Friday, May 22, 2015

Listen to the May 20, 2015 Regents meeting

As promised, we archive the audio of the Regents meeting of Wednesday, May 20. A link to the audio is below. The Wednesday meeting was only for the Committee on Grounds and Buildings. Despite the topic – review of various capital projects – the meeting’s public comment period was mainly dominated by speakers favoring having the Regents adopt the U.S. Dept. of State’s definition of anti-Semitism. (One speaker was opposed. We have already posted the audio for Thursday morning’s session in which the opponents spoke during public comments.) In an NPR interview with UC prez Napolitano, referred to by some speakers, she endorsed the proposal.* 

The main part of the meeting dealt with various construction projects at UC-SF, Berkeley, San Diego, Davis, and the Lawrence Berkeley Lab. We have noted our general concerns about the Regents’ reviews of big bucks capital projects. The Regents have no independent review capacity. When questions are raised about projects, even if there is critical discussion, in the end the projects are endorsed. For example, at this meeting a new building at the Lawrence Berkeley Lab raised issues about safety in relation to seismic and landslide risk. The building is to be constructed at the expense of the Dept. of Energy. But when questions were raised about whether there would be UC liability in the case of a seismic or landslide mishap, no clear answer emerged. The Davis project involved allocating land for a campus of a local community colleges. It was pointed out that if UC-Davis needed the land in the future for expansion, it would not be available and that acquiring other land would be costly. But the issue was left hanging.

You can hear the audio at the link below:


* The NPR program indicates the issues will be discussed at the July Regents meeting.

No comments: