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Saturday, August 31, 2019

Whooping Cough on Campus

From the Bruin: Another UCLA student was diagnosed with whooping cough Wednesday, bringing the total number of on-campus cases to four.

Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a highly contagious respiratory disease. A student was diagnosed with whooping cough at the Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center on Aug. 28, according to an email statement from Administrative Vice Chancellor Michael Beck.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health also notified the school of a third case on Aug. 23. The student infected then was a resident of Sproul Cove, Beck said in an earlier statement sent to the Daily Bruin.

He added that the Ashe Center was working with UCLA Housing to email students living on the same floor to inform them of the exposure, and give them instructions to follow if they experience symptoms. Signage would also be placed in the lobby of the building, he said.

“Pertussis is an epidemic in LA County right now and it is highly probable there will be other students that will come down with it,” Beck said...

Full story at http://dailybruin.com/2019/08/30/4th-ucla-student-diagnosed-with-whooping-cough-spread-of-infection-highly-probable/

Note: There is a vaccine for pertussis: https://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/vaccines.html. For some reason, this basic fact is not mentioned in the Bruin article. And what happened to UCLA's vaccination requirements? We're going backwards, folks:

UCLA History: Westwood c1937

Westwood circa 1937. No, I haven't been able to find a contemporary building (using Google streetviews to go up and down Westwood streets) that matches this picture so I don't know precisely where the location was. Not all Westwood buildings from the 1930s are still in place. If anyone knows, leave a comment.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Campus Earthquake Danger

UCLA dorm room damage from 1994 Northridge earthquake
There have been reports in the news media - up to this point focused on UC-Berkeley - about a study of earthquake risk to major campus buildings. The LA Times now reports both UCLA and Berkeley have buildings that pose a severe risk.

Back in the day (1970s after the 1971 quake) a report was done on the UCLA campus rating the risk for various buildings. There seemed to be paralysis in doing something about it as the campus wanted UCOP to pay for upgrades and UCOP wanted the campus to pay for them.

A group of faculty back then leaked the report to the LA Times and action followed. (You will, of course, not ask yours truly how he knows about the leaking.)

We will see how long it takes for upgrading this time now that the new study has appeared in the news media. Since Murphy Hall has been identified as one of the risky buildings, the schedule may be accelerated.

It might be noted that Berkeley Chancellor Christ has issued a statement on the report:
https://news.berkeley.edu/2019/08/28/seismic-message/
We have yet to hear from UCLA.

Earthquakes could kill people in many UCLA, UC Berkeley buildings, officials say

LA Times, Rong-Gong Lin II and Alejandra Reyes-Velarde, 8-29-19


Royce Hall under repair after 1994 Northridge earthquake
Dozens of buildings at UCLA and UC Berkeley pose a serious risk to life in a strong earthquake, with at least 68 seismically deficient structures at UC Berkeley and 18 at UCLA, according to new university studies. Although no campus buildings were deemed to be in the worst category, “dangerous,” six at UC Berkeley and three at UCLA were found to have a “severe” risk to life. The remaining 62 at UC Berkeley and 15 at UCLA were said to have a “serious” risk to life, according to the first reports released this week in response to a UC Board of Regents 2017 directive calling on every campus to undertake a seismic risk assessment.

Other campuses are still compiling their reports. In general, UC campuses at particular risk of ground shaking in earthquakes include UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz and UC San Francisco.

Some of the UCLA buildings that pose a serious risk to life are the campus’ most significant — the Young and Powell libraries, which are large and highly populated; Murphy Hall, home to campus administrators; and the Luskin School of Public Affairs building, where hundreds attend humanities classes. 

UCLA, attended by 45,500 undergraduate and graduate students, is threatened by the Santa Monica fault, which runs along Santa Monica Boulevard, and the Newport-Inglewood fault, which runs from Orange County through Baldwin Hills and ends near campus. Each fault is capable of producing a quake of magnitude 7 or greater.

UC Berkeley, which serves about 42,500 undergraduate and graduate students, must contend with the Hayward fault, which runs through the campus’ eastern section and has the potential to unleash an earthquake of greater than magnitude 7.

Buildings with a severe risk to life are defined in the university studies as having a “very poor” seismic performance, where the cost to make repairs would be 40% to 100% of the cost to rebuild it from scratch. Those with a serious risk to life are deemed to have a “poor” seismic performance, and repairs would range between 20% to 50% of the cost to rebuild it...

More on Elsevier and all that

From Inside Higher Ed: Making the transition from paying to read to paying to publish academic research won’t be easy for universities or publishers. But it is possible, attendees at an open-access-publishing event were told Thursday.

The University of California, which canceled its “big deal” with publisher Elsevier earlier this year after negotiations to establish a new agreement broke down, hosted a public forum discussing how libraries, publishers and funders can support a system where all research articles are made free to read at the time of publication -- a standard known as gold open access.

So-called transformative agreements, which increase gold open access and shift payments away from the traditional subscription model, will be essential to accelerating the progress of the open-access movement, said Jeff Mackie Mason, university librarian at UC Berkeley.

“The open-access movement has been around for 25 years, and still just 15 percent of articles are fully open at the time of publication,” Mackie Mason said at the event. But transformative agreements offer an opportunity to “tip the scales towards full open access in our lifetime,” he said.

An increasing number of university librarians have expressed interest in pursuing transformative agreements, but what can and can’t be sustainably achieved is still being explored, said Kellie O’Rourke, head of library sales for the Americas at Cambridge University Press.

In the past year, Cambridge Press has reached half a dozen new agreements with institutions, including the University of California, said O’Rourke. “Our leadership has embraced an open research future. The question is, how are we going to get there?”

Who should pay for open access is a perennial question in discussions on this topic. In the humanities and social sciences, less financial support is available from research funders to cover open-access publishing costs than in the sciences, said O’Rourke. There are also questions about how to support long-form content such as monographs, she said. While wealthy institutions may be able to shoulder the cost of making articles open access, several audience members questioned how smaller institutions globally would pay to publish their research.

Ivy Anderson, director of the California Digital Library, said research funders, institutions and publishers can work together to find solutions to these challenges. At the University of California, money that was formerly used to pay for subscriptions will cover article-processing charges and be used to support open-access publishing initiatives.

“We’re devoting a lot of resources to make this work. A lot of systems need to be tweaked to support the model we’re interested in,” said Anderson. “We’re setting a foundation for the future, and we have to invent as we go along. This is exciting, but very intense, work.”

Judy Verses, executive vice president of research at publisher Wiley & Sons, said negotiating a transformative deal can’t happen overnight. The publisher’s agreement with Projekt Deal -- a consortium of research institutions in Germany -- was a “three-year journey,” she said.

“It’s not because we were moving slowly -- these are highly complex negotiations,” she said. Shifting the way payments are made necessitates significant changes in workflows and processes not only on the publisher side but on the institutional side. “There are different flavors of deals -- there is no one-size-fits-all.”

Reaching boutique deals with every single institution, or multiple consortia, is something that concerns Verses. “The current system isn’t scalable,” she said.

Both O’Rourke and Verses said it has been interesting to see how their relationships with institutions have changed since they started to work on these transformative deals. “We already aimed toward a partnership interaction, but now we’re really working together to make this happen,” said O’Rourke.

Keith Webster, dean of university libraries at Carnegie Mellon University, said he is currently engaged in “productive conversations” with Elsevier. The two parties are making positive progress toward a transformative deal, which he hopes to announce soon.

When negotiations between Elsevier and the UC system broke down, Webster said he worked quickly to accelerate his negotiations with Elsevier and communicate to the campus that if discussions with the publisher didn’t go well, they too could end up in a “no-deal situation” -- a prospect that concerned many on campus, he said.

Robert May, chair of the UC Academic Senate, said that frequent communication between the library, administration, faculty and students had prepared them for the possibility that no deal would be reached.

“We had to really boil down the message,” he said. “We would say things like, 'OA is when you pay to publish, you don’t pay to read.' Then we could get down into the details of how this works financially, the contract, etc.”

Both the UC system and Elsevier have pointed fingers at each other for failing to reach an agreement. Earlier this month, Elsevier wrote a letter to the UC Board of Regents that pushed back on “several inaccuracies and incorrect statements” made by UC library leaders about the company’s negotiating position, including that the publisher wanted to charge the library substantially more than it is already paying...*

Full story at https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/08/30/pursuing-new-kind-%E2%80%9Cbig-deal%E2%80%9D-publishers
====
*https://www.elsevier.com/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/908584/Elsevier-Letter-to-UC-Regents-7-31-19-signed-NF-FINAL.pdf

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Path Closed

Two UCPath online outages are planned as UC Davis and ANR employees transition to the UCPath system.

Please mark your calendar for these important dates:
  • Friday, August 30, at 5 p.m., through Wednesday, September 4, at 6 a.m.
  • Thursday, September 12, at 5 p.m., through Tuesday, September 17, at 6 a.m.
During this time, you will be unable to log into UCPath online to view or download your pay statements, W-2s, leave balances and other employment records. This temporary, scheduled outage will not impact pay processing or leave/service accrual.

If you have a question or need information during the outage, UCPath Center associates will be available by phone. Call (855) 982-7284 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Pacific Time for assistance.

Confucius

From the Chronicle of Higher Ed:

Another Confucius Institute Closes

Faculty protests about academic freedom severed some partnerships. But nothing has been as effective in shutting down Confucius Institutes as tying Defense Department funding to their closure. Some 15 colleges have shuttered their Chinese-government-funded language and cultural centers in the last 18 months, most in response to a provision included in defense budgetary legislation prohibiting universities from hosting a Confucius Institute while also receiving Pentagon funding for Chinese language study. Arizona State University is the latest, closing its 12-year-old institute rather than risk losing federal grants of $750,000 per year for the next five years.

Source: https://www.chronicle.com/article/Another-Confucius-Institute/247025

Telescope - What or when is "soon"?

Since local politicos in Hawaii seem comfortable with just pushing the telescope problem into the indefinite future - but also seem to want not to lose the project - there seems to be an effort by "project authorities" to increase pressure. See below. Still, at least as yours truly sees it, a hinted deadline of "soon" is not likely to create a resolution since "soon" is still indefinite. That is, soon is unlikely to be soon unless someone (UC?) does something more dramatic than a vague statement to the local newspapers.

TMT vice president says project partners concerned over inaction

Michael Brestovansky, Hawaii Tribune-Herald, August 29, 2019

Although the deadline to begin construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope was pushed back until 2021, project authorities believe a decision about the project’s future will have to be made soon.

“I don’t know what ‘soon’ exactly means in this situation, but definitely sooner than two years,” said Gordon Squires, TMT’s vice president of external affairs.

Squires said Wednesday that the continued inaction on the project — which was scheduled to begin construction on Maunakea in July, but has since been impeded by demonstrators blocking the Maunakea Access Road — may cause some of the project’s partners to reconsider their involvement.

“All of our partners are concerned right now,” Squires said, explaining that the project’s six partners — including government agencies of Canada, Japan and India, the National Astronomy Observatory of China, and the University of California and Caltech — remain committed to building TMT, but have to justify the substantial amount of money they supply the project each year.

The government agencies, in particular, need to solicit funds from their respective countries’ national budgets, Squires said, which may become harder to justify as the standoff continues.

Ultimately, Squires said, the partners will have to choose between three options: to build on Maunakea; to build on its secondary location, the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands; or to not build at all.

“At some stage, we need to have a site to build on,” Squires said.

A partner dropping out of the project could be disastrous for TMT. Beyond their financial support, each partner is responsible for constructing various parts of the telescope; if Canada, which is building TMT’s dome, were to drop out, the project would have to source the dome from elsewhere.

While Squires said there are other organizations and agencies that could potentially become partners, most of the potential candidates are already committed to other large-scale telescope projects like the Giant Magellan Telescope or the Extremely Large Telescope, both under construction in Chile.

However, TMT may yet receive federal funding from the U.S. government pending results of a survey of major astronomy projects.

The National Academy of Sciences’ Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey reviews the state of the astronomy and astrophysics fields and recommends projects worthy of U.S. federal funding.

Source: https://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/2019/08/29/hawaii-news/tmt-vice-president-says-project-partners-concerned-over-inaction/

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Telescope - Apparently, nobody was there

Those blog readers who have been following the Hawaiian telescope story (in which UC is involved) will know that there was a meeting last week with the mayor of the Big Island. The story below, however - in the ultimate example of a buried lede - reveals that nobody of significance attended. (See the last sentence.)

Mayor Kim Asked For One Month Delay Just Before TMT Construction Start

Big Island Video News on Aug 27, 2019

HILO, Hawaiʻi - Hawaiʻi County Mayor Harry Kim wrote to Governor David Ige, asking him to delay the July 15th start date, three days before, a document shows.

Records quietly published to the Hawaiʻi County website show Hawaiʻi County Mayor Harry Kim made a last-minute attempt to convince Hawaiʻi Governor David Ige to halt the start of the Thirty Meter Telescope project, which is currently on hold due to the massive gathering in opposition to the planned observatory on Mauna Kea.

Two days after Governor Ige announced the start of construction on the TMT would begin on July 15th,  and shortly after the kiaʻi opposed to the project were spreading the word in news releases that “Kanaka Maoli have no other choice but to engage in peaceful and nonviolent direct action,” Mayor Kim wrote an official letter to the governor. The letter is dated July 12, 2019.

“I humbly ask you to delay the current schedule of developing the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on Maunakea,” Mayor Kim wrote, asking for a pause of up to 30 days. The mayor gave the following reasons for his request:

  • “To convene a meeting of key organizations and individuals from the Native Hawaiian community to further involve them on the issues of Maunakea and find a better way forward (suggested participants would include the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Royal Order of Kamehameha, Liliʻuokalani Trust and the Native Hawaiian Education Council).”
  • “To give all individuals, including that of business and responders, additional time to prepare for possible impacts of the events relating to TMT.”
  • “To establish a more comprehensive and timely information dissemination system for planned events of the development of TMT.”
  • “I fully commit to helping, in any way, should you decide to pursue this request,” the mayor wrote. “I realize the lateness of my request and the difficulty of where we are. I ask for you to understand that the only goal is to have these issues resolved in a best way possible for the people of this Island and State.” Neither the Mayor’s letter, or his request for a delay, were publicized. 

On July 14, two days after he wrote the letter, Mayor Kim went to visit the Puʻuhonua o Puʻuhuluhulu, where the number of people opposed to the TMT project was steadily growing. Dispelling rumors that law enforcement would sweep the puʻuhonua that night, Mayor Kim said the kiaʻi would be allowed to carry on with their vigil.

“He affirmed several times, that he was not going to have his police kick us out of here, or arrest us, or harass us in any way,” said HULI member Andre Perez, one of the leaders organizing the TMT opposition movement.

Later that day, Governor Ige held a last minute press conference in which he affirmed there were “no sweeps planned at this point.”

The next day, July 15, as the State of Hawaiʻi closed the Mauna Kea Access Road in preparation to move heavy machinery to the summit, TMT opponents took control. A kūpuna tent was established on the access road, while the police blockade remained, roughly a hundred yards or so mauka. There were no arrests until July 17, when 38 individuals – mostly kūpuna – were removed from the road, but only temporarily. Police efforts to clear the road were unsuccessful that day, and the governor signed an emergency proclamation, which has since been rescinded.

The situation received world-wide attention, and on July 23 the governor announced that he was “asking Hawaiʻi County Mayor Harry Kim to coordinate both county and state efforts to peacefully attempt to reach common ground with the protectors of Maunakea and the broader community.”

Since that time, the state has apparently made no effort to clear the road or move heavy equipment up the mountain. However, the governor did announce on July 30 that the State of Hawaiʻi granted a University of Hawaiʻi request to extend the Conservation District Use Permit deadline to start construction on the Thirty Meter Telescope, giving the observatory two more years to begin work on the project atop Mauna Kea. The revised deadline is now September 26, 2021.

Meanwhile, Mayor Harry Kim has been meeting with a group that he has identified as Hawaiian leaders. News media reported a second meeting was planned for Friday, August 23. Neither leadership in the TMT opposition movement, or {sic} representatives of TMT, have participated in the meetings. 

Source: https://www.bigislandvideonews.com/2019/08/27/mayor-kim-asked-for-30-day-delay-just-before-tmt-construction-start/

Maybe it's best to stay home

http://www.shewenttospain.com/10-reasons-why-traveling-is-a-terrible-idea/
Email received late yesterday:

UC Travel Center Procedures During Next Wave of UCPath Data Conversion of Other Campuses

Beginning August 31, 2019, as the next wave of campuses joins UCPath, the UC Travel Center will experience some blackout periods, which will affect new employees and may affect their access to the Connexxus Portal, Pre Trip Authorization and Express system.

- Who's Impacted: New employees and Employees requiring change to their employee profile
- Which Campus: ALL
- When: Saturday, August 31 to Friday, September 20 

If access to the Connexxus portal is not available, please see the steps below to make business travel reservations with UC Travel Center
- A Travel Arranger from your department who has access to Connexxus will be able to book your travel via the Connexxus / UC Travel Center Online Booking Site
- You or your Travel Arranger can call 800 235 8252 or email UC Travel Center at travel@finance.ucla.edu  to speak with a UC Travel Center Travel Consultant.

If a new employee requires a Pre Trip Authorization during this period, please follow the steps below:
- Identify someone who can create PTAs on his or her behalf
- PTAs should be created as a non-employee
- Title, business justification, FAU sections should be filled out as necessary
- COMMENT sections should include New Employee name with UID and UC Path Blackout period


The following Express functions maybe affected:

REGISTERING A NEW EMPLOYEE
If a new employee incurs business travel or entertainment expenses during this time, please advise them to wait until after the outage period to register in Express and submit a reimbursement claim.

UPDATING DEPARTMENT PROXY ACCESS
Department Security Administrators (DSAs) will not be able to update department proxy access for current Express users that have a change to their employee profile during the transition period. Please wait until after the outage period to update their proxy access in DACSS.

Questions or concerns regarding travel reservations, including the Pre Trip Authorization System and the Connexxus portal, please email travel@finance.ucla.edu

Questions or concerns about registering a new employee or updating Proxy access within the Express System, please email travelacct@finance.ucla.edu

Thank you,
UC Travel Center

Waiting for Result - Part 2

Well over a week ago, we noted that the high-profile Harvard/affirmative action admissions case trial (not to be confused with the various bribery admissions cases) ended last February. Since then, we also noted, articles that have been written about the case inevitably suggest that a decision will soon be announced. The NY Times magazine currently has a (very) lengthy article on the case and related matters.* In it, we find this sentence:

"The case, which after a lengthy trial last autumn is expected to be decided by Judge Allison D. Burroughs sometime in the coming months, has pushed many Asian-Americans into a spotlight they had eagerly been avoiding for the past 20 years."  [Italics added.]

Seems like it's the "Annie" effect. Tomorrow is always a day away:

===
*https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/28/magazine/affirmative-action-asian-american-harvard.html

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

SATs but no adversity score from College Board

SAT scores at the 25th and 75th percentile by UC campus:


Source: https://www.thoughtco.com/sat-scores-for-university-of-california-campuses-788665
=====
SAT Drops Plans For ‘Adversity Score’ Reflecting Students’ Privilege: The College Board will instead use a tool that assesses various socioeconomic factors and documents them as separate data points.

Antonia Blumberg, Huffington Post, 8-27-19

The College Board said Tuesday it would not move forward with a planned “adversity score” intended to help level the playing field for students of diverse social and economic backgrounds who take the SAT admissions test.

The company, which administers the admissions exam, said its attempt to address inequality in college admissions through a single score was a mistake.

“The idea of a single score was wrong,” David Coleman, College Board’s chief executive, told The Associated Press. “It was confusing and created the misperception that the indicators are specific to an individual student.”

The College Board said it would instead rely on an updated version of its environmental context dashboard, a tool called Landscape...

The updated tool will include detailed high school and neighborhood information to admissions officers as separate data points so they can fairly evaluate each student, the company said.

“UCLA and other UC campuses have considered applicants’ context for many years,” said Youlonda Copeland-Morgan, the vice provost of enrollment management for the University of California, Los Angeles, in a statement...

First announced in May, the adversity score attempted to address systemic racial and socioeconomic inequality in college admissions. It came after federal prosecutors charged dozens of wealthy parents and college officials in a massive college admissions cheating scam.

Dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues,” the case accused some parents of paying a college admissions consultant thousands of dollars to fraudulently boost their children’s SAT scores or other admissions factors in the hopes of securing their admission to elite colleges and universities.

It’s no secret that wealthy families in the U.S. already have myriad ways to help get their kids admitted to certain schools, including by making large donations and hiring exam tutors, essay coaches and interview prep professionals. They also often benefit from legacy admissions policies that privilege students whose parent or other relative attended the school.

Those advantages are reflected in SAT scores, too. In 2017, white students scored an average of 177 points higher than Black students and 128 points higher than Hispanic students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

“There are a number of amazing students who may have scored less [on the SAT] but have accomplished more,” Coleman told The Wall Street Journal in May. “We can’t sit on our hands and ignore the disparities of wealth reflected in the SAT.”

Full story at: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/sat-college-board-drops-adversity-score_n_5d657a68e4b022fbceb2344b

Again: If there is to be due process, there needs to be a neutral "decider"

The latest Daily Bruin contains an article about the new Title IX procedures in cases of sexual harassment and assault.* There is much discussion of the hearing process in the article. As we have noted in prior postings, there details of the hearing are less important than the neutrality of the individual conducting the hearing and making the decision.** As we have also noted, in the case of unionized employees at UC or elsewhere, the grievance process in situations of employee discipline for misconduct typically ends with a neutral arbitrator who is selected by agreement of both parties (union and management). Outside courts rarely overturn union-management arbitration decisions; they recognize the due process implicit in a neutral decision maker that the parties have agreed on.

So what is the process that UC has selected as the result of court decisions that point to a lack of due process? The revised Appendix E of UC procedures - discussed in the Bruin article - describes the selection of the "hearing officer."*** The relevant language is reproduced below:
Note first that the hearing officer can be a "University employee" who is selected by another university employee entitled the "hearing coordinator." The hearing coordinator may select an "outside contractor," but how that selection is made is unclear. Moreover, the outsider would be "trained" by another UC employee - the "Title IX Officer. Presumably, even if an outsider is selected, the appointee would be paid by UC. None of these provisions are consistent with neutrality. In the union-management setting, the neutral is paid 50-50 by both parties. Neither side "trains" the neutral. The neutral - who typically has a background in union-management situations (often a legal background) - interprets the provisions of the union-management contract with regard to rules of employee conduct.

The bottom line here is that regardless of the recent bells and whistles that were added to Title IX procedures in response to court decisions, UC procedures regarding selection of the "decider" do not mirror those which courts are known to accept in the union-management realm as due process. At least on paper, the hearing officer does not appear to be a disinterested neutral. A university employee can be selected by the hearing coordinator as the hearing officer. There is the old quote from Upton Sinclair:


Even if an outsider is selected, the fact that UC will "train" that individual and pays the fee, leaves a lot to be desired. Of course, we will see how the new process goes in practice and what courts do with challenges to it. But if UC - regardless of what courts may say - wants true due process, it needs to face the issue of true neutrality.
====
*http://dailybruin.com/2019/08/25/ucops-revised-svsh-policy-expands-on-live-hearing-processes-accuser-protections/
**http://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/2019/08/uc-appears-to-differ-from-csu-in-title.html
***https://policy.ucop.edu/doc/2710641/PACAOS-Appendix-E. PowerPoint slides summarizing the process are at:
https://www.ucop.edu/title-ix/resources/student-adjudication-framework/interim-svhs-student-adjudication-framework-ppt.pdf.
====
Full disclosure: Yours truly taught a course in labor relations at UCLA which included the process of grievance arbitration. For those not familiar with the process, below are videos from an arbitration hearing in the early 1970s regarding a Greyhound (bus) employee that was held at UCLA for the benefit of students by (now deceased) Paul Prasow, then a lecturer at UCLA and a professional arbitrator (and co-author of a book on the arbitration process).

Part One:


or direct to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkaLoZOKf4I

Part Two:


or direct to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taFdMNpAYmQ

Monday, August 26, 2019

Quiet Day

It's a quiet news day on the UC front, not a surprise in late August. So, we do what we have been doing on some of these kinds of days and show you some pictures of the still-under construction new building at Anderson.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Did you know? - Part 3 (Music)

Did you know that the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music has available audio and video recordings of many campus concerts and recitals? If you go to:

https://schoolofmusic.ucla.edu/school-of-music-live-streams/

you will be able to access music files going back to 2013.

There is a catch. You have to have a Bruin online account and go through the sign-in procedure (with the multi-factor authentication, etc.). If you do, you will see a screen similar to what you see above. And if you scroll down below the picture, you will see an option for accessing the music archives.

Now you know.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Did you know? - Part 2

In our continuing coverage* of the "gardens" between the 100-200-300 Medical Plaza complex and the Reagan Hospital, we take note (above) of the Mexican herb bed.
====
*http://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/2019/08/did-you-know.html

Friday, August 23, 2019

Scooter Policy Evolves

As part of a shared mobility strategy, UCLA has signed a provisional contract with Lyft, Bird and Wheels to provide electric scooters and bikes to the campus community.
According to the agreement, shared e-scooters and e-bikes from unapproved vendors can continue to ride through campus roads, but they will be impounded if parked on campus. For pedestrian safety, e-bikes and e-scooters are prohibited on campus sidewalks and pathways.
The contract provides on-campus e-scooter and e-bike parking for these approved vendors. It will also enable better regulation over how these devices operate on the UCLA campus and will help ensure the safety of both riders and pedestrians. Per terms of the contract, Lyft, Bird and Wheels pay fees to the university and will offer a variety of discounts to members of the UCLA community.
The arrangement soft-launched Aug. 1; a full pilot program will roll out this fall.
“UCLA recognizes the importance of providing a variety of sustainable transportation options that are convenient, affordable and accessible while meeting the diverse needs of UCLA commuters,” said Renée Fortier, executive director of UCLA Transportation. “In order to reduce traditional air pollutants, greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion, UCLA Transportation offers a wide array of options to lower the number of people driving to, from and around campus alone.”
UCLA selected Lyft, Bird and Wheels after reviewing how each company would meet a set of requirements:
  • demonstrate how to ride and park on campus safely
  • provide helmets at campus outreach events
  • geofence dismount zones within their mobile applications
Geofencing will limit motors to 1 mile per hour in UCLA’s pedestrian dismount zones, such as Bruin Walk, and help riders find approved parking zones. The vendors will also have the opportunity to advertise on campus and can participate in campus events.
All selected vendors have proposed the following discounts for UCLA riders including, but not limited to: free ride time, discounted pricing, event ride promotions, UCLA specific rates and discounts for parking properly.
UCLA continues to make infrastructure improvements that help all wheeled devices get around campus. Officials with transportation and facilities management are collaborating on roadway improvements, including extending the network of protected bike lanes on university grounds. Additionally, designated parking areas for e-scooters and e-bikes are being added throughout campus.
E-scooter and e-bike safety education campaigns are planned for the start of the academic year. Dismount zones have also been delineated in campus areas with high foot traffic to minimize impacts on pedestrian walkways.
The pilot program with the selected vendors is subject to revision at the end of the upcoming academic year based on the implementation results.

Restrictions

To:  Deans, Directors, Department Chairs, Administrative Officers, and Faculty
Dear Colleagues,
Please refer to the attached guidance from UCOP regarding “University of California’s Systemwide Restrictions on Engagements with Huawei,” issued on July 18, 2019 by Arthur Ellis, Vice President, Research and Graduate Studies, and Alexander Bustamante, Senior Vice President and Chief Compliance & Audit Officer, and ensure it is distributed to appropriate researchers and staff within your respective units.
Under this moratorium, the UC will not accept new engagements or renew existing engagements with Huawei. Campuses are prohibited from purchasing equipment or devices; receiving research grants or contracts; accepting gifts; entering into MOUs, membership or consortium agreements, technology transfers or licensing of UC IP; or exchanging any technical information with Huawei.
UCOP also recommends that campuses consider a moratorium on new funding from Huawei’s US subsidiary, Futurewei. At UCLA, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research will review each new engagement proposal with Futurewei and other Huawei subsidiaries on a case-by-case basis.
Sincerely,
Roger Wakimoto
Vice Chancellor for Research
====

Attachment below:

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Someday Dreaming About the Hawaiian Telescope

Local politicians in Hawaii seem unlikely to resolve the impasse over the telescope issue. The governor has delegated finding a solution to a local mayor - who seems in no hurry to do so. Among the mayor's strategies seem to be 1) not inviting protesters to discussions, and 2) - I kid you not! (read below) - dreaming that someday there will be a resolution. Some adult supervision is needed - perhaps from UCOP(?) - as we have previously posted, since UC is an important partner in this venture.

Kim to hold second meeting with Hawaiian leaders

Michael Brestovansky | Hawaii Tribune-Herald | August 22, 2019

Mayor Harry Kim will hold a second meeting with leaders of the Native Hawaiian community Friday regarding the Thirty Meter Telescope.

Kim said Tuesday that his efforts to find common ground between TMT opponents and supporters — a task assigned to him by Gov. David Ige in July — are continuing, although his own busy schedule has delayed his intended meetings.

Friday’s meeting will be a repeat of one Kim held in late July, when he invited Hawaiian community leaders from around the state to provide “guidance” regarding the TMT issue.

After that meeting, Kim said those he invited came to no consensus, but agreed to have more meetings to reach a solution that all sides can agree upon.

Protest organizers were not at the meeting.

Kim said he has invited largely the same group of Hawaiian leaders from the July meeting to the Friday meeting.



Since taking on his role as mediator, Kim said he has periodically met with Ige to exchange updates on their activities and the broader situation. Kim said he most recently met with Ige last Thursday, and said the two are in agreement on their goals.

“Right now, there are two sides,” Kim said. “But my dream is that we’ll have only one side someday that we all agree on.”

Source: https://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/2019/08/22/hawaii-news/kim-to-hold-second-meeting-with-hawaiian-leaders/

Wonderful things can happen, "someday":

Yet another CRISPR patent

Patent Office: 1924
UC receives its Eleventh U.S. patent for CRISPR-Cas9

By Public Affairs, UC Berkeley, 8-20-19

The University of California, the University of Vienna and Emmanuelle Charpentier received an 11th U.S. patent involving CRISPR-Cas9, further expanding the reach of UC’s patented technology relating to this revolutionary gene-editing tool.

The CRISPR-Cas9 DNA-targeting complex, discovered by Jennifer Doudna, Emmanuelle Charpentier and their teams at UC Berkeley and the University of Vienna, is one of the fundamental molecular technologies behind the revolutionary CRISPR-Cas9  tool for editing or modulating genes.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today awarded to UC U.S. Patent 10,385,360, which covers nucleic acid molecules encoding single-molecule guide RNAs, as well as CRISPR-Cas9 compositions comprising single-molecule guide RNAs or nucleic acid molecules encoding single-molecule guide RNAs.

Over the past six months, UC’s U.S. CRISPR-Cas9 portfolio has sharply increased, and UC anticipates at least six additional related patents to be issued in the near future, bringing UC’s total to 17 patents spanning various compositions and methods, including targeting and editing genes in any setting, such as within plant, animal, and human cells. The portfolio also includes patents related to the modulation of transcription.

“The USPTO has continually acknowledged the Doudna-Charpentier team’s groundbreaking work,” said Eldora Ellison, the lead patent strategist on CRISPR-Cas9 matters for UC and a director at Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox. “True to UC’s mission as a leading public university, the patent granted today and others in its CRISPR-Cas9 portfolio will be applied for the betterment of society.”

The team that invented the CRISPR-Cas9 DNA-targeting technology included Doudna and Martin Jinek at UC Berkeley; Charpentier, then at Umea University in Sweden and now director of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Germany; and Krzysztof Chylinski of the University of Vienna. The methods covered by today’s patent, as well as the other methods claimed in UC’s previously issued patents and those set to issue, were included among the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology work disclosed first by the Doudna-Charpentier team in its May 25, 2012, priority patent application.

Additional CRISPR-Cas9 patents in this team’s portfolio include 10,000,772; 10,113,167; 10,227,611; 10,266,850; 10,301,651; 10,308,961; 10,337,029; 10,351,878; 10,358,658; and 10,358,659. These patents remain unchallenged and are not a part of the PTAB’s recently declared interference between 10 UC patent applications and multiple previously issued Broad Institute patents and one application. The interference, initiated by the patent board, potentially jeopardizes almost all of the Broad’s CRISPR patents involving eukaryotic cells.

International patent offices have also recognized the pioneering innovations of the Doudna-Charpentier team. The European Patent Office, which represents more than 30 countries and patent offices in the United Kingdom, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and other countries, have issued patents for the use of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing in all types of cells.

University of California has a long-standing commitment to develop and apply its patented technologies, including CRISPR-Cas9, for the betterment of humankind. Consistent with its open-licensing policies, UC allows nonprofit institutions, including academic institutions, to use the technology for non-commercial educational and research purposes.

In the case of CRISPR-Cas9, UC has also encouraged widespread commercialization of the technology through its exclusive license with Caribou Biosciences, Inc. of Berkeley, California. Caribou has sublicensed this patent family to numerous companies worldwide, including Intellia Therapeutics, Inc. for certain human therapeutic applications. Additionally, Dr. Charpentier has licensed the technology to CRISPR Therapeutics AG and ERS Genomics Limited.

Source: https://news.berkeley.edu/2019/08/20/uc-receives-its-11th-u-s-patent-for-crispr-cas9/

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

UC Outsourcing Measure Might Be on Ballot

UC labor fight could be on ballot

8-21-19, CALMatters/WhatMatters

Organized labor-backed legislation that would ask voters to decide whether to limit contract workers at the University of California moved a step closer to the 2020 ballot Tuesday.

The measure is aimed particularly at UC medical centers, which have been the focus on ongoing labor strife, much of it over out-sourcing.

Over UC’s objections, the Senate Elections Committee approved the measure by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, a San Diego Democrat. The bill must clear one more committee before reaching the Senate floor, where it almost surely would be approved.

Gonzalez contends UC turns to contract workers because they’re less expensive, and notes many of them are minorities.

“We can’t love UC so much that we suggest that they’re exempt from our principles of basic dignity and equality.”

UC told lawmakers that the number of full-time union workers at the system has increased from 77,333 to 85,020 in the past five years. The university says it hires contract workers when there is a dire need, especially at medical centers

UC’s letter to the Legislature: “UC calculates the increased operating costs at $172.6 million per year based on the additional wage and benefit premiums associated with bringing contracted work in-house.”

What’s next: The bill heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee. If it wins final legislative approval, voters would decide whether to add a constitutional amendment restricting UC’s ability to hire outside workers.

Source: https://us11.campaign-archive.com/?e=cd8ca92ba1&u=5f4af3af825368013c58e4547&id=2f29d4dd8c
====
Actual proposal at:
https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200ACA14
====
An earlier blog posting on this matter can be found at:
https://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/2019/05/anti-uc-outsourcing-constitutional.html

Telescope: 3 More Items

The 3 items below are drawn from today's UC Daily News Clips, which suggests that the telescope issue is of special and continuing interest to UCOP. That interest is not a surprise, since UC is a participant in the Hawaiian telescope venture. The key to what may or may not happen seems to be the governor of Hawaii, David Ige (who so far appears to want the issue somehow to go away - which seems unlikely).

The fact that some Hollywood types have seen this issue as a cause is not helpful, but hardly determinative. Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren apparently has taken a position which seems more linked to her Trump-related troubles in claiming Native American heritage (although Polynesians and Native Americans have different origins) than to any profound study of the matter.

Former governor and UC prez Napolitano might want to have a chat with Governor Ige. He has two unpleasant choices: yes or no. But governors are called "executives" because they are supposed to resolve impasses when possible, and make decisions when not possible. She might point out that expectation. The current chair of the UC Regents is John Pérez, a man who also comes from a political background and who also seems like a reasonable person who could play a useful role.

Maunakea vital to science of astronomy

Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Guenther Hassinger, 8-21-19
via UC Daily News Clips

As the former director of the Institute for Astronomy of the University of Hawaii, and the current director of science of the European Space Agency, I would like to give an outside/inside view on the conflict about the Thirty Meter Telescope in Hawaii.

Maunakea on Hawaii Island is arguably the best site on the northern hemisphere to do astronomy. In the last half century there has hardly been an astronomical breakthrough where telescopes on Maunakea were not involved. Just consider black holes, dark matter, dark energy and the quest for life on planets around other stars — Maunakea has been at the forefront.

With respect for the Hawaiian host culture, more and more breakthrough discoveries have been given Hawaiian names, like the local supercluster of galaxies Laniakea, or the first interstellar visitor ‘Oumuamua. The role of Maunakea with TMT will remain vital in astronomy.

The observatory on the mountain was originally founded after the devastating tsunami of 1960 in Hilo with the explicit goal to develop astronomy as an economic driver. In the meantime, astronomy in Hawaii has an economic impact of more than $170 million per year, and provides close to 1,000 clean high-tech jobs with employment opportunities in STEM fields for local young people.

Beyond the simple numbers, astronomy diversifies the economy and gives local young scientific and technical talents a wealth of opportunities to realize their potential without having to leave family and friends to pursue a career elsewhere. These opportunities are not just for astronomers — the workforce has more than 50% local employees.

The most important aspect in this workforce pipeline is education, starting in schools and ending with higher education. The fascination of astronomical research attracts a whole generation of children into the world of science. Every year the Journey through the Universe reaches more than 7,000 school kids in Hilo; the HI-Star and Maunakea Scholars programs train local high school kids in STEM fields; and the Akamai program provides high-tech internships, many of them for Native Hawaiians. The academic astronomy education in the UH system is among the finest and most attractive in the U.S.

As the highest peak in all of Polynesia, Maunakea has also enormous importance to Native Hawaiians and is among the most revered sites in the state. The resurgence of the Native Hawaiian culture and the drive for political self-determination in the later 20th century led to significant tensions with the growth of astronomy in Hawaii, culminating in the current conflict around the TMT.

Admittedly, the management of astronomy on the mountain was less than optimal in the first decades of the observatory. However, the university and the state of Hawaii have learned their lessons — and the mountain management improved dramatically over the last two decades, “ … balancing the competing interests of culture, conservation, scientific research, and recreation” (state audit, 2014).

TMT has added to this change of paradigm, taking to heart the environmental and cultural concerns and minimizing its impact. With substantial lease payments and generous support to the education and workforce pipeline it has already benefitted thousands of members in the local community. TMT had to go through an arduous process of legal challenges over the last decade, but has cleared all hurdles with the latest Hawaii Supreme Court ruling.

I have personally participated in many of these deliberations, often side by side with the protesters. I have also tried to help find common ground for a solution of the conflict.

But the TMT is like a lightning rod and a highly visible pole to hoist the flag of Hawaiian sovereignty. This way TMT and astronomy in Hawaii have been taken hostage for a much bigger cause, which they cannot solve — regardless of whether TMT will be built in Hawaii or not. If we cannot find a way to share this majestic mountain for culture and science, I am afraid that astronomy in Hawaii will dwindle.

====

State senator calls on governor to enforce the law at Mauna Kea

Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Kevin Dayton, 8-21-19, via UC Daily News Clips

State Sen. Lorraine Inouye, whose district includes Mauna Kea, is calling on Gov. David Ige to resolve the impasse that has blocked construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope, and is calling on Ige to “protect all of us with your leadership.”

In an open letter to Ige published Tuesday in the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, Ino­uye told Ige that “we cannot pick and choose. Laws must be followed, all laws, all the time. Public trust requires bold leadership: Difficult decisions need to be made about Mauna Kea, its management, and how we address the needs of our host culture.”

Inouye, a former Hawaii County mayor who has served as a senator for 15 years, acknowledged that “in the past, management of beloved Mauna Kea was haphazard. I know, governor, that wasn’t on your watch. Frustration with the past does not justify blocking the public road to the top of the mountain. It’s civil disobedience.”

Inouye said in her letter that “we have made significant progress improving the management (of Mauna Kea) in recent years.”

“Certainly, there’s a great deal more to be done to recognize past wrongdoing and level the playing field for our Hawaiian community. Illegally blocking the public road to the top of Mauna Kea, however, does not help solve the challenges,” she wrote.

Ige did not respond Tuesday to a request for comment on the letter by Inouye.

====
Maunakea is a gift from God

By Leningrad Elarionoff, August 21, 2019, Hawaii Tribune-Herald

The demonstration on Maunakea against the Thirty Meter Telescope presents only one side of the story. It also only tells one side of the cultural issues that are involved. Please allow me to tell the other side.

I start with my qualifications to expound on this subject. I am half Russian and half Hawaiian.

My Russian father ran from Russia and legally entered the United States, became a citizen, then came to Hawaii to work on Parker Ranch. My mother was born at home in the pasture halfway between Kahua Ranch and Kawaihae. Her maiden name was Awaa, a name given to her father’s family because of their physical ability as reflected in their stature. Hawaiians in those days were called according to the character they displayed or some other physical attribute. The term Awaa described their physique as being muscular. It has been said in family circles that the name was earned from being the lead paddlers on voyaging canoes.

Due to conflict with the ranch bosses, my father was fired, so the family moved to Ka‘u where I was born the fourth of five boys in Nov. 1938. In school, we Hawaiians kids were the brunt of many negative jokes by white teachers, causing some to rebel and others to try twice as hard to prove equality, or in some cases, superiority. After high school, I chose to attend college in California before returning to live in Waimea.

Early Hawaiian explorers were not pagans. Our family history through kupuna stories tell of the ancient Hawaiians arriving at South Point. Their goal was achieved by following the stars, the mano (shark) and the honu (turtle). Hawaiians refer to these creatures as aumakua, or guides. On the practical side, these creatures feed close to shore and, in the case of the turtle, it eats seaweed that grow on the shoreline. Therefore, following one of these creatures in the high seas will likely lead you to shallow waters where they feed. They were “guides to land” is a practical concept.

Arriving at South Point, the first Hawaiians built a small heiau into which they placed two large boulders. Later, Hawaiians and others claimed that these boulders were worshiped as the gods who brought them from Kahiki (a far off land) to Hawaii. This was a false conclusion. For clarification, these boulders originally were placed in this enclosure and named Hina and Ku. They depicted two outstanding characteristics of the god that brought the first Hawaiians to Hawaii. Hina refers to white hair or being old, ancient. Ku refers to being foundational, as in immovable, steadfast, “the same yesterday, today and forever,” unchanging.

Sometime in the 1950s, one of the rocks was stolen, and as time went by, the enclosure became an outhouse for the fishermen who frequented the area. I grew up in Ka‘u and witnessed the frustration and anger expressed by the old Hawaiian community over this desecration.

Further proof that the early Hawaiians were not pagans or idol worshipers is the fact that they eventually built a heiau, the City of Refuge, in Kona. The protocol involving the City of Refuge in Kona is the same as the City of Refuge recorded in the Bible. Besides that, the early Hawaiians believed that Jesus would someday return in the clouds of glory. When Captain Cook arrived in Hawaii with his sailing ship in full sail, they believed this was He. They treated him as a god until he got injured and bled as humans do. Being fooled for his benefit angered the Hawaiians, so they killed him.

In dealing with this issue, it is important to realize that not all Hawaiians are descendants of the early explorers, nor do they share the same spiritual beliefs. There were other Polynesians who came to Hawaii, shaped a piece of rock, or carved a piece of wood into some form then worship it as a god.

The Hawaiians, like every other nationality, have members in the community who will strive day and night, from sun up to sun down, to get ahead and better themselves. Others in that same community will just sit back and exist. Aloha allows us all to coexist irregardless of our differences.

The question in debate: Is Maunakea sacred? Many of us believe it is but for a different reason then those who are now demonstrating against the construction of the TMT.

Maunakea is the only peak anchored in the Pacific Ocean that provides for the excellent conditions to explore the heavens. The Bible verse in Psalms 19; 1 says that “the heavens declare the Glory of God.” There are those of us who would like to see what TMT will reveal about the glory of the God that brought the first Hawaiians to Hawaii.

Source: https://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/2019/08/21/opinion/maunakea-is-a-gift-from-god/

UC is considering what GWU is abandoning

As blog readers will know, UC is considering a version of the fixed tuition idea.* However, George Washington U seems to be abandoning it. See below:

University to Phase Out Fixed Tuition for Students Entering GW in Fall 2020: Returning undergraduate students and incoming students beginning this fall are unaffected.

August 19, 2019, GW Today

The university announced Monday that it will phase out its fixed tuition program for incoming on-campus undergraduate students beginning in fall 2020.  Returning GW undergraduate students and those entering this fall or spring are unaffected.

“The university is reviewing all aspects of the undergraduate student experience to identify areas for improvement. As part of this process, fixed tuition emerged as a program that is not realizing the potential envisioned, and it has an associated cost that can be put to better use,” said GW President Thomas LeBlanc. “While there will be no immediate impact, phasing out fixed tuition will create discretion in future budgets for the university to continue to improve the student experience.”

During the past few years, GW has worked to incorporate more discretion into its budget, which helps the university better respond to the evolving needs of its community. This flexibility recently allowed the university to, for example, invest an additional $10 million in campus improvements to support a community-oriented culture and benefit the student, faculty and staff experience.

The fixed tuition change will bring the university in line with the vast majority of other institutions when it comes to setting tuition. GW is the only school in its market basket with a fixed tuition program.

GW will be moving to the model of pricing that most other universities are using, with tuition rates set on an annual basis. Housing and dining rates will continue to be set on an annual basis.

The university also will continue to review financial aid packages every year for students receiving need-based financial aid, taking into account any changes in the cost of attendance and adjusting need-based aid yearly. Last year, the university also began setting tuition rates in October for the following year to allow students and families more time to plan for education expenses. The university also will continue its commitment to moderating the overall cost of attendance and limiting tuition increases.

Source: https://gwtoday.gwu.edu/university-phase-out-fixed-tuition-students-entering-gw-fall-2020
====
*http://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/2019/07/predictable-tuition-to-be-mulled-at.html

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The USC - UC-San Diego Story Reviewed

The LA Times print edition carried a story yesterday concerning the lawsuit filed by UC-San Diego over a raid by USC on a key faculty member and his group. USC ultimately paid $50 million to settle the suit.* The story goes over the events involved.

USC, which barely had any presence in San Diego five years ago, is becoming a big player in the city’s fabled life sciences industry, led by a controversial scientist who was publicly scolded by the school for ethical lapses.

USC quietly staked out quarters in Sorrento Valley and is managing $370 million in research contracts and clinical trials through its Alzheimer’s Therapeutic Research Institute.

The center appears close to getting an additional $146 million in grants to study the inscrutable disease, which would make it among the largest centers of its kind in California.

The institute is shopping for more lab space nearby, and it plans to add 40 people to its workforce of 120.

“It’s not just that we all love living here,” said Dr. Paul Aisen, ATRI’s director and a resident of Solana Beach. “San Diego is the greatest place in the world for neuroscience and Alzheimer’s research.”

UC San Diego scientists privately say they don’t welcome the company. Aisen was director of UCSD’s nationally renowned Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study in 2015 when he abruptly defected to USC and took $90 million in contracts, lots of precious data and numerous employees with him.

He says he made the move because UCSD, one of the nation’s 10 largest research schools, wasn’t providing the program with adequate support — a claim the school denies.

UCSD pushed back with a lawsuit that accused Aisen and USC of illegally commandeering one of the most well-established Alzheimer’s research programs in the country.

The sides traded charges and insults, but the anger trailed off, only to resurface in July when the lawsuit was unexpectedly settled out of court.

In an extraordinarily rare move, USC issued a public apology to UCSD and paid the school $50 million.

“USC and Dr. Paul Aisen regret that the manner in which Dr. Aisen and members of the [Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study] left UC San Diego and brought research assets to USC created disruption to UC San Diego,” USC said in a statement.

“These actions did not align with the standards of ethics and integrity which USC expects of all its faculty, administrators, and staff. USC is committed to, and wants to be known for, ethics, integrity and the pursuit of academic excellence, and it has already implemented sweeping changes to this end.”

UCSD says it has recovered financially and scientifically from the fight. But Dr. David Brenner, the school’s vice chancellor of health sciences, wants to sound off about it. He can’t, though.

Both sides agreed not to relitigate the dispute in public.

“I can’t say anything,” said Brenner, who is known for being loquacious and blunt.

Aisen said he regrets any disruption at UCSD in relation to his move, echoing the USC statement. But he said he maintains a good working relationship with USC.

“I have felt welcome at USC since the day I started here and it continues to this day. I think the way things are going here is testament to the effective relationship between my research team and USC…. I have no plans for retirement. I intend to continue to work as professor at USC and as director of ATRI for many years.”

Aisen’s recruitment by USC was a normal part of academic life, three ethicists said. But the money and prestige involved made it unusually controversial.

“Raiding happens all the time in academia,” said Arthur Caplan, a prominent bioethicist at New York University School of Medicine. “People target faculty members, someone they want, or a particularly strong investigator they think will be bringing in money.”

However, going to court over a recruitment is extremely rare, he said...

Full story at https://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=c8b8da1e-bd51-4506-addc-400164b891ee
====
*http://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/2019/07/sorry-about-that.html

A Different Kind of Title 9 Controversy

Of late, most Title IX stories and controversies involved sexual harassment and assault issues. UCLA is mentioned in the item below in connection with programs that seek to encourage women in STEM fields.

Women-only STEM college programs under attack for male discrimination

Teresa Watanabe, 8-20-19, LA Times

Female-only science programs, launched by many universities to redress gender imbalance in such fields as computer science and engineering, are coming under growing legal attack as sex discrimination against men.

The U.S. Department of Education has opened more than two dozen investigations into universities across the nation — UC Berkeley, UCLA and USC as well as Yale, Princeton and Rice — that offer female-only scholarships, awards, professional development workshops and even science and engineering camps for middle and high school girls. Sex discrimination in educational programs is banned under Title IX, a federal law that applies to all schools, both public and private, that receive federal funding.

A new study released Tuesday found that 84% of about 220 universities offer single-gender scholarships, many of them in STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and math. That practice is permitted under Title IX only if the “overall effect” of scholarships is equitable. The study, by a Maryland-based nonprofit advocating gender equity on college campuses, showed the majority of campus awards lopsidedly benefited women.

In California, for instance, 11 colleges and universities reviewed offered 117 scholarships for women and four for men, according to the survey by Stop Abusive and Violent Environments. The group was originally founded to lobby for due process rights for those accused of campus sexual misconduct, who are overwhelmingly male — and launched the current project challenging single-gender programs in January.

“The pendulum has swung too far in the other direction,” said Everett Bartlett, the organization’s president who plans to file federal complaints against about 185 campuses if they don’t sufficiently respond to questions about the scholarship practices. “We’re not a society based on quotas, we’re a society based on fairness,” Bartlett said.

Emily Martin of the National Women’s Law Center argued that such female-focused programs are allowed under Title IX as permissible affirmative action to overcome conditions that resulted in “limited participation” of one gender in a particular educational program. She blasted the growing national wave of complaints alleging that men are being treated unfairly under Title IX — most prominently in sexual misconduct cases and now in STEM programs.

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has proposed sweeping changes to Title IX rules that would bolster the rights of the accused in sexual misconduct cases and is expected to issue final rules this fall. The department could not immediately respond to questions about the single-sex investigations.

“There’s a pretty well-organized and well-financed movement that is pushing out the false narrative that men are the victims of feminism,” said Martin, the center’s vice president for education and workplace justice. “The Trump administration has emboldened those trying to use this moment and this Department of Education as a weapon against women’s advancement.”

One public college female professor disagreed. She filed a Title IX complaint against UCLA challenging two workshops for women held by the campus Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics.

The January “Women in Mathematics and Public Policy” workshop focused on cybersecurity and climate change and specified on a flier that “only women will be invited to participate.” The “Collaborative Workshop for Women in Mathematical Biology” was held in June to focus on biological and medical questions. Its flier specifically welcomed female but not male graduate students, recent PhDs and other researchers. The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights notified the professor in May and August that it was launching an investigation into both workshops, which were supported with federal funds.

The professor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because she feared retaliation, said she worked with UC professors to file the complaint to push back against what she described as an erosion of meritocracy and growing favoritism of women in the sciences. As a mentor to college students of all genders, she said, she sees more men becoming discouraged about their chances of success in the field.

In university hiring, a 2015 study by Cornell University found that hypothetical female applicants for tenure-track assistant professorships were favored, 2 to 1, over male counterparts.

“I obviously want women to be able to have opportunities to further their education and have employment in STEM, but I feel everything is being pushed for women,” she said. “For me, Title IX is about being completely fair.”

UCLA did not exclude men from participating in the two workshops despite the focus on women, campus spokesman Ricardo Vazquez said. Moreover, he added, the institute has held 59 workshops over the last three years and the “vast majority” of participants were men...

Full story at https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-08-20/women-only-science-programs-discrimination-complaints