Thursday, April 30, 2015

In case you haven't noticed...

...the governor has a lot on his plate besides the UC tuition/budget dispute.
There's the drought (and fines and hikes in water bills that could get folks angry).
There's the water tunnel project (that he has had to scale back recently, angering some environmentalists since some of the cutback involves green stuff).

To assuage the environmentalists, he has set more ambitious goals for cutting back greenhouse gas emissions (albeit way in the future when someone else will be governor).
With all that other activity, how many hours can he be putting into the Committee of Two and the UC component of the May Revise budget? Maybe the answer is:

UCLA Now Getting Peeved

First it was Berkeley getting caught in l'affaire Peevey. Now it's UCLA. (Peevey was head of the state Public Utilities Commission and has been accused as acting for the utilities in that capacity.) In both cases - it should be noted - the problem seems to have been at the PUC, not the campuses.

From the San Francisco Chronicle: The former head of the California Public Utilities Commission pressured two Southern California utilities last year to make donations to a school at UCLA where he then landed a post on an advisory board, documents revealed Wednesday show. The panel’s then-president, Michael Peevey, urged that Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric Co. donate the money as part of a deal to shut down their jointly owned San Onofre nuclear power plant, which had been offline for more than a year because of steam generator problems, according to documents that Edison made public... In September 2014, when the utilities commission took up the San Onofre shutdown deal, (PUC member Mike) Florio proposed that it include $25 million from Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric for greenhouse gas research at UC Berkeley over five years. Before the panel approved the deal, commissioners amended it to give the money to UCLA.That same month, Peevey joined the the advisory board for the UCLA Luskin School of Public Policy’s Center for Innovation. E-mails released earlier this year show that in December 2013, Peevey had mentioned to a university official the possibility that utility money could be directed to UCLA’s Center for Sustainable Communities, which is part of the Luskin School...

Full story at
Note: Earlier related posts on this matter:

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Does someone need to take con-troll?

From the Daily Bruin:

At this year’s graduation ceremony, the class of 2015 will get the chance to learn an important lesson: In the real world, success is measured in bills, not principles. The keynote speaker for UCLA’s commencement ceremony has just been announced as Nathan Myhrvold. He is the cofounder of Intellectual Ventures, the worlds biggest “patent troll,” a company that exploits the loopholes in the patent-granting system by collecting patents and suing other companies, both big and small, hoping to get a piece of their revenue...

Full op ed at

A troll? They KID you not:

We guess someone has decided that the price is right

We noted in an earlier post that:

...USC’s president, C.L. Max Nikias...takes [a]  contrarian view of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, a free education movement that is taking root at many prominent colleges and universities. USC doesn’t do MOOCs. It offers plenty of online education, especially at the graduate level, but for a price. “That’s our business model,” he said. Nikias said giving away what the university provides would be counterproductive. “We’re the ones who admit students, and we’re the ones who are going to issue degrees,” he said. “At the end of the day, I feel that without our academic brand, we’re nothing. Literally nothing.”...


So what do we make of a new online MBA program at USC reported in Inside Higher Ed? Since they're not going to give away the courses, apparently they must figure that the price is right:

The University of Southern California's new online M.B.A. program is the latest entry in a renaissance for such degree offerings, a development program directors say has been made possible by advances in technology that connect students and professors online. The USC Marshall School of Business will launch its program this fall, marking the first time the university has offered the degree at a distance. Students in the 21-month program, which is split into five semesters, will tackle one course of three to four topics at a time, covering much of the required readings and assignments at their own pace but checking in with classmates and professors during weekly live online sessions. Unlike programs at other universities, which include regular campus visits, USC’s online students will only come to campus once...

If the price is right, it sounds like fun!

Brookings "Value Added" Data

The Brookings Institution has come out with a “value added” ranking of myriad 4-year and 2-year colleges.  Essentially, it is an attempt to rank the extra pay and other attributes graduates receive adjusted for student and college characteristics. Some of the dependent variables related to things like loan repayment and completion rates. There is a measure based on “mid-career” (10-year experience) earnings reported by grads to an online source. For 4-year schools, mid-career earnings refer only to grads who stopped their educations at the bachelor degree level. Another measure involves how the school moved grads into particular occupations that may (or may not) pay well. It uses national average pay by occupation (including pay due to degrees beyond the bachelor level). 

Below are the value added scores (percent above predicted) for the various UC campuses for mid-career earnings (all alumni) and occupation, respectively.

UC-Berkeley      42%  8%
UCLA             26%  7%
UC-Davis         32%  7%
UC-San Diego     29%  7%
UC-Irvine        27%  7%
UC-Santa Barbara 31%  5%
UC-Riverside     22%  3%
UC-Santa Cruz    22%  7%
UC-Merced        na   0%

For comparison:
USC              25%  5%
Stanford         53% 12%
Cal States:
 Long Beach      20%  3%
 Northridge      13%  5%

You’ll notice that a) the data are noisy and b) hard to interpret. That’s probably just as well. Although the authors say the data are useful for deciding on where to go to college, they are probably more useful for making broad generalizations about the economics of higher education than evaluating one school against another. The authors in fact provide such generalizations:

Five college quality factors seem to be key to how well students perform economically in the years after college:

Curriculum value: The amount earned by people who hold degrees in a field offered by the college;

Alumni skills: The average labor market value of skills listed on resumes;

STEM orientation: The share of graduates prepared to work in STEM occupations;

Completion rates: The share earning their degrees within four years for a two-year college and eight years for a four-year college;

Student aid: The average financial support offered by the institution.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The more things change...

Would Boss Tweed feel at home at UCLA?
Two items from the Bruin:

Dozens of documents leaked on Facebook Monday allege that members of the undergraduate student government LET’S ACT! slate illegally spent student fee funds on its past two campaigns, sold alcohol and marijuana to raise campaign revenue and solicited money from student groups in return for representation in the slate. The documents, released hours after campaigning began for this year’s Undergraduate Students Association Council election, also alleged= that LET’S ACT! plotted to take control over departments in the Community Programs Office, which houses some student retention and access programs. LET’S ACT! campaign manager Kristine de los Santos denies the slate sold marijuana and alcohol and held any parties, but did not deny that some of the files originated from LET’S ACT! documents. The second-year political science student said she thinks whoever uploaded the files copied and pasted LET’S ACT! documents and then edited them...

Full story at

The undergraduate student government Judicial Board ruled Monday that the Bruins United slate violated online campaigning rules last week, after the slate appealed an Election Board sanction.
The Undergraduate Students Association Council Election Board sanctioned Bruins United and LET’S ACT! candidates on April 17 for posting cover photos it considered promotional on Facebook earlier in the week. The Bruins United photos featured candidates with facts about them and included one of the slate’s commonly used slogans, “Be You,” before online campaigning was scheduled to begin. The sanction blocked the slates from online campaigning for two days...

Full story at

Monday, April 27, 2015

Now we're even sadder about being ignored

You see we first posted some questions about a piece on UC that appeared in Grizzly Bear Project. We got no answers. Then we noticed the Grizzly piece was re-posted in Capitol Weekly and still we got no answers.* Now the San Diego Union-Tribune has taken up the piece as an editorial with no questions or answers.** So, sad as we are, we will re-re-post:

Data questions: Could UC-Davis really have been run by 9 people in 1993 and then over 400 people twenty years later?  You can't run a big campus with 9 people.  If they are really just the very top execs, it seems doubtful *by the same definition* there could be over 400 of them now.  The definitions at the top of your chart show different names for the managerial occupations in 1993 and later.  Are they really comparable?  How many of the positions are on state money? When I clicked on "get the data" on your chart, it just gave me another view of the chart - but not data or specific sources and definitions.


UCLA History: Janss Westwood Completed

Earlier this month, we posted a photo of the Janss firm's Westwood headquarters under construction.* Here is the finished product. Janss was the principal developer of early Westwood. The domed building is now a restaurant.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Don't Forget! May 6 Faculty Assn. Event

As Janet Napolitano and Jerry Brown battle over tuition increases and state funding for the UC, faculty face eroding compensation and increasing privatization of the university. Is shared governance still meaningful amidst the race for private donations and bond-funded construction? Where is the common ground between tenure and non-tenure system faculty? How does the crisis of student loan debt change our relationship with our students? Join representatives of the Academic Senate, the Council of UC Faculty Associations, and the UC-AFT (lecturers' union) for a open forum on faculty and the future of public higher education in the age of austerity.

Moderator: Toby Higbie (UCLA Faculty Association & Dept. of History)
Leo Estrada (UCLA Public Policy, Chair-Elect Academic Senate)
Patricia Morton (UCR, President Council of UC Faculty Associations)
Bob Samuels (UCLA, UC-AFT)
Wednesday, May 6, 12 noon to 1:30 PM
UCLA Faculty Center
Buffet lunch will be served

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Your Health Insurance Dollars at Work (and Play)

Blue Shield of California fired a top executive last month after he spent more than $100,000 on his corporate credit card, the company says, including on trips with girlfriend and "Sharknado" actress Tara Reid. The details surfaced in a countersuit the health insurance giant filed Tuesday alleging fraud by Aaron Kaufman, the company's former chief technology officer. Mr. Kaufman went to great lengths to avoid scrutiny of his expenses, including intentionally misrepresenting his personal activities as corporate events. - Steve Shivinsky, a spokesman for Blue Shield. Blue Shield cited numerous examples of Kaufman's extravagant spending, some of which came to light after an employee event involving Reid at a San Francisco bowling alley. Some of the expenses cited by Blue Shield included $17,491 that Kaufman spent on a Florida vacation to see Reid. He also spent $832 for one night at the W hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with Reid on Jan. 21, according to the company. Three weeks later, he ran up a corporate tab of $1,382 on drinks at the Warwick, a Hollywood nightclub.But the night of bowling in early January drew the most attention inside Blue Shield. "At some point during the evening, Mr. Kaufman's girlfriend acted inappropriately, taking inappropriate photographs of herself and sharing them," the company said in court documents. Blue Shield confirmed that it was referring to Reid...

Full story at

April Shower of Money Could Help UC's May Revise

April is the big revenue month for the state income tax and as the chart above from the state controller shows, revenue is exceeding the estimate for the month made by the guv last January. The month isn't over yet and the receipts already include the estimate. Yes, there are the usual provisos about Prop 98 grabbing the money for K-14, etc. But the headline effect could be good for UC in its tuition/budget dispute with the guv as he releases the May Revise budget proposal.

There is an article about the April revenues in the Sacramento Bee at:

You can't complain about a shower of money at this time of year:

Hillary Fundraising in Westwood May 7: Look for Traffic Issues

Sorry! This will not get you in.
Look for potential traffic problems in the morning of May 7 and possibly other times. From the Westwood-Century City Patch:

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will hold the first Southern California fundraisers for her campaign for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination on May 7. Clinton will attend a $2,700-per-person breakfast reception at the Westwood home of Catherine Unger, a member of the Women’s Political Committee, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Clinton will then move to another $2,700-per-person event, a luncheon fundraiser at the Pacific Palisades home of television producer Steven Bochco and his wife Dayna, The Hollywood Reporter and Variety reported, citing sources with knowledge of the campaign’s plans. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., will attend the fundraiser. Clinton will also conduct a $2,700 per person early dinner fundraiser at the Beverly Hills-area home of billionaire media giant Haim Saban, according to the entertainment industry trade publications...

Full story at

Bicycle Event Sunday

What: Southbound CEY Drive closed between Wyton Drive and Westholme Avenue

When: Sunday, April 26th, 5:45-8:45am

Where: CEY Drive between Wyton Drive and Westholme Avenue

Reason: City of Angeles Fun Ride

Impacts: CEY Drive will be closed to southbound traffic. Northbound CEY will remain open. Parking will not be allowed in Lot A, Dickson Court or on CEY Drive (between Wyton and Westholme) from 5 am until 3 pm (parking will be available for customers with a Disabled Placard).

More at

Note that the full event doesn't end until around 3 pm at UCLA and may affect traffic around the campus.

Friday, April 24, 2015

We feel really bad about being ignored

Faithful readers of this blog will know that when an article appeared in a website called Grizzly Bear Project a few days ago about growth in management in UC, we noted some anomalies in the data presented and invited the author to clarify.* Our questions were:

Data questions: Could UC-Davis really have been run by 9 people in 1993 and then over 400 people twenty years later?  You can't run a big campus with 9 people.  If they are really just the very top execs, it seems doubtful *by the same definition* there could be over 400 of them now.  The definitions at the top of your chart show different names for the managerial occupations in 1993 and later.  Are they really comparable?  How many of the positions are on state money? When I clicked on "get the data" on your chart, it just gave me another view of the chart - but not data or specific sources and definitions.

Instead, the same article now appears in Capitol Weekly:

We continue to pose the questions above and invite a response to the questions at

Do the math...but which math?

Inside Higher Ed is running an extensive piece on conflicts at UCLA and Berkeley (but mainly UCLA) over the math requirement for students in life sciences:

For about as long as anyone can remember, most undergraduate natural science majors have been required to take at least two semesters of calculus. Lots of students -- especially those in the life sciences -- don’t end up using most of what they’ve learned later on in their studies or their careers, but the requirement has endured... 

“Our principal complaint with the calculus for life sciences is that it is a horrible and hideous instrument of torture to life sciences students taught by mathematicians who want to make third-rate mathematicians out of our students and get angry when they fail,” said Alan Garfinkel, professor of medicine and physiological science at UCLA, who campaigned for and teaches the new math for life sciences course. Still offered to a limited number of students, the sequence combines two quarters of calculus and one each of probability and statistics into three quarters total, with a lab, and focuses more on biology-based problem sets. “I’m a professional mathematical biologist and I don’t use freshman calculus at all.” ...

Full story at

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Higher Ed Getting Pushed Out?

Inside Higher Ed alerted yours truly to this study (abstract below):

Crowded Out: The Outlook for State Higher Education Spending

In an effort to better understand the funding difficulties faced by public higher education institutions over the next decade, this study derives baseline state funding projections for higher education from underlying measures of economic growth. It does this by incorporating historical state government spending data with Moody’s Analytics proprietary models for state tax revenue and Medicaid spending. Over the past several decades, the growth in state funding for discretionary spending categories has declined at an alarming rate. Mandatory spending programs, specifically Medicaid, are requiring more and more state funds, which in the zero-sum world of state spending, has left fewer and fewer dollars for other programs. Medicaid spending, for example, was less than 10 percent of state sourced spending 30 years ago, but today accounts for nearly 16 percent. Taking all funding sources into account, Medicaid has grown to more than a quarter of total state spending. Higher education funding has borne the brunt of much of this crowding out, falling from around 14 percent of state sourced spending in the late 1980s to just over 12 percent today. Our baseline forecasts show that trend continuing throughout the next decade and beyond...

Full study at

Inside Higher Ed summary at

It might be noted that back when the Master Plan for Higher Ed was created, there was no Medicaid (Medi-Cal). However, the projections for California in the report above don't show much change in the share of state revenue going to higher ed out to 2024. It's pretty much a flat 7%. See Appendix D.1. Moreover, the share of California state revenue going to Medicaid (Medi-Cal) doesn't show much growth and its projected values seem out of line with recent actual values. See Appendix B.1. Undoubtedly, there has been some pushing out of higher ed historically, particularly when you take the numbers back to the 1960s. It is also worth noting that the outlook for the health care system is uncertain. Baby boom retirements will put pressure on the system but the direct effects will be more on Medicare, which is not a state program, than on Medicaid (Medi-Cal).

More Regents

The 1933 Board didn't have these archiving options
The next Regents meeting is May 21-22. That's about a month from now so it's a good time to remind the Board that other public entities not only live-stream their sessions but they archive them indefinitely. An example we like to point to is the City of Santa Monica which has meetings every couple of weeks (so a lot more meeting time than the Regents). It manages to live-stream audio/video and preserve the recordings indefinitely. In contrast, the Regents "archive" for only one year. That means that yours truly has to record the sessions in real time (one hour of recording for one hour of meeting time) in order to provide true archiving, a service of this blog.

Should the Regents want to do what Santa Monica does, the contract for its live-streaming and true archiving costs under $18,000 per year. Info is available on the contract at:

The one that got away (from us)

Did you know that the Regents had a special meeting April 3? It was a closed session of the Committee on Governance to select members of committees and select officers for next year.

You can find the agenda, such as it is, at:

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

LAO Remains Unhappy With Guv's Habit of Budgeting Lump Sums for UC

The Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) has long been unhappy with the governor's habit of just putting a lump sum in the budget for UC, rather than tying the amount to some formula, at least based on enrollment. In a new publication, LAO continues that theme:

It should be noted that if LAO or the legislature has a complaint about the guv's budgetary practices, the issue is with him. Indeed, the entire Committee of Two process is really a reflection of the way in which the governor does business.

Whoever is at fault, we're truly sorry the LAO is sad:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Before you get angry at the headline, let's await the answers

Above is a screenshot from a website called the Grizzly Bear Project that specializes in California reporting.* You may note something funny about the text. It refers to a chart that isn't there. Later in the article, there is a different chart that is there which reports data from 1993 and 2013 by UC campus showing a vast increase in what seem to be managerial positions. But when you look at the data, questions of meaning arise. So I attempted to use the site's "contact us" option to raise questions this morning: 

Data questions: Could UC-Davis really have been run by 9 people in 1993 and then over 400 people twenty years later?  You can't run a big campus with 9 people.  If they are really just the very top execs, it seems doubtful *by the same definition* there could be over 400 of them now.  The definitions at the top of your chart show different names for the managerial occupations in 1993 and later.  Are they really comparable?  How many of the positions are on state money? When I clicked on "get the data" on your chart, it just gave me another view of the chart - but not data or specific sources and definitions.

However, two attempts to send the questions above to Grizzly Bear Project produced an error message. I couldn't find an alternative option under "contact us" for communicating with the site. The article concludes with: 

The Cal State system has been able to cut its administration by more than one-third from 1993-2013, while UC administration has more than tripled over the same period. This is not to say that UC administration growth is to blame for the entirety of the increases in student fees. But it does underscore one of the trends – along with increasing enrollment and declining per capita state investment – that has increased the cost of a UC education for California students...

As blog readers will know, we at the UCLA Faculty Assn. are not interested on this website with defending administrative bloating at UC. But we do want accurate info to be part of the public debate, particularly as key decisions await regarding tuition and budgets at UC. So we are hoping that we can clear up any questions by posting this information. Perhaps someone at Grizzly Bear Project will respond.**
**Anyone at Grizzly Bear Project can email yours truly at
UPDATE: While we await a possible response, it might be noted that the Grizzly Bear Project piece has been picked up and recirculated by at least two other websites today: The Nooner and Rough and Tumble. 

More Pre-May Revise Travels with Janet

We have asked in prior posts why - if the Committee of Two negotiations are going as well as was suggested at the last Regents meeting - UC prez Napolitano finds it necessary to drum up external support for the UC budget as the May Revise date approaches. The latest travel adventure of the UC prez reinforces that question. From the Fresno Bee:

University of California President Janet Napolitano is hoping to light a fire under Fresno leaders and business people. Her cause is simple: Let’s get lawmakers to pour more dollars into the UC system. Fresno doesn’t often hear much noise about high education funding, she told a group of nearly 200 Fresno Rotary Club members and their guests on Monday. “I’d like you all to make some. And now would be a really good time,” she said. Napolitano brought the plea during the Rotary Club’s weekly meeting in downtown. The visit was part of a larger effort Napolitano is making to drum up public support for boosting state funding for the 10 UC campuses and avoiding proposed tuition hikes as high as 5% next school year...

Full story at

It would be nice if the Committee of Two would at least be traveling together. As it is...

Read more here:

Monday, April 20, 2015

And still more med art

Untitled Blue Hills by Gloria Moses at 200 Medical Plaza.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Hard to get in

Amid a state budget standoff and a growing sense that a UC education is slipping out of reach for Californians, the University of California won't reveal its admission rates until next month -- an unusual delay that may reflect a startling number of rejections and wait-list notices high-schoolers have already received. Observers say UC could be withholding record-low admission rates to avoid further inflaming tensions as UC President Janet Napolitano tries to break a funding stalemate with Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers quick to accuse the university of shutting out their constituents. Last year, admission rates at UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC San Diego and UC Santa Barbara fell to less than half of what they were in the mid-1990s ...and the drop is expected to continue this year, with still more applicants vying for the same number of spots...

Full story at

Saturday, April 18, 2015

News Item: Female faculty faced bias at UCLA med center

From the LA Times:

The probe upheld long-pressed complaints from three women faculty that they were discriminated against by some men in the department and faced retaliation for reporting breaches in research protocol, Jonathan Hiatt, the vice dean for faculty, said in a letter sent to staff.
The result was a significantly negative effect on the center and a working environment that "compromises our research, teaching and patient care," Hiatt wrote. The March letter, which was obtained by The Times, did not identify the women who say they were discriminated against nor the people who they say violated campus rules. Hiatt could not be reached for comment Friday night. Dale Tate, a spokeswoman for the David Geffen School of Medicine, confirmed the authenticity of the letter but said she could not offer any more details about the situation...

Full story at

Factoid of the Week: Cal Grants

Did you know that UC gets the largest share of Cal Grants dollars? A new report from the Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) has that fact and other pieces of information on the Cal Grants program.
2014-15 data
Full report at

Friday, April 17, 2015

Yet another straw in the wind that all is not well at the Committee of Two

In an earlier post, we noted that UC prez Napolitano's recent appeal to members of the UC community to lobby Gov. Brown for more money for the university suggested that she was not making headway with Brown with her tuition/budget plan adopted by the Regents last fall.* Yet another such indication comes with the article below in the LA Times, noting an appeal by the UC prez to an outside group:

Speaking to a group of fellow Italian American lawyers and judges, University of California President Janet Napolitano this week recounted her own family’s modest immigrant roots and urged Californians to help increase funding higher education so that subsequent and future waves of families can enter the middle class.
Napolitano's speech Wednesday evening was part of her effort to rally public support for enough additional state funds for the 10-campus UC system so that a tuition hike of as much as 5% next year can be avoided.
She and Gov. Jerry Brown have disagreed over the matter, with Brown insisting that UC must continue to freeze tuition for a fourth consecutive year with a tax funding increase that falls short of what Napolitano has sought...

Full story at
Sounds like she needs some assistance with the governor:

Thursday, April 16, 2015

May 6 Event: Which Way UCLA? Faculty and the Future of Public Higher Education

As Janet Napolitano and Jerry Brown battle over tuition increases and state funding for the UC, faculty face eroding compensation and increasing privatization of the university. Is shared governance still meaningful amidst the race for private donations and bond-funded construction? Where is the common ground between tenure and non-tenure system faculty? How does the crisis of student loan debt change our relationship with our students? Join representatives of the Academic Senate, the Council of UC Faculty Associations, and the UC-AFT (lecturers' union) for a open forum on faculty and the future of public higher education in the age of austerity.

Moderator: Toby Higbie (UCLA Faculty Association & Dept. of History)
Leo Estrada (UCLA Public Policy, Chair-Elect Academic Senate)
Patricia Morton (UCR, President Council of UC Faculty Associations)
Bob Samuels (UCLA, UC-AFT)
Wednesday, May 6, 12 noon to 1:30 PM
UCLA Faculty Center
Buffet lunch will be served


Inside Higher Ed has a piece on water saving measures undertaken at California universities including UCLA:

The University of California at Los Angeles is finishing up one of its largest water-related projects, a new filtration system that's estimated to save 17.3 million gallons a year. The enhanced water-cleaning system was created a few years ago by professors at the UCLA Water Technology Research Center, so it advanced not only research but also institutional goals to reduce water consumption...

More on UCLA at 

It's a problem:

UCLA History: Janss Westwood

Construction of Westwood developer Janss' headquarters building in 1929. The building is currently a restaurant.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Committee of One?

At the last Regents meeting, although there really was no information provided about what was happening at the Committee of Two, the implicit message was that progress was being made. However, in the last day or so, a series of emails have gone out from UC prez Napolitano tailored to various groups - faculty, retirees, etc. - but all with the same message: Contact the governor about the UC budget. [Excerpt]

I am writing to ask that you join me in our efforts to secure full State funding for UC... To this end, I ask that you join me in this all-important effort and contact Gov. Brown and your legislative representatives to let them know that investing in UC must be a top priority for the State...

All this communication could be taken as a routine effort to enhance the budget for UC as the May Revise nears. But presumably within the Committee of Two - the governor and the UC prez - such communication shouldn't be hard to achieve. Unless, of course, things are not going so well after all and Napolitano finds herself as a Committee of One. We'll know by mid-May. 

A Committee of One could be very lonely:

Just a reminder... campus "development" officials that large donations to the university don't have to be steered into jumbo-sized capital projects with questionable "business plans." See below from an email sent out yesterday which highlights a donation for research, not bricks:

Los Angeles (April 14, 2015) — UCLA Anderson is thrilled to announce a gift of $10 million to launch a new marketing center. Donald Morrison, UCLA Anderson professor emeritus, and his wife, Sherie Morrison, UCLA distinguished professor of microbiology, immunology, & molecular genetics, provided the gift to establish the center, which will be named the Morrison Family Center for Marketing Studies and Data Analytics. Their donation is the largest single gift from a UCLA Anderson faculty member...

The Morrisons are long-time supporters and academic leaders of UCLA, providing financial support for a number of the university’s most critical areas of need that include athletics, biomedical sciences and UCLA Anderson, where both of their daughters earned their MBAs. Much of their philanthropy was made possible by Sherie Morrison’s trailblazing work developing genetically engineered antibodies. That research was lauded as a scientific breakthrough and spawned development of many therapeutics. Sherie continues her advanced research studies using antibody-based therapeutics to treat cancer...


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Student health care docs' and dentists' strike report

From the Daily Bruin [excerpt]: About 30 UCLA student health center doctors and other union members marched to Chancellor Gene Block’s office Monday to demand a meeting regarding student health center funding. The Union of American Physicians and Dentists, which has been negotiating its first labor contract with the University for more than a year, has been holding an unfair labor practice strike at all UC campuses for the past few days. UCLA union members have been on strike since Saturday, picketing during Bruin Day festivities over the weekend. The union claims that when requested, the UC refused to give information regarding how the funding for the recent increases in chancellors’ salaries was allocated and whether the chancellor’s’ discretionary funds could have been spent on improving student health centers instead. The union first held a strike in January, protesting similar issues...

Full story at

Early morning fire at School of Dentistry reported

A fire broke out early Tuesday inside a seven-story building at UCLA's Westwood campus, authorities said. The blaze was reported at 1:31 a.m. in Building 48A of the School of Dentistry, 714 Tiverton Ave., said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey. Nearly 115 firefighters knocked down the blaze around 2:15 a.m., Humphrey said. Crews were able to contain the fire to a classroom and office area. No injuries were reported and no faculty or students were threatened by the fire...

Full story at

Monday, April 13, 2015

AAUP Faculty Pay Survey

The AAUP survey of faculty pay for 2014-15 is now available at the link below. If you search for "UCLA," you won't find it. It's best to search for "California" and then locate UCLA from among the others: [Click for the different ranks.]

Chronicle of Higher Ed Faculty Pay Survey

The Chronicle of Higher Ed has a faculty pay survey online for 2013-14. Click on the link below. UCLA is number 20 on the list. There is a methodological statement link provided:

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Another Book Review by the UC Prez

Lots more to read
As blog readers will know, UC prez Napolitano debuted as a book reviewer in the pages of the LA Times not long ago.* She has now graduated as a book reviewer to the NY Times with a review of a book on the Boston marathon bombers. In it, she dismisses the author's conspiracy theory contention of involvement of the FBI.

You can find the review at

More Med-Art

"Color Abstractions" by Albert Contreras in 200 Medical Plaza building

Saturday, April 11, 2015

State Revenue: Still Reliant on the Boom/Bust Tax Sources

The controller's cash report for the state through March (first nine months of the fiscal year) is out. Headline news is that revenue is ahead of projections. But it's useful to look at the big three taxes - personal income, sales, and corporate profits - relative to the same period least year to see which sources are strong and which are weak. The percentage gains are below:

Personal Income Tax: Up about 12%
Sales Tax: Up about 4%
Corporate Profits: Up about 30%
All Revenues: Up about 11%

The trend inflation rate is around 2% so the real economy as experienced by most Californians - measured by sales - is growing at a two percent-ish rate. We are still heavily dependent on the boom/bust taxes (personal income and corporate profits) that could easily drop in any downturn. Keep that in mind when you think about the multi-year deal the governor wants on budget and tuition. What would happen in the outyears in such a deal if a downturn occurred? Would the governor be able to keep his end of the bargain?

You can find the cash report at:

Diversity Vote

From the LA Times:

UCLA’s faculty approved, by a large margin, a controversial new policy that requires most future undergraduates to take a course on ethnic, cultural, religious or gender diversity. The strongly supportive vote announced Friday night was the culmination of efforts that began two decades ago and previously faced rejections. In a tally posted online, the campus-wide Faculty Senate voted 916 to 487 to begin the requirement for incoming freshmen in fall 2015 and new transfer students in 2017. It would affect students in the College of Letters and Science, which enrolls 85% of UCLA undergraduates...

Full story at

The official notice of the Academic Senate is at:

It might be noted that the opponents' approach of involving non-College voters appears to have backfired. The original college vote was much closer: 332 approve, 303 oppose, 24 blank ballots.* Adding non-College voters substantially increased the margin in favor of the requirement.

Friday, April 10, 2015

No Docs

As noted in an earlier post:*

Unionized doctors began a rolling strike Thursday at student health clinics on UC campuses, accusing the university of unfair labor practices during negotiations for the physicians’ first contract. The walkout started early Thursday morning at five Northern and Central California campuses -- Berkeley, Davis, San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Merced -- and is scheduled to last four days. On Saturday, the doctors, dentists and podiatrists are expected to begin a four-day strike at the southern UC campuses at UCLA, San Diego, Irvine, Riverside and Santa Barbara...

The 130 or so members of the Union of American Physicians and Dentists previously held a one-day strike in late January at all 10 UC campuses. The UC doctors were unionized in 2013... 

Full story at

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Scandals have a way of evolving

Evolution Illustrated
Will the Berkeley/Peevey scandal arrive at UCLA? Maybe, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, although the problem described below seems more an issue for Peevey than for UCLA so far: 

The scandal at the California Public Utilities Commission has spread from one University of California campus to another, as criminal investigators are asking questions about former commission President Michael Peevey’s contacts with UCLA… His $250-a-plate farewell soiree, attended by the kinds of industry insiders whose relationships with the commission have come under scrutiny, was to benefit the University of California, Berkeley, which ended up turning down the funds. Now investigators are asking about Peevey’s contacts with the California Center for Sustainable Communities at the University of California, Los Angeles. The center is one possible recipient of $25 million to study greenhouse gas emissions funded by utility companies, which is an element of the $4.7 billion settlement deal for premature closure costs from the failed San Onofre nuclear power plant north of Oceanside. …The grant idea first became public as a proposal in September 2014, but may have first been suggested at a secret meeting between Peevey and a Southern California Edison executive in Warsaw, Poland, in March 2013. Commission business is supposed to be conducted in public. New records obtained by U-T San Diego show Peevey established contact with Stephanie Pincetl of UCLA’s sustainable communities center as early as December 2013 — nine months before Commissioner Michel Florio publicly announced the greenhouse gas plan... Pincetl told the U-T she was interviewed by investigators about the matter three weeks ago. She was unable to explain how she knew before the public announcement that money from the San Onofre settlement was coming available. “That is a good question,” she said. “I don’t know.” ...Commission spokeswoman Terrie Prosper did not respond to questions this week about why Peevey met and spoke with UCLA about a campus energy center before he was supposed to have learned about the funding opportunity. …According to the UCLA emails, Peevey was offered and accepted a seat on an advisory board serving the university’s Luskin Center for Innovation, a think tank that works to translate research into public-policy solutions. ...The adopted settlement does not restrict the $25 million grant to the Edison and SDG&E service territory, and the money has yet to be awarded.

Full story at

On requiring vaccinations, the legislature is forging ahead...

UC? Not so much. We have noted in prior posts that UC's vaccination requirement arrives lazily in 2017.* No rush at UC. Meanwhile, SB 277 requiring vaccinations in schools is moving along through the legislature.

California lawmakers on Wednesday approved a bill barring most parents from opting out of vaccinations for children enrolled in school, voting after a nearly four-hour emotional hearing that saw multiple people ejected for shouting over legislators. The final vote was 6-2, with Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside, and Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber, opposing. The Senate Health Committee chair, Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-Azusa , abstained. The measure faces several more committee hearings before a potential Senate floor vote. Conceived in response to recent outbreaks of diseases such as measles and whooping cough, Senate Bill 277 removes the “personal belief exemption” allowing California parents to enroll kids in school without having them receive the prescribed range of shots. Doctors and public health officials warn that climbing rates of exemptions threaten to undo the “herd immunity” protecting people who are too young or ill to be vaccinated...

Full story at
Yours truly guesses that UC just can't move itself any faster. It's just too much trouble: