Sunday, February 8, 2015

Listen to the Morning Meeting of the Regents, Jan. 21, 2015

As we routinely do, sometimes with a lag as in this case, we provide an indefinite archive of the audio of Regents meetings since the Regents refuse to archive their meetings for more than a year.  This effort requires real time recording of the streamed version of the meetings so that one hour of meeting time requires one hour of recording time. A link to the audio is provided below the meeting description that follows.

We have previously provided a link to the afternoon meeting of Jan. 21.  So this recording is out of sequence.  It begins with the public comment period which (not surprisingly, based on past meetings) consisted largely of comments on fossil fuel divestment and the Regents tuition/funding policy.

UC prez Napolitano spoke on the university's sexual assault policy, various green efforts including electricity, various research grants, transfer students from community colleges, a UC-Mexico program, the hiring of a UC executive for diversity, and the university budget. Faculty rep Mary Gilly followed with a report on IT applications in teaching and research. Regent Pérez asked if - at the next meeting - there could be discussion of repealing the Regents' tuition/funding policy. There was no support expressed for the idea, quite the contrary.

The Committee on Educational Policy session started with a discussion of (K-12) teacher training. There was a report on sexual assault policy. The Regents were assured that the policy would provide equal due process for the accuser and the accused. The question of the degree to which this would be the case more generally in higher ed has been a concern raised by some legal scholars in op eds. There was discussion of a proposal by UCOP for tying incentive pay for athletic coaches partly to student academic performance.  Essentially, this topic is mainly an issue connected to football and basketball which have become quasi-commercial ventures. The general view expressed was that the standards proposed were too low although the vote on the issue was left for the next day. Regents Island expressed a counter concern that some students may not have finishing a degree as their career objective and want to go into professional sports.

The meeting then turned to a presentation by Regent George Kieffer on the "meaning" of an undergraduate degree.  Apparently, he has been pushing the Regents to delve into that area. The upshot is that at future meetings, there will be presentations from the campuses on undergrad education. It was unclear whether, at the end of the day, these presentations will be of the show-and-tell variety often found at Regents meetings or whether something of more substance will be involved. Kieffer ruled out Regental interjection into curriculum details, although it is hard to see how undergrad programs could be discussed without some analysis of curriculum content. Because the investigation into the meaning of the undergraduate degree has the potential to become a matter of importance, we provide a separate YouTube link to it below. Should this study develop into something controversial or of importance, the precise words used to describe it would be of value to preserve.

The Kieffer presentation was followed by comments on the proposed federal rating system of universities and colleges. UC prez Napolitano said UC would be participating in discussion of the ratings and would make proposals to the feds.

There followed a brief report on the Dept. of Energy labs which are administered by UC with special note taken of the significant penalty imposed by the the Dept. for managerial shortcomings at Los Alamos. The Regents then went into closed session to discuss that and other lab-related issues.

The audio of the full morning meeting can be found at the link below:

The Kieffer report on the meaning of the undergraduate degree is at the link below:

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