slungpue." He blamed the break on activity in one of the Pauley Pavilion locker room — either a cherry bomb in the toilet or "a very large dump." While co-anchor Ellen Leyva pressed "are you 100% sure about this?" a male voice could be heard mumbling "it's a fake call." 

From: http://www.laobserved.com/archive/2014/07/channel_7_pranked_by_faux.php

Sorry about that

UC and Cal State students anticipating financial aid from the state’s new Middle Class Scholarship program are going to have to wait until September to learn how much they will receive, a top administrator said Tuesday.

As a result of the delays, most students will not be able to apply the grants to their fall-term tuition bills but will be able to use the entire year's amount for their winter and spring tabs...

Full story at http://www.latimes.com/local/education/la-me-ln-middle-class-scholarship-delay-20140729-story.html

Who will pay for flood damage? DWP?

Yesterday's posting as early reports of the water main break on Sunset Blvd. came in suggested light-heartedly a flood of Biblical proportions.  While the flooding might not have quite reached that level, so far in all of the news coverage yours truly has seen, no one has suggested who will pay for the damage to Pauley and other areas.  DWP has defended the length of time it took to shut off the water from an aged pipe that apparently predates the Westwood campus by several years.  DWP did not volunteer to pay for the campus repairs.

Some coverage:
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-ucla-flooding-water-main-drainage-20140730-story.html

http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/chancellor-blocks-statement-regarding-water-main-break-near-campus

There is some good news from the LA Times today:

"(T)here’s something even more unusual than being killed by lightning -- dying in a flood."

See http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-lightning-deaths-20140729-story.html

An Admiral Choice

Bette Billet passed to me this article from the Chronicle of Higher Ed:

The Board of Regents of the University of Texas system voted unanimously on Tuesday to name Adm. William H. McRaven as the sole finalist to replace Francisco G. Cigarroa as chancellor of the 15-campus system, the board announced in a news release.  Admiral McRaven, who is now commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command, is best known for planning the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Under state law, the board must wait at least 21 days after announcing the final candidates before making an appointment. If appointed, Admiral McRaven would begin his new duties in January 2015...

Full story at chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/admiral-is-named-as-sole-finalist-to-lead-u-of-texas-system/82909

You have to be careful in selecting admirals for non-Navy jobs.  Some of them may be uncertain of what they are supposed to do:
video

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Flood

We are getting reports of flooding on Sunset Blvd. on the north side of campus due to a water main break. The street is closed.

It could be worse:


UPDATE: UCLA's notice of the flooding is at http://newsroom.ucla.edu/stories/water-main-break-at-sunset-and-westwood-boulevards

The Bruin has an article with a photo at http://dailybruin.com/2014/07/29/ucla-underwater-after-water-main-bursts/

Be quick about it!

Sometimes it pays to move fast
UC-Davis gets good PR for its program of three-year medical degrees:

http://www.capradio.org/28926

Governor Brown recently signed a bill allowing such fast-track docs to practice.

UCLA History: Vermont

UCLA's Vermont Avenue campus in 1922.  The site is now the home of LA City College.  UCLA inherited the site from the State Normal School.  Indeed, you will find LA City College at the corner of Normal and Vermont.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Ghost of CPEC

Old timers, and even not-so-old-timers, may remember CPEC.  Several years ago after the governor zeroed out its budget, CPEC became dormant.  It isn't quite abolished - there is still a webpage (see screenshot) but it isn't alive either.

The Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) has prepared a document for a state assembly committee on establishing new campuses.  That's something not likely to take place at UC in any foreseeable future. Perhaps it could happen at CSU.

In any event, what is interesting is that the LAO essentially says that should new campuses be considered, the evaluation process should essentially be what CPEC used to do.  Kind of makes you wonder why CPEC was zeroed out, doesn't it?

The document is at:
http://www.lao.ca.gov/handouts/education/2014/Review-New-Campuses-and-Centers-072414.pdf

Big Blue Bus: Cut back in UCLA service?

Trying to get on a bus that is "not in service"?
Last Wednesday at a public meeting, the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus - a major public transit route to UCLA - reviewed a series of proposed changes on its various routes.  There would be cutbacks to UCLA, notably the routes that run on Wilshire Blvd. and Montana Ave. would no longer reach the campus.  You can hear the meeting at the link below:


There were protests at the meeting about the cutbacks.  However, the cutbacks to UCLA are being justified by a need to increase north-south service in Santa Monica to connect with the Expo light rail (now under construction).  Budget constraints are said to require cutbacks in east-west service to pay for more north-south.

You can find a Daily Bruin article on this subject at:
http://dailybruin.com/2014/07/28/proposed-changes-to-big-blue-bus-routes-would-decrease-stops-at-ucla/

Of course, you never know what can happen on a Santa Monica bus:
video


Sunday, July 27, 2014

News Item "Triggers" Follow Up to Earlier Posting

From the Santa Barbara Independent: A UCSB Feminist Studies professor accused of stealing and destroying an anti-abortion activist's poster — and pushing and scratching the activist in the process — pleaded no contest Thursday morning to three misdemeanor charges.  Dr. Mireille Miller-Young had originally pleaded not guilty to grand theft, vandalism, and battery. She hasn't been required to attend any of her court hearings and was again absent on Thursday...

Miller-Young will be sentenced on August 14 and will likely be ordered by Judge Brian Hill to pay a fine and restitution, perform community service, and attend anger management counseling. While her charges do carry the possibility of jail time, prosecutor Ron Zonen said he “would be surprised if [Hill] sentenced her to jail.” Miller-Young remains employed by UCSB...

Full story at http://www.independent.com/news/2014/jul/24/ucsb-professor-pleads-no-contest-theft-battery-cas/

Blog readers will recall that Prof. Miller-Young said she was "triggered" to attack by the provocative images on a poster being carried by a 16-year old anti-abortion demonstrator.  See our earlier post:
http://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/2014/03/bizarre.html

One can draw various morals from this tale.  One is that it would be best to drop the whole "trigger" thing.  Some passing fads should pass faster than others.  Another moral is that since faculty members support academic freedom, it would be wise for them to avoid being "triggered" into trying to prevent speech of others, even if provocative.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Listen to the Regents Meeting of July 17, 2014

Yes, we are slow in archiving the audio for July 17.  But here it is (at the link below).  As we often note, the Regent do not preserve their recordings of their meetings beyond one year so we have to do it.  The only explanation we can get is that CSU does it for a year.  It's interesting that UC now models itself on CSU.  In any event, the only way to archive the recordings is to record them - so it takes one hour of recording time for each hour of meeting time.

At the July 17 meeting, the public comment period featured issues of funding, fossil fuel divestment, and self governance of Isla Vista.  (The last is a new issue; yours truly doesn't know the background.)  Then came appointment and pay for a new chancellor at UC-San Francisco.  A secretary to the Regents was appointed.  California Secretary of Education Torlakson - an ex officio regent - spoke about the sexual assault issue.  There was a report on student health centers and on the future of the med centers.  A report on the nuclear labs followed including a presentation on an effort to develop a human simulator on which drugs could be tested.  Various capital projects were approved.  UC president Napolitano spoke about notable faculty recognitions.  Finally, a resolution was passed regarding the shooting victims at UC-Santa Barbara.

You can hear the audio of this meeting at the link below:

Friday, July 25, 2014

A different unkindest cut: Which Way LA? on the Master Plan and Budget Cuts at UC

"Which Way LA?" (KCRW) last night ran a segment on admission of out-of-state students to UC to get full tuition, particularly at Berkeley and UCLA, basically the Michigan Model although no one used that term.  A parents group has a petition - apparently addressed to the legislature and governor - protesting this development. One parent who was interviewed had a kid she has sent to Tufts after not getting into Berkeley or UCLA but who did get into other UCs.  The Master Plan's notion of free tuition was mentioned.  You can hear it at the link below roughly in minutes 6 to 21:

Follow up: The most unkindest cut of all

Yesterday, we featured a posting on plagiarism.  (So I should tell you upfront that the title of this posting comes from Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar.")  Anyway, Inside Higher Ed today ran a follow up with links to news articles on the subject of Senator Walsh's indiscretion.  Among them was a Washington Post commentary suggesting that the (only) 14 page "thesis" which was partially plagiarized (unintentionally or due to PTSD according to Walsh), wasn't any good even if it was original.  Over the years, yours truly has told students that apart from the plagiarism itself, once it is found it opens the door to all sorts of unwanted attention.  The Walsh tale is an excellent example that other faculty may want to use.

You can find the Washington Post commentary at http://wapo.st/1sXLdGb.

The Inside Higher Ed piece is at http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2014/07/25/army-war-college-starts-plagiarism-inquiry

Thursday, July 24, 2014

It's a bit harder today to tell students plagiarism will get you nowhere

I could tell you where I got the material below but why not instead just say that I wrote it?

Democrats were thrilled when John Walsh of Montana was appointed to the United States Senate in February. A decorated veteran of the Iraq war and former adjutant general of his state’s National Guard, Mr. Walsh offered the Democratic Party something it frequently lacks: a seasoned military man. On the campaign trail this year, Mr. Walsh, 53, has made his military service a main selling point. Still wearing his hair close-cropped, he notes he was targeted for killing by Iraqi militants and says his time in uniform informs his views on a range of issues. But one of the highest-profile credentials of Mr. Walsh’s 33-year military career appears to have been improperly attained. An examination of the final paper required for Mr. Walsh’s master’s degree from the United States Army War College indicates the senator appropriated at least a quarter of his thesis on American Middle East policy from other authors’ works, with no attribution. 

Here's a song I wrote, too:

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

UC and UCLA Freshman Demographics

UC has released data on incoming freshman and other demographic data.  Above is the race/ethnic composition from http://www.ucop.edu/news/factsheets/2014/frosh_trsirs_table3.1.pdf

More data are available from http://www.ucop.edu/news/studstaff.html

There is also some related discussion in today's LA Times:
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-uc-nonresident-20140722-story.html

Also in the LA Times is a report that CSU is cutting back on enrolllment targets for budget reasons:
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-calstate-trustees-20140722-story.html

The problem comes tomorrow

Although the President arrives today in LA, he pretty much stays away from the UCLA area.  Tomorrow, however, is different:

The Santa Monica Patch gives these affected areas tomorrow:

Thursday, July 24, 2014
  • The area around Beverly Boulevard and North Doheny Drive from 4 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The area around Sunset Boulevard and Mandeville Canyon Road from 9-11 a.m.
  • The area around Sunset Boulevard and Barrington Avenue from 10 a.m. to noon 
  • The area around Grand Avenue and West Washington Boulevard from 4 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The area around Figueroa Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
  • from 1-3 p.m.
Full story at http://santamonica.patch.com/groups/around-town/p/how-to-avoid-an-obama-motorcade55117

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Going into reverse

According to Inside Higher Ed, CSU is reversing its efforts to develop a centralized online education system with loads of students.

The California State University System is replacing its distance education portal with a shared services model less than two years after its launch, as the system’s campuses decide they would rather do the work on their own...

The system (had) set a long-term goal of enrolling more than 250,000 “over the next several decades,” as per early plans, and found a partner in eCollege, the online enabler owned by Pearson. But many faculty members objected to the plan, saying a push for more distance education would directly compete with face-to-face instruction...

Going into reverse can be difficult:



As if you didn't know

Click on chart above for clearer image.  The chart is from the latest UC Accountability Report:
http://accountability.universityofcalifornia.edu/index/6.3.1

Lessons in Efficiency

We can do it better!
Michael Meranze forwarded a commentary on UC Path, a new computer system that has been regularly touted at Regents meetings as one of the money-saving/increased efficiency initiatives that UC is undertaking.  All campuses are supposed to end up with a unified payroll system.  The item he forwarded is from the e-Literate blog and is actually inspired by an earlier piece by Chris Newfield. Anyway, here are some excerpts:

University of California’s $220 million payroll project reboot

Chris Newfield has an excellent post at Remaking the University about the University of California’s budget situation and how it relates to the recent Moody’s negative outlook on higher education finances. The whole article is worth reading, but one section jumped off the page for me...

The sadder example of ongoing debt is the request for “external financing for the UCPath project.” UC Path was UCOP’s flagship solution to UC inefficiencies that were allegedly wasting taxpayers’ money–in other words, new enterprise software for the systemwide consolidation of payroll and human resources functions. This is boring, important back office stuff, hardly good material for a political campaign to show the state “UC means business,” but that’s what it became. Rather than funding each campus’s decades-old effort to upgrade its systems on its own, UCOP sought centralization, which predictably introduced new levels of cost, complexity, and inefficiency, since centralization is often not actually efficient.

I had heard nothing good about UC Path from people trying to implement it on campuses, and have tried to ignore it, but this week it has resurfaced as a problem at the Regental level. The project timeline has grown from 48 to 72 months, and its costs are said to be $220 million (it had spent $131 million by May 2014) . Worse, the repayment schedule has mushroomed from seven to twenty years. ...

And it goes on with more good news.

The full e-Literate piece is at http://mfeldstein.com/u-california-220-million-payroll-project-reboot/

The full Newfield piece is at http://utotherescue.blogspot.com/2014/07/confronting-our-permanent-public.html

Efficiency schemes often don't work out as planned:

 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Former UCLA Athlete Seems to Be Scoring Points

From Inside Higher Ed:

The National Collegiate Athletic Association has dropped a controversial name-and-likeness release from the "student-athlete statement" signed each year by Division I college athletes, USA Today reported. The release is a central part of the high-profile class action filed by Ed O'Bannon, a former University of California at [sic] Los Angeles basketball player, as well as other lawsuits filed against the NCAA regarding the commercialized use of likenesses of college athletes.  n 2009, the same year that O'Bannon filed his class action, Ryan Hart, a former starting quarterback at Rutgers University, filed a similar complaint. In May of that year, Sam Keller, a former starting quarterback at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, also filed a class action about the NCAA profiting off athletes' likenesses in a series of video games...


Maybe if the athletes just said "please"...


Summertime and the Living is Easy

Dog Days is the name for the most sultry period of summer, from about July 3 to Aug. 11. Named in early times by observers in countries bordering the Mediterranean, the period was reckoned as extending from 20 days before to 20 days after the conjunction of Sirius (the dog star) and the sun. In the latitude of the Mediterranean region this period coincided with hot days that were plagued with disease and discomfort.

Source: http://www.factmonster.com/spot/dogdays.html
 
We are unlikely, despite the definition above, to experience disease and discomfort at UC in the current period.  In fact, since Sacramento basically is on vacation and the Regents have gone home, not much is likely to happen.  Just to make the point, the LA Times is running an article saying nothing much is going on: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-capitol-business-beat-20140721-story.html
 
The alternative journalistic option, if nothing is happening to cover, is to write about past issues.  Hence, the Daily Bruin features an editorial about the student regent, even though that issue ended with the recent Regents meetings.  See: http://dailybruin.com/2014/07/21/editorial-personal-stances-not-a-valid-reason-to-limit-powers-of-student-regent/
 
And, yes, yours truly knows he has so far only archived the first day of the two-day Regents meeting of July 16-17.  But it’s summer so what’s the rush?  We’ll get to it. 

Meanwhile, you have your choice:


Or...

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Faster Doctors

Class of 1960
Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Friday that allows students at accredited medical school programs in California to complete their education and become doctors in three years instead of four.  The goal of Assembly Bill 1838 by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla from Concord is to churn quality doctors out faster with less student debt.
The bill comes at a time when demand for doctors is high due to federal health reform. AB 1838 was sponsored by the University of California — which operates six medical schools in the state — and the Medical Board of California, which regulates, licenses and disciplines doctors...
Now you know the answer to the question: 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Listen to the Regents Meeting on the Afternoon of July 16

We continue our audio archiving of the July 16-17, 2014 Regents meetings.  The link below will take you to the afternoon session of July 16.  There were some closed session (therefore not available) prior to the open afternoon sessions.  The audio appears to start in the middle of the Compliance and Audit segment.  Much of the discussion following that segment dealt with campus sexual assault policies, including at Berkeley (which had been cited as having problems in that regard). 

Listen at:

Friday, July 18, 2014

Eve of Disruption (on the 405)

The idea of "disruption" seems to be much in vogue these days as applied to the effect of the Internet, etc., on established industries.

But disruption seems to have gone on forever on the 405.  Tonight is no exception:

Late-night workers and partiers might need to find an alternate route out of the San Fernando Valley tonight.
Southbound I-405 will close overnight between Getty Center Drive and I-101 as Metro continues work on its Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project.  The stretch will be shut down from 1 to 6 a.m., but ramps along the freeway will close as early as 7 p.m. and lanes will start closing at 10.  Metro suggests a detour along Sepulveda Boulevard to the Getty Center Drive 405 on-ramp, but based on past closures, that route is likely to be congested.

Source: http://www.losangelesregister.com/articles/school-602275-angeles-fire.html

Anyway, it will prevent speeding:

Listen to the July 16 Morning Session of the Regents

We posted yesterday just the segment dealing with the student regent.  The full audio is now available at the link shown below.

The public comments segment dealt with general UC funding, grad student services, the Gill Tract (farm) controversy at UC-Berkeley, the student regent, student health records, and fossil fuel divestment.

UC prez Napolitano talked about her food initiative.  (Yours truly still doesn't understand exactly what it is but maybe that's just me.  Everyone else seems to love it.  Maybe not-to-know-it is to love it.)  Bill Jacobs, our faculty rep, spoke about state funding.  There was also a staff association (CUCSA) report.  The student regent issue was then taken up.  Today's LA Times, by the way,has an editorial saying that the controversy, last year and this one, was a waste of time for the Regents who shouldn't get involved in non-university issues such as the Middle East. It's at http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-uc-regents-student-appointees-israeli-palest-20140718-story.html.  There was a report on the state budget and efficiency programs UC is mounting.  Pension funding by borrowing from STIP was approved, although some Regents were opposed or unsure.  The objection seemed to be that if there was excess liquidity in STIP and more could be earned by reinvesting with a long-term horizon (such as the pension fund does), why not just invest long-term and hold off putting the money in the pension until there was further review?  Bill Jacobs noted that the Academic Senate favors the STIP-to-pension approach.  It was noted several times that a preliminary estimate of the pension fund's earnings last year is about 17%.  (This result would be roughly in line with the 18% reported by CalPERS and CalSTRS.)

As we often note, yours truly can only archive the Regents' audio by recording it in real time.  So instant service should not be expected.  The Regents just appointed a new secretary so maybe the policy of only one-year "archiving" will change as a result and yours truly won't need to do indefinite archiving.  Don't count on it.  And if you can't wait to see how things turned out in the July 16-17 meetings, here is a news summary: http://www.latimes.com/local/education/la-me-uc-regents-pay-20140718-story.html

You can hear the audio from the morning of July 16 at the link below:

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Student Regent Appointment

Yesterday, the Regents appointed a new student regent-designate amidst controversy.  We will tomorrow post the full audio of the July 16 morning meeting.  For now, here is the audio (video with still pictures) of the student regent matter.  [The segment has been slightly trimmed to meet the 15-minute YouTube limitation.]

Below is the reverse controversy over the student regent that occurred a year ago:

Sorry, wrong number (says governor)

The governor has announced that because property taxes did not exceed a target amount by an appropriate number of dollars, $100 million in extra state funding to be split 50-50 between UC and CSU will not be paid out.  Now you may ask what local property taxes have to do with the state budget for UC.  Under Prop 98, formulas determine funding from the state for K-14. However, local property taxes which go to schools are factored in.  So if there are more property tax dollars, the cost to the state treasury is reduced.

As part of an earlier budget deal, a contingency was inserted into the state budget based on property taxes which might have benefited UC (but now won't).  According to a news account, the legislature might (that's "might," which differs from "will") provide the money anyway.  Whether the governor would go along in that event is uncertain.

More details at http://www.sacbee.com/2014/07/16/6561376/brown-property-taxes-not-high.html

It will take awhile to catch up

As we noted yesterday, the live stream of the Regents meeting did not in fact operate.  The morning and afternoon meetings are now posted and I am recording the morning session.  (The sound seems to be working better than the picture.)  However, it will take awhile to catch up with the meetings.  As we have noted umpteen times, the Regents "archive" their meetings for only one year.  We do it indefinitely.  At one time, the regents would provide a file of the audio of their meetings as an mp3 file.  Now they don't on the grounds that the "archive" is available.

The consequence is that recordings of the meetings have to be made in real time.  That is, one hour of meeting times can be turned into an audio file only by one hour of recording.  Naturally, there has to be a delay in our archiving as a result.

There are some media reports on the meeting to which we provide links below in the meantime:
http://www.latimes.com/local/education/la-me-uc-regents-20140717-story.html
http://dailybruin.com/2014/07/16/regents-meeting-covers-endowed-chairs-funding-sexual-violence-policy/

The pro-Israel student regent was appointed despite controversy - pro and con - in the public comments segment.  Funding for endowed chairs was announced.  Although not mentioned in the articles, the use of STIP excess funds for the pension plan was approved, according to other sources.  We will provide more detail later.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Not our ads

Note to our readers: Recently, Google/blogspot seems on occasion to be attaching links to key words in our blog that lead to ads for goods and services that have nothing to do with the story.  So unless we say it's a link to something, it was put there by some computer. Example: We might use the word "student" in an article referring to some campus or UC event. If the word is highlighted as a link, it will probably take you to an ad for some trade school.

UPDATE: The links referred to above seem to have disappeared for now.  Whether they will reappear or just appear sometimes is unknown. Again, we don't control this matter but when we add links, there is typically a reference in our posting.

UCLA Health System's Hospitals Ranked Among Nation's Best

The UCLA Health System's hospitals in Westwood and Santa Monica have been named to U.S. News and World report's Best Hospitals 2014–15 honor roll. UCLA was ranked number five in the country and number one in both California and the Los Angeles metropolitan area.
The annual rankings, now in their 25th year, are the magazine's most exclusive rankings, recognizing hospitals that excel at treating patients who need an especially high level of care.
This year's Honor Roll highlights just 17 hospitals out of nearly 5,000 nationwide for their expertise in treating the most challenging patients across a range of medical specialties...
There will undoubtedly be joyful singing on south campus:

Maybe they should rethink again

From Inside Higher Ed: (excerpt)
Officials at the University of California system are reconsidering a policy that prevents the university from discriminating against non-American researchers.
UC traditionally rejects money from research sponsors – including the federal government – that want all researchers assigned to a project to be American citizens or permanent United States residents. Some exceptions have been made for classified research and federal programs meant to provide work force training to young American scientists.
That could change. System officials are now in preliminary discussions about allowing sponsors to dictate broader discrimination against non-American researchers. As federal research dollars dry up and federal authorities fret about work that could harm national security, UC officials have begun to rethink their nondiscrimination policy...
Full story at: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/07/16/uc-system-reconsiders-policy-barring-discrimination-against-non-american-researchers

Waiting for Regents Streaming Video

As of 8:30 am this morning and beyond, the live-stream of the Regents meeting seems not to be working.  Presumably, eventually it will and their (one year) preservation will allow us to make the audio available indefinitely (beyond one year).  The problem is a reminder, however, of the frailties of technology and its use in higher ed.

UPDATE: The student regent who took a pro-Israel stance was endorsed by the regents with only the current student regent (known for an anti-Israel stance) opposed, according to the Daily Bruin:
http://dailybruin.com/2014/07/16/uc-regents-appoint-avi-oved-as-student-regent-designate/  The Regents' streaming video was never accessible to yours truly, however, despite repeated attempts to connect.  As of 12:30 pm, the following notice was on the Regents' website:

Due to technical difficulties, the live webcast for the meeting has been delayed. We are working to resolve the problem as quickly as possible. Please check back.

Further UPDATE: The same notice was still there at 3 pm this afternoon.  

Still further UPDATE: The notice was still there at 5 pm this afternoon.  Will the problem be fixed by tomorrow.  Who knows?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Frack Talk

One more guess about what might come up in the public comments sessions of the upcoming Regents meetings: .  Prior posts have suggested that opposition to the new student regent nomination and, perhaps, the usual demands that the Regents fire President Napolitano might well come up.  To those topics, we might add fossil fuel divestment which is not on the official agenda while a committee studies the issue. 

The Contra Costa Times runs an article about a sculpture attacking what the artist sees as the pro-fracking stances of Gov. Brown and Lt. Gov. Newsom (and maybe Brown's dog Sutter in the lower right hand corner).

An El Dorado Hills artist who has a sort of personal history with Gov. Jerry Brown has once again immortalized him in sculpture – this time, taking him to task for letting oil and gas “fracking” proceed in the Golden State.  Laura Harling’s “Happy Fracking Day” sculpture won an Award of Merit in fine art at the California State Fair, where it’s on display...

Harling... worked way back in the day as a state janitor tasked with cleaning a much younger Gov. Jerry Brown’s apartment...

Full story at http://www.ibabuzz.com/politics/2014/07/14/happy-fracking-day-with-brown-newsom/

Brown mumbled something about maybe divesting from coal (like Stanford).  You don't see a lot of coal mines in California.  You do see a lot of oil wells, however, a source of potential tax revenue when Prop 30 expires and, maybe, the economy suffers a slowdown or worse.  California is in fact a major oil producing state.  Here are the top 4 states' production in thousands of barrels per day in 2013:

Texas      2555
N. Dakota   858
California  546
Alaska      515

Source: http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/pet_crd_crpdn_adc_mbblpd_a.htm

But while California is a major producer, production in the state has fallen roughly in half since the mid-1980s.  That downward trend is likely not something the governor - an ex officio regent with his hand on the UC budget lever - would want to see exacerbated.  The lt. governor is also an ex officio regent with an eye on running to succeed Brown four years from now.  Both officials tend to stay away from public comment sessions (for obvious reasons).

Happy Returns May Come Up at Regents

The Regents will be discussing the UC budget at their upcoming meeting.  Recent headlines about CalPERS and CalSTRS having earned 18% over the year may prompt questions about UCRP.  What has it earned?  Funded status?  Etc.

You can find reference to the returns at the other two state funds at:

http://www.sacbee.com/2014/07/15/6555229/calpers-reports-184-profit-on.html

Of course, we're all grateful for happy returns, whatever they are:

Upcoming Public Comments at Regents

It may be that the public comments periods will be the most exciting part of the Regents meeting scheduled for tomorrow and the day after.  Look for protests against the appointment of a pro-Israel student regent.  As we have noted in prior posts, this appointment seems to be part of a regental strategy to "balance" last year's appointment of an anti-Israel student regent.  In this case, the current situation in the Middle East plus the confrontation in Westwood near UCLA are likely to exacerbate feelings expressed in the public comments period.  The latest references to current events are at:

http://dailybruin.com/2014/07/14/hundreds-across-uc-sign-petition-asking-to-delay-oveds-appointment/
http://dailybruin.com/2014/07/14/shot-fired-at-pro-palestinian-protesters-in-westwood/
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-unclear-why-federal-agent-fired-gun-during-la-israel-rally-20140714-story.html 

The Regents have already said they will approve the appointment but this issue may drown out those who regularly appear demanding the Regents fire UC prez Napolitano.   On verra.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Press release on Judge Cunningham case

It took yours truly awhile to locate the university statement on the Judge Cunningham settlement.*  But here it is:

University News

University of California and Judge David S. Cunningham III reach a settlement

July 11, 2014

Joint Media Statement

The University of California and Judge David S. Cunningham III today reached a settlement in the dispute arising out of a November traffic stop of Judge Cunningham by UCLA Police officers. Both UCLA, an educational institution committed to public service, and Judge Cunningham, a public servant and educator, have a mutual desire to use this as an opportunity to deepen understanding, raise the quality of police-community interactions and provide positive outcomes that enhance diversity and opportunity in our community. To those ends, UCLA and Judge Cunningham have agreed to a mutual release of any legal claims arising from the traffic stop. The release will be followed by:

-    A $150,000 payment by the University to Judge Cunningham and his counsel;

-    A one-day Community Forum/Day of Dialogue conference at UCLA Law School promoting discussion and dialogue around the issue of police/community relations, with emphasis on the issue of understanding diversity, bias, public engagement, racial profiling and effective strategies for ensuring equity in policing;

-    Continued training for all UCLA Police officers on issues including understanding diversity, bias, public engagement and use of force; and

-    Establishment of a $350,000 scholarship fund, “The David S. Cunningham, III Scholarship for Civil Rights,” administered by the UCLA Black Alumni Association, for the support of undergraduate or law students.

UCLA is committed to healthy relationships with the broader community and generating insight into the challenges of equity and justice that impact our diverse communities. Judge Cunningham is a distinguished jurist, lawyer and advocate for equity, inclusion and opportunity. Both parties are eager to use this as a teachable moment that provides greater insight into important issues, increased educational opportunities and improved relations between law enforcement and the public. This civic-minded agreement serves the best interest of the entire community and settles the matter to the mutual satisfaction of the parties.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

UCLA History: Powell

Lawrence Clark Powell, university librarian, circa 1950

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Judge Arrested by Campus Police for Driving While Black Gets Payout from UCLA

Blog readers will know of the sad tale of Judge Cunningham who made the mistake of driving while black in Westwood and was arrested by campus police.  (Yes, in Westwood, not on campus.)  Anyway, you will also recall that UCLA asserted after a self-investigation that nothing wrong had been done.  But now, the tune seems to have changed:

From the Daily Bruin: A Los Angeles Superior Court judge reached a settlement with the University of California over a $10 million claim for damages he filed against university police in February in which he said two UCPD officers used excessive force after stopping him in Westwood for a seatbelt violation.
 
The settlement includes a $150,000 payment to Judge David S. Cunningham III and his counsel, and the setup of a $350,000 scholarship fund called “The David S. Cunningham III Scholarship for Civil Rights” for undergraduate and law students, according to a statement by the university and Cunningham’s lawyer released on Friday. The fund will be administered by the UCLA Black Alumni Association.
 
As part of the agreement, UCPD must also hold continued trainings for officers on issues such as “understanding diversity, bias, public engagement and use of force.”
Cunningham filed an excessive force complaint in November after being pulled over by two UCPD officers, Kevin Dodd and James Kim, who allegedly shoved Cunningham against the side of his car, handcuffed him and put him in the back of their patrol car for not wearing a seatbelt...  [The article also has a link to part of the settlement agreement.]

Full story at http://dailybruin.com/2014/07/11/la-judge-uc-reach-settlement-over-10m-damages-claim-against-ucpd/

From the LA Times: ...In a joint statement released Friday, UCLA and Cunningham said they "have a mutual desire to use this as an opportunity to deepen understanding, raise the quality of police-community interactions and provide positive outcomes that enhance diversity and opportunity in our community."

"Both parties are eager to use this as a teachable moment that provides greater insight into important issues, increased educational opportunities and improved relations between law enforcement and the public," the statement said. "This civic-minded agreement serves the best interest of the entire community and settles the matter to the mutual satisfaction of the parties." ...
 
The $150,000 Cunningham and his attorney will receive comes from UC's self-insured risk program, and the scholarship money will come from other campus sources, [university] officials said.

Full story at http://www.latimes.com/local/education/la-me-ucla-cunningham-20140712-story.html 

Note: Don't think that because the $150,000 comes from the "self-insured risk program" it is costless.  Self insured means UCLA is paying for it.  As for the scholarship, it is unclear what "other campus sources" means but, again, money has to come from somewhere.

Previous references to this matter are at:
http://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/2013/11/an-arresting-development.html
http://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/2013/11/unsolicited-follow-up-for-our.html
http://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/2013/11/unsolicited-thanksgiving-advice-for.html
http://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/2013/12/unsolicited-suggestion-for-traffic-stop.html
http://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/2014/02/dig-deeper-hole.html


Friday, July 11, 2014

At least the UC pension doesn't have CalPERS-type problems

As we have noted, the state mechanically funds CalPERS and thus makes an automatic contribution to the CSU pension system.  But the state is reluctant to concede any such obligation to UCRP.

Could that be an "honest" mistake? At least UC's pension doesn't have the kinds of problems seen at CalPERS (see below).  If you had to choose between them, which plan would you favor?

The first two payments were made in paper bags. The last installment came in a shoebox. The handoffs all came at a Sacramento hotel near the Capitol.

In a stunning admission covering years of corruption, the former chief executive of CalPERS said Friday he accepted $200,000 in cash, along with a series of other bribes, from a Lake Tahoe businessman who was attempting to influence billions of dollars in pension fund investment decisions...

Full story at http://www.sacbee.com/2014/07/11/6549921/former-calpers-chief-pleads-guilty.html

A shoebox? Are you sure it wasn't a tin box?




Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/07/11/6549921/former-calpers-chief-pleads-guilty.html#storylink=cpy

Regents Will Get Out of Painted Corner

As predicted on this blog, the Regents - who painted themselves into a corner by "balancing" an anti-Israel student regent with a successor pro-Israel student regent - will endorse their latest nominee next week at their mid-July meeting:

The University of California’s Board of Regents announced yesterday that it will move forward with its confirmation of Jewish, pro-Israel student Avi Oved as student regent-designate, even as the student association that previously supported him voted 10-0 to delay his confirmation pending an investigation into conflict of interest allegations.

In a letter addressed to Kareem Aref, the president of the UC Student Association (UCSA), Board of Regents chairman Bruce Varner and regent George Kieffer wrote that Oved’s confirmation vote will “move forward at the July Regents meeting” next week in San Francisco, notwithstanding accusations of improper ties between the UCLA junior and local philanthropist Adam Milstein. Those ties were revealed when, at a June 28 UCSA meeting, Amal Ali—past president of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at UC Riverside—shared emails between Oved and Milstein that the former says were hacked from his account...

Varner and Kieffer, though, wrote in their letter to UCSA, “Even if all the allegations raised against Mr. Oved are true, they clearly would not constitute a violation of the UCLA election code,” which places no restrictions or reporting requirements on student candidates’ campaign funding sources...

Full story at http://www.jewishjournal.com/los_angeles/article/uc_regents_plan_to_confirm_pro_israel_ucla_student_avi_oved

See also http://dailybruin.com/2014/07/11/board-of-regents-to-move-forward-with-vote-on-student-regent-designate/

UCLA History: Dedication

Dedication of Kerckhoff Hall in 1930

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Crunching the State Cash Statement for 2013-14

The state controller's cash statement for the last fiscal year, 2013-14, which ended on June 30, 2014.  You can find it at sco.ca.gov/Files-ARD/CASH/fy1314_july.pdf

The key line to look at is the one at the bottom of the table below and is labeled "Ending Reserves."  As can be seen, the state ended with a positive reserve balance of $2 billion for the first time in Gov. Brown's current term.  If you take the cash receipts and disbursements - with some adjustment for the assumed voter approval of a "rainy-day" fund - next year will be back in negative territory.  One thing to note, however, is that the governor pushed for "conservative" revenue estimates for 2013-14 when the budget for that year was being passed.  Doing so tends to push the legislature to spend less.  There was then a "surprise" when more revenue actually came in than was forecast.  He likely did the same for the current year.  So the estimated negative balance (regular reserve plus rainy-day fund) might turn out to be positive again despite the negative projection.

On the accrual basis used for the official budget, the reserve combo stays positive at the end of the current fiscal year although it drops.  Thereafter, projections to 2017-18 show total reserves rising by about a billion dollars a year.  Still, the ratio of reserves to spending stays under 5%.  Any kind of economic bump could easily blow out reserves of that magnitude in short order.  Since the Great Recession ended in 2009, forecasts out to 2018 that assume no negative bumps in the economy become increasingly risky, based on historical precedents.  All we can say is that things are quiet now on the budgetary front.  But there are no guarantees it will stay quiet as we project out further and further, rainy-day fund or not.  So the folks in UC headquarters should always have a Plan B ready.

General Fund Cash Flows and Reserves by Fiscal Year

              |                             | Adjusted*
$billions     |  2010-  2011-  2012-  2013- |    2014-
              |   2011   2012   2013   2014 |     2015
-------------------------------------------------------
Starting      |                             |
Reserves**    |  -$9.9  -$8.2  -$9.6  -$2.4 |    +$2.0
              |                             |
Receipts      |   95.5   87.8  103.4  104.0 |    107.5
Disbursements |   93.7   89.2   96.3   99.6 |    111.5
              |                             |
Surplus/      |                             |
Deficit       |   +1.7   -1.4   +7.2   +4.4 |     -4.0
              |                             |
Ending        |                             |
Reserves**    |   -8.2   -9.6   -2.4   +2.0 |     -2.0
--------------------------------------------------------
*Based on cash data from 2014-15 budget.  Starting reserves from controller’s cash data.  Receipts reflect subtraction of $104 million transfer from reserves.  Disbursements reflect subtraction of $3,183 million to reserves.  Ending reserves include regular general fund reserve plus “rainy day” fund.
**Includes “rainy-day” fund.

Source: June cash statements of the California state controller (for data from 2010-11 to 2013-14.  Data on receipts, disbursements, and surplus/deficit from California Department of Finance at: