Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Dr. Michael Drake is the New UC President

From the LA TimesMichael V. Drake, a national champion for access and equity who previously headed Ohio State University and UC Irvine, (is) named the new president of the University of California and first Black leader in the system’s 152-year history...

Under his tenure, (OSU) boosted the number of students who are low-income, underrepresented minorities and the first in their families to attend college. Black students, however, remain underrepresented at Ohio State, accounting for 6.8% of enrolled students in a state where Black residents make up 13% of the population. That’s a larger gap than at UC campuses, where Black students account for about 4% of enrollment compared with the state’s proportion of Black residents at 6%.

At Ohio State, Drake also worked to lower the cost of attendance and increase financial aid — issues that loom large for UC students. He introduced a financial model that raises costs for tuition, mandatory fees, housing and dining once for incoming freshmen, then locks them in for four years. Under his tenure, Ohio State boosted financial aid to low- and moderate-income Ohioans by more than $200 million since 2015, twice his initial target, and increased grants and scholarships.

He is also credited with helping Ohio State hit record highs in applications, graduation rates and sponsored research awards. Last year, he announced a $4.5-billion fundraising campaign, the largest goal in the school’s history.

While some faculty at both Ohio State and UC Irvine said he was not the most visible or hands-on academic leader, he was popular with students. Alexis Gomes, an incoming fifth-year Ohio State student in neuroscience, said students appreciated his initiatives to cut fees, lower textbook costs and provide all students with an iPad, Apple pencil and a notetaking app...

Full story at

Note: We will archive the audio of the special Regents meeting of today where the announcement was made when it is available.

More Rain on the Parade for Reopening

As we noted on this blog, CSU is going all online in the fall. Now its chancellor raises the possibility that the entire 2020-21 year at CSU will be online:

From EdSource:

Nearly all of California State University’s classes may remain virtual, not only this fall but for the rest of the upcoming academic year. CSU Chancellor Tim White, during a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee hearing on the pandemic and the future of higher education, said the decision in May to primarily move to a virtual setting for the fall term and “quite frankly the academic year was driven by health and safety issues and student progress.”
“A lot of people are using the past tense, ‘How did you manage the pandemic?'” he said, during his testimony. “This is not a two-month problem or a six-month problem. This is a 12-, 18-, 24-month, at a minimum problem.”
White, who has announced plans to leave his post by December, did not specify how the pandemic may affect colleges in the long-term. However, he said health officials are projecting a bump in infections this summer and later this year...

Unnamed Steps?

From the BruinA petition to rename Janss Steps received over 2,000 signatures as of July 6. The petition states that UCLA should rename the steps after an alumnus who changed the world for the better, rather than someone who contributed to institutional racism. Many students don’t know that the Janss brothers have a history of racial discrimination, said Michael Penny, an alumnus who started the petition in June...

Janss Investment Company, which the brothers owned at the time, developed Westwood Village and used racial covenants to ban people of color from owning properties or businesses in the area in the 1920s...

Some student signees suggested that Janss Steps should be renamed after Martin Luther King Jr., who gave a speech addressing segregation and racial injustice on the steps in 1965. Other students who supported the petition proposed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a former UCLA basketball player and social justice advocate...

Larry Janss, the grandson of Edwin Janss Sr., initially brushed off the idea of renaming Janss Steps when he heard about the petition, but he said he quickly became empathetic to the idea after he read an article describing why monuments honoring racist figures should be renamed. Larry Janss said he acknowledges his ancestors’ racist history. However, he added he wants people to associate the steps with the social justice efforts he and his father, Edwin Janss Jr., funded with the Janss Foundation, rather than Edwin Sr. and Harold Janss’ racism...

Something for the new UC prez to worry about

No, yours truly does not have any advance knowledge about who the new UC prez will be. As noted yesterday, the Regents will unveil the name this afternoon. But the item below seems to be a major issue for any campus with international students:

US: Foreigners Can't Stay for Online Classes

Ozy, 7-7-20

Here's your degree from the school of hard knocks. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said yesterday it'll boot foreigners on student visas if their schools opt for online-only classes in the fall. While students could transfer to other schools with in-person instruction, they'd have to reapply for admission — and many institutions, like Harvard, are planning online-only fall sessions to slow the spread of coronavirus. Some 400,000 people have F-1 or M-1 visas affected by the policy. Also hurting will be U.S. schools, which rely heavily on $2.5 billion in annual revenue from foreign students.

Monday, July 6, 2020

New UC Prez About to Be Unveiled

Screenshot above from Regents website.
[Click on image to clarify.]

The closing door on the fall "reopening"

There seems to be a shifting away from fall reopening plans at various universities. Exactly what the point is of having students in dorms - even with reduced capacity - doing online courses is not clear. Here is what the latest plan from Harvard entails:

Only 40 percent of Harvard undergrads will return to campus this fall

By Deirdre Fernandes, Boston Globe, July 6, 2020

Harvard University announced on Monday that it will allow only first-year students and undergraduates specifically invited for academic reasons to come to campus this fall in an effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

In all, only 40 percent of Harvard’s undergraduates will be on campus starting in September, and all teaching will be done remotely. In the spring freshmen will return home, and seniors will come to Cambridge. Students will be housed in single-room dormitories, and most of the non-residential buildings in Harvard Yard will be off limits, the university outlined in its plans Monday.

“We have sought a path to bringing all students back as soon as conditions allow, while continuing their academic progress in the meantime and remaining a vibrant research community across our broad range of disciplines,” Harvard President Lawrence Bacow, along with two deans, wrote in a message to the community. “But we also recognize that, fundamentally, there is an intrinsic incompatibility between our highly interactive, residential Harvard College experience and the social distancing needed to mitigate COVID-19 transmission.”

Bacow and the deans said they have been concerned about the uptick in transmission of the virus in recent weeks.

“The recent upturn in COVID-19 cases in certain states illustrates the difficulty of making predictions, even well-informed ones, about the evolution of this virus,” Bacow said in the message.

Harvard’s approach to the fall is among the more restrictive in the Boston area. Most universities have laid out plans to bring most students back this upcoming school year with masks, frequent testing, smaller classrooms, and a mix of online and in-person classes.

Harvard previously announced that many of its graduate programs will be taught remotely too.

Students can apply for waivers to be on campus if they have challenges to remote learning, including a lack of appropriate technology, limited quiet space, food and shelter insecurities, and a need to access laboratories for their senior thesis, the university said. Students who can’t be on campus during the academic year will be able to take two courses at Harvard’s summer school in 2021, without paying tuition...

Full story at

Berkeley Interview

An interesting recent interview of Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ and Bob Jacobsen, dean of undergraduate studies at Berkeley is available on YouTube. They discuss online education and other topics related to higher education including free speech on campus. You can find it at the link below:

or direct to