Friday, December 30, 2011

Redevelopment Decision Likely a (Marginal) Good Thing for UC Budget

For those who have been following the state budget/redevelopment drama on this blog that unfolded after yesterday’s California Supreme Court ruling seemingly abolishing redevelopment agencies, below is an update, courtesy of the California Planning and Development Report (excerpts).  Our prior background posts are at:

Redevelopment Will Be Back -- But At What Price?

By Bill Fulton and Josh Stephens on 29 December 2011 

The California Supreme Court killed redevelopment this morning, but that doesn’t mean it’s dead.  At first glance it would seem as though redevelopment agencies have no bargaining power at all. After all, it’s hard to imagine a weaker position than a state Supreme Court ruling saying you don’t exist.  But don’t forget the most important point about the redevelopment battle: It’s not about redevelopment. It’s about money. And if all sides in Sacramento can resolve the money issue, the legal status of redevelopment will be practically irrelevant. There is every reason to believe a deal will be struck. It's just not the deal that the California Redevelopment Association and League of Cities were hoping for when they filed suit four months ago…

In the meantime, however, California’s $6 billion redevelopment system has been thrown into uncertainly. Technically, at least, no redevelopment agencies exist and no redevelopment activities can move forward. Counties and school districts will presumably move forward in creating the oversight committees required under the law to take over and dispose of redevelopment agency assets.
One thing is clear: Time is on the state’s side. For now redevelopment does not exist. The longer the status quo persists, the more the state can claim the money – and the farther down the line counties and school districts will go in trying to lay claim to redevelopment agency assets. If the redevelopment establishment can’t strike a quick deal, we may be in for a long siege.

Within hours of the ruling’s release on Thursday morning, both sides issued statements that could be considered conciliatory. Gov. Jerry Brown – who instigated the proposed elimination of redevelopment agencies in his budget last January – issued a one-sentence statement saying that the ruling “validates a key component of the state budget and guarantees more than a billion dollars of ongoing funding for schools and public safety.”

Brown doesn’t crow about the death of redevelopment. He doesn’t even mention redevelopment; nor does he stake a claim to all $6 billion in redevelopment funds. He simply says the ruling means $1 billion more for schools and courts – making it easier for him to cash in last week’s promise that schools will get more money in this fiscal year.

Meanwhile, the CRA and the League – which have taken a slash-and-burn rhetorical approach since Day 1 of this battle – also issued a statement containing calm-it-down language aimed at making a deal. CRA’s interim executive director, Jim Kennedy, said the organization looked forward to finding “ways to restore redevelopment while also providing the state budgetary relief in a manner that doesn’t violate Prop 22.” …

The League and the CRA immediately tipped their hand as to what the likely negotiating points will be – and how they will build up enough political support to force a solution in the Legislature. Many urban Democratic legislators are logical allies of redevelopment and seemed uncomfortable in the party-line attack on it last year – just as Republicans seemed uncomfortable supporting it.
The CRA board reportedly met via conference call this afternoon to discuss their strategy. CRA had already indicated that it would use at least two tactics to build support: First, use the powerful affordable housing lobby as much as possible; and, second, resubmit their proposal from last year, which would permit voluntary payments to school districts in exchange for extended life of project areas.

It was not immediately clear on Thursday afternoon what Brown and legislature leaders will seek to extract as a price. But one thing is clear: Time is on the state’s side.

Here is the official statement of the lobbying groups mentioned above:

So what does all of this mean for UC and its budget.  Nothing immediately.  But note that the revenue that was at stake from redevelopment for the state comes to about 70% of what the state gives to UC.  Had the state lost the case, UC might have suffered in the next fiscal year.  With negotiating strength now on the state’s side – as the excerpt above indicates – it is likely that the state will extract at least what it had expected from the redevelopment agencies when this year’s budget deal was reached – and maybe more.  On balance, from the UC perspective anything that enhances state revenue is a Good Thing.  So the outcome is likely to be a Good Thing at least marginally.

Meanwhile, the position of the redevelopment agencies can be seen below:

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Be Careful What You Wish for Seems to Be Effect of Court Decision on Redevelopment

In an earlier post today, yours truly noted that the California Supreme Court was going to issue a ruling on redevelopment agencies that had potential consequences for the state budget.  Please look at that post for background details.  The opinion (with only one dissent) has now been posted.  It may be that the redevelopment agencies will regret a) supporting Prop 22 which supposedly protected their funding and b) asking the Court to invalidate the compromise deal worked out in the legislature.

The Court – based on a non-lawyer reading – seems to say that 1) the legislature had a right to abolish the agencies but 2) it had no right to require them to pay tribute to avoid being terminated.  The court seems also to have delayed the effective termination date.  (See pp. 51-52 of the opinion - link below.)  So maybe the legislature will come up with some other deal.  Thus, exactly what the eventual consequences for the state budget - and thus the UC budget -  may be are uncertain.

The court decision, for those with better legal minds, is at

A preliminary summary from the Sacramento Bee – which leaves the above ambiguities intact – is at

The preliminary summary from the San Francisco Chronicle seems to suggest that the redevelopment agencies are gone.  I don't think that is quite so - as noted above, the legislature can still work out something:

The LA Times version is similar to the Chronicle's:

The LA Business Journal's account refers to possible legislative action to save redevelopment agencies:

Maybe the lesson for all concerned in this case is sometimes its better to leave things alone:

UCLA History: Space Helmet

Photos said to document design by the UCLA Brain Research Institute of a space helmet in 1963.

State Budget Ruling Expected Today on Redevelopment Agencies

From the San Jose Mercury-News: The California Supreme Court will issue a long-awaited ruling Thursday on the legality of the state's move to grab $1.7 billion in redevelopment money to help close California's budget shortfall -- a move that rocked cities around the Bay Area and across the state.

The ruling, expected at 10 a.m., should give critical guidance on two state laws: one that dissolves redevelopment agencies and redirects their property tax revenues to the state, and a second that allows agencies to stay afloat if they agree to relinquish a large portion of their funding, which will be used to pay for schools…

What is this issue all about?  In November 2010, voters passed Prop 22 which was intended to prevent the state from grabbing pieces of local budget revenue.  Among the supporters of Prop 22 were local redevelopment agencies.  These agencies – set up by local governments – are intended to do what their name suggests, i.e., promote redevelopment of “blighted” areas.  They are in part funded through (property) tax increment financing.  As the property values of the redeveloped areas rise (because of the renewal), the added tax revenue goes to the agency.  Other local governments – such as school districts – don’t get it.

Because state and local budgets are intertwined, the diversion of property tax indirectly pulls money from the state which has obligations to the schools under Prop 98 of 1988.  Governor Brown, in putting forth his current year budget (2011-12), proposed to get around Prop 22 by abolishing redevelopment agencies entirely.  If they did not exist, you could not take money away from them, so the reasoning seemed to go.  It is not clear that the state Supreme Court will see it that way.  In any event, as the budget progressed through the legislature – and the local agencies screamed – a compromise was reached whereby the agencies could continue to exist, but only if they paid tribute to the state.  They have mostly done so under protest.

All of this matters to UC because if the state’s attempt to take money from redevelopment agencies is ruled to be a violation of Prop 22, another $1.7 billion will have disappeared from the current year budget.  If that happens, the governor will likely propose to make it up in next year’s budget.  That budget will be announced in early January, although the governor has been leaking bits and pieces of it in recent days (as is the tradition).

Full story from the Mercury-News is at

The court proceeding should go off on schedule - but you never know:

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Audio of Legislative Testimony of UC-Davis Chancellor on Pepper Spray Incident: 12-14-11

Audio of the December 14 legislative hearing on the UC-Davis pepper spray incident may be heard at the link below.  The excerpt edits out the testimony of a witness from CSU-Fresno.  Earlier, the testimony of UC systemwide officials at the hearing was posted on this blog at

UCLA Professor Charged in 2008 Lab Fire Death

From the LA Times: On Dec. 29, 2008, Sheharbano "Sheri" Sangji, 23, was severely burned over nearly half of her body when air-sensitive chemicals burst into flames during an experiment and ignited her clothing. Sangji, who was not wearing a protective lab coat, died 18 days later.  Her death raised questions about lab safety practices at UCLA and about Sangji's training and supervision by Professor Patrick Harran, a prominent researcher who joined the faculty in July 2008.

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office charged Harran and the UC regents with three counts each of willfully violating occupational health and safety standards, resulting in Sangji's death. Harran and UCLA are accused of failing to correct unsafe work conditions in a timely manner, to require clothing appropriate for the work being done and to provide proper chemical safety training.  An arrest warrant was issued for Harran, 42, who faces up to four and a half years in state prison, according to a district attorney's spokeswoman…

UCLA could be fined up to $1.5 million on each of the three counts. In separate statements Tuesday, UCLA and the regents called the charges unwarranted. UCLA's statement blasted them as "outrageous" and "appalling."…

In response to Sangji's death, UCLA instituted a host of safety improvements, including more rigorous lab inspections, more flame-resistant lab coats and enhanced training in the use of safety gear and the handling of air-sensitive chemicals. UCLA also established a Center for Lab Safety…

Young at Heart (of Lawsuit Challenging Prop 13)

Proposition 13 of 1978 - the brainchild of Howard Jarvis (at right) and Paul Gann - drastically cut and limited local property taxes and imposed a two-thirds vote rule in the legislature for tax increases.  Various court cases have challenged it over the years.  However, UCLA’s former chancellor, Charles Young, is part of a lawsuit to overturn it on (state) constitutional grounds.  Obviously, if that were to occur, it would have a major impact on fiscal affairs of state and local government in California.  It would surely affect the UC budget.  From Mother Jones:

Back when Proposition 8 — the anti-gay marriage initiative — was in court, one of the arguments made against it was that it represented a fundamental revision to the California constitution, not a mere amendment. As such, it should have required two-thirds approval from both houses of the legislature plus a majority of the public.  Gay rights supporters lost that argument, but Charles Young, the former chancellor of UCLA, had a brainstorm. Maybe Prop 8 wasn't a fundamental revision, but how about Proposition 13?

Passed at a time when property taxes were sharply on the rise and California was running a surplus, Proposition 13 limited property taxes to 1% of a property's value and restricted the annual increases on assessed values. ... But Proposition 13 also required that "any change in state statute which results in a taxpayer paying a higher tax" must be approved by two-thirds of both houses of the Legislature.
That language has had a profound impact on the power of the executive and the Legislature. The power that it constrains — the authority to raise public funds — is among the most fundamental of government. And the requirement gives more weight to some legislators — and, by extension, their constituents. As the lawsuit notes, "legislators opposing a tax increase are given the functional equivalent of more votes than those legislators who favor such proposals." …

Howard Jarvis - long dead - would surely be mad as Hell if he knew about the lawsuit.  He did have a brief movie career after Prop 13 passed.  You may have seen him in Airplane in which he had less success in getting a taxi at LAX than with his ballot measure:

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Don't Look for Holiday Cheer from the Washington Post

The Washington Post has looked west of late:

UC-Berkeley and other ‘public Ivies’ in fiscal peril

Daniel de Vise, Dec. 26, 2011, Washington Post

Across the nation, a historic collapse in state funding for higher education threatens to diminish the stature of premier public universities and erode their mission as engines of upward social mobility.  At the University of Virginia, state support has dwindled in two decades from 26 percent of the operating budget to 7 percent. At the University of Michigan, it has declined from 48 percent to 17 percent.  Not even the nation’s finest public university is immune. The University of California at Berkeley — birthplace of the free-speech movement, home to nine living Nobel laureates — subsists now in perpetual austerity. Star faculty take mandatory furloughs. Classes grow perceptibly larger each year. Roofs leak; e-mail crashes. One employee mows the entire campus. Wastebaskets are emptied once a week. Some professors lack telephones…

Tuition costs surging

In academia, there is particular concern for the sector leaders known as “public Ivies.”  These top public universities (a group that includes Berkeley, UCLA and the universities of Michigan, North Carolina and Virginia) educate many more students than their Ivy League counterparts. Berkeley alone serves roughly the same number of low-income students — measured in federal Pell grant data — as the Ivies do together…

Goodbye Crane - And Thanks for Your Kind Remarks

Pension reform crusader David Crane steps down today as a member of the University of California Board of Regents.  That's because the state Senate didn't confirm his appointment to the post within the year prescribed by law.

…Crane, a Democrat, was Schwarzenegger's point man on public pensions. He contended that the state's three largest funds, including UC's, were committing "generational theft" by understating their liabilities and siphoning money from schools and social programs…
Full article:

Monday, December 26, 2011

UC Excerpt from Dec. 14 Legislative Pepper Spray Hearing

As readers of this blog are aware, an incident in which student demonstrators at UC-Davis sparked concerns and received wide public attention. A joint legislative hearing was held on December 14. Below is an audio of the testimony of UC president Mark Yudof and General Counsel Charles Robinson at the “Legislative Hearing on California University Campus Police Policy.”

The excerpts include the formal statements of the two witnesses from UC plus a question and answer session which followed similar testimony by CSU witnesses. The main information to be found in these excerpts is that there is likely to be a UC-systemwide policy about police activity that comes out of the various reviews. March 1, 2012 was given as the probable date in which the findings/outcomes would be released. Note that there are occasional silent pauses due to interruptions in streaming. President Yudof indicated he found no conflict of interest involved in the choice of former LA Police Chief William Bratton to conduct an investigation. Some legislators expressed concern about what they perceived as a large number of independently-conducted investigations going on at UC. Links are below:

Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:
Alternative audio link of full excerpt (not divided into parts):

Note 1: The CSU portions were largely edited out although some elements remain since they were part of the general discussion.
Note 2: Full video of the hearings is available in three parts from CalChannel. The excerpts here are from parts 1 and 2. It is not known how long CalChannel will retain the hearings online. There are 3 links at:

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Ice Skating in Westwood: 1949

At one time there was ice skating in Westwood at what was originally known as the Tropical Ice Garden at Weyburn and Gayley Avenues. The photo shows it in 1949, when it was known as the Sonja Henie Ice Palace, named after the ice skating movie star of that era. The rink was closed shortly after the photo was taken to be demolished. It burned down before demolition in 1950. In the contemporary view of the Weyburn-Gayley intersection, the rink would have been located on the near right where a coffee shop now operates.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Chain Link Fence Around UCLA-Santa Monica Hospital Gone

Although the new wing of the UCLA-Santa Monica Hospital was dedicated some time ago, the Wilshire side remained surrounded by an ugly chain link fence until recently.  Yours truly passed by yesterday and took this photo.  The Wilshire gate is still locked, however, and a sign declares the front landscaped area to be a construction zone.  It's unclear what is being constructed.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

UCLA History: Map

The map shown above represents Westwood and UCLA in 1934. It is a component of a larger LA-area map available for manipulation at

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

UCLA History: Sept. 1930 Extension Catalog

In earlier posts (scroll to bottom), we reproduced some UC Extension catalogs from the early 1930s from the LA area.  I have now located another catalog - this one from September 1930.
The Extension operation operated out of a building on 8th and Hill Street in downtown LA with sites for courses scattered around the County and out to Ventura and Riverside.  Extension appears to have been run out of Berkeley (UCLA was still the “Southern Branch” of UC and had just moved to its Westwood location) but the UCLA provost was later represented on its controlling board.  He is not listed as of Sept. 1930, however.

Some academic courses offered might be credited toward a degree.  Courses listed include Business and Protective Law for Women, Mental Tests and Measurement, The Teaching of Subnormal Children, The Theory of Flight, Television-Telephotography-Picture Broadcasting, and Tap Dancing. 

In the earlier posts, I indicated I had not found a picture of 8th and Hill from that era.  Now – see picture – we have one.  You can read the September 1930 catalog below.

Earlier posts on this blog of Extension catalogs from back in the day:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Efforts to Designate Faculty Center as Historic Structure Continuing

CurbedLA reports that in the aftermath of the controversy over demolishing the UCLA Faculty Center for a hotel/conference center (now proposed to be located elsewhere), the LA Conservancy is continuing efforts to protect the building.  In part it is doing so by holding events there – see below.  In part it is trying to get a designation of the Faculty Center as an historical resource – also see below.  The photo shows tea on the opening day of the Faculty Center in 1959.

WESTWOOD: The LA Conservancy's Modern Committee is giving out its third annual set of Modern Masters Awards tonight, to honor "Major contributors to Southern California mid-20th Century architecture." The recipients tonight are Victor Cusack, James Delong, WA Sarmiento, and Edward Fickett. They'll also have a special tribute to the recently-deceased Robert Burman and an appearance from Harry Gesner to pick up the award he won last year. The awards are being given out at ModCom's holiday party at UCLA's Faculty Center, which was designed by Austin, Field and Fry in 1959. According to a press release, "The Faculty Center is a rare example of residential ranch-style architecture applied to a civic building and is highly unusual for a university and public institution setting. The post-and-beam structure was recently a preservation issue, but is no longer threatened with demolition. The Conservancy is currently working on a California Register of Historical Resources nomination for the building."

An LA Conservancy article on the Faculty Center is at

Thanks for Bette Billet who found the CurbedLA article.

UCLA as Cornell

As anyone who has been on the UCLA campus for a period of time knows, the campus is often used for movie and TV locations.  Recently, in the 2011 film “Water for Elephants,” UCLA briefly became Cornell, as the photo from the film shows.  (The plot involves a veterinary student at Cornell whose studies are interrupted by a family tragedy and joins the circus during the 1930s.)  UCLA has rules about filming on campus, reproduced in italic below.

FAQs for Film and Photography Shoots at UCLA

Summary: Here are the answers to your most frequently asked questions.

How much notice can I give before scouting?
Please email or call the UCLA Events Office to schedule a scout. Depending
 on the number of locations, we will need between two to five working days
 to schedule a scout.

Where can I film?
Filming is allowed in most quads, some exteriors of buildings, some 
classrooms, hallways, auditoriums, sidewalks and streets. Locations will 
be approved on a case by case basis and is contingent on the Academic 
Calendar and on availability of the specific location.

What areas are restricted?
Filming is not allowed at the following locations: The UCLA Medical Center, 
medical offices, labs, dorm rooms, private offices, dining halls, Murphy Hall, 
Chancellor’s Residence, full façade of Royce Hall, full façade of Powell 
Library, full façade of Kerckhoff Hall, and the Bruin Bear.

Do I need script approval from the University?
A film permit can not be issued without script approval from the University. 
A script or storyboard must be submitted in advance for consideration.

What if I have a parking citation while filming there?
All parking citations received during filming will not be rescinded by the 
University. Please follow normal procedures to contest all parking citations. 
The instructions on how to contest are written on the back of the citation.

Can I bring my own caterer?
The production company is allowed to bring in its own caterer to most 
locations on campus.

I am making a low budget feature, is there a discount?
While we agree that your film project is important, UCLA is non-profit and 
as such can not discount any rates.

Can I film stock footage of the campus?
Stock footage of the campus is prohibited.

Film Locations Management — UCLA Events Office
Email: | Phone: (310) 825-8989| Fax: (310) 825-1179

For a much less notable film done at UCLA, see:

Monday, December 19, 2011

UCLA History: Havel

Václav Havel, the former dissident playwright and president of Czechoslovakia who died yesterday, visited UCLA on October 25, 1991 when the Czech and Slovak parts of Czechoslovakia were still somewhat united.  He received the UCLA Medal.  Oddly, the LA Times made little reference to the event – at least so it appears after a significant web search.  Apparently, Havel was originally supposed to come on April 18, 1991, according to an LA Times story the previous February:

However, it seems that the April date was postponed.  I found no reference to the actual visit in the LA Times, except for an after-the-fact op ed.  After Havel came in October, an Ayn Rand follower complained in an LA Times op ed that Havel’s Tanner lecture at UCLA was not in keeping with Rand’s view of the world.  Excerpt:

At UCLA on Oct. 25, Czechoslovakian President Vaclav Havel delivered the Tanner Lecture on Human Values. It was not a humane message.  Rather than extol economic freedom, productivity and private property, as he did elsewhere on his U.S. visit, Havel advocated a philosophy geared to destroy those very values: environmentalism…

Havel is listed as receiving UCLA Medal on Oct. 25, 1991 by UCLA at:

Havel is not listed among those who ever delivered a Tanner lecture:

However, there may be an omission at that site of lectures that were not officially transcribed.  So what Havel actually said at UCLA remains a mystery.  If someone has more info, I will update.  I can tell you from personal eye-witness observation that the ceremony took place in Royce Hall.  I did find the picture above from Google images of Havel getting ready at UCLA for the event.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Three Regents Meet with UCLA Students

The Daily Bruin online edition reported that last week Regent Chair Lansing met with several UCLA students:

UC regents hear student input at UCLA after recent midyear budget cuts
JILLIAN BECK, 12/17/11

Members of the UC Board of Regents met with undergraduate and graduate student leaders at UCLA Friday morning to discuss ways to work directly with students, days after another multi-million dollar cut in state funding was dealt to the UC.  The visit fulfilled a promise Regent Chair Sherry Lansing made at the Nov. 28 UC regents meeting. Lansing said she planned to travel to each of the UC campuses and hear student input on university decisions. She visited the campus Friday along with Regent Monica Lozano and Student Regent Alfredo Mireles Jr…

Fifteen students representing several groups attended the meeting, though none from Occupy UCLA, which had originally called for it to take place.  Lansing had initially offered three dates to Occupy UCLA protesters, all of which fell during winter break. Andrew Newton, a fourth-year international development studies student and an organizer of Occupy UCLA, said the timing did not accommodate student schedules. Members of Occupy UCLA opted out of the meeting in favor of holding one early winter quarter, when more students will be available.  …Lansing said she wanted to uphold her promise of visiting UCLA before the end of the calendar year. She and UCLA administrators have pledged that a second meeting will take place in January with members of Occupy UCLA. …

The meeting also coincided with this week’s announcement of a $100 million “trigger” cut to the UC. During the meeting, UCLA student leaders asked the regents to publicly support a tax increase proposed by Brown.
If passed, the proposal would institute a temporary tax increase on high-income earners and increase sales tax by about half a percent. The tax measure could generate about $7 billion in extra revenue for the state’s education and public safety programs.  Lansing said to student leaders that while she cannot speak for the entire board, she would be willing to take a public stance in favor of the proposed initiative…

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Faculty Center Calls for Donations

As readers of this blog will know, the existing UCLA Faculty Center building was originally slated for demolition under the now-revised hotel/conference center plan.  With the revision, the Faculty Center was spared but must now deal with its financial problems.  A call for donations has gone out, reproduced in italics below:

With the dramatic challenges of this year now behind us, the Board of Governors can turn its attention to modernizing our beloved Faculty Center: e.g. renovating and remodeling rooms and public spaces, and upgrading conference and event-hosting capabilities.  To do so we encourage your support.

In celebration of the fact that the Faculty Center has been saved, please consider making a generous contribution. Here’s how:

The UCLA Foundation is a tax-exempt 501(c) (3) organization.  It is authorized to receive donations on behalf of the Faculty Center and will provide acknowledgments for tax purposes.

Checks should be made payable to “UCLA FOUNDATION”

On the memo line please write “UCLA FACULTY CENTER.”

Donations large and small will help us reach our goals.  NOTE:  This is the last year that annuitants can give $100,000 tax free from their IRA accounts to a tax-exempt organization.  This must be done before the end of this year (December 31, 2011).  Appropriate recognition will be given for major gifts.

Please drop off your check at the Faculty Center front desk or mail it to:

Professor Lawrence Kruger, Treasurer
UCLA Faculty Center Association
480 Charles Young Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90095.

With much appreciation for your continuing support of the Faculty Center, on behalf of the Members of the Board, I wish you a happy and healthy holiday season.

William McDonald, President
Board of Governors
Faculty Center Association

For those unfamiliar with the concept of donations:

UCLA History: Fair

A Westwood Street Fair in 1978.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Still Awaiting the Business Plan for the Hotel/Conference Center

It’s been over a week since Faculty Association Executive Director Susan Gallick offered to come over and get the business plan for the proposed hotel/conference center. As readers of this blog will recall, the Faculty Association has submitted a Public Records Act request for the plan and so far received no plan or any related documents.

See her offer at

Underneath any enterprise, there has to be a sound business plan. So can we peel back the pretty (but “conceptual”) drawings of the hotel and have the plan revealed? Perhaps this video will help set the mood:

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Audio of Conclusion of the Regents Meeting of Nov. 28, 2011

We earlier posted the bulk of the Regents meeting of Nov. 28 up to the point where demonstrations temporarily shut down the proceedings. The Nov. 28 meeting was the result of a postponement of the meeting originally scheduled for two weeks earlier. That meeting was cancelled due to concern over possible violent demonstrations.

We now have the audio for the brief portion of the meeting that resumed (about 17 minutes). Various capital projects were approved. There was a further disturbance at one point. Minutes of committees were approved. A change in compensation reporting practices was approved. Various executive compensation adjustments were approved with President Yudof arguing that they were necessary for retention and complaining about losses to Stanford which paid more. (One Regent voted “no” on the pay increases. Notably, Lt. Gov. Newsom voted “yes.”)

The audio for the part of the meeting before the interruption is at

Audio of the concluding portion of the Nov. 28 meeting is below:

Audio of the Nov. 7 Regents Committee on Compliance & Audit

The UC Regents Committee on Compliance and Audit met on November 7, 2011 in advance of the full Regents meeting that was originally scheduled for the following week. The full Regents meeting was postponed due to concern about possible violent demonstrations. This blog has been making available audios of the Regents meetings. A link to the audio can be found at the bottom of this blog entry.

During the public comment section of the Committee meeting, the first speaker made a satirical speech for privatizing UC on behalf of the 1%, as opposed to the 99%, as per the Occupy movement. There was discussion at the Committee of funding of retirement benefits. The agenda is below:


Committee membership: Regents Crane, Makarechian, Mireles, Pelliccioni, Ruiz, and Zettel (Chair); Ex officio members Brown, Gould, and Lansing; Advisory member Anderson; Staff Advisor Herbert

Date: November 7, 2011

Time: 2:30 p.m.

Locations: 1111 Franklin Street, Room 11326, Oakland ; West Coast Room, Covel Commons, Los Angeles Campus; 3104 Mosher Alumni House, Santa Barbara Campus

Agenda – Open Session (there was a closed session before this audio begins)

Public Comment Period

Action Approval of the Minutes of the Meeting of September 13, 2011

A5 Discussion Annual Report of External Auditors for the Year Ended June 30, 2011

UC Annual Financial Report,

UC Retirement Plan, including the PERS-VERIP,

UC Retirement Savings Program (Defined Contribution, 403b and 457b Plans),

UC Health and Welfare Program, including the retiree health benefit trust

Annual Financial Reports for each of the five UC Medical Centers.

A6 Discussion Chief Financial Officer Division AIM Report: Actionable Information for Managers

A7 Discussion Annual Report on Internal Audit Activities, 2010-11

A8 Discussion Report on Ethics and Compliance Activities

The full agenda with attachments is at

Another Hint of Discussions with the State Behind Closed Doors on Multiyear Tuition Increase Deal

The text below in italics is from UC President Yudof’s Facebook page. As noted in a prior post on this blog, there are hints of a multiyear-tuition-increase/steady-budget-support-from-the-state being discussed behind closed doors with Brown administration officials. See the bold print below.

We are extremely disappointed that UC is faced with yet another significant State budget reduction: the $100 million “trigger cut” just announced. This additional cut will exacerbate the fiscal challenges the University faces in the current year and place additional stress on the quality of education provided to UC students. While the $650 million cut to UC enacted by the State last June resulted in additional tuition hikes for our students, let me assure you there are no 2011-12 mid-year tuition increases planned.

Over the past several years, cuts to higher education by the Governor and the Legislature have had a severe impact on students, their families, faculty and staff. The University has consistently objected to additional mid-year cuts, and while we certainly understand the ongoing fiscal challenges the State faces, we are requesting that this latest reduction be considered a one-time cut to UC’s budget and not made a permanent reduction. We will ask to have this funding restored to UC at the beginning of the next fiscal year (July 1, 2012).

In the current economic environment, marked by a huge State deficit and a limited revenue stream, we recognize that the Governor is in the eye of a “perfect storm.”

As we draw closer to the 2012-13 State budget release in January, however, we are asking the Governor to refrain from any additional cuts to higher education. Faculty and staff have sacrificed, and our students in particular have given more than their fair share.

Moreover, as we move forward, we will continue to work closely with State officials to develop a long-term revenue plan that will give the University much-needed financial stability.

This has been a challenging year for the University of California. I understand the concerns that many in the UC community have voiced over the recent incidents surrounding student protests on some of our campuses. I assure you that a thorough review of these incidents is in progress. I am making every effort possible to protect our long-held traditions of free speech and peaceful protests. During these difficult times, I ask you not to lose sight of our common goals—to make public higher education a priority and to keep a UC education accessible and affordable for Californians.

Thank you for your continued support for the University of California and best wishes for a happy holiday season.

Sincerely yours,

Mark G. Yudof


University of California


One problem with this strategy is that a handshake deal between the UC president and the governor on a "compact" reached behind closed doors did not work out well under Schwarzenegger. The governor cannot appropriate funds; only the legislature can. To make such a deal work, there needs to be wider participation including the legislature, the Legislative Analyst, major interest groups, etc.

It would be nice to know what is going on behind the door:

Our earlier post on this subject is at

UC-Berkeley Announces New Tuition/Financial Aid Plan

Below is the press release and a related video. Note that the aid is said to be financed by non-state sources including recycling revenue from out-of-state students.

UC Berkeley launches groundbreaking middle-class financial aid plan

By Public Affairs, UC Berkeley | December 14, 2011

University of California, Berkeley, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau announced today (Wednesday, Dec. 14) a new financial aid program to help middle-class families pay for the growing cost of an undergraduate degree.

For families whose gross income ranges from $80,000 to $140,000 annually, the new plan caps the contribution parents make toward the total annual cost of a UC Berkeley student’s education at 15 percent of their earnings. Total cost includes tuition, fees and expenses, such as room, board and books.

The initiative, named Berkeley MCAP (Middle Class Access Plan), is the first program in the nation at a public university to extend comprehensive financial aid to this category of middle-class families. The university is launching this initiative in recognition of California’s high cost of living, the challenges these families face and the significant tuition increases of recent years.

“Berkeley has an outstanding record of providing access through financial aid for students. As a result, our undergraduates leave college with among the lowest levels of student debt in the country,” said Birgeneau. “While our extraordinary commitment to financial aid has, in recent years, led to both an increasing number of lower income students on the Berkeley campus and a reduction in their net cost of attendance, we see early signs that middle-income families who cannot access existing assistance programs are straining to meet college costs. As a public institution we feel strongly that we need to sustain and expand access across the socio-economic spectrum. This plan is part of our commitment to ensuring that financial challenges do not prevent qualified students from attending one of the preeminent public universities in the nation.”

Financial aid awarded through the new program will be for the 2012-13 school year, which begins in August, and is for domestic undergraduate students, including incoming freshmen. Berkeley MCAP will augment the campus’s robust financial aid program that already provides grant aid to more than half of the campus’s 25,885 undergraduates and has lowered by 15 percent since 2005 the net cost of attendance for students from the most economically disadvantaged families. UC Berkeley distributes more than $600 million each year in grants, loans, work-study, fellowships and scholarships. Currently, approximately 40 percent of all undergraduates effectively pay no tuition.

Berkeley MCAP will assist all families within the $80-140,000 income range that have assets of less than $200,000, excluding the value of a home and retirement savings. Campus officials estimate that about 6,000 undergraduate students come from families in this income range. Residents of other states also will be eligible for assistance, although this program will not cover the cost of non-resident tuition. International students will not be eligible for Berkeley MCAP assistance. The parameters of the program will be reviewed on an annual basis.

“As state support for Berkeley has declined by more than half in just the past few years, tuition has increased dramatically, making up for only a portion of this disinvestment,” said Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Harry LeGrande. “Today, the total cost of attendance is at a level that can be easily accommodated only by affluent families. Even as we continue to advocate for increased state support, we feel the need to address the very real issues of our middle-class families.”

Campus budget officials estimate that Berkeley MCAP will require between $10 million and $12 million in funding over the course of the 2012-13 academic year. They said they will not use state funds to fund the program, but instead will redirect expanded financial aid resources, philanthropy and revenue from the increased number of UC Berkeley students paying non-resident tuition.

The current cost of attendance at UC Berkeley for California residents living on campus is estimated to average $32,634 per year for students living on campus, including $12,834 in tuition and fees. Non-residents pay an additional $22,878 per year. To reduce the cost of attendance, students from economically disadvantaged families receive substantial grant aid from sources that include Pell Grants, Cal Grants and direct aid from the University of California.

The Berkeley MCAP announcement is being made now to ensure that families of students applying for 2012-13 admission know about Berkeley MCAP assistance before the financial aid application process begins in early January. UC Berkeley’s acting director of financial aid, Rachelle Feldman, encouraged eligible families of both currently enrolled and prospective students to file the “Free Application for Federal Student Aid” (FAFSA) form if they wish to be eligible for Berkeley MCAP.

“For these families, it’s a three-way partnership: Parents, students, and financial aid all make a contribution toward the cost of attendance. The Berkeley MCAP program is designed to help families with costs above and beyond the amount we expect students themselves to contribute,” Feldman said. “All students receiving financial aid assume some responsibility for paying for their own education, usually through work-study or student loans. At the same time, we take great pride in the fact that our students have, on average, among the lowest student debt levels in the nation upon graduation: The 40 percent of our undergraduates who graduate with any loans have an average debt of $16,056, as opposed to the national average of $25,000 for two-thirds of graduating students.”

According to recent reports from the Public Policy Institute of California, approximately half of all families in the state are in the middle-income bracket, and the gap between the highest and lowest income families is the widest in 30 years. Chancellor Birgeneau noted that the institute found that, “The most important factor driving the gap between high- and low-income workers is education,” and said he supports the report’s request that the state find “innovative ways to promote opportunity through education, especially so that middle- and lower-income families are not left behind.”

“The Berkeley MCAP program is necessary and completely consistent with everything we stand for as an institution,” Birgeneau said. “Public universities are the gateway to the American Dream, and the engine of future economic growth. We will continue to do everything in our power to serve the greater good through steps to preserve the excellence and affordability of this university.”


Video of the announcement: