Monday, May 22, 2017
Capital Public Radio, Ben Adler, 5-22-17
Gov. Jerry Brown’s latest budget proposal calls for withholding $50 million from the University of California until the UC improves its financial accountability and admits more community college transfers. It’s his way of pushing for change despite the UC’s constitutional independence.
But the governor has a far more effective tool to overhaul the UC that he has yet to take full advantage of: He could reshape the Board of Regents by filling its four current vacancies.
“I think it would be a game-changer if the governor filled the remaining four vacancies with people who were ready to roll up their sleeves and try to approach their love of the university through improving it – not just through defending what it is at the moment,” says Regent and former Assembly Speaker John Pérez, whom Brown appointed in 2014.
And when asked after Thursday’s board meeting if he’d like to see the governor appoint four regents to the four vacancies that would hold the president’s office more accountable, Regent and current Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon replied, “Absolutely.”
The anger and frustration from the state Capitol toward the University of California is bipartisan. A state audit last month blasted the president’s office for a lack of financial transparency, just weeks after UC regents voted to raise tuition. Lawmakers have also pushed the UC to admit more in-state students and cut costs in the president’s office.
“Absolutely, we want to ensure there’s greater accountability,” says Board Chair Monica Lozano. “But that can’t be the only criteria. (The UC) is a very complex institution.”
The governor appoints 18 of the 26 board members. The others are elected officials, the UC president, two alumni and a student.
Lozano says regents already exercise strong oversight of the president’s office, and are taking more action in light of the audit’s findings. But, she adds, there’s good reason for the UC’s constitutional independence – and the audit shouldn’t lead to an overreaction.
“It’s difficult to look at a snapshot of what is a very complex set of factors and think that because of this one moment, you have to move the spectrum to a particular end,” Lozano says.
Brown’s office says it’s taking the time it needs to find the best people to serve – especially because regents serve 12-year terms.
The Daily Bruin provided a summary:
The governing board of the University of California met for the last day of its bimonthly board meeting at UC San Francisco on Thursday. The Board of Regents heard details about the state’s audit of the UC Office of the President, discussed UCOP’s budget and approved a cap on nonresident student enrollment. Ex officio regents Anthony Rendon, speaker of the assembly, and Tom Torlakson, state superintendent of public instruction, attended the meeting.
Board of Regents
- State Auditor Elaine Howle presented the results of her office’s audit of UCOP. She emphasized the audit aimed to look at UCOP’s protocols and procedures, not critique UC President Janet Napolitano’s leadership.
- Howle also expressed concerns about UCOP’s schedule for implementing the audit’s recommendations. The audit recommended a three-year plan, starting April 2018, to begin implementing changes to align with the state’s legislative and budget cycle. However, UCOP had asked to begin implementing them by July 2018, which Howle said she thought was unreasonable.
- Howle said the audit had difficulty measuring the cost of systemwide UCOP and the number of services campuses are actually using. She added she was concerned by UCOP’s interference with her attempts to conduct confidential surveys with individual campuses. The regents approved hiring an independent third party to investigate UCOP’s alleged interference May 11.
- She also said she hopes regents will hold public meetings to discuss people’s opinions on systemwide initiatives and will continue overseeing UCOP.
- Rachael Nava, UC chief operating officer and head of the task force in charge of implementing the audit’s recommendations, laid out UCOP’s plans for implementation, including changing budget practices. She said UCOP will now separately display past funds and provide reserve balances.
- Regent Monica Lozano, chair of the board, said the recommendations were not just about complying, but changing the institutional culture of UCOP.
- The regents voted to authorize a budget for UCOP for the 2017-2018 fiscal year, but the Finance and Capital Strategies Committee will review it in depth before the regents vote to confirm increased funding for certain programs at the July meeting.
- The board also approved actions the committees voted on during Wednesday’s meeting.
Audio link below:
In the course of a year, the Regents approve vast sums involved in capital projects without any built-in capacity to evaluate them. They approve projects basically on the say-so of the campuses and UCOP. If a member of the Board of Regents happens to have some professional experience in real estate, that's at best a lucky happenstance. Even when questions are raised, the campus typically comes back with the same project with some tinkering and eventually it is approved. The Regents have no independent capacity to evaluate capital expenditures.
Usually, there is some assurance by the campus and UCOP that a particular project will be built without state money so not to worry. The proposition seems to be that non-state funds have no opportunity cost which is dubious on its face. Moreover, it neglects the fact that if the project ends up costing more than expected, or its "business plan" fails, or outside fundraising proves to be inadequate, the costs will eventually have to be met by state funds and/or student fees of one kind or another.
Sunday, May 21, 2017
You can see her presentation below:
The audios are preserved by this blog indefinitely because the Regents delete their recordings after one year. Under the revised format for Regents meetings, committees meet simultaneously in different rooms. On the morning of May 17, there was a full board meeting and then meetings of three committees. Academic and Student Affairs and then National Labs met in one room. In another room, Finance and Capital Strategies met. Here is a direct link to Academic and Student Affairs and National Labs:
All the sessions can be heard at this address:
Below is the Daily Bruin summary of the morning meetings:
The University of California Board of Regents, governing board of the UC, met at UC San Francisco for its bimonthly board meeting. The board discussed student housing, transfer student enrollment and the state budget.
Students and union workers disrupted the beginning of the meeting for about 15 minutes, chanting, “Whose university? Our university” in protest of the UC’s alleged nondisclosure of $175 million and generous salaries, which a state audit revealed in April.
Academic and Student Affairs Committee
- The regents discussed reviewing student residency policy and planned to bring recommendations for classifying student residency by fall 2018 in preparation for newly admitted students.
- Aimée Dorr, UC Office of the President provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, talked about implementing a one-year independent residency policy to replace the current two-year requirement. Regents also discussed how a student’s residency could impact their admission and encouraged implementing a UC policy that aligns with state laws.
- Robin Holmes-Sullivan, vice president of student affairs, said that selected UC campuses will reach the goal of accepting one transfer student for every two freshmen by the end of next year.
- Chancellor Gene Block said UCLA has been consistent with the two-to-one ratio since 2003. Block added UCLA achieved the admission ratio through approaching more transfer students by assigning staff members to work with community colleges in California.
- UC Riverside Chancellor Kim Wilcox said how close a UC campus is to a community college is an important factor for transfer applicants, and thinks the UC should reach out to more transfer applicants so they have more incentives to apply. Wilcox added the UC could achieve the two-to-one ratio by reducing the number of freshman admissions.
Finance and Capital Strategies Committee
- The committee approved budgets and designs for several new buildings at UC San Francisco and the renovation of the UCLA graduate art studio on Warner Drive.
- The committee also approved funding to help UCLA explore the potential of five housing sites discussed at the March meeting. Regent Hadi Makarechian suggested condensing housing options because land is expensive in Westwood. Steve Olsen, UCLA vice chancellor and chief financial officer said the campus aims to house 60 percent of undergraduate students.
- Nathan Brostrom, UCOP executive vice president and chief financial officer, updated the committee on UC President Janet Napolitano’s student housing initiative. He added the UC’s proportion of students housed on campus is lower than the proportions of private universities but higher than those of many public universities. He said campuses have added about 18,000 beds from 2006-2016.
...Our office assumes 2017-18 would end with $12.1 billion in budget reserves — about $2 billion higher than the administration’s estimate... The difference is the product of two factors. Compared to the administration: (1) our office estimates the state will end 2016-17 with about $1 billion more in revenue and (2) our office’s estimate of state General Fund spending on schools and community colleges is nearly $800 million lower in 2017-18...
Full report at http://www.lao.ca.gov/Publications/Report/3675
The LAO report sets the stage for bargaining between the Democratic leaders of the legislature and the governor on the budget, which must be passed by the legislature in mid-June.
Saturday, May 20, 2017
For those of you coming to campus this Sunday, May 21st, please be advised of a number of road closures on campus betweenbecause of the Walk to Cure Arthritis which starts and ends on Wilson Plaza.
The following road closures will be in effect fromon Sunday, May 21:
· CEY Drive North (both directions) closed between the Parking Structure 7 entrance and Royce Drive
· CEY Drive North & East (both directions) closed between Royce Drive and Wyton Avenue
· CEY Drive East (southbound only) closed between Wyton Avenue and Dickson Court
· Portola Plaza closed at Dickson Court South
· Parking Lot R closed
Friday, May 19, 2017
Mr. van Gelderen is CEO of APG Asset Management, the Dutch pension plan manager, and also an executive board member of APG Group NV.
Mr. van Gelderen will report to UC Chief Investment Officer Jagdeep Singh Bachher...
Full story at http://www.pionline.com/article/20170518/ONLINE/170519847/apgs-chief-exec-to-join-uc-regents
For those who can't wait, here are two recent news accounts:
UC regents defend Janet Napolitano, blame media for ‘salacious’ coverage of state audit
Alexei Koseff, Sacramento Bee, 5-18-17
The University of California’s governing board on Thursday defended President Janet Napolitano against a critical state audit of her office and media coverage that some members felt unfairly maligned her.
Discussion of the audit – which slammed UC’s central administration for building up a secret $175 million reserve that it used to fund presidential initiatives – quickly turned to praise for Napolitano, who has disputed the report’s findings but promised to implement 33 recommendations to improve the transparency of budgeting practices.
“I was delighted when I found out we had a chance to have Janet Napolitano as our president. I’m still delighted,” Regent Norm Pattiz said. “I think, frankly, you lucked out that the president agreed” to the recommendations.
Chair Monica Lozano stressed the importance of “actually changing the culture” that led to the problems identified in the audit, but several regents continued to push back on the conclusion that Napolitano’s office had ever withheld information about its spending from them or the public. Some complained that newspaper headlines about the report were “salacious.”
“Seeing how some in the press have characterized it as a slush fund or a secret fund hurt my heart,” Regent Bonnie Reiss said. Regent Sherry Lansing wanted to clear up “distortions” that Napolitano had done anything wrong: “Her leadership of UC has been incredible.”
The regents largely steered clear of Auditor Elaine Howle’s assertion that UC interfered in the audit process by consulting with campuses on surveys meant to independently assess the value of its administrative operations. The board voted last week to hire a third-party investigator who will report at its next meeting in July.
The Legislature, meanwhile, has been less supportive. In a hearing on the audit earlier this month, lawmakers said the were troubled by the allegations of interference with the audit. Napolitano apologized and said that her actions had been misinterpreted.
On Thursday, Howle emphasized that her report was not a critique of Napolitano or her policy priorities, but rather the lack of a clear university policy for establishing and spending reserves.
“This is not an audit of the president. This is an audit of a process,” Howle told the regents. “The Office of the President is not doing a good job.”
Napolitano said she was committed to not only meeting the auditor’s recommendations, but exceeding them: “Our opportunity now is to look forward and work together to provide a solid foundation for the future of the university.”
State auditor urges UC regents to boost oversight of budget but says audit found nothing 'nefarious'
Teresa Watanabe LA Times 5-18-17
When state Auditor Elaine Howle told a joint legislative committee this month that University of California central administrators had amassed a $175-million undisclosed surplus, paid fat salaries and interfered in her audit, lawmakers cried foul. One compared UC administrators to corrupt officials in Bell. Another called for UC President Janet Napolitano to resign. Some wanted to know whether UC officials had committed any crimes and should be subpoenaed.
But UC regents struck a markedly different tone when Howle came to talk to them about the audit Thursday. Regents thanked her profusely for her work and said they would implement all 33 of her recommended reforms for more transparent and effective budget practices. She assured them, in turn, that she’d found nothing criminal or “nefarious” in Napolitano’s budget practices.
In their two-day meeting at UC San Francisco, the regents also adopted the public university system’s first limit on nonresident enrollment, but the audit was in the spotlight, starting with students protesting Wednesday that the university shouldn’t be hiking tuition if it had money lying around.
Many regents rallied around Napolitano, telling Howle on Thursday that the UC president was a leader of vision, action and integrity.
"It really hurt my heart" to hear people blast Napolitano's character, said Regent Bonnie Reiss of the harsh criticism after the audit was released. "There aren't many people of her quality" willing to step into such high-profile public jobs.
"This is not an audit of the president," Howle said. "I have great respect for her. I'm not here to critique her leadership. This is an audit of the process ... [the president's office] is not doing a good job."
Asked by several regents whether she considered the surplus a "slush fund" — as some critics have called it — Howle said: "You will not find 'slush fund' or 'hidden fund' in my report."
But she said her office found no evidence that regents had approved Napolitano's decisions on how to budget the extra money.
UC regents meeting disrupted by protests over state audit finding of undisclosed surplus
Napolitano has said that much of it was earmarked for such priorities as money to help prevent sexual violence and harassment, make progress toward climate change goals and support students who in the country without legal authorization.
Regent Harvey Brody told Howle that he and his fellow board members had fully discussed those initiatives and were proud of them.
UC officials told regents they have started working on financial reforms, such as developing more detailed and transparent budget documents, analyzing appropriate staffing and salary levels, creating a budget reserve policy and reviewing travel and entertainment expenses.
The regents themselves committed to stronger oversight through more frequent reviews of UC budgets and presidential initiatives, public meetings about spending decisions and the hiring of an outside consultant to implement a three-year corrective action plan. Last week, they unanimously voted to hire an independent investigator to help uncover facts about the intervention of central administrators in the confidential surveys auditors sent to campuses.
But several regents said they opposed the auditor's recommendation that the state Legislature directly fund the president's office, which currently is supported by campus fees. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, an ex-officio regent, told reporters later that legislators have not fully vetted that recommendation and he had not yet endorsed it.
For many regents, a major takeaway of the three-hour discussion was clearing up the confusion and innuendos of wrongdoing sparked by the audit.
"There has been no criminal activity. No slush funds. Nobody's integrity has been questioned," said Regent Sherry Lansing. "I feel it's important these distortions have been cleared up."
In other business Thursday, regents approved an $813.5 million budget for the president’s office for 2017-18 — an 18.5% increase over last year — with the condition that they will continue to review it and make adjustments if needed at their July meeting. Rendon was one of two who voted against it, saying it was inappropriate to expand the budget amid concerns raised by the state audit and student struggles to pay for college.
The regents’ approval of limits on nonresidents, which was proposed earlier this month, should settle for now the prolonged fight over who gets admitted into the prestigious public research university. The action also is expected to trigger release of $18.5 million held back by state officials until such a policy was in place.
Regents voted Thursday to limit nonresident undergraduate enrollment to 18% at UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, UC Riverside and UC Merced. Four campuses that already exceed that level — UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego and UC Irvine — will be allowed to keep but not increase the higher percentages they enroll in 2017-18.
Nonresidents currently make up 16.5% of the system's 210,170 undergraduates.
The new policy is a compromise between those who believe nonresident students squeeze out Californians and others who welcome their diversity and the $27,000 in additional annual tuition they pay. UC’s original proposal of a 20% systemwide cap drew so much disagreement that regents delayed a scheduled vote on it in March.
A state audit last year found that UC hurt Californians by accepting too many out-of-state and international students. UC has disputed those findings, saying the extra tuition has helped them enroll more California students and provide them with better services. UC added about 7,500 California undergraduates last fall, the largest increase since World War II.
Hadi Makarechian was one of two regents to vote against the limit. Makarechian, an Armenian born in Iran, noted that he once was a foreign student and that other university leaders who are immigrants include UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry Yang and Chief Investment Officer Jagdeep Singh Bachher.
"What are we doing to this university? Building a wall," he said.
Regent George Kieffer said he struggled with his decision but ultimately decided to support the limits as a "balance between conflicting and competing interests."
Thursday, May 18, 2017
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
The Investments Subcommittee of the Regents met on May 16, ahead of the other sessions. In the public comments period, there were complaints about investments in fossil fuels. A Teamsters spokesperson complained about fees in the savings plan. Later in the session, Chief Investment Officer Bachher said he preferred to invest in assets that promoted sustainability rather than divest. (However, it appears that in fact there have been moves to divest from various unpopular industries.) Most of the discussion involved reviewing recent developments in the UC portfolio. There were various comments to the effect of there being a great deal of uncertainty (risk) despite recent good returns.
It was also mentioned that under the most recent tier, almost two thirds of new hires are picking the defined-contribution-only option. The new hires were said to be staff and faculty combined. It's not clear, however, what the breakdown has been and - in fact - since ladder faculty hires were made effective before July 1, 2016, whether any significant number are included in the two thirds.
You can hear the audio of the meeting at the link below. As often noted on this blog, the Regents archive their recordings only one year (so "archive" is a misnomer). We preserve the audio indefinitely.
He replaced interim Dean Melissa Murray, who took that position in March 2016 after former dean Sujit Choudhry stepped down amid a sexual harassment scandal.
“I believe he will be a phenomenal leader for our law school, someone who will ensure that Berkeley Law remains not only a powerhouse of legal scholarship and training, but also a community built on mutual respect and inclusion,” said UC Berkeley Interim Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Carol Christ in the announcement of Chemerinsky’s appointment.
UC Irvine announced Tuesday that professor L. Song Richardson will be its interim dean.
Chemerinsky founded Irvine’s law school in 2009 with the ambition of being a top-tier law school. It made an impressive debut on U.S. News & World Report’s influential law school rankings, and currently sits at No. 28. Chemerinsky is among the nation’s top legal scholars, and is the author of 10 books and nearly 200 law review articles. He often publishes commentary on the nation’s top newspapers, dissecting the Supreme Court and major legal matters of the day.
As you will see from the link above, the state audit stuff will not come until Thursday.
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
UC Santa Cruz staff say they feel unsafe after Kerr Hall takeover
By Ryan Masters, Santa Cruz Sentinel, 05/15/17
UC Santa Cruz staff who work in Kerr Hall, which was occupied by students from May 2 to May 4, are speaking up to say they felt terrorized and threatened by an incident that university officials have depicted as “peaceful.”
Staff members said they huddled in their offices, unsure of what was happening during the initial occupation, as students moved through the building, banging on doors and taunting them.
As a result, many say they no longer feel safe working at Kerr Hall — especially considering the fact that the Afrikan/Black Student Alliance has threatened to re-occupy the building if their demands aren’t met by Fall 2017.
The Afrikan/Black Student Alliance directed requests for comment to UCSC officials.
Lisa Bishop, a budget analyst who works in Kerr Hall, said the university provided no information or communication before or during the occupation.
“I am on the third floor, which I was told would be locked down in the event of an occupation, but it was not,” said Bishop. “The students rushed through the halls banging on the doors trying to break them down. They were screaming and yelling and using horrible language.”
Bishop said confused staff did not know whether the intruders were students or outsiders or if they were armed.
Another Kerr Hall staff member who asked to remain anonymous said she was frustrated when Vice Provost and Executive Vice-Chancellor Herbert Lee deemed the protest peaceful simply because “nobody was hurt.”
Officials have acknowledged the university’s official description of the incident may have contradicted the experiences of its staff. A Sentinel reporter also was taunted and threatened by the student group.
“Calling the protest ‘peaceful’ was at odds with how some staff members felt, and as a campus we recognize that. It is disruptive when protesters shout at our staff and bang on their office doors, even when they consistently communicated that they did not want to damage the building and that they wanted staff to evacuate the building safely,” said Director of News and Media Relations Scott Hernandez-Jason.
Yet staff members have sought out counseling after the traumatic takeover, saying they feel as if they have “bulls-eyes” painted on their backs.
“They were calling out our names, which were on plaques outside the doors and trying to intimidate us,” said Bishop. “Some staff on the second floor described their exit, saying the students actually assaulted the chancellor as he left the building and were screaming the most horrible things at them.”
Hernandez-Jason denied claims that Chancellor George Blumenthal was assaulted as he exited the building, but confirmed that students shouted questions and statements as he departed.
“Campus leaders recognize that staff members were not expecting a building takeover and that it was jarring and — for some — unnerving and even scary,” said Hernandez-Jason.
When Blumenthal met with Kerr Hall staff on May 10 to address their concerns, staff said the chancellor offered little more than “platitudes and excuses.” They also said Blumenthal told them “the news cycle about the occupation was over and it was too late to do anything about it.”
“Following the Afrikan/Black Student Alliance demonstration and based on feedback that we heard from staff, it’s clear that we could have done better with preparing staff members for an incident like this, as well as preparing them for any emergency situation,” said Hernandez-Jason.
A staff member said campus protests are usually orderly and respectful. She described the May 2 takeover, however, as “chaotic and terrifying.”
“While some of the staff managed to collect sensitive files and leave the building, others were trapped in their offices,” she said.
UCSC police did not play a role evacuating staff. Instead, the students appointed Associate Vice Chancellor Jean Marie Scott to re-enter the building and help remaining staff from the building, according to a witness.
Hernandez-Jason said police officers were outside of Kerr Hall during the occupation and “ready to step in, if needed.”
“If the protestors had peacefully come in and asked us to leave, there would have been no problem; but their goal was to scare and intimidate us,” said Bishop.
“The chancellor supports students exercising their First Amendment rights, but does not endorse the tactic of taking over buildings, impacting our staff, and disrupting student and employee services,” said Hernandez-Jason.
UC Santa Cruz agreed to the demands of the Afrikan Black Student Alliance after a three-day occupation of Kerr Hall.
Note to Chancellor Blumenthal. You might interpret the quotes above as supportive. Others may not seem them that way. When chancellors begin to get bad press and criticism from within, they seem to end up leaving ahead of schedule. Think Berkeley. Think Davis.
Embattled UC president defends budgets during UCR visit
By MARK MUCKENFUSS | firstname.lastname@example.org | The Press-Enterprise
PUBLISHED: May 15, 2017
University of California President Janet Napolitano says she believes her office will weather the current storm of criticism it has faced in the wake of a state audit released April 25.
“My management style is pretty straightforward,” Napolitano said on Monday. “When you have a problem, you fix it. And we will.”
Napolitano spoke during a break in meetings she had while visiting UC Riverside. She met with regional civic and education leaders, UC alumni and an ethnic advisory committee...
Full story at http://www.pe.com/2017/05/15/embattled-uc-president-defends-budgets-during-ucr-visit/
With the Regents meetings starting today, she can report on her trips:
Monday, May 15, 2017
More details at:
|[Click on image to enlarge.]|
The Chronicle also reports that Regent Blum is quite unreserved in his opinion that the reserve accusation is "total nonsense." He has a similar, if stronger, negative reaction to the reaction regarding the reserve of fellow (ex officio) Regent Gavin Newsom (also Lt. Guv. and gubernatorial candidate):
University of California President Janet Napolitano may be on the hot seat with state lawmakers over the state auditor’s findings that her office had $175 million hidden away — but she is on firm footing with UC’s regents, even after their call to bring in their own auditor to review the state’s assessment.
Sunday, May 14, 2017
|Regents require faculty loyalty oath: Aug. 1950|
Saturday, May 13, 2017
Probably, the legislature will want to add a bit more to spending, given LAO's forecast. In theory, the Democrats in the legislature could override any gubernatorial veto, given their 2/3 majority. But that is unlikely to happen. Some deal will be worked out over the next few weeks. If there is a bit more spending, UC is unlikely to see any benefit, given the fallout after the state audit.
The LAO response is in two parts:
Friday, May 12, 2017
End of Fiscal Year ($Millions)
2015-16 2016-17 2017-18
Reserve $4,515 $723 $2,617
Reserve $3,420 $6,713 $8,488
Reserve $7,935 $7,436 $3,669
Expenditure $115,571 $122,322 $11,105
Expenditure 6.9% 6.1% 9.0%
Data for 2015-16 from enacted budget for 2016-17.
Source: http://www.ebudget.ca.gov/2017-18/pdf/Revised/BudgetSummary/SummaryCharts.pdf and http://www.ebudget.ca.gov/2016-17/pdf/Enacted/BudgetSummary/SummaryCharts.pdf
Note that the change in the Total Reserve is a deficit of -$499 million for the current fiscal year (2016-17) and a projected surplus for the coming year (2017-18) of +$3,669 million.
The governor provided the usual warnings that the economy will eventually turn down - date to be determined - so reserves should rise and new programs should be avoided. Beyond the business cycle, there is the danger posed by Trumpcare.
In recognition of the brouhaha over the state audit of UC, he made $50 million of the planned allocation for UC contingent on UC doing what the auditor wants. In his news conference presenting the proposal, he said the auditor would determine whether UC is doing what it should. He did say that most people think the UC prez is doing a good job.
Some news accounts about the May Revise are at:
UC regents take first steps to investigate alleged interference in state audit surveys
Teresa Watanabe, LA Times, 5-11-17
University of California regents took the first steps Thursday to investigate allegations that central administrators improperly interfered with a state audit on the financial operations of the UC office of the president.
In a unanimous vote at a hastily arranged special meeting, the Board of Regents authorized the hiring of an independent investigator to assist in uncovering the facts surrounding the allegations.
Board Chairwoman Monica Lozano said she called the special meeting — regents participated via phone from throughout the state — to demonstrate that the board took the allegations seriously and would swiftly address them.
“I believe it is imperative for this board to send a strong signal to our many constituents that the entire board is fully engaged in this effort and committed to full transparency and accountability,” Lozano said.
In her report last month, State Auditor Elaine Howle said her auditors sent confidential surveys to officials at the system’s 10 campuses, asking them to evaluate services and programs provided by UC President Janet Napolitano’s office.
But Napolitano’s office improperly intervened, she said, previewing the campus responses and in some cases suggesting changes that resulted in more positive evaluations.
Napolitano has said her staff was responding to campus requests for help and had no improper motive. But she has apologized for the actions and reiterated Thursday that such “coordinated efforts” would not be repeated in any future audits.
“I welcome quick action by the board,” Napolitano said, supporting the call for an outside investigator. She added, however, that she hoped that “all of the circumstances” surrounding the surveys would be examined, including the campus confusion over them.
Lozano said she and four other regents will lead a fact-finding review of the allegations, assisted by the outside law firm or consultant hired. The full board will then decide what, if any, action should be taken.
Howle will present the audit findings to the regents at their May 18 meeting in San Francisco.
Listen to the audio of the special Regents meeting at the link below:
We did note that Walton forgot to mention that the Hotel is only for UCLA academic purposes. So the video is a bit incomplete. But, as someone once said, you can't have everything; where would you put it?
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Administrators at three University of California campuses changed their responses to a state auditor’s survey to reflect more favorably on UC President Janet Napolitano’s office after her staff directed them to make the changes, according to new documents obtained by The Chronicle that shed light on the controversy.
My management style is straightforward: When problems surface, you fix them. When mistakes are made, you correct them. When things appear confusing, you clarify them. And you do it all in the light of day. I believe I need to say this, as clearly as possible, because of the controversy and mischaracterizations that have surrounded the state audit report on the accounting practices and expenditures of my office, the University of California’s Office of the President.
We accept, and already have begun implementing, all 33 recommendations that the auditor made to my office. The recommendations, largely about transparency and best practices, are constructive. They will be implemented thoroughly and on time, and we will report back at regular intervals to the Legislature and the UC Board of Regents. Our progress will be posted on a UC website dedicated to this purpose.
I have been privileged to lead the University of California system since September 2013. Among the first actions I took when I arrived was to undertake a review of how the office is run and whether or not policies needed to be changed. This is standard procedure for me. I’ve done the same in my past public roles, as U.S. attorney for Arizona, as governor of Arizona, and as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
I’ve made many changes at UC, all of them with the intention of making wise and efficient use of public and private funds, ensuring that programs are well run, and that our stakeholders — students, faculty, staff, the Board of Regents and the public at large — are well served. We’ve made a lot of progress, and we know we have a lot more to do. This aligns with my experience running large organizations. As UC president and chief advocate, my role is to ensure that our 10 campuses, five medical centers and three affiliated national laboratories continue to thrive and, indeed, that our results enhance UC’s excellent reputation.
The Office of the President oversees the UC system’s annual operating budget of $31.5 billion as well as an investment portfolio of $106 billion. The office’s total budget is $686 million, which is equally divided among two functions: systemwide academic and public service programs, and central and administrative services. Here is some of what the office does, the sheer scope of which makes apples-to-apples comparisons difficult to undertake:
We run our retirement program, which is separate from the state’s program. We issue bonds, separate from the state, to fund our own capital projects. We run the systemwide student-application system and administer financial aid. We oversee our hospitals and research enterprise. We provide legal and IT services to the system, and we manage the national labs.
Also at the Office of the President is the division of Agriculture and Natural Resources — which helps everyone from farmers to consumers to children raising pigs in our 4-H program — and the Education Abroad Program, which allows undergraduates to see and study the world.
I understand that all this might be lost in a blur of daily headlines. As too often happens, incomplete details obscure the facts. There is no secret pot of money that funds dubious priorities. The systemwide and presidential initiatives — such as those that benefit undocumented students, that help prevent sexual violence and sexual harassment, that further our and the state’s goals on climate change — have been widely publicized. The monies spent are budgeted and accounted for.
We can do better, and we will. The hallmark of institutional excellence is the eagerness, and resolve, to continually improve. That is what the University of California has been doing for nearly 150 years.
Janet Napolitano is president of the University of California.
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Forecast revenue for FY2016-17 for July-April
As projected as part of last June's
budget for this year: $98.7 billion
As projected as part of last January's
budget for this year: $97.1 billion
Actual revenue through April: $96.9 billion
Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) on Tuesday became the first legislator to call for University of California President Janet Napolitano to resign, saying she has lost confidence in her leadership. The call by a member of the Assembly Committee on Higher Education came two weeks after a state audit found that the UC Office of the President pays its executives salaries and benefits significantly higher than those given to state employees in similar roles, and failed to disclose up to $175 million in budget reserve funds as it recently proposed a raise in tuition.
“The leaders of our state university systems are duty-bound to maintain the highest levels of transparency, integrity, and accountability to California taxpayers, students, their families, and the Legislature, especially when it comes to public monies,” Quirk-Silva said in a statement. “President Napolitano no longer engenders the public trust required to perform her duties. It’s time she resigned.”
Napolitano has agreed to pursue changes in the budget process, but said most of the $175 million is committed to initiatives aimed at improving the University of California system. Monica Lozano, chair of the Board of regents, said Tuesday the panel will independently review the issues raised in the audit.
"This does not in any way signify a lack of confidence in President Napolitano’s ability to continue her leadership of this exceptional public research university," Lozano said.
Meanwhile, Quirk-Silva also renewed her request that the UC Board of Regents rescind a planned tuition increase.