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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

One way or another

From Inside Higher Ed: As the University of California marks its 150th anniversary this year, it faces constraints on key revenue sources even as the state’s population is expected to keep growing. So leaders of the 10-campus, 273,000-student system may be approaching a crossroads.

System leaders might choose to grow enrollment without enough funding, a decision that could lead to slipping quality. Or they might decide to limit enrollment growth in order to keep up quality and productivity measures.

Those two extremes are outlined in a new report out Monday from authors at the UC Berkeley Center for Studies in Higher Education, a higher education think tank approaching issues from a scholarly perspective. They aren’t the only paths leaders will be able to choose -- the report also outlines a number of different ideas, many of which public universities have tried in other states.

Those ideas include politically dicey prospects like expanding online degree programs and revamping UC governance to include campus governing boards to handle some local decision making. Yet without some major changes in trajectory, it is hard to envision a future where the UC system is able to grow its enrollment capacity in lockstep with expected growth in California’s population and increased need for educated workers in the state, authors write.

“Individual campuses, such as Berkeley and UCLA, may be able to generate other income sources to maintain their quality and reputation,” the report says. “But there is no clear funding model or pathway for the system to grow with the needs of the people of California.”...

Full article at:
https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/08/21/report-asks-whether-university-california-funding-nearing-tipping-point

Underlying report at:
https://cshe.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/publications/douglassbleemer.tipping_point_report.august_20_2018_0.pdf

Senate Role or Senate Rolled?

Of late, there have been a number of high-profile cases in which faculty are accused of sexual harassment/assault and some penalty is announced. News accounts seem never to mention any Academic Senate role in the investigation or in the outcome of such "Title 9" cases. The latest example is a case at Berkeley:

http://www.dailycal.org/2018/08/20/uc-berkeley-suspends-campus-architecture-professor-sexually-harassing-graduate-student/

Isn't the Senate supposed to have some role in faculty misconduct investigations? Granted, it's a sensitive topic and maybe no one wants to touch it. But we'll touch it here and ask the question. Where is the Senate?

UPDATE: Inside Higher Ed today mentions a Senate recommendation for a lesser penalty in the Berkeley case than was actually imposed: https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2018/08/21/uc-berkeley-suspends-professor-harassment
Yours truly remains concerned about the Senate being on the periphery of these cases. The same issues concerning due process that have surfaced in student-on-student cases arise in faculty-on-student cases.

UCLA History: Easy Medical Parking

Easy and - I believe - free parking at the UCLA Med School in the late 1950s.

Monday, August 20, 2018

UCLA History: Warren

Governor Earl Warren signs bill authorizing creation of a medical school at UCLA (1945)

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Saturday, August 18, 2018

More Slow

As we do on slow news days, here is a photo of the construction of the new Anderson building. Although yours truly did spot more workers on site than in the past, it would be hard to describe what he saw as feverish activity.

Friday, August 17, 2018

UCLA History: Gershwins

George and Ira Gershwin at UCLA in 1936. They gave the song, "Strike Up the Band (for UCLA)" to the university. Photo from the Facebook page of "You know you grew up in West Los Angeles if you remember..."

We included a link to an old recording of the song in a post yesterday.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Back-to-Back Losses

If you didn't see it, the LA Times yesterday included a lengthy article on the suicides of two former UCLA athletes: http://www.latimes.com/sports/ucla/la-sp-ucla-honeycutt-knight-20180814-story.html

Shanghaied

[Click on table to enlarge]
UCLA ranked No. 2 public university in U.S., No. 11 overall globally: ShanghaiRanking Consultancy measures six key criteria in its Academic Ranking of World Universities
http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/ucla-ranked-no-2-public-university-in-u-s-no-11-overall-globally
http://www.shanghairanking.com/ARWU2018.html

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Grade Inflation

Interesting sign
The Bruin carries photo (apparently from Tuesday a week ago) of union protesters at the chancellor's office:

University of California student workers held a rally Tuesday to put pressure on the University to accept their demands for their new contract. Roughly 100 people from United Auto Workers Local 2865 and its allies set up tents and banners outside of Murphy Hall to demand proper compensation, sexual harassment policy changes and immigrant protections...

Full story at http://dailybruin.com/2018/08/12/student-worker-union-holds-protest-for-provisions-in-new-contract-with-uc/

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Nine Close to Home

Judge Holds UC Regents in Contempt in UCSB Stalking Case

A state court judge in Santa Barbara found that the school's revised decision in a case she sent back to the school for further review was "merely a poorly rewritten decision that appears to be a justification for the earlier result."

By Ross Todd | August 13, 2018 at 05:02 PM | The Recorder

A state trial court judge in Santa Barbara has held the Regents of the University of California in contempt in a case where she ordered the UC Santa Barbara to review the findings of a stalking case which resulted in a student expulsion.

Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Donna Geck last year gave UCSB the option of either reconsidering the appeal brought by the John Doe student in full or for the same appellate panel to review the case based on evidence beyond what was in the school’s Title IX investigative report, including evidence and statements presented by the parties at the hearing before the school’s Interpersonal Violence Appeal Review Committee.

Geck wrote in her contempt order handed down Friday that the school’s revised decision, which only changed the introductory sentence of one section, was “merely a poorly rewritten decision that appears to be a justification for the earlier result.” She ordered Doe reinstated to UCSB for the fall semester and scheduled for classes.

A spokeswoman for the UC Regents directed a request for comment to UCSB representatives. A spokeswoman for the school emailed the following statement: “The safety of our students and our campus community is our highest priority. We are currently reviewing the court’s order and considering our options, which include the possibility of appealing.”

UC is represented by Hailyn Chen and John Major of Munger Tolles & Olson.

The underlying case began in May 2016 when a fellow student who had briefly dated Doe in September 2015 reported to the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office that for about a year he had followed her to and from her classes, staying about 100 feet behind her. She also accused Doe of having an unidentified third party send a series of disturbing phone calls and text messages to her.

After the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department took no action against Doe, the woman initiated a Title IX complaint against him at UC Santa Barbara. Doe denied the allegations, but the Title IX investigator assigned to the case found that it was “more likely than not” that he had stalked the woman.

In November 2016, Sandra Vasquez the school’s associate dean of students and director of the Office of judicial Affairs, agreed with the investigator’s finding and decided that dismissing Doe from UCSB was the appropriate sanction. Doe appealed that decision to the school’s internal Interpersonal Violence Appeal Review Committee, which upheld Vasquez’s decision in early 2017.

Doe’s lawyers, Mark Hathaway and Jenna Eyrich of Werksman Jackson Hathaway & Quinn in Los Angeles. asked the superior court for a writ of mandate setting aside the ruling in the school’s appeal arguing, in part, that the decision was unreasonable, given the evidence. They contended that the committee had improperly limited its review to the evidence presented in the investigator’s report. Geck granted the writ in December 2017 on that basis, writing that it was “not an academic conclusion” and that “standard of review is very important in a reviewing whether a decision is unreasonable based on the evidence.”

Back at the school, the committee reached the same decision on second look earlier this year. The committee’s written decision added a single additional sentence to its original, stating that it had taken into account evidence from the statements by Doe and his accuser at its earlier hearing, and testimony from others on top of the previously considered investigator’s findings.

But Geck was unpersuaded by the university’s contention that it had acted in accordance with her earlier ruling.

“The language of the Revised Appeal Decision is identical in every respect to the original Appeal Decision, except for the introductory sentence regarding Ground 2,” Geck wrote in Friday’s opinion. 

“The contradictory statements in the discussion of Ground 2 indicate that the panel did not genuinely reconsider the case, but simply added language that would make the original decision look like a truly reconsidered decision.”

Source: https://www.law.com/therecorder/2018/08/13/judge-holds-uc-regents-in-contempt-in-ucsb-stalking-case/  [Contains link to court decision]

#7 Ain't Bad

For what it's worth, UCLA Med Center came in #7 in U.S. News rankings. Details at:
https://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals

What Will Be the Fate of UCLA Bike Sharing?

Yours truly sees folks on electric rent-a-scooters on campus. He hasn't seen much rent-a-bike activity. In Dallas, as the story below describes, the rent-a-bike folks gave up and scrapped their bikes, as per the photo above.
You can read the NPR story at:
https://www.npr.org/2018/08/07/636347531/hundreds-of-bikes-dumped-at-dallas-recycling-center-as-ofo-leaves-market
The question is: Can UCLA make a go of rent-a-bikes given the e-scooter competition.

Monday, August 13, 2018

UCLA History: Presidential Visit

The photo on the left appeared on the Facebook page, "You know you grew up in West Los Angeles if you remember..."

It purports to show a brief visit in 1936 by President Roosevelt to UCLA. The upper panel is said to show Roosevelt's hand waiving his hat.

The lower panel is said to show students returning to class after the visit.

A quick search of LA Public Library photos shows Roosevelt visiting LA in 1938, so the 1936 date may be wrong. See below. The car looks similar except the top is down in the 1938 photo. And Roosevelt is waiving his hat:
If anyone wants to do further research and clear up the date, please do so.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Good News, Bad News, Probably No News

The state controller's cash report for July is out. July is the first month of the 2018-19 fiscal year. The good news is that total revenues are up 8.9% from the same month last year. The bad news is that total revenues a 4.3% of what was forecast when the 2018-19 state budget was being enacted. Also not good is that the sales tax component - which is a proxy for consumption activity - is down from both the forecast levels and from last year. Is this an indication of some kind of slowdown? Does it instead relate to some one-off event such as wild fires?

Finally, with only one month's observation, what we have is most likely noise, unless the pattern persists.

You can find the controller's cash report for July at:
https://www.sco.ca.gov/Files-ARD/CASH/July%202018%20Statement%20of%20General%20Fund%20Cash%20Receipts%20and%20Disbursements.pdf.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Another Slow Day

 As we do on slow news days, hear are photos of the new Anderson building going up as of this past week.
Maybe a lot of progress has been made since the last photos.* My untrained eye didn't see much, nor did I spot a lot of folks working on the structure during the business day. Anyone monitoring the progress?
===
*https://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/2018/08/a-slow-day.html

Friday, August 10, 2018

Halloween Comes Early

In today's email:

Dear Faculty:

In anticipation of UCLA’s transition to UCPath, At Your Service Online (AYSO) will become ‘read-only’ starting August 30, 2018.
AYSO will be unavailable for self-service transactions due to the conversion to the UCPath Portal that will take place in early September. When logging into AYSO after August 30, you will only have access to view and download pay statements and W2’s, download employment verification, and view retirement information. You will also have the ability to update your beneficiary information, however all other functions, such as making changes or updates to your personal or payroll information, will be disabled.
Beginning September 23, 2018, all UCLA employees will have access to the UCPath Portal. Once you have access, you will use the UCPath Portal to change or update your personal information, access your pay statements, and view your benefits. Instructions for accessing the UCPath Portal will be provided in the coming weeks.
Please note that you will continue to access AYSO for historical and retirement information after UCPath goes live. Pay statements (previous 18 months) and W2’s for earnings before the UCPath Portal launch will remain available in AYSO.
If you need to make changes to your personal or payroll information between August 30 – September 23, 2018 you must contact the UCPath Center by calling (855) 982-7284 (Monday – Friday8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) to speak with an associate. Additionally, employment verification will also remain available on AYSO, however, if the information you see is not up-to-date, you should contact the UCPath Center.
Retirees are not impacted by the transition to UCPath. Retirees will continue to have access to AYSO as they do today and will be able to update their address, withholdings, direct deposit, etc. without interruption.
There are a couple of things active employees can do to prepare for these changes:

1.
If you haven’t already done so, log into AYSO and verify that your personal information is correct. The information in AYSO will be converted directly to UCPath.

2.
Ensure that you have a Single Sign-On (SSO). You will use your SSO to log into the UCPath Portal. The UCLA Logon ID is the SSO for all UCLA employees. If you are a Health Systems employee, you can also log in with your Mednet ID after you have created your UCLA Logon ID. To create a UCLA Logon ID, visit the UCLA Identity and Accounts Manager.


SSO requires Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). If you haven’t done so already, be sure to enroll in MFA. Visit the IT Security Office MFA at UCLA website for more information.
For more information about UCPath and what you can do to prepare, please visit the UCLA UCPath website.
We regret any inconvenience and appreciate your understanding of the changes that are necessary to support a smooth transition to UCPath.
Thank you,
UCLA UCPath Team

Another Cautionary Tale: This One from a Private University

A few days ago, we posted a cautionary tale from the University of Michigan - a public university - about providing due process in sexual harassment/assault complaint cases.* Here is one closer to home from a private university:

Court Revives Claremont McKenna Student's Appeal Over Sexual Misconduct Suspension

The Second District Court of Appeal held that in a case that turned on believing the accuser's version of conflicting accounts, the process should have included opportunities to hear from the accuser in person or by video conference and to ask her appropriate questions.

By Ross Todd | August 9, 2018 | Law.com

A California appellate court has revived the appeal of a Claremont McKenna College student who was suspended for a year for violating the school’s sexual misconduct policy.

The Second District Court of Appeal on Wednesday found that in cases “where the accused student faces a severe penalty and the school’s determination turns on the complaining witness’s credibility,” the fact-finding body should hear directly from the accuser. The court also determined that the accused should have the opportunity to question the accuser, even if only indirectly—an opportunity, wrote Justice Helen Bendix in Wednesday’s 29-page opinion, that “not exist here.”

The decision is the latest California appellate decision to shed light on the difficult task universities face in balancing accused students’ due process rights with concerns about protecting victims and campuses safety. The Second District previously held in 2016 that a University of Southern California football player hadn’t been given sufficient notice of the allegations against him or a fair hearing by the school before being suspended.

Alexander Cote of Scheper Kim & Harris in Los Angeles, who represents the John Doe Claremont McKenna student in the case, said that he was “grateful” that the court accepted his client’s arguments about how finders of fact should handle cases “where credibility is the key issue.”

“I think this opinion gives a lot of guidance to schools going forward so they’re fair to everybody, both for the accused and the accuser,” Cote said.

The events that led to Wednesday’s decision involving a male student who was a freshman at Claremont McKenna in the fall of 2014, referred to in the case as John Doe, and female student who was a freshman at neighboring Scripps College, referred to as Jane Roe. According to the final report from the school’s investigator, the two went back to John’s room one night in October of that year when both were drunk, began kissing and undressed each other. John left at some point to get condoms from outside his resident advisor’s room, but struggled to keep one on. From there, John and Jane’s accounts of the encounter diverge.

After Jane reported John to her school’s Title IX office four months after the encounter, the committee reviewing the case at Claremont accepted her contention that she didn’t consent to have unprotected sex. Committee members also found the fact that Jane sustained injuries during the encounter and sought medical treatment afterward corroborated her testimony that John became rough during sex, and that she had struggled to break free. The committee also found that John’s own words—that Jane didn’t seem “super into it” and that he couldn’t remember her verbally giving consent—weighed against him.

At the court of appeals, John’s lawyers argued that he was denied a fair hearing since neither he nor the Committee asked any Jane questions, and there was no basis for the committee to evaluate her credibility.

“We agree that Jane’s not appearing at the hearing either in person or via videoconference or other means deprived John of a fair hearing where John faced potentially serious consequences and the case against him turned on the Committee’s finding Jane credible,” wrote Bendix, who was joined in her decision by Second District colleagues Victoria Gerrard Chaney and Laurie Zelon.

Apalla Chopra of O’Melveny & Myers, who represents the school in the case, directed a request for comment to a Claremont McKenna spokesman. Peter Hong, associate VP for public affairs and communications at the school, said in an email that the college is currently reviewing the opinion to determine next steps, including a potential appeal to the California Supreme Court.

“Claremont McKenna College is committed to protecting the civil rights of all members of our community, which includes responding appropriately to all complaints of sexual misconduct, and providing all parties involved in such complaints with access to a grievance process that is fair, prompt, and equitable,” Hong said. “The College firmly believes that the grievance process followed in this case met or exceeded relevant legal requirements for expectations under federal and state law.”

Source: https://www.law.com/therecorder/2018/08/09/court-revives-claremont-mckenna-students-appeal-over-sexual-misconduct-suspension/
===
*http://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/2018/08/cautionary-tale-from-another-public.html

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Higher Ed Goal in California?

From Inside Higher Ed: A coalition of colleges, nonprofit organizations and education foundations are calling for the next governor of California to set a degree-attainment goal for the state.
The groups, led by the Campaign for College Opportunity, are encouraging the next governor to set a 60 percent college attainment goal and to close racial equity gaps in college opportunity by 2030.
Californians will select their next governor in November. The state's lieutenant governor, Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, is running against Republican John Cox.
"California's candidates for governor are rightfully concerned about the economic future of the state," Michele Siqueiros, president of the Campaign for College Opportunity, said in a news release...
Note: The organization behind the campaign says it was founded by MALDEF, a Latino group, the California Business Roundtable, and the Community College League of California, in part out of concern for the fate of the 1960 Master Plan. It is funded by various foundations. Website: http://collegecampaign.org/

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Union Regents

Henning
We noted yesterday that Governor Brown has appointed four new Regents. One is a union leader: Laphonza Butler, president of the SEIU United Long Term Care Workers Union. While there have been many Regents with business backgrounds, union officials have been scarce. In fact, Jerry Brown in his first iteration as governor appointed another union Regent: John ("Jack") Henning, head of the California Labor Federation. Henning served as a Regent from 1977 to 1989.*

More recently, Governor Brown appointed Henning's grandson, Patrick W. Henning Jr,  as head of the Employment Development Department (EDD) in 2014.**

===
*Henning's obituary is at: http://www.latimes.com/local/obituaries/la-me-jack-henning6-2009jun06-story.html.
**http://articles.latimes.com/2014/mar/21/business/la-fi-edd-new-director-20140322. Patrick Henning's father headed EDD under Gov. Schwarzenegger. Another grandson, namesake John F. Henning III, has had a more checkered career:
https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/Long-strange-journey-of-hate-crime-case-3326067.php, http://members.calbar.ca.gov/fal/Licensee/Detail/188416.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Four New Regents

Butler
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced the following appointments:

Laphonza Butler, 39, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to the University of California Board of Regents. Butler has been president of SEIU United Long Term Care Workers Union since 2010. She was a national division director and campaign director for SEIU in Washington, D.C. from 2006 to 2009. This position requires Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Butler is a Democrat.

Cohen
Michael Cohen, 45, of Sacramento, has been appointed to the University of California Board of Regents. Cohen has served as director at the California Department of Finance since 2013, where he was chief deputy director for budget from 2011 to 2013. He served in several positions at the California Legislative Analyst’s Office from 1997 to 2010, including deputy legislative analyst, director of state administration and local government finance analyst. Cohen earned a Master of Public Affairs degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. This position requires Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Cohen is registered without party preference.*

Estolano
Cecilia V. Estolano, 52, of Pasadena, has been appointed to the University of California Board of Regents. Estolano has been co-founder and chief executive officer at Estolano LeSar Advisors since 2011. She was chief strategist for state and local initiatives at Green for All from 2009 to 2011, chief executive officer at the City of Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency from 2006 to 2009 and an adjunct professor at the University of California, Los Angeles Luskin School of Public Affairs from 2006 to 2009 and in 2017. Estolano was of counsel at Gibson Dunn and Crutcher LLP from 2005 to 2006 and served as special assistant city attorney in the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office from 2001 to 2005. She served as a senior policy advisor at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 1993 to 1995. Estolano earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and a Master of Arts degree in urban planning from the University of California, Los Angeles. This position requires Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Estolano is a Democrat.

Leib
Richard H. Leib, 61, of Solana Beach, has been appointed to the University of California Board of Regents. Leib has been president and chief executive officer at Dunleer Strategies since 2018. He was executive vice president and general counsel at Liquid Environmental Solutions from 2002 to 2017. Leib was vice president at Lockheed Martin IMS from 1999 to 2001 and executive vice president and general counsel at U.S. Public Technologies from 1994 to 1999. Leib was co-founder of the Investment Management Group at Stone and Youngberg LLC from 1992 to 1994. He was a legislative assistant in the Office of California State Senator Gary Hart** from 1982 to 1988 and executive director at Agenda for the ‘90s from 1988 to 1990. Leib was a Coro fellow from 1979 to 1980. He is a member of the Solana Beach School District Board of Education. Leib earned a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School and a Master of Public Policy degree from Claremont Graduate University. This position requires Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Leib is a Democrat.

Source: https://www.gov.ca.gov/2018/08/06/governor-brown-announces-appointments-61/
===
*Brown referred to him as "the other Michael Cohen" at a recent news conference.
**This is California's Gary Hart, not to be confused with the Colorado Gary Hart of "Monkey Business" fame. If you don't know what that was, Google it.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Cautionary Tale from Another Public University

From Inside Higher EdIn July, a federal judge instructed the University of Michigan to break from its policies for investigating sexual assault and instead to hold a live hearing so that a student accused of rape could question his accuser. The decision could have national implications as it is part of an emerging pattern of case law: establishing that those accused of campus sexual violence have the right to question the evidence against them. 

With the U.S. Department of Education on the cusp of releasing new draft regulations on the federal gender discrimination law, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, campus leaders are waiting to see how prescriptive Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will be with a few of these processes. 

The anonymous male student sued Michigan in June, alleging that its sexual assault policies deprived him of due process rights. The student was accused of rape in April stemming from a sexual encounter last November that he said was consensual. Officials hadn't determined yet whether he committed the assault. 

Last month, U.S. District Judge Arthur Tarnow ordered the institution to arrange the live hearing, writing in his ruling: "[The university] essentially asks the court to sit back and wait for the investigator to issue findings against plaintiff before intervening in this action. But at this very moment, the university may be denying plaintiff due process protections to which he is entitled. The court cannot, and will not, simply stand by as the fruit continues to rot on the tree. This case is ripe for adjudication."

This ruling doesn't mean that the accused student would be directly asking his accuser questions, merely that he be given the opportunity to challenge her narrative...

Full story at https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/08/06/court-ruling-suggests-cross-examination-will-be-hot-topic-colleges

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Think Twice

Did you get an email like the one above? Think twice before responding to it, or any other similar invitation. Note the fine print; this is not an official UCLA operation. When you put personal info on a website, it may not be used in ways that benefit you. In the case above, if you sign up, you will be asked to give the website access to your gmail account. Caution advised!

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Just money

From Patch: A former UCLA hematologist who won $13 million after claiming she was forced out of her job as director of the medical school's lymphoma program because a male-dominated administration ignored her complaints of age and gender discrimination was awarded another $1.8 million in attorneys' fees Friday.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Linfield said the amount was reasonable, despite protests to the contrary by attorneys for the Regents of the University of California...
In her argument opposing the Shegerian firm's fees request, defense attorney Kathryn McGuigan argued that the hourly rate charged by Shegerian is normally only seen by those who practice patent or antitrust law. She said Shegerian's fees on previous cases he won were for about $700 an hour.
Lawyer Barbara Fitzgerald, also on behalf of the UCLA regents, told the judge that (the) lawsuit was a "run-of-the-mill case" that also happened to be tried in the midst of the #MeToo movement, likely benefiting the plaintiff.
But Anthony Nguyen, who works for the plaintiff's firm, said Shegerian received $1,000 an hour in fees in a previous case. He also said the Pinter- Brown case was not an easy one to try because the plaintiff resigned due to the conditions at UCLA and was able to get new employment at UC Irvine...

Friday, August 3, 2018

LLNL and Retiree Health Care

From Inside Higher Ed:

A California appeals court said this week that the University of California owes retirees who worked at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory the university-sponsored group health insurance they were promised during their employment, reversing an earlier court decision saying otherwise. Several Livermore retirees sued the California system in 2010, saying that it effectively disowned them in terms of retiree health care when a private partnership started running the federal defense lab, in 2007. The retirees argued that their new plan, administered by the private partnership, had “significant disadvantages and no comparable new advantages when compared with the university-provided retiree medical benefit plan,” such as higher premium and higher monthly out-of-pocket costs. Thousands of people were affected by the change...
A spokesperson for the California system said it was “disappointed” in the decision and “considering our options as we review the court’s reasoning.”
Note that this decision, if it isn't appealed or if it survives an appeal, tends to undermine the UC position that retiree health care is just a nice thing UC provides, but that it has no legal obligation to do so.

Paths can lead to problems


UCLA will deploy UCPath in September, 2018. UCLA will partner with UC Santa Barbara as part of the UCLA/UCSB Pilot implementation, joining the Office of the President, which launched UCPath in 2015, and our sister campuses — Merced, Riverside, and ASUCLA — all of which are now live on UCPath as of January 2, 2018. 

Source and more info at: https://ucpath.ucla.edu/

For those who don't know, UCPath is the much-delayed and much-over-budget computer system to handle payroll and employee records.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

OK, But Not Too Close

From the LA Times:

University of California President Janet Napolitano took the helm of the nation’s top public research university five years ago as a tough and seasoned politician and former Cabinet member in the Obama administration. Her take-charge style and ambitions to make a mark startled some campus leaders accustomed to more low-key academics. But their sentiments were not always communicated to the top — and when the state auditor tried to assess campus views in a review of Napolitano’s office published last year, two of the president’s aides tampered with the surveys. The interference sparked a political uproar and prompted Napolitano to apologize publicly.

Now campus leaders have spoken up — and say they want more autonomy from Napolitano’s office even as they value many of the systemwide services it provides. Their opinions are expressed in a new study obtained by The Times that was commissioned by the UC Board of Regents after the audit interference fiasco. Consultants with Sjoberg Evashenk Consulting Inc. interviewed 74 senior campus leaders, including all 10 chancellors, to gauge their views of the services and programs provided by the UC Office of the President, often referred to as UCOP.

The study found widespread support for the vast majority of systemwide services, such as legal counsel, government relations, employee benefits and the retirement system. One longtime chancellor said the breadth of support for the president’s office is greater today than a decade ago, when a poll of campus leaders showed more dissatisfaction.

Senior administrators expressed the greatest concerns about the flurry of Napolitano’s systemwide presidential initiatives. Since 2013, Napolitano has launched several signature ventures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, expand access to food, promote free speech, increase collaboration with Mexico, aid UC students living in the U.S. illegally, and encourage students to pursue public service careers...


They just want to be left alone:

Implication Unclear

From Inside Higher Ed:

A $717 billion defense spending bill sent by the Senate to President Trump for his signature Wednesday prohibits the use of appropriated funds for Chinese language instruction provided by a Confucius Institute or by a Chinese language program at a college or university that hosts a Confucius Institute. The bill states that the prohibition can be waived if a defense official certifies that Confucius Institute employees and instructors will have no involvement with the Chinese language program or authority or influence over its curriculum.

Confucius Institutes -- Chinese government-funded centers for language and cultural education that can be found at about 100 U.S. universities -- have come under increasing scrutiny in recent months from Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, and other lawmakers. Critics say the institutes spread Chinese Communist Party propaganda and allow an entity of the Chinese government undue control over instruction and curriculum in U.S. universities, while supporters say the institutes are vehicles for cultural and educational exchange and provide much-needed funds for Chinese language instruction.

Trump is expected to sign the defense spending bill into law.

Source: https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2018/08/02/defense-bill-restricts-funds-colleges-confucius-institutes

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

A Slow Day

It's another slow day for university-related news. So, as we have done before, here are some recent photos of the new building going up as part of the Anderson School complex. 




Tuesday, July 31, 2018

$25 Million Gift

We like to pay special attention to gifts to UCLA that don't involve bricks-and-mortar construction projects. Here is one:

The UCLA College humanities division has received its largest ever gift — and one of the largest ever to any university philosophy department: $25 million in honor of two longtime UCLA faculty members.

Of the total, $20 million will support the philosophy department; the other $5 million will provide seed funding to create a planned $15 million endowment to provide financial support for graduate students in the humanities division.

Jordan Kaplan, his wife, Christine, and Jordan’s longtime business partner, Ken Panzer, made the gift in honor of Jordan’s parents, Renée and David Kaplan — each of whom has been a member of the UCLA faculty for almost 60 years — and to recognize his father’s contributions to the study of philosophy.

In recognition of the gift, UCLA’s Humanities Building will be renamed Renée and David Kaplan Hall.

“This extraordinary gift signals a new era for the humanities at UCLA and, in particular, for philosophy,” said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. “It’s more important than ever to instill in our students the philosophical perspective that helps make sense of today’s complex societal challenges.”

Jordan Kaplan is the CEO and president of Douglas Emmett Inc., a real estate investment trust. David Kaplan is a renowned scholar of philosophical logic and the philosophy of language, and Renée Kaplan was a clinical professor of psychology and the director of training at UCLA Student Psychological Services. Both Renée and David earned doctorates at UCLA.

“We are proud to participate in UCLA’s Centennial Campaign and be able to meaningfully support Humanities and Philosophy, areas of study that we feel are particularly important now to the health of our modern society,” Jordan Kaplan said. “Our hope is that this gift will encourage others to recognize the importance of these departments and join us in providing them with very much needed support.”

The gift, the second largest made to the UCLA College during the ongoing Centennial Campaign for UCLA, comes two years after Renée, David, Jordan and Christine Kaplan donated funds to establish the Presidential Professor of Philosophy endowed chair.

The new gift will help the humanities division and philosophy department recruit and retain top faculty, and attract the most outstanding graduate students.

“We are deeply grateful for this inspirational gift from Christine and Jordan Kaplan and Ken Panzer,” said Scott Waugh, UCLA’s executive vice chancellor and provost. “It demonstrates not only their commitment to advancing the excellence of the humanities and our study of philosophy, but also their confidence in UCLA’s academic mission as we enter our second century.”

The study of philosophy has been a cornerstone of the humanities at UCLA since the campus’ founding in 1919; an endowed chair in philosophy that was established in 1928 was the first in UCLA’s history. Among the department’s current faculty are recipients of Mellon and Guggenheim fellowships and National Science Foundation grants, and members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Council of Learned Societies. UCLA doctoral graduates in philosophy have gone on to teach at the most preeminent universities around the world.

“This gift will help make our department of philosophy the bellwether for departments of its kind around the world,” said David Schaberg, dean of the humanities division. “Especially valuable is the opportunity to build a $15 million endowment for graduate students in the humanities on the basis of the generous matching fund the gift creates.”

Professor Seana Shiffrin, chair of the philosophy department, said the gift will be transformative for the future of the department.

“Philosophical issues touch on every aspect of life — including issues about what sort of creatures we are and could become, what we can know of ourselves and others, how we should treat one another, whether we are capable of forming a better society and what that would look like, and the significance of our mortality,” she said. “A philosophy education introduces students to captivating ideas and perennial questions while imparting crucial skills of analysis, argumentation, clarity, and precision.  

“In its capacity both to stimulate and to discipline the imagination, training in philosophy empowers students to enter any career, while enriching their entire lives by opening up new avenues of thought and fresh possibilities for living.”

The gift is part of the UCLA Centennial Campaign, which is scheduled to conclude in December 2019, during UCLA’s 100th anniversary year.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Some Numbers

As the chart above shows, the population of California has more than doubled since the days of the 1960 Master Plan.* UCLA has become notorious for being hard to get into. What was UCLA's undergraduate enrollment back then? Yours truly poked around on the web and it turns out getting data on that issue takes some doing. I ended up looking at the Master Plan itself. That document gives data on the entire UC System as it was in 1958 and on total student enrollment. You never find undergraduates-only by campus. But with some estimating, it appears that UCLA probably had about 11-12,000 undergrads at most. It now has around 31,000 undergrads, so the undergrad population has come close to tripling. In short, UCLA undergraduate enrollment has outpaced overall population growth. Now, you would have to look at college-age population rather than total to get a more legitimate comparison. And you might want to look at the comparative growth of northern vs. southern California. And there is the sensitive issue of out-of-state admissions. But putting it all together suggests (to me, at least) that what has happened over the long-term is that a) more folks out of the general population want to go to college than was the case circa 1960, and b) UCLA's reputation as a desirable university to attend has gone up. If anyone out there has more to say about this matter, please add a comment.

I suspect there is some analogy to the freeways, which were also being expanded at the time of the Master Plan. When you first build them, there is lots of capacity and traffic flows freely. But since access is subsidized, they eventually fill up and become congested.
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*http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/uchistory/archives_exhibits/masterplan/MasterPlan1960.pdf

Sunday, July 29, 2018

UCLA History: The Past of Pizza

California Pizza Kitchen building nowadays
Same building in mid-1950s
Same building in 1930s

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Closure

Email from HR:

As in the past, UCLA plans to observe a Winter Holiday Closure during the 2018-2019 holiday season. This annual closure is a highly effective approach to power conservation for a specific period of time and has allowed UCLA to achieve significant energy savings.
It is proposed that the campus close for 11 days between Saturday, December 22, 2018, and Tuesday, January 1, 2019, with plans to reopen on Wednesday, January 2, 2019. This period includes four University paid holidays (December 24, 25, 31, 2018, and January 1, 2019). This year, three days (December 26, 27 and 28, 2018) are not paid holidays.
Staff employees and those academic employees who accrue vacation leave will need to use either vacation, compensatory time (if available), or leave without pay to compensate for these three work days.
For exclusively represented employees, labor contracts may include similar provisions, and requirements under the Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act will be observed...

Friday, July 27, 2018

Millions

Somewhat scaled down (billions to millions) from yesterday's post:

Dear alumni and friends,

I am delighted to share with you some incredible news on the fundraising front. The UCLA College has raised a record $111M during FY17-18, which is 172% of its annual target. This success has also propelled the College past its initial overall Centennial Campaign goal of $400M to a total of $471M, 18 months ahead of schedule. We are profoundly grateful to all the donors who have made this possible...


Patricia Turner
Senior Dean of the UCLA College
Dean and Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education


Full message at http://view.eamail3.ucla.edu/?qs=549a5f9c0208264d2fe7bf2562e62381c97246ea3ffd6edc0de6ad67b54184eb89aa27d965770e7a2e9c955229a3bc2fe7d1454f0537e727716ef99dbac327aeff38afe962b8cbc9b6cddf24e9348548 

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Billions

Actually, it's one of those great quotes of dubious origin.
When UCLA officials in 2014 announced a $4.2 billion fundraising campaign, the university hoped it would reach the goal by the end of 2019. But the university announced Wednesday it has already reached the milestone, 18 months ahead of schedule.

"The support we have seen for UCLA during this campaign has been deeply inspiring and a testament to the great value our university brings to people locally and globally," UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said in a statement released by the university. "It also shows the confidence that people and foundations have in our students, staff, faculty and alumni to drive discovery, innovation, education and service."

The fundraising effort -- the Centennial Campaign for UCLA -- will continue despite already meeting its goal.

University officials said more than 58,000 donors contributed to the campaign during 2017-18, and 95 percent of the donations were less than $10,000. UCLA received 109 gifts of $1 million or more.

Among the most notable donations were:

  • $100 million from music mogul David Geffen to establish the Geffen Academy at UCLA, and an additional $100 million from Geffen to establish scholarships for medical students at the Geffen School of Medicine;
  • a total of $109 million by UCLA graduates Renee and Meyer Luskin, including funds for the UCLA Renee and Meyer Luskin Conference Center;
  • more than $50 million in total gifts from Henry and Susan Samueli;
  • $20 million from the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy;
  • $100 million from philanthropist Marion Anderson, whose late husband John is the namesake of the UCLA Anderson School of Management; and
  • more than $4 million from "The Big Bang Theory" co-creator Chuck Lorre and the show's cast and crew to establish scholarships for students studying science, technology, engineering and math.

Source: https://patch.com/california/centurycity/ucla-surpasses-4-2-billion-fundraising-goals

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Bill to Require UC Provision of Abortion Pills

California soon may be first state to require public universities to offer abortion pills

Elizabeth Castillo, CALmatters, 7-24-18

Jessica Rosales recalls plunging into a downward spiral after discovering that her birth control had failed and she was pregnant. A financially unstable third-year student at UC Riverside, she immediately sought an abortion —something the campus student health clinic did not provide.

Instead she was referred to private medical facilities off campus. One wouldn’t accept her insurance; the other didn’t provide abortions. Her grades slipped, she said, and she frequently slept the days away to escape her circumstances. Eventually she traveled six miles to a Planned Parenthood clinic that performed the procedure. Ten weeks had passed.

“My situation could have been avoided if the student health center was there and provided medication abortion for students on campus,” Rosales said.

A bill advancing in the Legislature would make California the first in the nation to require that abortion pills be available at on-campus health centers. The legislation, which has passed the Senate and is advancing in the Assembly, would mandate that all California State University and University of California campuses make the prescription abortion drug RU 486 available at their on-campus student health centers by Jan. 1, 2022.

Funding, at least for the first year, would be provided not by taxpayers but by donations from a private foundation.

Advocates say making the drug available on campus is an essential part of guaranteeing access and ensuring that college women are able to terminate a pregnancy, if and when they choose.  

“It’s necessary because it’s a constitutionally protected right, but just because it’s a constitutionally protected right does not mean you have access,” said state Sen. Connie Leyva, the Chino Democrat who authored the bill.

But opponents say the proposed law is a solution in search of a problem, and that it could endanger women’s health and potentially saddle public universities with additional ongoing costs. They note that campus health centers currently refer students to off-campus abortion providers, and that UC and CSU campuses are located an average of less than 6 miles from such facilities.

“The abortion industry strategically places their facilities close to young women, that demographic, and of course close to universities,” said Anna Arend, Northern California regional coordinator of Students for Life of America, which opposes the bill. “There really is no issue of access. It’s a made-up problem.”

Still, some campuses have more access than others. While UC Santa Cruz is located 2 miles away from a Planned Parenthood clinic providing abortion services, UC Davis is over 11 miles away from such a clinic. San Diego State is located just 1 mile away from a clinic, but CSU Stanislaus is located over 14 miles away from one. For students without a car, like Rosales, that can add up to hours on public transit.

Campus health centers provide students a wide range of services: immunizations, contraception, mental health services, x-rays, dental and optical services among them. Exact services offered vary by campus—some offer IUD insertions, for example, while others do not. They do not, for example, offer childbirthing services.

Adiba Khan, a campus organizer with the foundation, said she helped launch the effort to pass the bill after several of her classmates at UC Berkeley experienced difficulty obtaining abortion pills during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy.

After that, a pill is no longer an option—abortion would require a more medically invasive procedure, such as a suction method. The bill would require campuses to make abortion pills, but not more involved procedures, available.

“Most people don’t find out that they’re pregnant until five, six weeks in, so that’s a really short time crunch,” said Khan, adding that it’s not unusual for students to have to wait a week or more for a health center appointment

“Students at UCLA and Berkeley still experience a bad time so just imagine students who are in more secluded areas,” she said. “They have to go through an insane battle to be able to get an abortion.”

The CSU and UC system haven’t taken a position on the bill, but both systems want to ensure that adding abortion pill services wouldn’t ultimately raise student fees, which provide the primary funding for campus health centers.

The Women’s Foundation of California has secured up to $20 million in private start-up money for the first year from prominent health advocacy groups and anonymous donors. The foundation, which says it focuses on gender, racial, and economic justice, maintains that one year of funding at $200,000 per campus, along with an additional $200,000 each to the UC and CSU systems, will be more than enough to cover costs.

Some lawmakers question what happens once the initial funding runs out.

During a hearing of the Assembly Health Committee, Madera Republican Assemblyman Frank Bigelow said he wanted to guarantee that schools wouldn’t be forced to use money from campus general funds or other student fees to pay for abortions.  

“I would hope that you would look at further refining so that we limit that complete ability for them to use the public-sector funds,” Bigelow told Leyva.

Leyva explained that some of the startup money would be used to teach campus health centers prescribing the pills how to bill health insurers—including private health plans, campus student health insurance programs and Medi-Cal, for the poorest students. By the second year, she contends, campuses will be able to use such reimbursements to fully cover their costs to provide abortion pills.

Source: https://calmatters.org/articles/california-abortion-pills-public-universities/amp/

Bill (SB 320) available at https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB320