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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Dr. Michael Drake is the New UC President

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

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

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

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

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

Full story at https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-07-07/michael-v-drake-is-expected-to-be-named-uc-president-first-black-leader-in-systems-152-year-history

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

More Rain on the Parade for Reopening

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

From EdSource:

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

Unnamed Steps?

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

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

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

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

Something for the new UC prez to worry about

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

US: Foreigners Can't Stay for Online Classes

Ozy, 7-7-20

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

Monday, July 6, 2020

New UC Prez About to Be Unveiled

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

The closing door on the fall "reopening"

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

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

By Deirdre Fernandes, Boston Globe, July 6, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full story at https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/07/06/metro/just-40-percent-harvard-undergrads-will-return-fall/

Berkeley Interview

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

or direct to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNaOV-SCp8g.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Where in Westwood?


Yours truly came across the photo above which shows an area in Westwood in the early 1930s. On the left, a building sign says "Westwood Village Market." On the right, a sign offers "Child Training," whatever that was. The large building at the center no longer exists. So where was this photo taken? The two photos below show Westwood from a distance and the large building can be seen - which might be a clue to where it was.



Alternative Ways to Read the Blog

On a quarterly basis, we provide an alternative way to read this blog. In this format, all videos, audios, and animated gifs are omitted. Below are links to the second quarter of 2020.

Read on screen:
https://issuu.com/danieljbmitchell/docs/ucla_faculty_association_blog__2nd_quarter_2020

Read below:


or direct to https://archive.org/details/ucla-faculty-association-blog-2nd-quarter-2020/mode/2up (You can download a pdf from this link.)

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Postponed Maybe

Is it coming or going?
From the Mercury NewsPac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said Thursday that the conference is prepared to pivot quickly to alternate football scenarios in the event a 12-game regular season cannot start on time because of the coronavirus surge. That possibility seemingly is growing more real by the week... The Pac-12 has modeled what Scott described as “very solid scenarios” for the season, including:

— Playing all 12 games as scheduled
— A delayed start
— Conference-only schedules
— Moving the season to the spring
“We could turn on a dime because of all the legwork we’ve put in,” Scott said, adding that other Power Five conference are having similar conversations internally...

Friday, July 3, 2020

USC's U-Turn

From the LA TimesAmid the alarming surge in coronavirus spread, USC announced it will no longer bring all undergraduates back to campus for the fall semester and will move to mainly online classes, reversing an earlier decision to welcome students back for a hybrid model.
The decision, announced by Provost Charles Zukoski late Wednesday, came the same day Gov. Gavin Newsom announced tougher restrictions on indoor activities. Zukoski recommended that students not return to campus for the semester and instead continue their education online.
“The once-in-a-century COVID-19 pandemic has altered every aspect of our lives — the way we interact, work, and socialize — and with each new permutation of the pandemic, we must find ways to thrive,” Zukoski wrote in a letter to students. “Given the continuing safety restrictions and limited densities permissible on campus, our undergraduate students primarily or exclusively will be taking their courses online in the fall term,” he said. “On-campus housing and activities will be limited.”
Only 10% to 20% of courses during the fall semester will be conducted in person and on campus. These courses include certain labs, studios and performance classes, and research studies that require hands-on work...
As we noted in a prior post, UCLA's plans for the fall seem more contingent than solid. In fact, it was so-stated in the link we provided in an earlier post to a video and audio concerning UCLA planning.*
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Thursday, July 2, 2020

Errata

In a prior post on the new state budget,* we posted some tables derived from budgetary numbers. There were errors in two tables. As is often the case, haste made waste. These are corrected below for the record, although the analysis is unaffected.

*http://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/2020/06/.

Online Med Interviews

All UC Schools of Medicine to interview applicants virtually

University of California Health
Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The deans of University of California Health's six medical schools announced today (June 30) that all medical school, residency and fellowship interviews for the 2020-2021 academic year will be held in a virtual format. The decision creates a consistent approach of no in-person interviews so that all applicants who advance to the interview stage have the same setting for presenting their skills and are not encumbered by COVID-19 related travel concerns.

"We want to create an equitable process for all," said Dr. Cathryn Nation, vice president of health sciences for University of California Health. "Applicants to UC medical schools and residency programs rigorously prepare academically and usually travel for in-person panel interviews. We don't want these individuals to feel their chance for success is influenced by their ability to appear in-person at this time when the risk of coronavirus transmission remains a very real concern."

The announcement comes at the start of summer so that prospective students, residents and fellows can plan and prepare appropriately. Prospective medical school students typically submit their applications through the American Medical College Application Service in the summer with some applicants starting interviews in the fall. Those who apply for residencies submit applications by October. Students typically apply for fellowships, a phase of subspecialty training immediately after completion of residency, throughout the year depending on the area of specialization.

The shift to all remote interviewing was driven by a variety of factors including:

Limitations in commercial air travel, particularly for those who do not live near major hubs; 
Resurgence of COVID-19, potentially complicated by seasonal influenza, which may occur as shelter in place orders are lifted and will then require reinstitution of those orders;
Disrupted required clinical rotations from the spring, which may need to be scheduled well into the usual interview season for senior students, making scheduling of cross-country trips very challenging; and,
The recession and growing unemployment, which may cause students and their families significant financial hardships. 

"We are adapting in real-time to unprecedented circumstances that disrupt typical practices," said Dr. Carrie L. Byington, executive vice president of University of California Health. "The shift to online interviews is consistent with our public health response to reduce the risk of viral transmission. Our goal is to support all applicants in pursuing their dreams without the additional stress related to the cost, logistics and transmission risk associated with interview travels."  

This spring, UC medical schools also adapted 2020 Match Day ceremonies by moving to an online format. Match Day is when graduating medical students learn where they will serve their residencies, a critical step to become a licensed physician.  

University of California Health's six medical schools - UC Davis Health, UC Riverside Health, UC San Diego Health, UCI Health, UCLA Health and UCSF Health - are all nationally ranked. UC's schools of medicine have approximately 3,500 medical students enrolled. Approximately 5,600 residents and fellows are advancing their post-graduation training in UC and affiliated hospitals.

Source: https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/press-room/all-uc-schools-medicine-interview-applicants-virtually

End of the Beginning - Part 8

Two labor market indicators appeared today which continue to suggest a bottoming out of the coronavirus-induced recession.

New claims for unemployment insurance were 1.4 million on a seasonally-adjusted or an unadjusted basis for last week. As we have noted in past postings, these are very high numbers, although declining. Total numbers receiving unemployment have generally been falling or flat (although these numbers lag by one week). That fact suggests that people are exiting receiving unemployment insurance (presumably getting jobs) at least as fast as new people are becoming unemployed. As in prior weeks, California has a disproportionate share of individuals receiving unemployment benefits. See below for the national trends:
[Click on image to clarify.]
Because of the upcoming July 4th holiday, the official unemployment rate for June was release along with data on nonfarm payroll employment. Both measures - although distorted because the collection and estimation methodology was not designed for the current situation - also suggest a bottoming out.
[Click on image to clarify.]
The latest data on new claims and the unemployment and nonfarm payroll jobs surveys are at:
https://www.dol.gov/ui/data.pdf and
https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf.

Coronavirus Issues Including Planning for Fall


Yesterday afternoon, there was a Zoom program dealing with coronavirus issues at UCLA including planning for fall. We have noted in past posts on this blog that the campus is currently being used as a public park by outsiders. The adults involved are often unmasked. The children seldom are. One question that came up in the Zoom program was control of the campus. It was said there will be signage telling people entering the campus to observe masking and social distancing. How that will be enforced is less clear. There were also questions about enforcement among students who may engage in risky behavior. Toward the end, it was noted that it is possible that if recent infection trends continue in the wrong direction, the fall might revert to the current lockdown situation or that it could happen in the middle of the fall.

If you missed the program, it is now on YouTube:

or direct to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6XjNph0jiY

Audio only at https://archive.org/details/july-1st-2020-covid-19-planning-and-preparedness-at-ucla.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Ghost from the Past

If you are a really loyal reader of this blog going way back, you may dimly recall former State Senator Leland Yee who made a career out of slamming UC. It turned out later he had also made a career out of gun running and he went to prison in the "shrimp boy" scandal. There was even a back and forth on this blog between his IT person - who had screwed up Yee's website - and yours truly.

To find out about all of this history, you can start by typing "Leland Yee" in the search engine of this blog and then Googling "Leland Yee" and "shrimp boy." There was even a play at the Kirk Douglas Theater:

Why mention this sad tale now? Yours truly happened to note a short item in the San Francisco Chronicle:
And so we bring the story to an end.

Dickson Awards

Regent Dickson
From an email circulated 6-29-20 (photos added):
2019-2020 Edward A. Dickson Emeritus Professorship Award Recipients Named
The Dickson Emeritus Professorship Award is funded from a gift endowment established by the late Edward A. Dickson, Regent of the University of California, to honor outstanding research, scholarly work, teaching, and service performed by an Emeritus or Emerita Professor since retirement.
Three UCLA emeriti professors have been selected to receive the 2019 – 2020 Edward A. Dickson Emeritus Professorship Award, which includes a prize of $5,000: Professor Emeritus Christopher B. Cooper, Saul Winstein Distinguished Research Professor Kendall N. Houk, and Distinguished Research Professor Pamela Munro.
Christopher B. Cooper, Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Physiology, retired in 2016 and has had a distinguished UCLA career as a clinical research physician and a medical educator since 1993. He is one of the world’s preeminent respiratory physiologists focused on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). He founded UCLA’s Exercise Physiology Research Laboratory in 1993 and continued as its director until 2019. Since retirement, he has continued his outstanding contributions to medicine and physiology including, directing the Pulmonary Research Laboratory, establishing the Pulmonary Function Test Reading Center at UCLA, and leading the SPIROMICS multicenter cohort. He has obtained considerable research funding including new NIH funding for a COPD-Heart Failure study and an Early COPD study. Professor Emeritus Cooper has published 52 peer-reviewed research papers, a book chapter, two letters to the editor, four review articles and one editorial since retirement. As a medical educator, Professor Cooper taught the majority of respiratory physiology to UCLA medical and dental students for well over two decades. He co-chaired the Cardiac, Respiratory and Renal Physiology Block for all first year medical students and chaired clinical skills courses for third and fourth year medical students. He has been recalled each year since his retirement to continue these educational activities. As a reflection of his international stature as an investigator and teacher, Professor Emeritus Cooper continues to be invited to address international audiences throughout the world.
Kendall N. Houk, Saul Winstein Distinguished Research Professor in Organic Chemistry, retired after 31 years at UCLA in 2016 and received the unusual extension of the Saul Winstein Endowed Chair that he held since 2009. Professor Houk’s activity since retirement has been at least equal to that of most of his senior colleagues, including over 180 publications in top research journals such as NatureScience, and the Journal of the American Chemical Society, additionally he is awarded research funding of approximately $900,000-$1,000,000 each year. Professor Houk provides about 60 invited lectures in many countries, teaches about one-half the usual teaching load of a full-time faculty member, and continues active department and university service on committees. Among his research group’s major discoveries following his retirement is the development of methods to follow reactions by molecular dynamics revealing how reactions occur. His collaboration with his UCLA colleagues and investigators from around the world continue to provide major new insights into chemical reactions. Professor Houk continues to teach Modern Physical Organic Chemistry and Ethics in Chemical Research. He has served as the Organic Division Liaison, organized UCLA Research Showcases at American Chemical Society meetings, organized Winstein, Foote, and Roberts lectures, chaired or co-chaired the department’s Distinguished Lecture Committee and Awards Committee, and served on its Diversity, Chemistry Graduate Program, and Mentoring committees. Since 2018, he has served on the University Faculty Research Lecture Committee. Distinguished Research Professor Houk is an internationally famous scholar and a marvelous credit to his department and to UCLA.
Pamela Munro, Distinguished Research Professor of Linguistics is a specialist in the documentation, analysis, preservation, and revitalization of indigenous languages of the Americas. Over the course of her career, she has worked on almost 40 languages, far more than most others in the field of American Indigenous Linguistics. In the eight and a half years since her retirement in 2011, Professor Munro has continued to publish, teach, and engage in community service, at a level that would be worthy of most full-time faculty members. She has published 18 research articles, two popular articles, and one popular book and continues to work on language dictionaries and on the development of writing systems. She also participates regularly in the Zapotexts research group in which they transcribe, translate, and analyze Zopotec documents from the early Mexican Colonial period. She has continued to teach in the Linguistics department — including the graduate field methods course for three years post retirement and an upper division course in American Indigenous Linguistics. Additionally, in every year since her retirement she has directed a graduate seminar on American Indigenous Linguistics. In 2014, Professor Munro was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and in 2019, she taught a course at the biannual Summer Institute of the Linguistic Society of America where she was honored as the Institute’s Hale Professor. She has chaired three graduate committees and served as a member on committees in the Department of History and the American Indian Studies Center. A notable aspect of her professional work has been her co-authorship with indigenous collaborators, long before this was usual. Distinguished Research Professor Munro’s continued professional activities since retirement demonstrate a significant deepening in analytical scholarship, an amazing breadth of research engagement, and continuing extraordinary service to indigenous communities. She serves as a model for all linguists.
Please join me in wishing them all well-deserved congratulations for outstanding contributions to their respective fields since retirement and for serving as powerful examples of intellectual and professional achievement.
Sincerely,
Michael S. Levine
Chair, Dickson Emeritus Professorship Award Selection Committee
Vice Chancellor, Academic Personnel
=======
Note: The related Panunzio awards were posted back in May:
https://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/2020/05/latest-panunzio-winners.html

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The State Budget in 3 Tables

Let's start with the caveat that the analysis presented below is preliminary in several senses. Yours truly has had to go through various documents hastily to pull together the tables below. Possibly, there are errors. In addition, the budget itself is contingent in various dimensions.

At least as the governor has depicted it, it comes closer to his May Revise strategy of not assuming federal aid that may or may not be forthcoming than to the legislature's reported desire to budget on the assumption there would be aid. (Both strategies involved contingencies for automatic budget revision, depending on what happens at the federal level.) In addition, this budget - just as with any budget - has underlying economic projections that may or may not be accurate. The current economic situation, however, is more uncertain than normal and depends on noneconomic factors such as whether a vaccine for the coronavirus will come along, what happens in the November elections, etc. Finally, even data that normally might be expected to be largely in the past is not. Income taxes that would normally have been received in April were postponed to July. So the revenue assumptions for this year may be off.

The coronavirus crisis came suddenly within the fiscal year that is ending today. So it affected the completion of this year as well as the outlook for 2020-21. Table 1 below shows the effect. Revenue drops sharply, even though significant federal aid was received. Expenditures drop somewhat, but not enough to deal with the lost revenue. So, the result is reserves were drawn down.

Reserves are kept in various accounts in California. The general fund, which is like the state's checking account, has a balance. Under former Governor Brown, three other reserves were created or filled: the Budget Stabilization Account (BSA or rainy day fund), the Safety Net Reserve, and a reserve for K-14 (Prop 98 reserve). If you add the changes in the general fund balance and the other accounts, there is a net drawdown of around $7 billion in the current year ending today. See Table 3, first data column.

What happens next year (which starts tomorrow)? Spending is cut a lot. Revenue continues at roughly the rate of the current year. See Table 2. When all is said and done, the total reserve drawdown next year is about $5 billion. (Table 3) Given the remaining reserve projected to exist at the end of 2020-21, we might go another year until the entire past reserve accumulation would be gone.

But who knows? Maybe someone will come up with a magic serum soon. Maybe more aid will come from the feds. But it won't be pleasant, whatever happens.


(Click on charts to clarify.)

Work at Home Through Fall Quarter

It appears that despite the reopening of the campus in the fall, not much will change. Most courses will be online. Most employees who can work from home will. From an email circulated today:

To: Faculty and Staff

Dear Colleagues:
Over the past several months, we have all had to make enormous adjustments in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The world has indeed become a different place as we have learned entirely new ways of working, teaching and interacting. While UCLA continues to formulate plans for an eventual ramping up of onsite activities, we acknowledge that many of these changes — including remote work — will be in place for the foreseeable future.
The welfare of the Bruin community was our paramount concern when the vast majority of our employees began working from their homes in March, and it remains so today. Because of the continuing health risks associated with COVID-19, we are asking those of you who are currently successfully working from home to continue to do so until January 4, 2021. Allowing faculty and staff to work from home wherever feasible reduces population density on campus, which helps reduce health risks for everyone.
This does not apply to those associated with the ramp-up of UCLA research or to those faculty who will be teaching their courses with an on-campus component in the fall and corresponding support staff. It also does not apply to health care workers, to clinical trainees or to those providing any clinical training. This campus direction also excludes employees and clinical trainees from UCLA hospitals and clinics who are currently working remotely.
Staff and faculty should confirm with their supervisors and department heads whether this extension of remote work applies to their positions.
We understand that this transition has posed and will continue to pose unique and difficult challenges, but your resourcefulness and resilience have been truly inspiring. You have risen to the moment in creative and visionary ways that represent the best of the Bruin spirit. To all of you, we offer our profound thanks and admiration.
Sincerely,
Michael J. Beck
Administrative Vice Chancellor

New Black Resource Center - Part 2

We noted in our previous post on this topic, which was based on a Bruin article, that there was at the time no official announcement. Below is an announcement:

To the Campus Community:

The ongoing principled protests around the nation — and around the world — calling for racial justice have been inspiring and humbling. In this moment we rightfully have been moved to ask what more we can do to make UCLA a community where all will know that Black lives, Black intellects, Black aspirations and Black experiences matter. In recent weeks, we have heard concerns and suggestions from our faculty, students, staff, alumni and others.
In two letters of response sent to concerned faculty on June 18 and June 26, we proposed the following actions that we want to share with all of you now. We hope the following steps will ensure lasting change that will have a positive impact on our campus:
  • We will appoint a special faculty advisor in the chancellor’s office to advise on issues of concern to Black faculty, staff and students. We will ask stakeholders on campus to nominate candidates and will have the position filled by the end of summer.
  • We will create a Black Student Resource Center on campus that will add to existing spaces. UCLA will provide funding this coming academic year to establish programs and staffing in the center. We have begun the process to identify the best location options for the Black Student Resource Center in the center of campus. Importantly, this critical space for students will include access to and collaboration with faculty and key Student Affairs staff. We will be meeting and working with student leaders from the Afrikan Student Union and Black Graduate Student Association to review these options.
  • We will expand the intellectual community devoted to Black life and racial equity issues across the entire campus. We will work closely with the leadership of the Ralph J. Bunche Center and the Department of African American Studies in implementing programs to expand the ranks of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty, as described below. We will invest in scholarship across the career arc as follows:
     
    • We will provide 10 summer graduate fellowship awards each year beginning in 2021 for research, teaching and service related to Black life. Prospective and current graduate students from across all disciplines will be encouraged to apply this coming academic year. The program commitment is for five years, with potential renewal of the program upon review.
    • We will create a postdoctoral community focused on Black experience. Five postdoctoral positions, each renewable for a second year, will be funded for five years starting in 2021, with potential renewal of the program upon review.
    • We will recruit 10 additional faculty members over the next five years whose scholarly work — teaching, mentoring and/or research — addresses issues of Black experience. These faculty lines will reside in the Bunche Center with appointments equally balanced between North and South campus departments and programs.
  • We will allocate a dedicated staff member in External Affairs to provide development support focused on issues related to Black life. In collaboration with academic leadership, we will craft multiyear fundraising goals and advance this agenda with leadership prospects, donors, volunteer boards and local and national foundations as a post-Centennial Campaign fundraising priority.
We also want to ensure that our campus offers the scholarship, environment and resources necessary to more broadly support and promote racial justice in our community and beyond. To that end, we are also committed to the following actions:
  • We will commit $250,000 for seed research grants on racial inequities and racial justice, including campus climate issues, each year for five years, with potential renewal of the program upon review. A committee will be assembled by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Creative Activities to outline the project description and eligibility criteria, followed by a call for proposals during the upcoming academic year.
  • We will commit to establishing a group similar to the current equity advisors in academic units that will represent administrative units on campus and in UCLA Health. The group’s mission will be to improve climate for staff and to advise on broader diversity and inclusion education.
  • We will allocate a dedicated staff member in Strategic Communications to amplify the voices of faculty, staff and students of color and others whose work involves challenges to racism and structural inequality. We will vigorously look for opportunities to highlight and lift up the powerful work and compelling stories that need to be heard.
  • We will bolster the leadership roles that the ethnic studies centers play in the life of UCLA. The Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies, the American Indian Studies Center, the Asian American Studies Center and the Chicano Studies Research Center, which are housed in the Institute for American Cultures, have long been rightly recognized as intellectual leaders in the broader community. We will make sure they are equally recognized in the UCLA community as well. We will also ensure scholars within the ethnic studies centers, along with others who have essential expertise, will have representation and a leadership role in these specific efforts.
  • We will comprehensively identify opportunities on campus for additional recognition of Bruins of color so that our built environment, landscape and programs embrace the diversity of the Bruin community.
  • We will expand the role of the Public Safety Advisory Council that is already in the process of being created, and ensure that its members represent a diverse cross section of voices on our campus, including our own faculty experts. As a first set of tasks, the new council’s work will include reviewing our relationships with external police forces and examining the responsibilities resting with our UC police force to see what work may appropriately be taken on by others and what must stay with UCPD to ensure campus safety. We commit to continuing our improvement in policing, both on campus and off, including how we can further address issues like racial bias and racial profiling, effective de-escalation techniques, data transparency and other pressing racial equity matters to ensure that we protect the safety of all in our community, including Black Bruins and other Bruins of color.
  • UCLA will employ trained mental health professionals who can respond to mental health emergencies, either to support police officers on these calls or — if appropriate — to respond in place of officers. This approach has worked successfully in other communities and we expect it will better serve our campus, allowing police to focus on their public safety mission.
  • UCLA PD already has banned use of carotid holds, a practice not used in more than 15 years. We will work with the police and the campus community to identify additional use of force policy changes to ensure that our policies conform to our principles of serving our community.
Our work to fight racism will not end with these steps. More changes will be coming to challenge the structural racism that exists in our education system, from kindergarten through graduate school, including at institutions like UCLA.
Every sector of UCLA should be combating racism and promoting racial justice. This is why we are especially enthusiastic about exploring a suggestion to use the Grand Challenge model — to solve large societal problems in partnership with local communities, along with students, faculty, staff and alumni — to achieve transformative change in society. We think there is great potential in taking up racial inequality and racial justice as a Grand Challenge that organizes and harnesses the intellectual energy of the campus around the common goal of helping solve one of society’s biggest problems.
More changes will be coming. Our deans are actively exploring how to improve their schools’ efforts around equity, diversity and inclusion. We will reach out to Staff Assembly leadership and others to better understand the concerns of staff members of color and how we can ensure a supportive professional environment for all, including through new initiatives to benefit staff. We will also build upon UCLA Enrollment Management’s efforts to recruit a diverse student body. And we are very pleased that the UC Regents unanimously support legislation that would overturn Prop. 209, which has hindered our aspirations to create a more diverse campus.
The above actions are a starting point for the transformative change needed to get us to that place of true equality, where we will honor our deepest values and fulfill our highest aspirations.
At this historic moment, every institution is being challenged to help create a society that is genuinely just and truly equitable, and that values the lives of all its people. With the partnership of our Bruin community, UCLA will rise to that challenge.
Sincerely,
Gene D. Block
Chancellor
Emily A. Carter
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

Patience - Analysis will be provided

Yours truly will provide an analysis as soon as possible - but not immediately owing to other commitments. What I can tell you was that the one line-item veto by the governor was of a provision that would have barred UC from keeping some leftover funds from the prior year. In the grand scheme of things, whatever was involved was likely noise in the overall UC budget. And the veto may have been a technical correction rather than a dispute with the legislature.

Coronavirus Cases on Campus

Note: The notice below deals with the "campus community." As we have noted in prior posts, it appears that individuals who are not necessarily in the "campus community" are using the campus area as a public park. Casual observation by yours truly indicates that something like half of the adult-age park users are not wearing masks. And, of course, none are being screened before they enter the campus.
To the Campus Community:
As research activities and other operations ramp up across campus and in the field, questions and concerns have arisen about the guidelines for communicating about positive COVID-19 cases among students, staff, faculty and others who are using our campus facilities.
Knowing that processes and policies will continue to evolve as the situation changes, we want to share the following information with you about some of the key procedures we have in place now:
  1. We are committed to the health of everyone on campus, and we have put rigorous risk mitigation practices into place, including reduced personnel density, extensive sanitization protocols, required daily symptom monitoring and mandated use of face coverings
  2. Any UCLA community member who develops symptoms or receives a positive test result for COVID-19 is obligated to self-isolate and to contact the UCLA Infectious Disease Hotline at 310-267-3300 (for faculty, staff and volunteers) or the Ashe Center COVID-19 Hotline at 310-206-6217 (for students).
  3. The UCLA COVID-19 Resources website provides daily updates of confirmed COVID-19 cases among the UCLA campus community, including information about when the individual was last on campus.
  4. No one should be stigmatized or subject to discrimination based on their health status. We are committed to protecting the privacy of any person who tests positive or is suspected of having COVID-19.
  5. A wealth of resources covering UCLA-specific COVID-19 protocols may be found on Bruins Safe Online. These policies and other campus guidelines are in accordance with Los Angeles County Department of Public Health orders and include:
    1. Standard Operating Procedure for Responding to COVID-19 Cases on the UCLA Campus (PDF)
    2. UCLA Safe and Physical Distancing Protocol (PDF)
    3. Information about Required Training on COVID-19
    4. UCLA Requirements for COVID-19 Symptom Monitoring: Staff and Faculty Performing Non-Healthcare Work On Campus (PDF)
    5. UCLA Requirements for Symptom Monitoring for Students (PDF)
  6. The campus has instituted standard operating procedures (PDF) for principal investigators (PIs) and supervisors to follow should they learn that someone in their research space or other on-site workspace has tested positive for COVID-19. It is imperative that all PIs, supervisors and research group members familiarize themselves with these procedures and follow only the appropriate notification protocols to ensure that people’s health information remains confidential.
  7. PIs who have been approved to ramp up their research activities must be sure that their approved research operational plans include all of their research personnel returning to work on campus and in the field and the facilities that will be used for research. This information is critical in the event that contact tracing for COVID-19 is necessary. Also, please note that PIs and department chairs may be consulted for contact tracing, but they should not undertake contact tracing themselves.
  8. If a UCLA student, staff or faculty member is confirmed to have COVID-19, medical professionals at UCLA or the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health will investigate to determine who is considered a “close contact” to that person, contact them and ask them to self-isolate and schedule a test, if appropriate. Relevant deans, vice provosts, vice chancellors, directors and department chairs will be notified of any positive case within their areas of responsibility.
  9. In the event of an outbreak on campus or other UCLA property — as opposed to isolated, unrelated cases — UCLA may issue a broader communication in accordance with guidance from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
  10. Environment, Health & Safety will determine whether any UCLA spaces must be closed in the event of a potential contamination. If this happens, Facilities Management will fully sanitize affected spaces before anyone is allowed to return to the space and will notify those who use the space once the process is complete.
Thank you for your continued cooperation and understanding. If you have any questions, please email c19@research.ucla.edu.
Sincerely,
Michael J. Beck
Administrative Vice Chancellor
Roger Wakimoto
Vice Chancellor for Research and Creative Activities