Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Listen to the Regents Morning Meeting of Sept. 16, 2015

The meeting began with public comments which were mainly statements by reps from the Interns and Residents union about contract issues. The TA union supported the tolerance/intolerance resolution (which the Regents later rejected). Urban planning options at Merced were also mentioned. In addition, there was discussion of student mental health, cost of student housing at UC-Santa Cruz, graduate student career planning, and disability access at UC-Irvine. UC prez Napolitano delivered a general report on UC. Senate rep Dan Hare noted issues of faculty total compensation, particularly in light of the pension cutbacks for new hires.

A session of the Committees on Governance and UC Health discussed the proposal – from past Regents meetings – for more autonomy and delegation of authority for the various campus health enterprises. Several regents expressed concerns about such delegation, particularly grants of authority to non-regents. It appears that this issue is headed for some decision at the November meetings.

The Committee on Grounds and Buildings continued discussion of the proposed public-private partnership to build out the UC-Merced campus over the next 35 years. Issues related to the cost of borrowing and who would carry the risks involved were raised.

Chief Investment Officer Bachher largely repeated his earlier (Sept. 9) report to the Committee on Investments, but also plugged what his office could do (and is doing in some cases) to manage campus endowments. He also offered services to evaluate financing of campus real estate projects. Bachher repeated his announcement that he had divested the UC portfolio of coal and oil sands stocks. In answer to a question, it was noted that the pension assumed rate of return was being cut back from 7.5%/annum to 7.25%. One regent noted the potential impact on the unfunded liability but otherwise there was little discussion. This was in contrast to the Sept. 9 meeting in which Bachher seemed to agree with the notion that maybe the rate should be 6%. (See the second link below.)

You can hear the meeting at the link below:

Six percent? (from Sept. 9, 2015):

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