Sunday, November 17, 2019

Listen to the Morning Session of the Regents: Nov. 13, 2019

We are partially catching up with the Regents meeting of last week. Past posts have dealt with the meeting of November 12 and 14. Below we take up the morning of November 13. Links to the audio of the morning sessions can be found below.

There was extensive discussion at the public comments session of the full board. Topics included MECFS (Myalgic encephalomyelitis / chronic fatigue syndrome), an allegation of sexual misconduct against former board chair Kieffer,* various union/labor issues, residency requirements, programs to help disadvantaged students, employee pension contributions, tuition, parking fees for disabled persons, herbicides on campuses, and outsourcing. After public comments, there were statements by the chair of the board, the UC president, and the faculty representative. Topics included introduction of the new EVC of UC health, Dr. Carrie L. Byington, the presidential search process, discussion of the UC DACA case before the U.S. Supreme Court,** a committee to examine sexual misconduct policies at UCLA, and the use of tests such as the SAT for admission.

Below is a summary of the morning sessions from the Daily Bruin:

Board of Regents

A number of representatives and supporters for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299 and Teamsters Local 2010 urged the UC not to raise pensions for workers by 1.5%, adding it will cause pay cuts that will hurt the workers who are already struggling to support themselves and their families. The union went on strike across the state Wednesday to protest outsourcing.

Aidan Arasasingham, the government relations committee chair of the UC Student Association, and Samantha Warren, a UC Berkeley student, requested the regents dedicate $23 million toward programs that are aimed at recruiting and retaining students of color. Arasasingham said fewer students of color have enrolled in the UC system because of Proposition 209, which prohibits the use of race, sex, and ethnicity in college admissions, effectively banning affirmative action in public institutions.

Representatives from the California Nurses Association, including registered nurses and the chief nurse at UC Davis Medical Center, said the 1.5% increase in the pension would have a negative impact on the retention of nurses and the quality of patient care in medical centers across all the UC campuses.

Representatives of the UC’s Integrative Pest Management program said the UC must adopt an herbicide ban on its campuses, along with a clear mandate and extensive staff training about environmental care.

Recent UC Berkeley alumnus Kevin Baum urged the regents to implement all-organic groundskeeping to prevent exposing the UC campuses to toxic materials. He also presented the board a petition with the signatures of 12,000 individuals in agreement.

Academic and Student Affairs Committee

Shawn Brick, director of student financial support at the UC, proposed improvements to the UC’s Education Financing Model, including reforms to the Cal Grant program and better allocation of tuition to financial aid funding.

Brick said the self-help financial model, under which students are enrolled in work-study to help cut tuition costs, is becoming unmanageable. Students who are working 15 or more hours a week exhibit dramatic drops in GPA, he said. He added he believes a $30 million increase in funding is needed to bring the student working hours to a manageable level.

Michael Brown, provost and executive vice president of academic affairs at the UC, said better preparation for teachers could help the UC reach its 2030 goal to produce 200,000 more degrees. The UC system has implemented many successful programs for teacher education by recruiting teachers of color and offering mentored residencies for STEM instructors, Brown added.

Pamela Brown, vice president for institutional research and academic planning at the UC, showed the committee new data from yearly student surveys on the UC website’s new longitudinal dashboard. The program, which can display a breakdown by campus, ethnic group or major, displayed a decline in overall student satisfaction from 83% to 79% in the past few years.

The committee also found that satisfaction of UCLA students has declined from the student surveys. UCLA Chancellor Gene Block attributed the decline in satisfaction to UCLA’s recent population growth. Block said large classes have resulted in a slipping student-to-faculty ratio, and students in impacted majors struggle to enroll in the classes they need.

Finance and Capital Strategies Committee

Peggy Arrivas, associate vice president and systemwide controller of financial accounting at the UC, said financial statements were continuously on the incline and that the University was financially strong.

Arrivas added unfunded need increased because of the incorporation of seismic projects and maintenance projects. This caused the University’s capital need to increase from $37 billion to $52 billion in the past year.

Zoanne Nelson, associate vice president of strategy and program management at the UC, said the budget for the UC Office of the President was $876.4 million for fiscal year 2018-2019, but added the budget was underspent by $25 million.

Mark Cianca, associate vice president of operational services, said there are 138,000 employees served by UCPath at nine UC locations, as well as the Associated Students of UCLA. Cianca added they expect to complete the deployment of UCPath by May 2020.

Full article at

Audio links:

or direct to:

Academic & Student Affairs:
Finance & Capital Strategies:


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