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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Change in Direction

University of California administrators stopped pursuing high-dollar moonlighting positions after scrutiny of former UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi’s corporate board seats prompted tighter restrictions last year. A new UC report shows that only 11 senior managers accepted outside positions between July 21 and Nov. 30. Only three of the positions are paid, and the compensation totaled just $9,510. That marked a dramatic shift from the array of high-paying outside jobs approved in 2015. That year, 17 managers asked to take new jobs paying a total of $720,000, with the highest earning $80,000 annually. Beyond that, some administrators received stock options whose value was undetermined at the time...

New Developments

Inside Higher Ed reports on a movement to boycott U.S. academic conferences in response to recent executive actions of the Trump administration:

The new target of the academic boycott movement is the United States. More than 3,000 academics from around the world have signed on to a call to boycott international academic conferences held in the United States in solidarity with those affected by Trump’s executive order barring entry by nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries. The ban on entry into the U.S. has left some students and scholars with valid visas stranded outside the country while others are stuck inside it, unable to leave the U.S. for personal or professional reasons for fear they won't be let back in.
The entry ban, which affects nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, has been widely condemned as discriminatory and as undermining values central to American higher education such as inclusion, openness and internationalism. Civil rights groups have described it as a pretext for banning the entry of Muslims, which Trump explicitly called for during his campaign.
“When we saw the recent news about what’s been dubbed the Muslim ban, we questioned what we could do as academics,” said Nadine El-Enany, a lecturer in law at Birkbeck School of Law at the University of London and an organizer of the call to boycott conferences.
"As academics, we felt that the best way that we could demonstrate very clearly that we are unwilling to benefit from privileges that are so unfairly, unjustly denied others is to refuse to take up those privileges but also to clearly indicate that our business, as educators, cannot go on as normal while such an emergency is happening," said El-Enany, who has withdrawn from an upcoming conference on law, culture and the humanities hosted by Stanford University. Signatories to the document calling for a boycott of international conferences held in the U.S. pledge not to attend them while the ban is in place. The document goes on to state, "We question the intellectual integrity of these spaces and the dialogues they are designed to encourage while Muslim colleagues are explicitly excluded from them."...
The president of MIT sent out the message below:
To the members of the MIT community,
  
For those of you who have been following the developments at MIT since Friday, I was hoping to write to you today with some uplifting news. Yet, as I write, we continue to push hard to bring back to MIT those members of our community, including two undergraduates, who were barred from the US because of the January 27 Executive Order on immigration. We are working personally with all the affected individuals we are aware of. If you know of other students, faculty or staff who are directly affected, please inform us immediately so we can try to help...

Over and over since the order was issued, I have been moved by the outpouring of support from hundreds across our community. I could not be more proud, and I am certain that you join me in thanking everyone inside and outside of MIT whose extraordinary efforts have helped us address this difficult situation. We hope we can welcome everyone back to MIT very soon.

MIT, the nation and the world

I found the events of the past few days deeply disturbing. The difficulty we have encountered in seeking to help the individuals from our community heightens our overall sense of concern. I would like to reflect on the situation we find ourselves in, as an institution and as a country.

MIT is profoundly American. The Institute was founded deliberately to accelerate the nation’s industrial revolution. With classic American ingenuity and drive, our graduates have invented fundamental technologies, launched new industries and created millions of American jobs. Our history of national service stretches back to World War I; especially through the work of Lincoln Lab, we are engaged every day in keeping America safe. We embody the American passion for boldness, big ideas, hard work and hands-on problem-solving. Our students come to us from every faith, culture and background and from all fifty states. And, like other institutions rooted in science and engineering, we are proud that, for many of our students, MIT supplies their ladder to the middle class, and sometimes beyond. We are as American as the flag on the Moon.

At the same time, and without the slightest sense of contradiction, MIT is profoundly global. Like the United States, and thanks to the United States, MIT gains tremendous strength by being a magnet for talent from around the world. More than 40% of our faculty, 40% of our graduate students and 10% of our undergraduates are international. Faculty, students, post-docs and staff from 134 other nations join us here because they love our mission, our values and our community. And – as I have – a great many stay in this country for life, repaying the American promise of freedom with their energy and their ideas. Together, through teaching, research, and innovation, MIT’s magnificently global, absolutely American community pursues its mission of service to the nation and the world.

What the moment demands of us

The Executive Order on Friday appeared to me a stunning violation of our deepest American values, the values of a nation of immigrants: fairness, equality, openness, generosity, courage. The Statue of Liberty is the “Mother of Exiles”; how can we slam the door on desperate refugees? Religious liberty is a founding American value; how can our government discriminate against people of any religion? In a nation made rich by immigrants, why would we signal to the world that we no longer welcome new talent? In a nation of laws, how can we reject students and others who have established legal rights to be here? And if we accept this injustice, where will it end? Which group will be singled out for suspicion tomorrow?

On Sunday, many members of our campus community joined a protest in Boston to make plain their rejection of these policies and their support for our Muslim friends and colleagues. As an immigrant and the child of refugees, I join them, with deep feeling, in believing that the policies announced Friday tear at the very fabric of our society.

I encourage anyone who shares that view to work constructively to improve the situation. Institutionally, though we may not be vocal in every instance, you can be confident we are paying attention; as we strive to protect our community, sustain our mission and advance our shared values, we will speak and act when and where we judge we can be most effective.

Yet I would like us to think seriously about the fact that both within the MIT community and the nation at large, there are people of goodwill who see the measures in the Executive Order as a reasonable path to make the country safer. We would all like our nation to be safe. I am convinced that the Executive Order will make us less safe. Yet all of us, across the spectrum of opinion, are Americans. 

In this heated moment, I urge every one of us to avoid with all our might the forces that are driving America into two camps. If we love America, and if we believe in America, we cannot allow those divisions to grow worse. We need to imagine a shared future together, if we hope to have one. I am certain our community can help work on this great problem, too, by starting right here at home.

Sincerely, 
L. Rafael Reif

---
The message above went by email to those at MIT plus alumni (of which yours truly is one).

Good by Comparison

[Click on image to enlarge.]
Inside Higher Ed finds UC's endowment return to be better than most in FY2016. See:

Monday, January 30, 2017

Two Items

To the Campus Community:  (1-29-2017)

This past week, as most of you are well aware, President Trump signed an executive order that suspends entry into the United States for various categories of travelers. The order includes refugees, immigrants, non-immigrant visa holders, and possibly lawful U.S. permanent residents from seven majority-Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The executive order directly challenges the core values and mission of universities to encourage the free exchange of scholars, knowledge and ideas. It may affect the ability to travel for thousands of students and scholars now in the US diligently pursuing their scholarly careers as well as countless others who wish to take advantage of our open universities to pursue knowledge and truth. Although the breadth of the Order is not yet clear, it also could adversely affect the ability to travel for many faculty, students, and staff in our own community.

Already, universities across the US as well as scholarly societies such as the APLU and the AAU have issued powerful statements decrying this action. UCLA joins this rising chorus in expressing opposition to the executive order. As your Chancellor and Executive Vice Chancellor, we want to reassure the campus community as a whole and especially those directly affected by this order that the University of California and our campus’s leadership stand by our core values.

We are actively engaged with the UC Office of the President to understand the full implications of the order and to find ways of protecting members of our community. The integrity of our mission as a research university and the well-being of our campus’ community are paramount.

The UC Office of the President has advised “UC community members from these seven countries who hold a visa to enter the United States or who are lawful permanent residents do not travel outside of the United States.” In the meantime, if you are a student, scholar or faculty who have visa issues or questions that deserve our attention, please contact the UCLA Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars at (310) 825-1681.

Please also see below a message that was sent today from UC President Janet Napolitano and signed by leadership from throughout the University of California.

Sincerely,
Gene D. Block
Chancellor

Scott L. Waugh
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

===

President Janet Napolitano and the Chancellors of the University of California today (Jan. 29) issued the following statement:

We are deeply concerned by the recent executive order that restricts the ability of our students, faculty, staff, and other members of the UC community from certain countries from being able to enter or return to the United States.

While maintaining the security of the nation's visa system is critical, this executive order is contrary to the values we hold dear as leaders of the University of California. The UC community, like universities across the country, has long been deeply enriched by students, faculty, and scholars from around the world, including the affected countries, coming to study, teach, and research. It is critical that the United States continues to welcome the best students, scholars, scientists, and engineers of all backgrounds and nationalities.

We are committed to supporting all members of the UC community who are impacted by this executive action.

President Janet Napolitano
University of California

Chancellor Nicholas B. Dirks
University of California, Berkeley

Interim Chancellor Ralph Hexter
University of California, Davis

Chancellor Howard Gillman
University of California, Irvine

Chancellor Gene Block
University of California, Los Angeles

Chancellor Dorothy Leland
University of California, Merced

Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox
University of California, Riverside

Chancellor Pradeep Khosla
University of California, San Diego

Chancellor Sam Hawgood
University of California, San Francisco

Chancellor Henry T. Yang
University of California, Santa Barbara

Chancellor George R. Blumenthal
University of California, Santa Cruz

Listen to the Regents Meeting of Jan. 25-26, 2017

As we always do after Regents meetings, we preserve the audio indefinitely since the Regents "archive" their recordings for only one year.

I found this definition of "archive" on the web:

Materials created or received by a person, family, or organization, public or private, in the conduct of their affairs and preserved because of the enduring value contained in the information they contain or as evidence of the functions and responsibilities of their creator, especially those materials maintained using the principles of provenance, original order, and collective control; permanent records.

Source: http://www2.archivists.org/glossary/terms/a/archives

"Enduring" suggests more than one year to me, but apparently not to the Regents.

Anyway, here are the audio links to the meeting:

Opening session:


The full set of seven sessions is at https://archive.org/details/7BoardMeeting12617

1=Board meeting of Jan. 25, 2017
2=Academic & student affairs & national labs
3=Compliance & audit
4=Finance & capital strategies
5=Governance & compensation
6=Public engagement
7=Board meeting of Jan. 26, 2017

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Stay Here

From the LA Times:

The University of California on Saturday advised university community members covered by President Trump’s executive order banning travel to the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries to stay in this country for now.

“We continue to analyze the executive order and its impact on our students, faculty, scholars, employees and other community members,” the UC said in a  message to faculty, staff and students. “At this time, we recommend that UC community members from these seven countries who hold a visa to enter the United States or who are lawful permanent residents do not travel outside of the United States.”...

Full story at:
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-uc-trump-20170128-story.html

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Online Petition

A petition is circulating among academics concerning a recent presidential executive order banning immigrants from selected countries.

You can find it at:
https://notoimmigrationban.com/

Friday, January 27, 2017

Getting rid of IT

The KQED reports that political opposition to UC-SF's decision to outsource IT jobs abroad continues to mount:

This time the letter came from Democratic Rep. Jared Huffman.

In his letter to UC President Janet Napolitano on Wednesday, Huffman of San Rafael denounced UCSF’s decision to send nearly 100 IT jobs to a multinational contractor overseas. IT employees at UCSF began training their replacements in October, and if Napolitano does not step in, several dozen of the IT workers will lose their jobs by the end of February. The employees had received layoff notices in July 2016.

Lawmakers, academics and unions have sent almost a dozen letters to Napolitano criticizing the outsourcing. At the UC Regents meeting Thursday, UCSF employee Keith Pavlik read off the names of all the letter writers to board members, hoping to get their attention.

Those who have sent letters include UCSF’s Faculty Association, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. But Napolitano has not budged on the issue. Her office has not yet responded to a request for comment...

Full story at https://ww2.kqed.org/news/2017/01/26/another-lawmaker-asks-uc-president-to-halt-ucsf-layoffs/

Given the current climate toward outsourcing abroad in Washington, and given the possibility of a collision with Washington over immigration policies at UC, might it not be a good idea for UCOP to consider rising above principle on this matter? Just asking.

Up

You probably know by now:

The University of California regents voted Thursday to raise tuition and fees next academic year for the first time since 2011 — but state residents from families earning up to $156,000 won’t have to pay the higher price.

Beginning this summer, the base price of a year at UC for California students will be $12,630, nearly 3 percent higher than the current $12,294. Those amounts include tuition and a student services fee. Add additional campus fees averaging $1,257 a year, plus the cost of room, board and books, and the total annual cost tops $34,000 for students living on campus.

Most California residents won’t have to pay the higher base price because their families qualify for subsidies from the state and UC and are eligible for an exemption. Only one-third of state residents will have to pay the increase, according to the new plan.

Out-of-state undergraduates also get no price break — and pay far higher fees than do California residents. The regents raised the base price for nonresidents to $40,644 next year, slightly more than 4 percent above the current $38,976. The total annual cost for those students is roughly $61,000 if they live on campus.

Overall, the new tuition and student services fee are expected to raise $143 million next year for the UC system, with an additional $71 million for campuses from a surcharge paid by nonresident undergraduates...

Full story at http://www.sfchronicle.com/education/article/UC-regents-approve-first-tuition-hike-since-2011-10886888.php

Wouldn't it be nice if we could have the reverse?
video

Grand Robot for UCLA Grand Hotel


From the UCLA Grand Hotel website:

Standing less than two-feet tall, the UCLA Luskin Conference Center concierge, LARA, greets guests and answers questions as affably as her human colleagues, but with one unique distinction: LARA is a robot (Luskin Automated Robotic Assistant, to be precise). Guests can communicate with LARA vocally and through an iPad attached to her docking station, and she responds to about 30 different prompts, answering questions about the Conference Center and the campus.

http://luskinconferencecenter.ucla.edu/not-all-concierges-created-equal/

We have only one questions for her:

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The 1% at UCLA

Click on image to enlarge
Source: http://www.sfgate.com/education/article/Where-the-rich-go-to-college-in-California-10884100.php#photo-12252694

Another nail in the Master Plan coffin?

Clark Kerr's Master Plan continues to be besieged:

Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula, D-Fresno, introduced legislation Monday to establish a medical school at Fresno State, which if approved by lawmakers would be the first in the state not at a University of California campus.
Arambula voiced interest in Fresno State as a site for a medical school at a meeting in September to discuss health-care needs. Historically, California has relied on the UC system for medical education, but Arambula said the state has allowed other advanced degrees to be offered at state universities such as California State University, Fresno. He expressed concern over the slow progress being made to establish a medical school at UC Merced.
UC regents gave conceptual approval for a new medical school in Merced eight years ago, but the project has not materialized. UC Riverside, which got approval for a medical school in 2006, did not seat its first class of students until 2013...




Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/education/article128427499.html#storylink=cpy

Low Performing Portfolio: Will the Regents Look at Harvard?

From the Boston Globe:

In a massive overhaul of the Harvard University endowment fund, its new chief executive will lay off half of the investment group’s 230 employees and transfer more money to outside firms, in an effort to boost performance that for a decade has lagged behind rivals.
In a letter to staff and the Harvard community Wednesday, N.P. “Narv” Narvekar laid out a future for the $35.7 billion fund that requires far fewer people and less hands-on investing within the walls of the group’s downtown Boston office...

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Bee Still Seeking Katehi Documents

The Sacramento Bee is complaining about UC reticence to provide documents relating to the cost of the UC-Davis/Katehi investigation:

Nearly six months after the University of California completed an investigation that led to the resignation of UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi, UC officials still cannot say what the probe cost taxpayers.

The final bill for the four-month investigation, which The Sacramento Bee requested Aug. 3 in a California Public Records Act request, still has not been completed and is not available, UC spokeswoman Dianne Klein said Tuesday. Klein did not respond to questions about why the bill has not been finalized, whether the investigating firm had received any money yet for its services or whether there is some conflict over the bill.

That bill is among thousands of pages of documents UC has yet to produce in response to Public Records Act requests from The Bee dating back to May 5 that were filed as the scandal involving Katehi and UC Davis was unfolding.

Katehi, who faced criticism and student protests over her acceptance of lucrative corporate board seats, extensive travel and public relations efforts to improve her image, was suspended in April and resigned under fire in August as the UC probe of her actions was made public.

The Bee filed 27 public record requests during the uproar involving Katehi, which began with The Bee’s revelation that she had accepted a seat on the board of DeVry Education Group while it was under investigation by the federal government for allegedly misleading students.

UC Davis and UC officials eventually released a number of records in response. Those included contracts that revealed Katehi and UC Davis hired companies to scrub the internet of negative postings about the chancellor and the school following the November 2011 pepper-spraying by police of students at a campus protest.

However, numerous records still have not been produced, including invoices and the total cost of the probe of Katehi. The inquiry was conducted by two former U.S. attorneys, Melinda Haag and McGregor Scott, and their colleagues at the Orrick law firm, which has 25 offices worldwide...

Full story at http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article128771749.html

Yes and No

President Trump's nomination of U.S. Representative Mick Mulvaney to lead the Office of Management and Budget has alarmed many scientists. After he voted against a bill to provide funds for study of the Zika virus, Mulvaney asked in a Facebook post (since deleted), "Do we really need government-funded research at all."

At a confirmation hearing Tuesday, he said some federal support for research was appropriate. He made the statement answering questions from Senator Kamala Harris, a Democrat from California. "I do believe there is a proper role for the federal government in research," he said, Science reported...

Full story at https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2017/01/25/omb-nominee-ok-some-us-funds-science

Undecided?

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

State of the State

Governor Brown gave his State of the State address earlier today to a joint session of the legislature. If you were looking for more specifics on the state budget or other matters of concern to UC, they weren't on the agenda. There was a brief message of past increased spending on education including higher ed.

Much of the speech dealt directly or indirectly with the advent of President Trump and the implication for immigration issues, climate change, etc. 

The speech is available at:
http://www.calchannel.com/video-on-demand/

No Milo at UCLA

Bruin Republicans will not host controversial conservative speaker Milo Yiannopoulos in February, announcing Monday night that Yiannopoulos cancelled because the group could not accommodate his requirements for the event.
The group added they thought UCLA students would protest his speaking engagement and could threaten their members’ safety. Students created a Facebook group to protest the event, which amassed nearly 1,500 responses of either “Interested” or “Going.”
The Bruin Republicans letter said the group felt the event would not ultimately help achieve their goal of educating UCLA students about conservative values. It added that protests against Yiannopoulos at other college campuses have become violent. The Breitbart editor appeared at UCLA amid protests in late May 2016 for an event titled “Feminism is Cancer.”
“We as a club support free speech no matter the viewpoint, yet everyone’s safety is of our utmost concern,” the letter said.
Bruin Republicans did not disclose Yiannopoulos’ requirements to participate in the event.
Note: Although the event had been scheduled for Feb. 2, Yiannopoulos' website suggested that the date was more tentative than at other campuses. The other campus events contained links to register for the event. The UCLA listing had no link, when last we looked.

Supportive

The official UC position seems to be that the governor's January budget proposal for UC is consistent (with maybe a little adjustment) with what UC wants:

Governor Brown recently released his 2017-2018 budget proposal, which includes a 4 percent adjustment of $131.2 million for UC’s operating budget. In short, the Governor’s proposal is consistent with the funding framework agreement between the State and University. Moreover, the proposal reflects the progress the University has made in important areas such as enrolling more transfer students and lowering the cost structure of the University.

There is room for improvement, though, and advocacy between now and the May Revision will be incredibly important for the University. Looking ahead, we’ll need you, our advocates, to make your voice heard in Sacramento on key UC priorities, such as sustaining expanded access for undergraduate students, obtaining funding specifically dedicated for graduate student enrollment growth, and addressing our classroom needs.
Thank you for your continued support of UC. We are eager to partner with you as we strive to achieve our goals for accessibility, affordability, and excellence.

Very respectfully,

Nelson Peacock
Senior Vice President
Government Relations
University of California

Monday, January 23, 2017

Possible Delay on DREAM Students

According to Inside Higher Ed, there are indications that President Trump will delay a decision on so-called DREAM students until there is consultation with Congress:

Asked on Fox News Sunday whether President Trump plans to sign an executive order undoing President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program this week, Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, refused to make any commitments either way but said the president would be working with legislative leaders “to get a long-term solution on that issue.”...

Full story at:
https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2017/01/23/priebus-noncommittal-daca-plans

Regental Surprise

...but it's not clear the Regents like being surprised.
From the Matier & Ross column of the San Francisco Chronicle:

University of California regents were a bit taken aback by a surprise conference call informing them that UC President Janet Napolitano was hospitalized for complications from her treatment for cancer.

“It was even more surprising to hear that she had been undergoing treatment for months,” said one regent, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.

The call came from Monica Lozano, chairwoman of the board, who had been kept informed about Napolitano’s cancer treatment since she was diagnosed in August. Regents got the call Tuesday, shortly before UC went public with the news...

Full column at http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/Napolitano-s-cancer-treatment-took-UC-regents-10872894.php

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Uncertain Times - Part 2

Yesterday, we ran a post from a news report indicating that incoming President Trump - in an off-hand remark to a Democratic senator - indicated that so-called DREAM students would not be targeted for deportation.*

Today, there is an opposite report in the Sacramento Bee:


Young immigrants currently protected from deportation will be quickly removed from the country by President Donald Trump’s plan to boost deportations, even if the new president doesn’t target them directly, according to a former senior immigration official in the Obama administration.
Democratic leaders and advocates within the immigration community are bracing for Trump on Monday to eliminate several of Obama’s executive actions on immigration, including the deferred action program, known as DACA, that protects an estimated 750,000 immigrants brought here illegally as children...
---

Data Preservation

Efforts at UCLA at preserving climate change data that might disappear from federal government websites are highlighted in the LA Times:

On a rainy Inauguration Day morning, dozens of students, archivists, librarians, professors and other concerned citizens gathered in a UCLA classroom, poring over the Department of Energy website. They sifted through pages covering a broad spectrum of topics, from energy-efficient buildings and solar power to transportation and bioenergy. 

The goal of Friday’s workshop, which ran more than six hours: To protect publicly available climate data on government websites – data that some feared could be deleted or otherwise degraded by a new administration that has indicated its aversion to climate science...

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Uncertain Times

Various bits of news emanating from Washington are already creating uncertainty for UC. UC and the State of California have taken steps in the past to provide higher ed services to so-called DREAM students - those brought into the US as children but who lack legal status. What may happen to such students is unclear. According to one report, incoming President Trump told a Democratic senator that "we don't want to hurt those kids."* Exactly what that means is unclear. The fate of "Obamacare" is also uncertain but could affect the outlook for the various UC med centers. News reports indicate that the new president signed an executive order directing federal agencies to "scale back" that program - whatever that means.**
---
*http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/trailguide/la-na-trailguide-updates-trump-on-dreamers-we-don-t-want-to-1484957168-htmlstory.html
**https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/01/20/us/politics/trump-executive-order-obamacare.html

Friday, January 20, 2017

UCLA History: Rain

No, the rain today was not quite so dramatic as in the picture. This photo was taken when the campus was new, back in the day.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

There's always room for more...

...students, that is. Not campuses. The LAO looks at projections of student growth and opines that UC and CSU don't need additional campuses to accommodate what is coming. See:
http://lao.ca.gov/reports/2017/3532/uc-csu-enrollment-capacity-011917.pdf

Not going there

The email message below has been received by yours truly from various sources over the past few days: [excerpt]

Governor Brown signed into law AB 1887 which prohibits state-funded travel to a state that has passed a law that (1) authorizes discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, or (2) voids or repeals existing state or local protections against such discrimination. The law expressly identifies the University of California as an entity covered by the law.

As of the date of this notice, the States of Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee are on the prohibited travel list. The list of states may be updated on the Attorney General's website found here: https://oag.ca.gov/ab1887.

Please note that the law does not prohibit travel that is paid for or reimbursed using non-state funds...


So you won't be in Kansas anymore:

More seriously, there are universities in all these states, e.g., Duke in North Carolina. Academics there have little control over what laws are passed by their legislatures. Conferences, seminars, etc., are held in such universities. Other inter-university collaborations may occur. Individual faculty may co-author papers across university lines. Some faculty in some departments will have no problem in finding non-state sources of funding for travel. For others, finding such sources might be more difficult. So boycotts raise significant issues. Did the Regents or UCOP have any position on UC's inclusion in this legislation? Did the Academic Senate? Yours truly does not recall any debate. Often, because of the constitutional autonomy of UC, state legislation excludes it or just "suggests" consideration.

It seems as though there are issues here that are not resolved by emails from various travel entities on campus and need airing in other forums. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Entrepreneurial/innovation funding from state

Although it was overshadowed by the report in our previous post about UC prez Napolitano's cancer treatment, there is also a notice on the prez's website about a distribution of $2.2 million per campus for entrepreneurial and innovation-type activity. Both the enabling bill (signed by the governor last September) and the UC news release (of yesterday) are a bit vague on exactly what is to be done with the money.

The law's text is below:

AB 2664, Irwin. University of California: innovation and entrepreneurship expansion.

Existing law establishes the University of California, under the administration of the Regents of the University of California, as one of the segments of public postsecondary education in this state. The University of California comprises 10 campuses, which are located at Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz.

This bill would require the University of California to make one-time expenditures for activities to expand or accelerate economic development in the state in ways that are aligned with other efforts to support innovation and entrepreneurship. The bill would identify a specific funding source in the Budget Act of 2016 appropriated for that purpose and would allocate $2,200,000 under that appropriation to each of 10 campuses of the University of California. The bill would require the regents to designate an external advisory board, as provided, to encourage the effective use of these funds through planning and oversight and would prohibit a campus from expending these funds unless the external advisory body has certified that the chancellor of that campus has made certain demonstrations, including, among others, that funds will only be used for the costs of activities that support the expansion or acceleration of economic development in the state and that private funds that at least match the amount of state funds will also be used on those activities. The bill would require the University of California to report to the Department of Finance and the Legislature on or before November 30, 2017, on the specific activities at each campus supported by these funds.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. With respect to innovation and entrepreneurship by those connected to the University of California, the Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The State of California is well-positioned to harness the power of the University of California’s expertise to spur economic development.
(b) The University of California contributed to the launch and growth of some of California’s strongest industries, including aerospace, agriculture, biotechnology, computers and semiconductors, telecommunications, and digital media.
(c) Instruction and research at the University of California can be the genesis of tomorrow’s industries, companies, and commercial successes.
(d) As a public institution of higher education, the University of California is positioned to address challenges faced by entrepreneurs—challenges that are particularly acute for groups such as women and minorities who are typically underrepresented in private incubators and accelerators.
(e) It is therefore the intent of the Legislature to provide one-time funds for new infrastructure at each campus to (1) enhance the state’s network of programs and services that support innovators, entrepreneurs, startups, investors, and industry and community partners that are locally based and committed to serving in communities across California and (2) generate commitments of private funds for these activities in an amount at least equal to the amount of state funds.
SEC. 2. Chapter 14.5 (commencing with Section 92965) is added to Part 57 of Division 9 of Title 3 of the Education Code, to read:
CHAPTER  14.5. Innovation and Entrepreneurship Expansion
92965. (a) With funds appropriated in Item 6440-001-0001 of Section 2.00 of the Budget Act of 2016, the University of California shall make one-time expenditures for activities to expand or accelerate economic development in the state in ways that are aligned with other efforts to support innovation and entrepreneurship.
(b) From the funds specified in subdivision (a), two million two hundred thousand dollars ($2,200,000) shall be allocated to each of the following campuses of the University of California:
(1) Berkeley.
(2) Davis.
(3) Irvine.
(4) Los Angeles.
(5) Merced.
(6) Riverside.
(7) San Diego.
(8) San Francisco.
(9) Santa Barbara.
(10) Santa Cruz.
(c) The Regents of the University of California shall designate an external advisory body, whose members have demonstrated expertise in innovation and entrepreneurship, to encourage the effective use of the funds specified in subdivision (b) through planning and oversight.
(d) A campus shall not expend the funds specified in subdivision (b) until the external advisory body has certified that the chancellor of the campus has demonstrated all of the following:
(1) That the funds will be used only for the costs of activities that support the expansion or acceleration of economic development in the state, such as any of the following benefits for entrepreneurs:
(A) Business training.
(B) Mentorship.
(C) Proof-of-concept grants.
(D) Work space.
(E) Laboratory space.
(F) Equipment.
(2) That the funds will be spent only after the uses and beneficiaries have been determined through a transparent, inclusive, and fair process.
(3) That private funds will also be used for these activities, with the intent that the amount of private funds will be at least equal to the amount specified in subdivision (b).
(4) That any financial benefit that results from the use of these funds, including any revenues generated with these funds be accounted for and also used on these activities.
(5) That a credible plan has been developed to support any ongoing activities beyond the one-time expenditures of these funds.
(e) The external advisory body shall notify the Director of Finance and the Legislature, no fewer than 10 days before providing certification pursuant to subdivision (d) of its intent to do so.
(f) (1) On or before November 30, 2017, the Regents of the University of California shall report to the Director of Finance and the Legislature on the specific activities at each campus supported by these funds.
(2) The report shall be submitted to the Legislature pursuant to Section 9795 of the Government Code.

Source: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB2664

The news release announcing receipt of these funds is at:
https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/press-room/ab-2664-funds-spur-innovation-entrepreneurship

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Napolitano Hospitalized

University of California President Janet Napolitano was hospitalized this week for side effects related to the treatment of cancer, which was diagnosed in August, UC officials said Tuesday. Napolitano, who has led the vast university system since 2013, “has consistently performed her wide range of duties at full capacity, without interruption or impact” since beginning treatment for cancer last summer, according to a statement from her office. Napolitano headed the U.S. Homeland Security department between 2009 and 2013.

“Yesterday, however, she experienced side effects that required her to be hospitalized” but is doing well and is expected to be discharged this week, the statement said. Napolitano’s spokeswoman, Dianne Klein, declined to say what kind of cancer it is, citing the president’s privacy. Napolitano had previously been diagnosed and treated for cancer.

ICYMI

In case you missed it, the LA Times ran an editorial yesterday endorsing the UC prez's proposed tuition increase. The editorial was also rather critical of Gov. Brown's lack of vision for UC.

...No one likes to see the price of higher education rise, but if  (UC prez) Napolitano is true to her word and this money is used solely to improve the education of those who pay it, the price hike is justified. There are valid concerns about the long-term funding of the university, but for the short-term, preserving UC’s quality in exchange for a small increase in tuition and fees is the right move. The Board of Regents should approve the price hike when it meets next week...

The governor, who has never been a major supporter of UC, basically resisted anything that would help the university bring in more money — higher tuition, better funding from the state or admitting more out-of-state students, who bring geographic diversity to campus in addition to paying a higher tuition that helps fund financial aid for low-income Californians. Instead, Brown expressed his preference for a more austere UC, one that saves money by pushing more online courses and prodding professors into teaching more classes while engaging less in research and other academic pursuits.

That’s not a vision, though. It’s short-sighted frugality that would strip down one of the state’s best-run and most admired institutions...

Full editorial at http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-uc-tuition-hike-20170113-story.html

Monday, January 16, 2017

Preliminary Regents Agenda

A preliminary version of the Jan. 25-26 Regents meeting is now posted.* Upcoming topics include creation of a nursing school at Irvine and the construction of an addition to the Anderson complex at UCLA. In closed session, there will be discussion of litigation in various sexual misconduct cases including the Dean Sujit Choudhry affair at Berkeley.** There will also be discussion of the possible effects of the incoming Trump administration. You can bet that the proposed tuition increase will be aired in the public comment sessions.

As always, since the Regents "archive" recordings of their meetings for only one year, we will endeavor to archive the audio of the sessions indefinitely.
---
*http://regents.universityofcalifornia.edu/meetings/agendas/jan17.html
**https://casetext.com/case/choudhry-v-regents-of-the-univ-of-cal
http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/files/2016-09-22-pl-motion-in-support-of-preliminary-injunction---doc-no-13.pdf
http://www2.courthousenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Choudry-dismissal.pdf

Raising Tuition May Be Tough

News stories like this one from Inside Higher Ed may lead to significant political resistance to UC's plan to raise tuition:

Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo plans today to propose that the state offer two tuition-free years for full-time students in public higher education.
Students at the Community College of Rhode Island would pay no tuition while earning an associate degree. For state residents who start at Rhode Island College or the University of Rhode Island, their junior and senior years would be tuition-free. There is no income limit, although the public system in Rhode Island serves many more low-income students than wealthy students.
Those who participate at the Community College of Rhode Island will not also be able to do so at the four-year institutions. Room and board are not covered by the proposal. To qualify for the tuition waiver at the four-year institutions, students must have completed 60 credits of course work by the end of their sophomore year, declared a major and maintained a grade point average of at least 2.0.
The proposal is another sign that the idea of tuition-free public higher education -- presumed by many to be dead after Hillary Clinton pushed the concept and lost the presidential election -- may have more legs in the states than at the federal level. Raimondo's proposal comes two weeks after Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York proposed tuition-free public higher education for those from families with incomes up to $125,000.
Both governors are Democrats. But while Cuomo must deal with powerful Republican legislators in the New York State Senate, Raimondo has a General Assembly with two houses that are overwhelmingly Democratic.*
David M. Dooley, president of the University of Rhode Island, said in an interview Sunday that he was "very enthusiastic about the plan" and thought it had good prospects for being enacted into law...
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*Note that both houses in California are also heavily Democratic.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Is Davis the New Berkeley?

UC-Davis seems to be the center of conflict and controversy these days, reminiscent of UC-Berkeley in the 1960s. Most blog readers will recall the pepper-spray cop incident at Davis a few years back that got national attention - even the attention of Harry Shearer. (See link below.) The pepper spraying - which was linked to "Occupy" protests at that time - seemed to kick off a series of events.

For example, there was last year's conflict between student groups and the Davis chancellor (who earlier had nearly lost her job over the pepper spray affair). This one ended with sit-ins in the chancellor's office and open warfare between the UC prez and the chancellor. The prez won that one.

We now have a new event. Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos - who regularly visits college campuses and sparks protests - was supposed to speak at Davis last Friday. But the event was shut down due to counter demonstrations. He then came back the next day and held a campus rally anyway.

You can read about the most recent events and see videos on the Sacramento Bee website at:
http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/education/article126676049.html
http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article126556819.html

The interim chancellor at Davis reacted officially at:
https://www.ucdavis.edu/news/message-interim-chancellor-ralph-j-hexter-event-cancellation

Harry Shearer's musical account of the pepper spray incident is at:

PS: According to Yiannopoulos' website, he plans to be at UCLA on Feb. 2.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Changing Climate (for Research)

Capitol Alert blog of Sacramento Bee, Jan. 13, 2017

Do they need a ‘damn satellite’? Why Trump worries California scientists

BY ADAM ASHTON

At the conference last month where Gov. Jerry Brown declared the state would “launch its own damn satellite” if the Trump administration restricts access to climate data, a group of scientists from the University of California gathered in a side room to figure out how to do just that.

Alarmed by statements they’d read from members of Trump’s transition team, the scientists brainstormed whether they could find new data sources or if they could somehow partner with a private company to pay for a satellite program.

The group did not settle on a plan, and it may not need to find one. It’s unclear whether President-elect Donald Trump’s administration actually would make it more difficult for researchers to access information from NASA satellites they’ve been using for years.

But the gathering was another sign that California scientists don’t know what to expect from an incoming Trump team. They’re preparing for everything from a cut in funding for scientific research to a public relations campaign deriding their work.

“We’re being pre-emptive. It would be a mistake not to think preemptively,” said Ben Houlton, the director of the John Muir Institute of the Environment at UC Davis, who participated in the meeting with fellow UC researchers last month.

In many cases, state scientists are girding to protect programs they’ve cultivated for decades. The Department of Water Resources, for instance, has been looking at how global warming would affect water storage since the 1980s.

That kind of work lately has enjoyed widespread public support. A report released this week from the Public Policy Institute of California noted that 81 percent of residents view global warming as a serious threat, and that more than two-thirds of residents surveyed in a July poll favor California laws limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

Brown’s 2017-18 budget released this week included a six-page section on climate change and an appeal for the Legislature to explicitly extend the authority of the Air Resources Board’s cap-and-trade program. He told reporters in his budget remarks that the didn’t think the state would have to follow through on building a satellite, but he wouldn’t rule it out.

“The silver lining of all of this is we’re in California, so we’re probably in the safest place we can be to talk about climate change. There’s enough understanding of what’s at risk that this work is not going to stop,” said Amber Pairis, a state scientist who leads a climate science program in San Diego that’s partly funded by the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Here’s a look at the main ways that California state scientists say a Trump administration could upend their work.

My facts are your fake news

After his election, Trump met with former Vice President Al Gore and told The New York Times he’d keep an “open mind” about climate change research.

But his earlier statements are shaping worries in the scientific community that he’ll cast doubt about their work. Before he launched his presidential bid, for instance, Trump declared on Twitter that global warming was a hoax “created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”

Robert Walker, a former congressman who advised Trump’s team on space exploration, in October also published an editorial in which he derided “politically correct environmental monitoring” by NASA.

“More than anything, it’s this fact-free society that concerns me,” said Houlton, who has reached out to lawyers and colleagues from the humanities in addition to other UC scientists since Trump’s election. They’re trying to think of ways to communicate differently about climate change to connect with people who have disagreed with them in the past.

Challenging environmental regulations

During the Obama administration, the California Air Resources Board’s pollution-control policies were largely in sync with programs coming out of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that aimed to increase auto mileage and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Both the state board and the EPA are monitoring the auto industry’s compliance with new mileage standards, and both agencies issued reports in July suggesting that they expected car manufacturers to hit the targets.

Two days after the election, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers President Mitch Bainwol wrote a letter asking the Trump transition team to review those policies and others.

Scott Pruitt, Trump’s choice to lead the EPA, has a long record as Oklahoma’s attorney general of challenging federal environmental regulations to promote economic growth. Trump’s energy platform calls for boosting fossil fuel production.

As a result, the Air Resources Board could find itself standing alone to stick up for the regulations it advanced during Obama’s terms.

“More eyes are on us because we’re seen as more of a leader with less leadership coming out of Washington in climate and other areas,” said Dan Sperling, a UC Davis professor who sits on the Air Resources Board.

Cutting federal climate research

Paying for an expensive environmental study sometimes takes a mix of state, federal and private funds. Some scientists worry that new priorities from the White House will mean an end to new grants for climate research.

“We’re worried about these big, large-scale creative endeavors. It’s going to be hard to fund them,” said Pairis, whose Climate Science Alliance works to help Southern California communities prepare for climate change. It’s funded by state, federal and philanthropic sources.

Lately, the state has partnered with federal scientists on several studies that assess how global warming could affect California’s water resources. The results shape decisions on how to fund new water storage projects, said John Andrew, who has led the climate change program at the Department of Water Resources since 2006.

Opportunities for those studies developed after Obama took office and sought to collaborate with the department, he said.

“It’s just speculative to say where the next administration will be in reality,” he said. “Where there are opportunities to do things, we’ll certainly take advantage of them, and where there isn’t, there certainly is support to continue it at the state level.”

Turning back the satellites

The remarks that caught Brown’s attention when he gave his call-to-arms last month came from Trump space adviser Walker. His October editorial and interviews he gave in November suggested Trump would restrict NASA’s earth science budget or steer that kind of work to another federal agency.

Throughout California, scientists rely on NASA images almost daily to study the water content of the state’s snowpack, prepare for weather hazards or track natural disasters.

“It’s data availability that would concern me,” said Roger Bales, director of the Sierra Nevada Research Institute at UC Merced. “That would affect not just research, but it would affect response to natural hazards and management decisions around forests and water resources. There’s a lot of money riding on those data.”

Trump’s team has not sent any new signals suggesting it would follow Walker’s guidance. Gov. Brown in his budget remarks noted that silence likely meant the satellites were safe. After all, NASA has already spent the money to put the data-gathering satellites in space and budgeted funds to operate them.

But Bales and other researchers are watching the programs closely, just in case they’re targeted for cuts.

“We should be concerned,” Houlton said. “We should take this as a call to arms. And we should collaborate like never before.”

Source: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article126480164.html

Brown on the UC-Managed National Labs: