Saturday, March 31, 2018

UCLA History: Parking

Back in the day, parking was free and easy on campus, but maybe less so in Westwood.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Maybe more extracurricular activities would have done it - Part 3

The saga of David Hogg's UC rejections continues:

David Hogg isn't alone: UC acceptance rates are shockingly low

By David Curran, Thursday, March 29, 2018, San Francisco Chronicle

The news that "March for Our Lives" organizer David Hogg, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student, was rejected by four UC schools became a national story over the past couple of days. It grew into an even bigger story after TV pundit Laura Ingraham criticized Hogg for "whining" about his college rejections.

But, while Ingraham's mocking of a school shooting survivor was hard to ignore, what stood out for many people was that Hogg was denied admission to UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine even though he had a 4.2 GPA.

Has it really become that competitive to get into UC? Seeing a rejection like Hogg's is why many folks who went to college 20 or 30 years ago are quite confident they could never get into the UC system now. It's also why so many current high schoolers are extremely anxious about their chances of making the UC cut.

Some say it has always been hard to get into the UC system, but a look at the applicant numbers over the past 20 years shows how much more competitive it has become. In 1997, 56,851 students applied to be freshmen in the UC system and 44,740 (78.6 percent) were accepted. In 2017, 171,858 applied and 104,822 (61 percent) were accepted.

But at the schools David Hogg applied to, the percentage accepted has gotten far more daunting in the past 20 years. In 1997, UC Berkeley had 27,272 applicants and 8,565 (31.4 percent) got in. At UCLA, 29,299 applied and 10,648 (36.3 percent) were admitted.

By contrast, in 2017 UC Berkeley had 85,054 applicants and only 14,549 (17.1 percent) were accepted. And UCLA had 102,226 applicants and 16,456 (16 percent) were accepted. Hogg also applied to UC San Diego and UC Irvine, which have also seen significant changes in acceptance rates over the past 20 years.

At UC Berkeley, the "snapshot" of admitted 2017 applicants (the middle 25 to 75 percent) included a 4.15-4.30 GPA as well as low-end SAT scores of a combined 1280. While David Hogg's grades appear to make the cut, his SATs were actually a little below this bar at 1270.

There are many factors for such a huge jump in the UC applicant numbers over the past 20 years. The common app makes it easy for students to apply to several UCs at the same time. But there are also just many more students applying.

A very noticeable jump is the 13-fold increase in international students' applications, and their rate of acceptance has soared as well. In 1997, 2,019 international students applied to be freshmen at UC schools and 798 (39.5 percent) were accepted. In 2017, 27,193 applied and 18,067 (66.4 percent) were accepted.


UCLA History: Chávez Talk

César Chávez at UCLA in 1979
César Chávez day is tomorrow officially, but the university is closed today for the holiday. As we did in 2015, we present an audio recording below of a talk Chávez gave at UCLA in 1972:

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Maybe more extracurricular activities would have done it - Part 2

Yesterday, we posted an item about a student from the Florida school shooting who did not get into UCLA, among other UC schools.

There's more:

Fox News host Laura Ingraham apologized Thursday over a critical tweet she sent out the day before about a Parkland, Fla., shooting survivor, in which she mocked him over college rejections...

The apology comes after Ingraham faced backlash after she posted a tweet critical of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student David Hogg, who has become a vocal advocate for gun control since the mass shooting last month.

At least three of Ingraham's advertisers — Wayfair, TripAdvisor and pet food brand Nutrish — announced Thursday that they were pulling their commercials from her program.

Ingraham on Wednesday shared a Daily Wire story that reported Hogg was rejected from four colleges. “David Hogg Rejected By Four Colleges To Which He Applied and whines about it. (Dinged by UCLA with a 4.1 GPA...totally predictable given acceptance rates,)” Ingraham tweeted...

Hogg has emerged as a national advocate in the weeks since a gunman opened fire at Stoneman Douglas, killing 17 people. He helped to organize and lead the "March for Our Lives" rally Saturday in Washington, D.C., and across the nation, and has been warning lawmakers that they will be voted out of office if they don't pass new gun laws. Hogg has become the subject of fierce criticism on the right, with Breitbart News and InfoWars even comparing him to Adolf Hitler.

Full story at

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Maybe more extracurricular activities would have done it

UC schools reject March For Our Lives leader David Hogg 

By Pueng Vongs | PUBLISHED: March 27, 2018 | UPDATED: March 28, 2018

David Hogg, the student who helped launch the March For Our Lives movement, apparently can’t get into a UC school. Hogg, originally from Los Angeles, was rejected by all four University of California schools he applied to for undergraduate admission. These included: UCLA, UCSD, UCSB and UC Irvine, reports

You’ll recognize Hogg as one of the outspoken students who survived the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. on Feb. 14. Along with 20 of his classmates, Hogg helped found gun control advocacy group, Never Again MSD, which launched the global March For Our Lives movement. You might think that would impress college admissions committees. What’s more according to the UC site, a minimum GPA of 3.0 is required for admission for California residents and 3.4 for nonresidents. Hogg’s GPA is 4.2.

For the record, Hogg did get accepted to Cal Poly, Cal State San Marcos and Florida Atlantic University, according to TMZ...

Full story at

Everyone wants in:

UCLA History: Einstein Speaks at Royce, 1932

Albert Einstein spoke at Royce Hall in 1932.

$20 million

3-28-2018 A $20 million commitment from Eugene and Maxine Rosenfeld will enable UCLA Health Sciences to enhance its ability to provide simulation training to future health care professionals.

The expansion and revitalization of the learning resource center, which includes the UCLA Simulation Center, will also create a new home for the Center for Advanced Surgical and Interventional Technology and provide a new state-of-the-art space for training medical students in the most advanced patient care practices. The project is a priority of UCLA’s health enterprise because of its importance in attracting and preparing future leaders in health care. 

Eugene & Maxine Rosenfeld Hall will be one of the few facilities in the nation to unite mock clinical experiences, surgical and procedural simulation, and interprofessional emergency and hospital team training in one building...

Full news release at

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Food at Irvine

From the NY Times' "California Today" blog:

For the last six months, the doors to the hub have been wide open, and the pantry has doled out produce, meat and granola bars, among other goods. Students are not required to show any proof of income to receive the food, though they do receive a document stating that it is meant for those who cannot afford it on their own.
“We are making it O.K. for students to say that they do need help,” said Edgar Dormitorio, the assistant vice chancellor of students affairs. “We know there are students who do without meals rather ask for assistance. We want this to be as low barrier as possible.”
A 2016 study found that roughly four in 10 students in the University of California system went hungry at least some of the time. At the Basic Needs Hub, students are asked for basic demographic information, like where they live and what year they are in college.
“Our hope is we know the needs better and cater to those needs,” he said.
The pantry is paid for in part by a $3 fee students approved in a campuswide vote last year, as well as money set aside from the office of U.C. system’s president.
“For students, knowing there is somewhere to get your food and feel dignified doing that, it is an empowering thing,” said Ernest Devin Rankin, 19, a sophomore in public health policy and educational science, who works at the pantry part time. “We have frozen meat, eggs, bread, milk, cereal — all that goes quickly. Fruit, granola bars, that stuff goes out in a second, we can’t stock it fast enough.”


UCLA: The Movie

During the breaks between quarters, movie trucks often arrive at UCLA. Yours truly doesn't know what movie is being made this time, but the trucks are there again. However, back in 1989, one of the worst movies ever made - Big Man on Campus (based loosely on the Hunchback of Notre Dame) - was filmed almost entirely at UCLA. We posted about it way back in 2011:
If you go to the link above, you can see the whole movie courtesy of YouTube.

Monday, March 26, 2018

UC rejections

Who goes there? Apparently, not everyone who wants to!
From Inside Higher Ed:
Wait-Listed, Rejected and Frustrated in California: 
Counselors report being stunned by the decisions coming out of some University of California and Cal State campuses. Could out-of-state institutions see a better than normal yield of Californians?
The college counselor was stunned. One of her best students was accepted to Washington University in St. Louis. But she was wait-listed by her two "safeties," the University of California, Davis, and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Another counselor said that he is seeing students either wait-listed or rejected from UC Davis or UC Santa Barbara -- students with "straight A's and maybe one or two B's" and SAT scores above 1400 or near-perfect ACT scores. He has seen even stronger students -- among the top of his school's graduating class -- getting rejected from UC San Diego.

"Our San Diego decisions look like Berkeley and UCLA decisions from years past," he said. "Students we told that 'this was a likely school' aren't getting in."

Parents -- many of whom rely on out-of-date senses of colleges' competitiveness -- are particularly shocked. "We are constantly working with parents who assume a B-plus student can go to Davis or Santa Barbara, and they can't," said the counselor.

UCLA and Berkeley have for years been long shots for all applicants. They reject many students with perfect SAT scores and grade point averages. So while many applicants are crushed by rejections at those two campuses, their counselors aren't surprised. The difference this year, counselors say, is that other UC campuses and some California State campuses have gone up significantly in competitiveness...

Full story at

More on the UCLA/student safety court decision

Inside Higher Ed runs a review of the recent court decision saying that UCLA had a duty to protect a student from injury by another student known to have mental problems. We posted about this decision recently.* In our post, we noted that one potential outcome was yet another training requirement, perhaps online. That possibility was not mentioned in the Inside Higher Ed review, which quotes a UC official as saying that - for the moment - no change in policy is being implemented:

..."In the immediate future, the University of California system won’t change how it operates, said Charles F. Robinson, its general counsel and vice president of legal affairs. He declined to discuss how the system is advising its campuses."...

Full story at

On verra.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Yes but...

CalMatters columnist Dan Walters complains that the 1960 Master Plan is out of date. It's not all that controversial to argue that a 58 year old plan could stand some revision. But there is more to be said. First, here is an excerpt from the Walters column. Then there is some commentary by yours truly:

The Assembly Higher Education Committee unanimously endorsed Assembly Bill 1936 this month, which would seem to bode well for its enactment.

It would create an Office of Higher Education Performance and Accountability to plan how California is to meet its ever-rising demand for post-high school education and coordinate the state’s three college and university systems.

However, if history is any guide, AB 1936 is doomed. At least seven other bills with similar purposes have either died in the Legislature or been vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown in recent years, including two others by AB 1936’s author, Assemblyman Evan Low, a Campbell Democrat.

The demise of those bills and the likely death of AB 1936 testify to the difficulty California’s politicians have in dealing with one of the state’s thorniest issues.

Every bit of data tells us that California faces a potential crisis because it is failing to generate enough college-educated workers to replace retiring baby boomers and fill the demands of an increasingly sophisticated economy.

That failure underscores the irrelevance of the state’s nearly 60-year-old “master plan” for higher education, which envisioned seamless, low-cost access to community colleges, the state university system and the University of California.

Costs, particularly for tuition at the four-year schools, have skyrocketed as the state’s financial support has declined. Demand for classes leading to graduation has outstripped supply. And the three systems that were supposed to be models of cooperation have become fiercely competitive for money and academic turf control...

...The Capitol’s politicians should be admitting that the master plan is obsolete and writing a new version that deals with 21st century realities rather than mid-20th century suppositions.
However, (Gov. Jerry) Brown has been unwilling to take on the task he says is needed, even though his father, former Gov. Pat Brown, helped give birth to the original master plan. Higher education reform thus joins the list of difficult, unsexy but vital issues that Brown says need attention, but that he’s left untouched, such as reforming the state’s outdated and dangerously imbalanced tax system and overhauling the cumbersome California Environmental Quality Act.
Therefore, the higher education conundrum will fall to the next governor, who will either rise to the occasion or continue Brown’s legacy of neglect.

The problem, however, is not really that Jerry Brown has been unwilling to take on the task he says is needed, but rather than he has dealt with that task by a personal approach - ad hoc decisions based on his student experience at Berkeley and other impressions - rather than doing what his dad did. Dad set up a process - not a personal conclusion. The process produced the Master Plan. Brown Jr., in contrast, sat down in private with the UC prez in a "Committee of Two." As far as we can tell, the Committee of Two's internal working was that the governor told the UC prez what he wanted. In that respect, the Brown II regime, which began with the election of 2010, was not much different from the Brown I regime that began with the election of 1976. 

We have no indication from any of the likely gubernatorial candidates that they have in mind a process any different than the non-process we have had under Jerry Brown. If Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is indeed the leading candidate to succeed Brown, all we know from his behavior at the Regents meetings he has attended is that he is against tuition increases. He says UC should instead get the money from the legislature. But if the legislature doesn't come up with the money, he still is against tuition increases. 

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Gavin's indulgence

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom on plans for higher ed funding if he is elected governor:

Newsom also told EdSource that he wanted to see reforms in funding for the state’s college and university systems.

Brown in 2013 tried to institute a performance-based funding model, but the UC and CSU systems balked. Lawmakers scrapped the idea in the final budget

“I know the UC Regents, CSU and the Board of Governors do not like that,” Newsom said of tying funding to performance. “They criticized the governor for that. I disagree with them – we need to see reforms in these three systems, and the governor is right about advancing reforms. “The difference is … I would be a little bit more indulgent of encouraging those reforms with additional resources.”

Maybe not so bad after all

The conservative Daily Caller runs a piece that suggests that maybe UC-Berkeley isn't the anti-free-speech capital of academia it's made out to be:

...First, it’s worth knowing that students claim the majority of past violence has not come from students themselves, but rather radicals living in the city of Berkeley and Oakland. One student who was present for the Milo riots claimed the rioters were chanting “Down with the Oakland Police” before they remembered they were in Berkeley and changed their chant to “Down with the Berkeley Police.”

Second, while the left-wing students I spoke to admitted Berkeley is an overwhelmingly progressive campus and they are no fans of conservative speakers, they found the notion of participating in protests laughable. They claimed that the vast majority of students on campus are much too busy with work at one of the most rigorous universities in the nation to get involved with the school’s politics, let alone even be aware of every speaker coming to campus.
Third, UC Berkeley’s new chancellor, Carol T. Christ, has called for a “free speech year” on campus, advocated for the libertarian free speech views of John Stuart Mill, and stated “I believe very strongly in Ben Shapiro’s right to speak on campus.” The school worked collaboratively with us to set up Dennis Prager’s event this week...
Could this be the start of something?

Friday, March 23, 2018

UC History: 150

The first graduates of the University of California (Berkeley) in 1873

Yesterday was the 150th anniversary of UC. For details, go to:

Will this decision lead to more online (or other) required faculty "training"?

A state Supreme Court decision arising from a UCLA case makes the university potentially liable for student-on-student violence. Undoubtedly, there will be pressure to "train" faculty to recognize possibly violent students and report them. Such training would allow the university to show that it was doing what it could to prevent violence. And the absence of such training might be seen as evidence of negligence in some future litigation.


In ruling for victim in UCLA attack, California Supreme Court says universities should protect students

By Maura Dolan | Mar 22, 2018 | LA Times
Katherine Rosen, a pre-med student in her junior year at UCLA, was in chemistry lab when she knelt to put something in her desk drawer. A classmate came up behind her and stabbed her in her neck and chest. She survived the life-threatening injuries, returned to school and sued UCLA for negligence, charging the campus was aware of her classmate's "dangerous propensities" and failed to warn and protect her.

On Thursday, nearly nine years after the stabbing, the California Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling and decided Rosen's lawsuit could go forward. Public colleges, the court said, have a duty to protect students from foreseeable violence in classrooms and other places where they have "curricular" activities. The unanimous decision, among the first of its kind in the nation, put California's colleges on notice that they may be held responsible if they know a student is dangerous and fail to take steps to control him and protect others.

Citing the 2007 Virginia Tech killings, the state high court said public colleges and universities in California "have a special relationship with their students and a duty to protect them from foreseeable violence."

"Students are comparatively vulnerable and dependent on their colleges for a safe environment," Justice Carol A. Corrigan wrote for the court.

UCLA officials knew Damon Thompson, Rosen's assailant, suffered from paranoid delusions and auditory hallucinations, had been barred from campus housing and had told a teaching assistant that he believed Rosen was demeaning him, according to court records.

"Although a criminal act is always shocking to some degree," Corrigan wrote, "it is not completely unpredictable if a defendant is aware of the risk."

The court noted that UCLA had marketed itself as "one of the safest campuses in the country" and developed "sophisticated strategies for identifying and defusing potential threats to student safety."

In fact, a team of professionals responsible for student safety at UCLA already was "closely monitoring" Thompson in the days before the stabbing, the court said.

The University of California and other colleges and associations had warned the court that imposing liability would have unintended consequences.

Colleges might stop offering mental health services and students might be afraid to be honest with psychiatrists and psychologists, they argued.

The court acknowledged those concerns as well as fears that colleges might become less likely to admit students with mental illnesses and more inclined to suspend or expel them without justification. But the court said that it was unlikely colleges would drop mental health services and that students with mental illnesses would be protected by laws barring discrimination against the disabled.

Thompson, who was from Belize, entered UCLA in the fall of 2008 as a transfer student and exhibited worrisome behavior from almost the beginning, according to court records. Thompson emailed multiple professors and complained to teaching assistants that other students, including Rosen, were maligning him, though there was no evidence of such conduct. In one email to a professor, Thompson said that if something were not done about his persecutors, he would have to act "in a manner that will incur undesirable consequences."

Campus police were called to his dormitory after he reported hearing the click of a gun. No gun was found. Police said he needed a psychiatric evaluation and escorted him to the UCLA emergency room. Campus mental health professionals evaluated Thompson and tried unsuccessfully to persuade him to enter a hospital. They diagnosed possible schizophrenia and major depression.

Under California law, people cannot be forced into a psychiatric hospital unless it is shown that a mental disorder makes them a danger to themselves or others or has rendered them gravely disabled. 
UCLA doctors believed Thompson did not meet the criteria because he said he was not suicidal and had no plan to harm others. Although Thompson initially agreed to take psychotropic medication and see a counselor, he eventually discontinued treatment. His condition deteriorated.

In June 2009, he exhibited odd behavior in his campus dormitory and pushed another student, leading to his expulsion from campus housing. He was ordered to resume psychiatric treatment in the fall. He met with campus doctors at the end of September and agreed to treatment. A week later, he stabbed Rosen.

Thompson, charged with attempted murder, was found not guilty by reason of insanity and committed to a state psychiatric hospital. He has since been deported to Belize, according to Rosen's legal team. Both Thompson and Rosen were 20 at the time of the incident.

In a concurring opinion to Thursday's ruling, Justice Ming W. Chin said he agreed that colleges should be potentially liable for violence in the classroom, but he disagreed that liability should extend to other "curricular activities" closely related to education. He said that holding would create confusion because the court failed to identify what activities would be considered "curricular."

A spokesman for UCLA said the campus was disappointed with the court's action and "concerned about the decision's potential impact on higher education in California and beyond."

"The university is committed to providing an environment that is conducive to learning and that provides appropriate resources to support our students in need," said Ricardo Vazquez, the spokesman, who serves as associate director of UCLA's media relations office.

Alan Charles Dell'Ario, who represented Rosen before the state high court, said K-12 schools have long been recognized as potentially liable for school violence. Thursday's ruling expanded that liability to public colleges.

He predicted Rosen would prevail in her lawsuit. UCLA had a violence prevention strategy, "but they didn't do it properly," Dell'Ario said. "They didn't report this guy up the chain the way they should have, and when they finally figured it out, it was too late," he said.

The ruling in Rosen's case was limited. It did not extend liability for violence committed on campus by a stranger unknown to college officials or for an alcohol-related death at a student party, he said.

Brian Panish, Rosen's trial lawyer, said the decision was the first by a state high court to address the issue since the Virginia Tech shootings and would affect hundreds of thousands of California college students.

Rosen, now a medical student, has emotional and physical scars from the attack, he said. Rosen said in an email provided by Panish that she hoped the ruling would spur colleges across the country to develop effective strategies to protect students.

"No student should have to fear entering a chemistry lab, or a lecture hall, or a college library in the pursuit of knowledge," she wrote.


Thursday, March 22, 2018

Concern worth noting

At the Regents meeting of March 15, 2018, the full board passed a recommendation from UCOP cancelling a previously-planned increase in the employer contribution to the UC pension fund from 14% to 15% for budgetary reasons. Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, an ex officio regent, expressed concerns about the potential implications for the unfunded liability. Although we have earlier preserved the audio of that meeting, it is worth below presenting the video and audio of his expressed concerns. According to recent polls, Newsom is the leading candidate for governor in the upcoming 2018 elections.

Below is the relevant segment of the March 15 meeting:

Is something rotten in Denmark?

Major reforms of higher education in Denmark could further cut the number of students pursuing humanities subjects, observers warn.

One of the key recommendations of a report drawn up by rectors, government officials, academics and business representatives is that the number of study places available in each discipline should be linked to labor market need, which critics say is the latest sign of utilitarian drift in Danish higher education.

Explaining the reforms, Søren Pind, minister for education and research, reportedly said that “we will see a scaling down of the humanities” as a result...

Full story at

Maybe our former governor has an opinion:

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Where's Koretz?

We've posted from time to time about an effort by students and Westwood businesses to carve out a new neighborhood council from within the current one. LA has a procedure for doing so, but in reality a lot depends on what the local city councilman, Paul Koretz, wants to happen. So far, all we have is this photo which appears to align him with the existing arrangements. However, the procedure is in motion:  (from the Bruin)

City officials have approved an election for students and Westwood community members to create a new neighborhood council. Westwood Forward, a coalition of students and Westwood community members, submitted an application to subdivide the Westwood Neighborhood Council in December because they felt the current council did not adequately represent students or address their concerns. The Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, which oversees neighborhood councils, approved the application Monday.
Once the department reviews the application, it determines whether stakeholders within the proposed boundaries can vote to break apart the current neighborhood council. Students and community members will have the opportunity to create the North Westwood Neighborhood Council, containing Westwood Village, UCLA and the North Village, should the vote pass...

Major Leap

University of California President Janet Napolitano said Monday that the public university system should open its doors more widely by guaranteeing admission to all qualified state community college students. She said she also has asked campus chancellors to work toward raising the four-year graduation rate to 70% from the current 64%. Getting more students to graduate more quickly, she said, would make room to enroll an additional 32,000 undergraduates — the equivalent of another UC campus — by 2030.
"This would be a major leap for the University of California," Napolitano said at a forum sponsored by Town Hall Los Angeles marking the 150th anniversary of the UC system... 

In recent years, Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature have pressured UC campuses to increase enrollment of California residents and transfer students. Brown is withholding $50 million in state funding until UC meets several demands, including enrolling one transfer student for every two freshmen not only systemwide but also at eight of the nine undergraduate campuses...

Maybe we should look before we leap:

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The missing roundabout

In the original architectural plan for the Reagan hospital, we were supposed to get a decorative roundabout. Whatever happened to it?

Picture from

Monday, March 19, 2018

Listen to the Regents Meeting of March 15, 2018

We now complete our archiving of the recent Regents meeting with the audio of the full board session of March 15. Yours truly is busy at the moment grading term papers. When he is done, he will check the recording for any highlights that were missed in news accounts and/or notable statements. For the moment, however, the Bruin has this account:

Nonresident students will have to pay $978 more in tuition next year following a vote by the governing board of the University of California on Thursday. The UC Board of Regents voted 12-3 in favor of increasing nonresident supplemental tuition by 3.5 percent. The board was originally scheduled to vote on both tuition and nonresident supplemental tuition increases at its January meeting, but deferred the vote to negotiate for additional state funding. The regents may consider an increase in base tuition, which both in-state and out-of-state students pay, at its May meeting.

As part of the motion to increase nonresidential tuition, following an amendment by Regent Sherry Lansing, the board committed to advocating for additional funding from the state legislature that would allow it to rescind the nonresidential tuition hike and increase need-based financial aid for nonresident students. The regents also increased professional degree supplemental tuition at 23 graduate programs in the university. Students in programs like law and medical school have to pay Professional Degree Supplemental Tuition in addition to their base tuition.

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Student Regent Paul Monge, Student Regent-designate Devon Graves and Student Advisor Rafi Sands all urged the regents to delay the vote and continue negotiations with the state for more state investment.

“When parents are selling cars overseas to supplement $42,000 tuition, that $42,000 price tag is pretty jaw-dropping for some and I think it may invite a different kind of conversation in the Capitol,” Newsom said. “I find this an unfortunate decision.”

UC President Janet Napolitano said she thinks it is unrealistic to expect the state legislature to provide funding to allow the university to keep tuition static for out-of-state students.

“I believe that our joint advocacy in Sacramento should be focused on getting a buyout for resident students,” she said. “I think reality needs to intrude here – the notion that the legislature will provide any relief on the nonresident tuition aspect of our budget is illusory.”

Student leaders said they think the tuition increases will have devastating effects on both international and out-of-state students.

Undergraduate student government External Vice President Chloe Pan said one of the reasons why student leaders do not support the tuition increase is because they believe it could lead to an increase in food and housing insecurity for nonresident students.

“We have a firm stance in opposition to any tuition increase,” she said. “We have seen a toxic political climate for international and undocumented students, and any effort to raise tuition will aggravate the climate.”...

Full story at

Link below:

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Settled - Part 2

The LA Times carries a more detailed account of the sexual harassment/Title IX settlement reached recently, based on an interview from one of the victims:

UCLA graduate student Kristen Glasgow says she first met Gabriel Piterberg, a history professor, in 2008. They had coffee together and then, she alleged, he walked her to her car, pushed her against it and forced his tongue into her mouth. Glasgow detailed this and other claims of Piterberg's sexual misconduct over a five-year period in a lawsuit she filed against the University of California in 2015...

UCLA did not identify the person who filed the complaint against Piterberg, but Glasgow contacted The Times to share her story...

Full story at

Earlier blog account at:

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Listen to the Regents afternoon meetings of March 14, 2018

We continue to archive the audio of the Regents meetings of this past week. Below are links to the two concurrent sessions from Wednesday afternoon, March 14. In the finance and capital strategies, the controversial boost in nonresident tuition was approved (pending approval of the full board the following days). Also in the afternoon sessions, there were boosts in certain professional school tuitions. And it was reported that the Dept. of Energy decision on continuing UC's managerial role in Los Alamos will be made in May. (Earlier, it was said the decision would be in April or May.)

Links below:

Academic and Student Affairs (and National Labs):
Finance and Capital Strategies:

Friday, March 16, 2018

Listen to the Regents' Morning Session of March 14, 2018

We're behind in keeping up with the Regents who met earlier this week. However, we do have the morning audio archives from Wednesday morning, March 14, preserved for posterity. Probably the main event occurred at the public comment session of the full board meeting when there were protests over a planned increase in non-resident tuition. (The increase - to no one's surprise - was ultimately enacted.) We'll check for other notable items as time permits, but yours truly has term papers to grade at this time of year.

There are links below to the morning sessions:

Full board:
Public Engagement:
Compliance and Audit:
Governance and Compensation:

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Helping Hand from OC for UC

The libertarian-leaning OC Register, which is not always supportive of UC, has the words below in an editorial:

Public universities in our nation, very much including the massive “land grant” institutions of the Midwest and then the West, were 19th-century America’s great good gift to both general knowledge and economic progress in the world. If the Oxfords and Sorbonnes of the Old Word were nominally public places, they were in reality for the most part bastions of upper-class privilege.

Our pluralistic society would allow the quality of our public universities to fall at our peril. And yet that’s exactly what is happening right here.

Reviewing a book of essays by the great novelist Marilynne Robinson, who teaches at the University of Iowa — a place that, as she notes, democratizes privilege — Donovan Hohn writes: “Between 1980 and 2017, the combined tuition and fees at four-year public colleges increased on average 319 percent. Between 2007 and 2016, meanwhile, state spending per student declined nationwide by 18 percent. To compensate for these austerities, students and their families have taken on more debt, and public institutions have had to entice more out-of-state and international students able to pay full fare. In the name of anti-elitism and economic populism, legislatures have helped make state colleges and universities more exclusive, not less.”

The University of California system, long considered the strongest and deepest of America’s public universities, is very much subject to these national woes. But there are deeper problems here.

An international survey released last month that included nine of the UC campuses and more than three dozen majors showed that rankings of individual departments against their peers around the world dropped in 80 categories and improved in just 24.

As the Los Angeles Times reported, UC Berkeley and UCLA still were ranked in the top 10 universities in the world, which in this survey, by QS Quacquarelli Symonds, included both public and private schools.

The good news is that UC Berkeley is still tied with Harvard for third and that UCLA, the most-applied-to university anywhere, is still in seventh place.

But the alarming news is that the biggest declines in department rankings also came at those two campuses, which have long been at the top of the University of California heap. UCLA saw its rankings go down in 22 subjects and improve in four while Berkeley went down in 15 areas and up in just two. In the economically crucial fields of civil and structural engineering, UCLA’s ranking went down from 40th to 51st and Berkeley’s from second to fifth.

“There has been a steady, sustained disinvestment in the UC and this is the inevitable result,” Shane White, chairman of the UC Academic Senate, told the Times. “This is probably the tip of the iceberg.”

It is impossible to overstate the economic and cultural impact the University of California has had on our state. If we don’t continue to invest both public monies and crank up the private fundraising each campus must now do on its own, we risk losing a very important Golden State asset for us all.


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Listen to the Regents Investment Subcommittee: March 13, 2018

The Regents are meeting at UCLA. Yesterday, their investments subcommittee met. You can hear their discussion at the link below. As usual, we preserve the audio indefinitely because the Regents maintain their recordings for only one year. Normally, the subcommittee would have reviewed the portfolio for the endowment, the pension, and "working capital" through December. However, since the stock market since then has been volatile, there was reference to more recent results. Also approved were various policy changes including conflict-of-interest rules.

There were no public comments. According to the LA Times, there will be protests today over tuition increases.*

A brief reference was made to the belief of both the investment staff as well as Regents that the current discount rate is too high. (In the past, they have suggested that a rate in the 6% range would be more appropriate than one in the 7% range.) Lowering the rate produces a larger estimated unfunded liability. ("Estimated" is an important qualifier; the unfunded liability is what it is. The estimate is a matter of accounting methodology.)

Finally, it was noted that under the choice arrangements now allowed for new hires, more and more employees will end up with a defined-contribution pension. Among other problems, that situation leaves them at "longevity risk," i.e., the risk of outliving one's income. There was discussion of the need to educate employees about their investment and saving behavior and the virtue of targeted investment funds that focus on less risk as the employee nears retirement age. That approach does not address longevity risk. So there was also talk about offering annuity options, maybe by 2020.

You can hear the discussion at the link below:


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Update on Trump Jam

Here is an update on street/road closures in connection with the Trump visit this afternoon:

 A stretch of the eastbound Santa Monica (10) Freeway has been closed in West Los Angeles, along with the northbound San Diego (405) Freeway, as President Donald Trump makes his way from Santa Monica Airport to the Beverly Park area for this evening's fundraiser.



From the BruinA professor accused of sexual assault in 2013 has lost his employment, said university officials in a statement Monday. The Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion released a statement on its website stating history professor Gabriel Piterberg has also been denied emeritus status and future employment with the University of California. The office added Piterberg will no longer have access to office space on campus.
Two of Piterberg’s graduate students accused him of making unwelcome sexual advances and forcing his tongue into their mouths in 2013. History graduate students Nefertiti Takla and Kristen Glasgow sued UCLA in 2015, saying the university did not properly handle their sexual assault complaints. UCLA suspended Piterberg for a quarter without pay in 2014, and settled the lawsuit with the graduate students in September 2016.
UCLA’s Title IX Office conducted an investigation against Piterberg in 2017 and found that Piterberg committed sexual harassment in violation of the university’s policies, the EDI office said in the statement. It added Piterberg’s removal from his position is a result of settlement negotiations between UCLA and Piterberg.
The university also removed Piterberg from his position as director of the UCLA’s Center for Near Eastern Studies in 2015, required him to attend sexual harassment training and prohibited him from meeting with students individually.
Piterberg resumed teaching classes in January 2017, amid protests by student groups such as Bruin Consent Coalition and Bruins Against Sexual Harassment. However, the history department restricted Piterberg to only using his office during weekends and only holding office hours on campus in Charles E. Young Research Library during business hours with the office door open.
Piterberg disputes and denies the Title IX Office’s findings, according to the EDI office’s statement.
Earlier post on this matter:

Maybe we'll get more

As California lawmakers wrestle over how to spend — or save — an estimated $6.1 billion budget surplus, a bipartisan coalition of legislators is pushing to spend some of the money on the state’s prized university systems, averting tuition hikes.
The proposal unveiled Monday would give the universities exactly what they are asking for: a $263 million boost in ongoing funding for California State University and $197 million for the University of California.
That’s more than double the $92 million that Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed giving to each university system.
“We’ve got to buy out these tuition increases. We’ve got to fully fund the budget requests of the California State University system and the University of California,” said Sen. Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica, chairman of the Senate Education Committee. “They are holding true to their promise to young people, but that promise has become increasingly out of reach.”
In January, amid an outcry from students and others, UC regents put on hold a proposal to hike in-state tuition by nearly $350 and out-of-state tuition by nearly $1,000. They plan to take up the proposals later this spring...

Update on the Trump Jam

Although details of President Trump's visit to LA today remain scarce, one report has him arriving at LAX at 3:30 pm and then maybe helicoptering to "Beverly Hills" to a fundraiser. So that suggests traffic jams in the afternoon. However, Beverly Hills city officials say that there is no planned visit within their city limits, so "Beverly Hills" could mean Bel Air or some other location near Beverly Hills. Protests on the Westside are also reportedly being planned. See:


Monday, March 12, 2018


The European Patent Office (EPO) granted a patent for CRISPR-Cas9 applications to Emmanuelle Charpentier, a co-discoverer of CRISPR and the cofounder of ERS Genomics, the University of California, and the University of Vienna. The patent has very broad claims covering the use of the technology and is directed to applications that use a modified version of the Cas9 protein.

This is the second patent issued to the company by the EPO for the gene-editing technology. The first was granted last March for the use of CRISPR across prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells and organisms. The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard University, on the other hand, has had less luck in Europe—in January, the EPO revoked a foundational patent belonging to the institution because it did not meet the agency’s requirement to establish that its scientists were the first to use CRISPR in eukaryotes...

Change in Jams

Remember, back in the day, when we used to have Obamajams when the president came to town for fundraising or whatever?

We may have a repeat, possibly in the vicinity of UCLA, when Trump comes to Beverly Hills some time on Tuesday for fundraising. So far, no reports on precise location, time of day, street closings, etc. There are only vague reports:

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Mnuchin Video

Screenshot from the now-released video
From Mother Jones: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin probably didn’t expect to get a hard time when he visited the the University of California Los Angeles for a public conversation with Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal in late February. But things went so badly that, when the dust had cleared, Mnuchin “retracted his permission” to release a video of the event.

But thanks to the California Public Records Act, the video Mnuchin didn’t want you to see is now public. In an email sent after 5 pm on Friday, UCLA announced that it had just “received consent” from the Treasury Department to post the full video online...

Full story at

Video below:

Note: Ryssdal previously provided the full audio which we included in a prior blog post:

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Clock Advance

Quiet time in university affairs, as we await the Regents next week. So we'll just remind you of the above chore tonight.

And also below:

Friday, March 9, 2018

Reminder: Don't Click

Reminder: Don't click on malicious emails such as the one above. It's not from UCLA. Note the bad grammar. It's a fraud.

More than forecast

The state controller's report through February - eight months into the fiscal year - shows revenues for the general fund running ahead of the original budget forecast by $4.6 billion. However, as we have pointed out, some of this extra revenue may be the result of the Trump tax law which put a limit on the deduction for state and local taxes. As a result, there was an incentive to prepay property and personal income tax that would otherwise have been due in 2018 for tax year 2017. To do so required paying by Dec. 31, but some of that may have spilled over into receipts in January. Possibly. some taxpayers may have prepaid more than they may turn out to owe. Close to $3 billion of the $4.6 billion came from personal income tax receipts. In short, it may be hard to interpret the figures until we at least get past April, the big tax month.

The controller's report is at: