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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Not much to tell

It appears that the governor has made his way through the major bills that might affect UC and either signed or vetoed them.  (He appears to be saving one bill banning plastic bags for last, but he said in the debate with Kashkari that he would sign it - so not much suspense even there.  Maybe it will affect the student stores on campus.)

The main UC news item that will undoubtedly make the late night comedians' day is the item that UC will begin having gender-neutral restrooms, essentially "one seaters."  But even that development has been announced before as part of a grad student union contract. http://dailybruin.com/2014/09/29/uc-begins-implementing-lgbt-advisory-group-recommendations/  In any event, the concept of such restrooms is not all that new.  It used to be the norm.  There were even specialists back in the day in making them:
Part 1:

Part 2:

Monday, September 29, 2014

Noteworthy

What Should State Do With Those Tesla Millions?

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010) 
 

Don’t tell us you don’t have the money, Jerry.

Gov. Brown and the legislature were perfectly willing to give a single company, Tesla, $500 million, mostly in tax credits, to build a battery plant here.  But now that Tesla took a better deal in Nevada, state leaders are dropping the subject of that $500 million, as though this is the end. If California has that kind of money to give to a company for speculative technologies, California has that kind of money for greater investments. Where should the money go?

I’m tempted to suggest that the money go to help shore up Medi-Cal, which has many new customers who are having trouble finding doctors. The cost of restoring reimbursement rates for Medi-Cal is $250 million, so the Tesla money would more than cover it.  But the objection there is that this money was for economic development, so where should the money go? The best bets would be infrastructure and that greatest of California economic engines, the universities.

California has all sorts of needs, and spending on building infrastructure might be a good use for this windfall. But I’d give it to the universities, which are still receiving near-record-low state support.  The legislature tried to give the university systems a boost, passing an additional $50 million each for Cal State and UC as the legislative session came to a close in late August. But the governor expressed opposition.

That’s pretty rich, given the rich offer to Tesla. Brown ought to reverse himself and send $125 million more to each system for each of the next two years.

What’s good for Elon Musk (head of Tesla) is good for the gander.

From http://www.foxandhoundsdaily.com/2014/09/state-tesla-millions/

Don't Touch My Online Ed

Brown ...vetoed Assembly Bill 46 from Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, which would have required California State University to share performance data from online courses with its faculty academic senates.  In a veto message, Brown called the bill unnecessary, and cited student privacy and cost issues.  “I am aware of the deep concerns that the sponsor of the bill has expressed regarding online courses,” Brown wrote. “These courses, however, could play an important role in helping to reduce the bottleneck that too often prevents students from graduating on time.”

“This is one of the reasons I believe that we should not unduly limit the introduction of online courses in the Cal State system.”  Brown has been a strong supporter of online education, including a 2013 experiment at San Jose State University that was cancelled after dismal early results, prompting Pan’s legislation. 

Full story at http://www.sacbee.com/2014/09/29/6744704/jerry-brown-approves-community.html
[Yes, it's the same link as in the previous post; just a different part of the article.]

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/09/29/6744704/jerry-brown-approves-community.html#storylink=cpy

Do Old Master Plans Just Fade Away (Or Do They Die)?

Gen. Douglas MacArthur is famous for his quote in 1951 after Truman removed him that "old soldiers never die; they just fade away."  Actually, however, he did die (in 1964).  So the question, once something begins to fade, is not whether it will die but rather when.  With that in mind, consider the item below:

In what could portend a monumental shift in public higher education in California, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Sunday that will allow up to 15 community colleges to launch bachelor’s degrees programs in vocational fields. While 21 other states offer community college baccalaureates, California’s colleges have traditionally been the domain of transfer students and career technical education, granting two-year associate degrees, as established more than fifty years ago in the Master Plan for Higher Education. Senate Bill 850 will allow colleges to experiment with four-year degrees. The pilot program is set to begin no later than the 2017-18 academic year and end in 2024...

Full story at http://www.sacbee.com/2014/09/29/6744704/jerry-brown-approves-community.html

As we have noted in past posts, the operations of the community colleges are more likely to affect CSU than UC (although it could have some effect on transfers to UC).  Nonetheless, Jerry Brown - while not formally killing his dad's Master Plan - seems to be sending it to hospice care.  One could argue, of course, that the Master Plan's "fade" started under Gov. Reagan with rising tuition and the dismissal of UC president Clark Kerr - the Plan's author.  [There are old timers from the 1960s up in Berkeley celebrating the free speech movement's 50th anniversary; it is doubtful they are celebrating their role in electing Reagan over Pat Brown in 1966, a campaign in which the former prominently promised to deal with student unrest in Berkeley.]  In principle, the original Plan ran only until 1975.  However, the piece that remained, up to now at least, were distinct roles and distinct admissions policies for the three segments.  Prior to the Plan in the 1950s and before, there was no clear division of labor between the segments.  So we seem to be going back to the future.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/09/29/6744704/jerry-brown-approves-community.html#storylink=cpy

Keep It Faculty Simple

In response to concerns about (generally student-on-student) sexual assault on campus, the legislature has enacted, and the governor has now signed, an "affirmative consent" law.*  Primarily, the response on campus will be focused on student orientation, student counseling, etc.  However, there has been a tendency in the past when the state mandates something for the university to come up with expensive online (and other) "training" programs.  [Does anyone follow up to see if the "training" has effects and what those effects might be?]

In this case, all faculty need is a simple "script" which can be emailed to all faculty members and kept posted on the dean of students' website.  The script should involve what a faculty member should say if a student tells the faculty member about a sexual assault.  Basically, the script should provide the appropriate contacts for such campus and other services as the UCPD, LAPD, student health services, and student counseling services, etc.: phone, email, location.  Please!  No hours long online multiple-choice training sessions!  No windfalls for commercial providers of such programs!

*http://www.sacbee.com/2014/09/28/6743629/jerry-brown-signs-affirmative.html

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Will Initiative Changes Have Significance for UC?

Governor Brown - when he wasn't vetoing an extra $50 million for UC (see previous post) - signed off on changes in the state initiative process.  Does this development matter for UC? 

It's important to note that the initiative process - conceived as Mom and Pop getting upset about some issue, getting petitions together with their friends, and creating new law - has not ever been a Mom and Pop process.  Rather you need at least $1 million and probably more to hire commercial signature gathers.  If you get the initiative on the ballot, you may need tens of millions more for TV and other advertising to get the initiative approved.  In short, the initiative process is where the Big Boys play, whether the Boys are billionaires with loose change to promote some agenda or interest groups of various stripes.

Although one element of the changes Brown signed off on extends the signature-gathering period, Mom and Pop are likely to be unaffected because they haven't a prayer of getting enough signatures in any time period.  The changes also include some greater disclosure on the web of major donors to pro and con initiative committees.  In principle, this info is already available; maybe the changes will make it marginally easier for journalists to pursue who is pro and con.  Note, however, that initiative committees often get their donations from other committees whose names may hide their sources.

The main element added is that the legislature is given an opportunity - before the initiative ends up on the ballot - to intervene and possibly come to some compromise with the sponsors.  How might that process affect UC?  Obviously, we cannot know what topics may pop up in initiatives in the future.  But one topic that seems to rise and fall periodically is public pension "reform."  Typically, when such pension initiatives are proposed, they sweep UC into the "reforms," whatever they are.  UC seems reluctant to contact proponents directly and see what might be done to be removed from coverage.  But UC has been willing in the past to work with the legislature on that issue when the pension issue comes up as a bill.  It is possible, should another pension initiative arise - all it takes is a billionaire with an agenda - that UC might have some success in the new legislative step.  Possible, of course, is no guarantee.

For an article on Brown signing off on initiative changes, see http://www.latimes.com/local/political/la-me-pc-gov-brown-oks-bill-allowing-changes-and-more-transparency-for-initiatives-20140926-story.html

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Sorry About That

Jerry Brown vetoes extra $100 million for UC, CSU

Published: Saturday, Sep. 27, 2014 - 5:25 pm
Citing property tax revenues below budget estimates, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed part of a budget bill Saturday that would have awarded an additional $50 million each to the University of California and California State University systems for deferred maintenance the systems deem critical.  “Making investments to maintain the state’s aging infrastructure continues to be a major priority for my administration, as is paying down the state’s debts and reducing other long-term liabilities,” Brown wrote in his veto message.  “However, we are nearly one quarter into the fiscal year now and we should not commit additional General Fund monies of this magnitude when we are facing unanticipated costs such as fighting the state’s extreme wildfires.”  The extra $100 million was originally proposed as a budget trigger that was nullified in July when property tax revenues did not exceed projections. UC and CSU have unsuccessfully lobbied all year for increased funding beyond the levels proposed in Brown’s January budget proposal...

Full story at http://www.sacbee.com/2014/09/27/6741425/jerry-brown-vetoes-extra-100-million.html

But he's rumored to feel our pain:
video



Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/09/27/6741425/jerry-brown-vetoes-extra-100-million.html#storylink=cpy

Follow up on UCLA branding campaign

At least there's a nice shot of the soon-to-be demolished 6th Street Bridge in the accompanying video. (See below.)
Yesterday we posted an "optimistic" billboard from UCLA which is supposed to... what? ...promote donations?  There is an explanation on the UCLA newsroom website:
http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/we-dare-new-ucla-brand-campaign-celebrates-optimists-everywhere

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

We dare: New UCLA brand campaign celebrates optimists everywhere

UCLA has launched “We, the Optimists,” a new iteration of the university’s highly successful, [Editorial note: Successful how?  It produced what result at what cost?] national Optimists brand campaign. [Editorial note: Did you know we had such a campaign?  If your answer is "no" and you are affiliated with UCLA, how many non-affiliated people could have been aware of it?] The marketing effort spotlights UCLA’s role as an engine of opportunity and progress, propelling action and change in Los Angeles and around the world.
The Optimists campaign, which launched in 2012, [Editorial note: If you answered "no" to our previous question, consider that the campaign has been going on for 2 years without your awareness.] initially focused on the accomplishments of UCLA icons who were trailblazers in their fields, from Jackie Robinson and Ralph Bunche to John Wooden and Francis Ford Coppola. [Editorial note: No women? Tsk. Tsk.] It has highlighted the institution’s world-class breadth and depth and the diversity of UCLA’s campus community, which mirrors the dynamic, multicultural metropolis of Los Angeles. The new iteration of the brand campaign will run for one year and is centered on the present, telling compelling stories of people and programs from downtown Los Angeles to Southeast Asia to the far reaches of the solar system.

Our latest alumni association member?

The new effort celebrates the transformative power of optimism, which in the context of the campaign means a relentless drive to excel, a refusal to accept the status quo and the belief that anything is possible.
Careful! Norman's heirs may sue us for copyright infringement
Leveraging UCLA’s role as a public university serving its community, We, the Optimists looks beyond the campus’s borders and invites people who are driven to live a life that matters to come together as a community of optimists.
What it's all about.
 ==========================
We can't end this posting without the video which we'll preserve here in case someone, someday takes the YouTube version down:
video

Friday, September 26, 2014

We know this is extremely clever...

and we're sure glad it didn't cost anything to create it.  Oh?  It did!

The More Things Change...

Dorothy Dehner (1901-1904)
A story appeared today in Inside Higher Ed about a decision by the University of Oregon to cancel an art class featuring nude models.  The Inside Higher Ed story was based on a local newspaper account:  [excerpt]

The University of Oregon’s mascot, the Duck himself, might walk around half-naked, but there will be no more free weekly figure drawing classes open to the public involving nude models at the UO after this Saturday’s session. A lack of funding and concerns about safety for the nude models are behind the decision, according to a letter provided Tuesday by the UO’s School of Architecture and Allied Arts, written by acting dean Brook Muller to participants of the long-running weekly drawing sessions...

But several people who have long been involved with what is known as the Saturday Figure Drawing Group, which has run in its current configuration since the mid-1990s, say they are unaware of any such problems.  “Figure drawing is a very mild activity,” said Will Mitchell, a local artist and the group’s volunteer coordinator for the past year. “Kind of slow and quiet. So I haven’t yet found out what the safety concerns are.”  Mitchell said he was told in a meeting last week with art department head Carla Bengtson that the group was being canceled and the last session would be Saturday.  Mitchell said Bengtson expressed concerns about liability, and that the general public might regard nude models as being “exhibitionist” or that artists at the sessions might behave inappropriately...



I point to that controversy at Oregon because a similar event occurred at UCLA back in the 1920s when UCLA was located at its Vermont Avenue campus.  The noted artist and sculptor, Dorothy Dehner (shown above; also http://www.phillipscollection.org/research/american_art/bios/dehner-bio.htm) was a friend of my mother and related the event.  In the early 1920s, Dehner lived in Pasadena and attended UCLA, traveling by car.  She told me that there was a fuss at the time about an art class at the university over the use of naked models.  Whether the class was able to continue, I do not know.  Of course, our friends up north in Oregon are not living in the 1920s.  Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Risky Business?

In an earlier posting, we noted UCLA was on the verge of presenting its new technology enterprise to the news media.  Here is the LA Times' version:

UCLA on Wednesday launched a new, not-for-profit affiliate and advisory board that will seek to increase the number of patents stemming from faculty research, then get the inventions and discoveries into the commercial realm faster.

Westwood Technology Transfer will help oversee the campus’ existing office for intellectual properties and industry-sponsored research. Its 10-member board of directors of financial, managerial, technological and academic experts will help identify promising research and forge licensing agreements, officials said.

“The goal is to accelerate and improve the decision-making and to accelerate the discoveries emerging from our labs and classrooms for social benefit,” said UCLA Associate Vice Chancellor Brendan Rauw, who is president and chief executive of the new oversight organization. “We think we can make smarter decisions and help contribute to the campus that way.”

UCLA holds about 700 patents. Last year the university earned about $39 million in licensing income, shared with the inventors, from those copyrights, Rauw said...

Full story at http://www.latimes.com/local/education/la-me-ln-ucla-inventions-20140924-story.html

This new entity seems linked to UC's creation of a venture capital business, a program that entails risk.  If you are in the business of picking winners, you can make mistakes.  The UCLA version is being described as mainly an improved marketing effort, but it is not clear whether any UCLA money is at risk.  If you go on the UCLA newsroom site, you don't (as of 3 pm today) find any background information.  Presumably, some info was provided to the LA Times.  It's funny that no media release dated yesterday (Wednesday) appears on the website.  Yours truly tried searching the newsroom under such terms as "Westwood," "innovation," "patents," etc., with no success.

UC History: Addendum

In response to the posting yesterday about South Africa divestment in 1986, Michael Meranze sent me his recollections of the period including the significance of the upcoming gubernatorial race.  In 1986, there was a rematch of LA Mayor Tom Bradley vs. incumbent George Deukmejian.  In the earlier 1982 contest, Bradley lost narrowly.  He lost more handily in 1986 because Deukmejian was able to run on having dealt successfully with the budget crisis he inherited from Jerry Brown.  (As it turned out later, Deukmejian left a similar budget crisis to his successor, Pete Wilson, after the 1990 election.)  The South Africa divestment became a non-issue as a result of the 1986 action.

The regents had good reason to want to get along with Deukmejian as he was sympathetic to UC and pushed up faculty pay.  See:

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

UC History: South Africa and Willie Brown

As blog readers will know, the Regents effectively chose not to divest from fossil fuel at their last meeting.  As part of the divestment call, however, there have been frequent references to South African divestment in the 1980s.  You might be interested in the account below on how that divestment came about, from James Richardson's intriguing biography of Willie Brown, former speaker of the California state assembly.  If it's any reassurance, the account agrees with the recollections of yours truly.  Keep in mind in reading the account that both Willie Brown and then-governor George Deukmejian were ex officio regents.  Also keep in mind the need of Gov. Deukmejian to maintain reasonable relations with Willie Brown in order to enact legislation:  (from pp. 311-312)

The partnership with George Deukmejian yielded one enormous, personally gratifying payoff for Willie Brown: after years of opposition, Deukmejian agreed to support withdrawing Californias $11.4 million pension fund portfolio from investments in companies conducting business in racially divided South Africa.  Getting Deukmejian to that position took Deukmejian's entire first term, and ranked as one of Brown's chief accomplishments as Assembly Speaker.

At first, Deukmejian was flatly against the South Africa boycott.  When Maxine Waters succeeded in putting a South Africa boycott bill on Deukmejian's desk in 1985, he vetoed it.

After the veto, the battleground over investments in South Africa switched to the University of California, which had $2.4 billion of its $6.4 billion portfolio invested in companies with ties to South Africa.  The stodgy Board of Regents, led by UC President David Gardner, was reluctant to withdraw the investments, fearful it would endanger the university's financial health.  The board and Gardner came under intense pressure from legislators and protesters.  Then Willie Brown entered the fray.  When the university's imperious president came to testify at a May 1985 legislative hearing, he was interrogated by the Assembly Speaker for nearly and hour.

"Now, Dr. Gardner," Brown began, "we are very concerned with the university's attitude.  Specifically, I want one scintilla of evidence that the atrocities of the South African regime present a problem to you personally, not as president of the University, but as a human being."

Gardner replied that, as a Mormon, he was familiar with discrimination.  He told how his grandfather was driven to Utah by religious bigots.  But Gardner maintained that the university could not take moral stands.

"I abhor oppression," said Gardner, "but I don't choose to advertise it."  Brown found the answer unsatisfactory.

"You can end discrimination against you by changing your religion.  Blacks in South Africa cannot," Brown shot back. "Willie Brown cannot change his skin as he could his religion.  There are no Utahs for Bishop Tutu."

Brown also went to work convincing Deukmejian that it was morally imperative for California to keep its money from supporting apartheid.  Brown appealed to Deukmejian's Armenian heritage and the oppression suffered by his relatives at the hands of the Turks.  Brown used one more argument: it was good politics.  The city of Los Angeles had enacted a South African investment boycott ordinance, and Mayor Bradley was preparing to bludgeon Deukmejian with it in their 1986 rematch.  Brown told Deukmejian that he did not have to take the chance.

Finally Deukmejian became a convert.  He began throwing his weight behind the push to pull the University of California's investments out of South Africa.  The governor even offered to lobby Congress and President Reagan who had vetoed a boycott bill.  The showdown came at a Regents meeting at UC Santa Cruz in July 1986.  Faced with a united front from Deukmejian and Brown, the board voted to become the first major institutional investor in California to join the South African boycott...

==
You can draw what lessons you like from this account.  But it does appear that the action of the Board of Regents in 1986 was not some sudden regental conversion to the cause; rather it was the product of a political deal between two ex officio regents who were taking a position the other regents could not decline to endorse.  It might be noted, because of some recent demands for anti-Israel divestment and academic boycott, that the 1986 regents/Willie Brown-George Deukmejian action was confined to investments and did not seek to impose an academic boycott of South Africans, South African academics, or South African universities.  At the time, you had South African researchers such as Dr. Christiaan Barnard, a pioneer in heart transplants, whose work medical academics couldn't easily ignore.  Poking around the UCLA library catalog, I find journals from South Africa from that era.  Indeed, in Sept. 1986, the library - shortly after the financial boycott decision - began a subscription to the South African Journal of Economic History.  Yours truly can recall South African visitors to UCLA in the apartheid period who arrived after the financial action.  I doubt the regents - even if asked by Brown and Deukmejian (which never happened) - would have gone along with an academic boycott.

Announcement coming

UCLA is set to announce a not-for-profit company to guide startups spawned from university-sponsored research to help commercialize their tech for the marketplace.
A spokesman for UCLA’s Office of Intellectual Property and Industry Sponsored Research said the company will help optimize discoveries and inventions created on campus. UCLA, a top-ranked university in research funding, produced 17 startups and 95 U.S. patents last year...

 The UCLA announcement is expected to be made Wednesday morning.

Full story at http://www.labusinessjournal.com/news/2014/sep/23/ucla-announce-tech-transfer-company/

Free Speech at UC

Apparently, some faculty at UC-Berkeley got the idea that they were prohibited by a UC policy from commenting about a ballot proposition in the City of Berkeley (involving a soda tax).

UCOP circulates by email articles on topics of interest to UC.  It circulated a link to an article about the soda tax issue:  [excerpt]

No, the U of California does NOT forbid faculty to express opinions about the soda tax

Last Friday, I received a phone call from Todd Kerr, the publisher of The Berkeley Times, a community newspaper in Berkeley, CA.  He was preparing a story on the Berkeley soda tax and could not find University of California (UC) faculty who were willing to speak with him. They were, they told him, under a gag order from the president’s office not to talk to reporters about the soda tax...   

...(T)he idea of a gag order seems contrary to current practice.

  • Michael Pollan, a Berkeley journalism professor, says he publicly endorses the tax, and so have other professors.
  • Chancellor’s Professor Robert Reich wrote a column endorsing it, and UC Berkeley posted his comments on its website.
  • UCSF has featured research on the health implications of a soda tax on its website.
  • The 50th anniversary celebration of Berkeley’s Free Speech Movement (FSM) starts this week.
But the rumor is serious and deserves investigation.

I sent out queries to try to find out if the rumor could have any basis in fact.

Steve Montiel, Media Relations Director... said:
All University of California employees, including faculty, have the right to express their personal opinions about any matter of civic importance, including ballot measures. Consistent with state law, however, longstanding University policy prohibits university resources from being used to oppose or support a ballot measure. Only the UC Board of Regents can take a public position on a ballot measure, and it has done so in the past...
Full article at http://www.foodpolitics.com/2014/09/no-the-u-of-california-does-not-forbid-faculty-to-express-opinions-about-the-soda-tax/


Listen to the Regents Meeting of Sept. 18

As promised in last evening's post, we provide a link below to the audio of the Regents meeting of Sept. 18. 

Summary: The public comment period featured calls for fossil fuel divestment (mainly by student speakers), opposition to Prop 46 on the November ballot (drug testing of docs; raising cap on med malpractice awards), and a student promoting CalPIRG.

The Committee on Compensation dealt with the appointment of a new chancellor at Irvine, a policy that would index chancellors' pay to an outside reference group (with specifics to be worked out in the next 6 months), a proposal (which we dealt with in last evening's post) to delegate authority over big buck athletic coach pay to chancellors and the UC prez (tabled after reservations expressed by the Lt. Governor and some regents), and other big buck salary hikes.  The Committee on Health Services dealt with problems in student health programs, Ebola concerns regarding UC students and others in Africa, a clinical strategic plan for UC-San Francisco, effects of Prop 46, and concerns about student mental health funding under Prop 63 coming to an end. 

The Committee on Grounds and Buildings presented a capital improvements budget and an addition to the Berkeley business school.  Then the Committee on Oversight of the Dept. of Energy Labs session featured a lengthy presentation on global warming and the evidence that the cause of the warming is not solar fluctuation but rather man-made linked to fossil fuel emissions.  Dates were set for the 2016 calendar of Regents' meetings.  Finally, the UC prez delivered a short statement including reference to faculty awards.

Listen at the link below:

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Lieutenant Guv Gavin Newsom Opposes Plan for Regents to Delegate Authority Over Coach Pay to Chancellors and UC Prez

We'll post the full audio of the Regents meeting of Sept. 18, 2014 tomorrow.  However, in the interim you may be interested in the remarks of Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom on a plan - ultimately tabled after he objected - to delegate oversight of athletic coach salaries to the campus chancellors and the UC president.  Newsom noted that academic achievement of student-athletes seems not to be a part of such salary negotiations.

You can hear his remarks below:

UCLA History: Engineering Dean

Boelter was dean from 1944 to 1965.  Full info available at http://www.seas.ucla.edu/hsseas/history/boelter.html

Monday, September 22, 2014

Travel Screw Up

 If you didn't get the email...

Dear Colleagues,
This email is being sent to you from the Express list-serve.  If you are not a traveler, please make sure this communication gets sent out to anyone that may be traveling in your organization as soon as possible.

The UC Travel Center recently changed its travel reservation system.  During the process of migrating from the old system to the new system there was a major malfunction in which the vendor’s quality control program which operates within the reservation system cancelled some of the University’s existing  airline reservations.  Needless to say, this is a major issue and our vendor is attempting to re-book the cancelled reservations.

Here is what we know so far:

* Some existing domestic airline reservations made through UC Travel via a telephone reservation with an agent or through the online booking tool have been cancelled and we are not able to rebook the exact itinerary.  Hotel and car reservations were not affected.

* Reservations involving Southwest and Air-Tran airlines are not affected and have not been cancelled.

* International travel reservations have not been cancelled.

Here is what we need you to do:
* If you have an existing reservation that you made with UC Travel you should check with the airline to see if your reservation has been reinstated.

* As you can imagine, all of the UC Travel Department’s resources are being devoted to resolving this issue.  The Travel Department is being overwhelmed with inquiries on this matter so we ask that you please try to avoid calling us via telephone.   So if you have any issues with upcoming travel please direct them to our email address: travel@finance.ucla.edu .

* If you are traveling on UC business within the next three days, please know that we are working on completing your travel arrangements first.   Our vendor has rebooked many of these tickets already and is working to reissue as many of the remaining tickets as possible as quickly as possible.


It's lonely on the road (especially if your tickets are cancelled):
video


Green investing

As we have noted in prior posts, the Regents at their last meeting did not agree to divest fossil fuels but did agree to some kind of vague green investing plan (including an earmarked $1 billion).

A media release has appeared from UCOP:

Help Wanted

From KQED:

Students throughout the University of California system are having trouble accessing mental health care, and health services directors are raising alarms that increased staffing and funding could be warranted to meet demand.  “The increased need for mental health services on our campuses is outstripping our ability to provide those services,” said Dr. John Stobo, senior vice president for health sciences and services for the University of California. “It is a major problem. It’s not only a problem for UC, this is a national issue.” In the last six years, the number of students seeking help at university counseling centers has increased 37 percent, according to data presented at UC Regents board meeting on Thursday...

Elizabeth Gong-Guy, executive director of Counseling and Psychological Services at UCLA... says more students are seeking help now because of awareness campaigns that helped reduced stigma around mental health issues. Those campaigns were funded through a $6.8 million grant the university received under Proposition 63, a voter-approved ballot measure that raised taxes on the wealthiest Californians to provide funds for the state’s public mental health system.  But that funding to the university ends this year, and health services directors worry they do not have enough money to hire the staff needed to keep up with unabated demand. Gong-Guy said the UCLA counseling center treated 8,500 students last year – that amounts to 21 percent of the student population and a 23 percent increase over the year before...

Full story at http://blogs.kqed.org/stateofhealth/2014/09/19/students-struggle-to-access-mental-health-services-on-uc-campuses/

Sunday, September 21, 2014

 
In case you are wondering why we haven't produced an audio of the second day of the September regents meeting, it is because all traces of that meeting seem to have disappeared from the official website.  Above is a screenshot of what is available as of this morning.

Yours truly has written to the secretary of the regents to find out what has happened. Note that prior posts on this blog captured the first day, morning and afternoon sessions.

UPDATE: The problem seems to be an incompatibility with versions of Firefox although it works in Chrome.