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Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Stand By

From an email received today from the Faculty Club:

Alert: Temporary Website Outage for Transition to New Website 

September 1, 2021, 10:30 am - 12:30 pm PST

Dear Faculty Club Members,

We are delighted to announce the launch of our new Faculty Club website on September 1. Please note that as a result of this transition, there will be an outage occurring tomorrow from 10:30 am to approximately 12:30 pm PT.

We appreciate your patience during this temporary outage. Once the new website is up and running, a welcome email with the new URL and login will be sent to you.

Thank you again for your continued support. We are dedicated to providing you with a website with improved functionality to keep you connected with what's happening at the Club.

Julie Kwan, President, UCLA Faculty Center Association

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Luciano Sautto, General Manager & COO, UCLA Faculty Club

Visions Coming to the Regents on Sept. 9th

The Regents of the University of California

Date: September 9, 2021

Time: 10:30 a.m.

Locations: Teleconference meeting conducted in accordance with Paragraph 3 of Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-29-20

Agenda – Open Session

Public Comment Period (20 minutes)

Discussion Visions and Goals for the University of California

---

Agenda – Closed Session

Discussion Performance Evaluation Goals and Objectives – President of the University

Closed Session Statute Citation: Personnel matters [Education Code §92032(b)(7)]

Source: https://regents.universityofcalifornia.edu/regmeet/sept21/board-september-9.pdf.

Monday, August 30, 2021

The Walk

Paralyzed Cal rugby player Robert Paylor keeps promise, walks across stage for college diploma

Jeff Faraudo, UPDATED: August 30, 2021, Mercury-News

BERKELEY: For Robert Paylor, paralyzed from the neck down while playing for the Cal rugby team in 2017, the moment had finally arrived. In front of more than 1,400 of his 2020 classmates and perhaps 5,000 more at the Greek Theater for in-person graduation ceremonies Sunday, Paylor stood up from his wheelchair, gripped his walker and did what he had promised himself he would someday do. Once told he might never move again, let alone walk, Paylor stepped toward Chancellor Carol T. Christ and her assistant, reached out and accepted his diploma. The crowd rose and delivered a joyous roar. “Finally being able to be here and see my classmates, see my friends, have my family witness this moment that’s taken 1,576 days to get to, it’s the realization of a dream,” Paylor said later.

Paylor, 24, stood up from his wheelchair for the first time last September. He now can move himself 300 yards with his walker. “While this was only 5 to 10 yards,” he said, “it’s some of the most important 5 to 10 yards I’ll ever walk in my life.”

Paylor, who came to Cal after graduating from Jesuit High School in Sacramento, completed work toward his degree from the Haas School of Business a year ago, but graduation ceremonies in 2020 were canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He served as the keynote speaker for a virtual graduation held for Cal athletes in May of last year...

Full story at https://www.mercurynews.com/2021/08/29/paralyzed-cal-rugby-player-robert-paylor-keeps-promise-walks-across-stage-for-college-diploma/amp/.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Green

From the Bruin: The University of California system placed first on the Green Power Partnership ranking of higher education institutions for 2020. The Green Power Partnership, established in 2001 by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, encourages colleges and universities to transition from conventional electricity to green power. This includes solar, wind, geothermal, biogas and low-impact hydroelectric sources. The UC has ranked first for the EPA’s quarterly ranking of higher education institutions since April 2019.

According to a UC Office of the President press release, the UC uses nearly 481 million kilowatt-hours of green energy annually. Green power makes up almost 46% of all UC power purchases, the press release said. Arizona State ranked second using 292,135,945 kWh and Columbia University ranked third using 232,109,000 kWh, according to the EPA’s Top 30 Higher Education Institutions ranking.

Nurit Katz, UCLA’s chief sustainability officer, said the launch of the UC’s Carbon Neutrality Initiative in 2013 helped lead to the more ambitious goal of carbon neutrality by 2025...

Full story at https://dailybruin.com/2021/08/26/uc-system-maintains-first-place-ranking-nationally-in-green-power-use.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

CalPERS Long-Term Care Lawsuit Settlement - Part 2

We won't repeat the background of this lawsuit. For that, go to our prior blog post.* Our earlier post had some confusing information from the Sacramento Bee. But if you are covered by the suit and settlement, or just have an interest in it, here is some clearer information:

You Need to Take Action on the CalPERS LTC Settlement

If you purchased Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance from CalPERS and included inflation coverage, you should have received a recent mailing describing the tentative settlement in a class action suit triggered by the premium increases that took effect in 2015 and 2016. You have options, and it is critical that you make an informed decision about which option is best for you; tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars are at stake. You may wish to consult your legal or financial advisor(s) concerning your options under the Settlement.

You can choose an option on Page 5 (YOUR ELECTION) of the material following the letter or viathe web https://www.calpersltcclassaction.com/ (you will need the unique ID and PIN provided in the top right corner of the detail pages of the settlement) or by calling 1-866-217-8056.

Most of the affected policyholders are in Category A, which includes people who are not currently on Claim Status (i.e. not currently receiving benefits). People in Category A have three options:

 If you do nothing, or if you affirmatively accept the Settlement, you will (assuming final approval by the Court) receive a refund of premiums you have paid (with no credit for investment earnings over the years), less any benefits you have received in the past, and you will surrender all future benefits under your policy. Your refund will likely be in the tens of thousands of dollars. However, if you require long-term care after the Settlement becomes final, you will receive no benefits from CalPERS to cover the cost.

 You can affirmatively choose to accept the Settlement and apply the refunded premiums to purchase a new single-premium Replacement LTC Policy. The details of that replacement policy are still being worked out, but if that policy becomes available, it would almost certainly pay much lower benefits than those promised by your current CalPERS policy. You would not be obligated to pay any further premiums for that Replacement Policy, which would provide up to three years of benefits starting from the date you first need care. The Replacement Policy would be issued by a private insurance company regulated by the State of California, not by CalPERS. If you want a Replacement Policy, you must affirmatively choose to do so no later than September 22, 2021.

o If you are considering choosing the Replacement Policy Option, you should compare the benefits that would be available under that policy (described in general terms in the Notice of Settlement) with those you could obtain by reducing coverage under your current CalPERS policy. You recently received a separate mailing from CalPERS announcing a premium increase, and outlining options to avoid that premium increase by reducing coverage. You can get more information on the current premium increase, and your options to reduce coverage, from CalPERS at 888-877-4934.

 You can affirmatively opt out of the Settlement. In that case, you will not receive any refund of premiums, but you will keep your current CalPERS LTC policy. You will be obligated to pay the 52% premium increase that CalPERS has imposed effective November 1, 2021, and any future premium increases CalPERS may impose. The deadline to opt out of the Settlement is December 13, 2021.

o If you are unable, or do not wish to pay the 2021 premium increase, you should carefully consider the options to avoid that increase by reducing your coverage.

The details are in the separate recent mailing from CalPERS. You can get more information on the current premium increase, and your options to reduce coverage, from CalPERS at 888-877-4934.

o If, after considering your available options to pay the 2021 premium increase, or avoid it by reducing coverage, you conclude that your best option is to let your current CalPERS policy lapse, you should affirmatively accept the Settlement (with or without a Replacement Policy), and continue paying premiums until the Settlement becomes final.

If you are in Category A, then regardless of which of the three options you choose, you must continue paying premiums to CalPERS under your current policy until the Settlement becomes final.

If you and your spouse both purchased CalPERS LTC policies with inflation coverage, each of you should have received a mailing. Spouses should each make a choice based on their individual situation. Spouses can (and in some cases should) make different choices.

If you are in a category other than Category A (for example, if you are currently on Claim Status, or if you let your policy lapse after February 2013), your options are different. You should carefully read the options available to you and make a choice. Your deadline to choose is December 13, 2021.

Source: Information received via email from CUCEA, the Council of University of California Emeriti Associations.

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*http://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/2021/08/calpers-long-term-care-lawsuit.html.

News on NIL - Part 2

Blog readers will recall our recent report on "NIL" - name, image, and likeness - which the US Supreme Court ruled was something student-athletes should be free to monetize.* UCLA earlier this week "enthusiastically" implemented a NIL policy:

UCLA Athletics Introduces "Westwood Ascent" NIL Program

August 23, 2021

LOS ANGELES - UCLA today announced "Westwood Ascent" a comprehensive Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) program designed to support the school's student-athletes to build their personal brand and maximize their NIL opportunities. Westwood Ascent focuses on three pillars - Education, Brand-Building and Monitoring and Disclosure, which is required for NIL activities.

Martin Jarmond, the Alice and Nahum Family Director of Athletics at UCLA, said, "We enthusiastically embrace Name, Image and Likeness. With the launch of Westwood Ascent, we're well-positioned to be a leader in providing our student-athletes the tools to maximize their NIL opportunities in Los Angeles and beyond. The future is here."

In addition, UCLA Athletics has partnered with the UCLA Anderson School of Management (Anderson) and the Center for Media, Entertainment & Sports (MEMES) on a series of summer workshops available to all UCLA student-athletes. The workshops, which began in July, highlight areas of NIL importance, including personal finance, brand-building, business law, contracts and ethics.

"UCLA's student-athletes consistently show leadership and drive on and off the field of play, bringing pride and joy to the Bruin community," said Jay Tucker, Executive Director, Center for MEMES. "The Anderson School is thrilled to be helping our elite student-athletes better understand all aspects of the business of their name, imagine and likeness."

UCLA Athletics has also partnered with INFLCR** and COMPASS (CLC + Game Plan) to provide additional education, brand-building and disclosure support for all student-athletes.

Through INFLCR, all UCLA student-athletes will have access to industry-leading brand-building technology that delivers internal media and national photography to personalized galleries for each of their athletes, coaches and other brand ambassadors. Student-athletes and brand ambassadors are able to access their content galleries through the INFLCR mobile app and can then share the content to their personal social media accounts to help build their brand. INFLCR also provides audience engagement measurement and analytics.

The COMPASS platform provides a partnership with CLC, the leading collegiate brand licensing company, and Game Plan, the premier provider of student-athlete education and training. COMPASS delivers a fully-integrated disclosure, monitoring and education platform that allows UCLA, its student-athletes and all stakeholders to effectively manage the complex name, image and likeness landscape.

More information on UCLA's NIL program is available on https://uclabruins.com/westwoodascent.

Source: https://uclabruins.com/news/2021/8/23/bruin-athletics-ucla-athletics-introduces-westwood-ascent-nil-program.aspx.

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*http://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/2021/08/news-on-nil.html.

**https://www.inflcr.com/

***https://wearegameplan.com/about-us/https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.clc.compass&hl=en_US&gl=US.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Stalled


Each week, we look at new weekly claims for unemployment insurance in California as an indicator of the direction of the labor market and economy. We now have data through the week ended August 21. And this index has stalled at around the 60,000 mark for weeks. We are not "roaring back" by this measure.

As always, the latest new claims data are at https://www.dol.gov/ui/data.pdf.

UCLA’s $200-million lawsuit against Under Armour Continues

Which part protects against lawsuits?

Judge refuses to dismiss UCLA’s $200-million lawsuit against Under Armour

Ben Bolch, 8-26-21, LA Times

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge Thursday rejected Under Armour’s attempt to dismiss the lawsuit brought by UCLA seeking more than $200 million in damages after the apparel company backed out of its agreement with the school last year. Judge H. Jay Ford III gave Under Armour 20 business days to respond to his decision, setting the next court date for Sept. 23. “Despite Under Armour’s expensive legal maneuvers, UCLA and fair play won today,” said Mary Osako, UCLA’s vice chancellor for strategic communications. 

“The story of Under Armour’s corporate shenanigans and broken promises that left our student-athletes and the Bruin community out to dry is one that deserves to be told. We’re gratified that the court cleared the way for the case to proceed.” An Under Armour spokesperson said the company does not comment on litigation.

UCLA sued Under Armour in August 2020, alleging breach of contract after the apparel company reneged on its 15-year, $280-million sponsorship deal with the school that was the most lucrative in the history of college sports. Under Armour told the school it was invoking the force majeure clause of the contract in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that halted college sports and that the UCLA baseball team had completed fewer than 50% of its games, a requirement for one of its core teams. Ford wrote in his ruling that Under Armour failed to establish that its termination of the agreement was clearly permitted under a force majeure clause...

Full story at https://www.latimes.com/sports/ucla/story/2021-08-26/judge-quashes-under-armours-attempt-to-dismiss-200-million-ucla-lawsuit.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Transfers

We have been noting the consequences of upping enrollment at various UC campuses without sufficient locations to house the added students.

There is now a bill in the legislature that is supposed to ease transfers from community colleges to UC and CSU. But it is opposed by UC, the community colleges, community college students, and the Dept. of Finance as too expensive and not a real guarantee of admission. The bill will reportedly live or die today. From CalMatters:

Here’s one you probably haven’t heard before: The Legislature is considering a plan to make it easier for California community college students to get into a UC or Cal State campus, but current community college students aren’t backing it. The dust-up exposes the frustrating and convoluted process California community college students endure trying to transfer into the state’s public universities. Fixing the transfer maze, as it’s sometimes called, is a holy grail in California higher education — doing so could reduce the students’ cost to get a bachelor’s degree and increase the state’s supply of workers with four-year degrees. Although most community college students have a goal of transferring, only 22% of those who began their studies in 2015-16 did so within three years

To critics of Assembly Bill 928,* the goals of the proposed law are notable but the execution is wrong. Opponents include Gov. Gavin Newsom’s finance department, community college faculty groups, the chancellor’s office of the community college system and the UC Office of the President

The bill — which faces a do-or-die vote today in the state Senate — would: 

  • Have the UC and Cal State systems agree on a common set of general-education courses that community college students must take to get into either system. Currently, for instance, Cal States requires completed courses in ethnic studies and communications, but UC does not;
  • Require that community colleges place all students who plan to transfer — even if they want to attend UC or another college — into the existing guaranteed transfer path to get into a Cal State.

Crucially, the student senate of the community college system is withholding support for the bill unless it drops the requirement of a Cal State track for every student who wants to transfer anywhere. Community college faculty groups and the system’s chancellor’s office want this language gone, too. Students automatically placed on that Cal State-specific transfer route “may be at a serious disadvantage, which would require them to potentially take additional courses” at the community college if they later decide to transfer instead to a UC or a private college, the student senate wrote in a letter to bill author Assemblymember Marc Berman, a Democrat from Silicon Valley... 

Full story at https://calmatters.org/education/2021/08/california-community-college-transfers-uc-cal-state/

You could ask how a bill with that much opposition could get so far. With term limits, legislative members need to prove themselves by getting bills passed which at least appear to address a problem of concern to constituents, and do so in a relatively short time.

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*The bill can be found at https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=202120220AB928.

Canary Troubles

Remember the Hawaiian telescope issue that repeatedly comes up during public comments at Regents meetings? Apart from mentions in public comments at the Regents, our most recent post about the issue was just a year ago.* 

The Regents themselves discussed the project - in which UC is involved - back in July 2020, at the behest of then-Chair John Pérez.** In essence, some native Hawaiians oppose the project and blocked construction. Hawaiian government officials seem to want the project - the telescopes on Mauna Kea are a source of a significant inflow of funding - but seem paralyzed about making any decisions in the face of opposition. Complicating the issue is the possibility of an alternative site in the Canary Islands. 

At one point in the July 2020 hearing, one of the astronomers who testified said the Canary Island site was not as good as Hawaii, but that it was "90%" as good - whatever that meant. To a former politician such as Regent Pérez, however, getting 90% of what you want as a compromise sounds pretty good. Nevertheless, there the matter rested; the Regents have since made no decision about pulling out of Hawaii.

What didn't come across during the July 2020 Regents' session on the telescope was that there is also local controversy about, and opposition to, the Canary Island site. Now there is a Spanish court decision blocking a potential Canary Island site:

Spain judge nixes backup site for disputed Hawaii telescope

Aritz Parra, APNews, 8-25-21

MADRID (AP) — A Spanish judge in a decision cheered by environmentalists has put a halt to backup plans for the construction of a giant telescope in the Canary Islands — eliminating at least for now the primary alternative location to the preferred spot in Hawaii, where there have been protests against the telescope. Construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope, or TMT, on Hawaii’s tallest mountain, Mauna Kea, has been stalled by opponents who say the project will desecrate land held sacred to some Native Hawaiians.

Telescope officials had selected the alternate location near an existing scientific research facility on the highest mountain of La Palma, one of the Spanish islands off the western African coast, in the Atlantic Ocean. But an administrative court in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the capital of the Spanish archipelago, ruled last month that the 2017 concession by local authorities of public land for the tentative project was invalid. The ruling was dated on July 29, but only became public this week after local media reported about the decision. In the ruling obtained by The Associated Press, Judge Roi López Encinas wrote that the telescope land allocation was subject to an agreement between the Canary Astrophysics Institute, or IAC, and the telescope’s promoter, the TMT International Observatory (TIO) consortium.

But the judge ruled that the agreement was not valid because TIO had not expressed an intention to build on the La Palma site instead of at the Hawaii site. The judge also sided with the plaintiff, the environmental group Ben Magec-Ecologistas en Acción, in rejecting arguments by TIO’s legal team and the island’s government that the land concession was covered by an international treaty on scientific research. An official for the Canary Islands High Court said questions about the ruling could not be answered because other court officials in a position to answer the questions were on vacation. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to be named in media reports. The island’s local elected government chief, Mariano Zapata, said it was “sad” that advocacy groups “are so occupied by administrative matters instead of environmental issues.”

“I wish we were all in the same boat with the intent of creating jobs in the La Palma island so it can keep being an international reference on scientific research,” Zapata said. His government estimated last year that the telescope would generate 500 permanent jobs and at least 400 million euros ($470 million) in investment.

Scott Ishikawa, a spokesperson for the consortium hoping to build the telescope, said that the consortium plans to appeal the ruling. “While we respect the court’s ruling in La Palma, we will pursue the legal process to retain La Palma as our alternative site. Hawaii remains our preferred location for TMT, and we have renewed our efforts to better connect with the Hawaii community in a meaningful and appropriate way,” he said in an email to The Associated Press...

Full story at https://apnews.com/article/europe-africa-business-environment-and-nature-hawaii-29a288462daf07ecd68a68d35530aecd.

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*http://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/2020/08/new-hawaiian-telescope-news.html. Use the search engine on this blogsite and the word "telescope" to find other material about the telescope.

**http://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/2020/07/listen-to-morning-session-of-regents_31.html.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Health Data Dashboard?

As UCLA approaches the Sept. 9 deadlines for proof of vaccination, does anyone know how to check students and employees using "health data dashboards"? Does anyone know where to find a health data dashboard? Or what to do if a students (or employees) say they are vaccinated - and maybe show a card - but the health data dashboard doesn't confirm it? Read on...

From the LA Times: ...Unlike USC, which has fencing and gates that allow officials to limit campus access to those compliant with safety protocols, UCLA is open to several streets. 

But faculty and supervisors will use health data dashboards to check compliance of students and employees, according to Michael Beck, UCLA’s administrative vice chancellor.

Health experts at USC, UCLA and UC Berkeley all cautioned that COVID-19 cases are bound to surface as people congregate again. So far, however, weekly testing has yielded low positivity rates — less than 0.5% at USC and UC Berkeley, which starts classes Wednesday. USC detected 115 cases among nearly 27,000 students tested from Aug. 12 to Aug. 16, and Berkeley detected 36 cases among 8,000 undergraduates tested last week.

Guy Nicolette, assistant vice chancellor of UC Berkeley’s University Health Services, said he was relieved by those low numbers, because travel is the biggest risk for contracting the virus, and thousands of students moved in last week. He’s also encouraged by the 94% student vaccination rate.

“I’m cautiously optimistic, though not confident yet” of a semester without surges, he said...

Full story at https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-08-24/college-life-is-loaded-with-rules-as-tens-of-thousands-of-students-return-to-usc-cal-state.

The More the Merrier - Part 5

From BerkeleysideJudge freezes UC Berkeley’s student enrollment at 2020-21 levels

An Alameda County judge ruled that campus must study the impacts of its growth before it expands any further.

By Frances Dinkelspiel, Aug. 24, 2021

An Alameda County judge has ordered UC Berkeley to freeze its enrollment at 2020-21 levels going forward until the university redoes a supplemental environmental impact report (SEIR) for a complex on Hearst Avenue that includes housing and a new academic building for the Goldman School of Public Policy. The freeze will take effect in 2022-23.

The order to freeze enrollment comes a little more than a month after Judge Brad Seligman ruled that UC Berkeley abused its discretion when it failed to study the impacts of increasing its enrollment by 33.7%, or 11,285 students, from 2005 to 2020. That was just one of the deficiencies in the supplemental environmental impact report for what is called the Upper Hearst Project, the judge ruled. Seligman also ordered the UC Board of Regents to void its 2018 approval of the Upper Hearst project and to decertify the supplemental environmental impact report. Cal must redo the SEIR to address certain issues, including how student enrollment increases have affected noise, housing and displacement in Berkeley, the judge ruled.

The ruling is not only a victory for neighbors upset with UC Berkeley’s growth and its mitigation measures, but for other communities in California struggling to deal with UC campus impacts, said Phil Bokovoy, the president of Save Berkeley’s Neighborhoods, which filed the original lawsuit. “This is how UC is behaving in lots of different places — forcing its impact on communities and not doing anything about it,” said Bokovoy. “It’s the first time a judge has said UC cannot continue to grow and has frozen its enrollment.”

Dan Mogulof, a UC Berkeley spokesman, said Cal will move quickly to address the judge’s concerns so it can continue to add students. “We are optimistic that we can file documents with the court very soon that will satisfy the judgment with regard to future increases in enrollment,” Mogulof wrote in an email. “It will probably take the university between six and eight months to address the requirements of the judgment with regard to the Upper Hearst project. We are confident that the court will ultimately permit us to proceed with the Upper Hearst project.” Just a few weeks ago, on July 13, Mogulof said the university was “pleased” with the court’s findings and did “not anticipate this ruling will have an impact on future enrollment.” In court documents, UC Berkeley had argued that an environmental review was only needed when a building or other structure was built, not when the number of students on campus went up. Judge Seligman disagreed.

Impact of enrollment increases for Goldman School

Berkeley officials first unveiled plans to transform the area around Hearst and La Loma avenues in 2018. The plan included a new academic building for the Goldman School as well as a 150-bed housing complex for faculty. Groundbreaking was planned for the fall of 2018.

But Save Berkeley’s Neighborhoods and the city of Berkeley sued, stating the SEIR was inadequate and did not comply with CEQA, the state’s environmental law. The city complained that the university was trying to sneak a huge growth in student enrollment into the SEIR without examining its impacts and the costs to Berkeley for providing emergency services. In 2005, in a long-range development plan, UC Berkeley had said it only anticipated increasing student enrollment by 1,650 people by 2020. But as the state legislature reduced funding to the UC system, the Regents ordered certain campuses, including Cal, to add more students to bring in income. In 2019, UC Berkeley said enrollment had gone up by 11,285 students. In 2020-21, student enrollment was 42,035 students.

Berkeley sued in 2019 but dropped the suit when the City Council voted on July 13 to enter into an $83 million agreement with UC Berkeley. Cal will pay Berkeley $4.1 million a year over the next 16 years for its use of city services in exchange for Berkeley dropping its opposition to the new 2021 long-range development plan and environmental impact report. That left Save Berkeley’s Neighborhoods to pursue its case against UC Berkeley.

“The city could have negotiated a much better deal for Berkeley had they waited for this judgment,” Bokovoy wrote in a press release. “As it is they sold taxpayers short with a ‘pennies on the dollar’ annual payment and no enforceable commitments to build housing and mitigate impacts.”

Mayor Jesse Arreguín disagreed with that assessment and noted that Berkeley’s agreement with UC Berkeley was one of the largest ever made between a city and a UC campus.

“The city of Berkeley’s settlement with UC Berkeley focused on mitigating the financial impacts of campus growth through increased annual payments, not a cap on enrollment. Nothing in the judge’s recent ruling mandates more money to the city or neighborhoods. Personally, I do not think the city should stand in the way of UC making progress in addressing our housing crisis and preventing future generations of students from getting a world-class education." The 2021 LRDP will result in more student housing, academic space and support services to address the needs of a growing student population.

The City’s agreement, one of the largest between a UC campus and host city, will result in increased funding for fire, public safety and capital projects around the campus. Our agreement will not be impacted by this decision, and the city will continue to benefit from more funding to mitigate impacts, and better collaboration between the city and campus around future growth.” 

Source: https://www.berkeleyside.org/2021/08/24/judge-freezes-uc-berkeleys-student-enrollment-at-2020-21-levels.

Tales from the Crypt(ocurrency) at UC-Berkeley

You've heard about cryptocurrency, right? You know, ransoms, hidden drug deals, rampant speculation, evasion of U.S. financial regulation. So, what could possibly go wrong if UC-Berkeley - which has had major funding problems regarding its athletic programs - named its stadium - technically not the stadium but the field in the stadium - after a company that deals in cryptocurrency?

 From ABC7news (KGO):

Big news for Cal football fans - UC Berkeley has partnered with cryptocurrency company FTX for naming rights to their football field, marking the first ever cryptocurrency collegiate sponsorship deal in the nation. Cal Memorial Stadium is a gem, built on a fault line on a hillside above the UC Berkeley campus in 1923 as a memorial to Californians who sacrificed their lives in World War I. It was seismically renovated 10 years ago and now the name change.

To set the record straight it's the field that, starting Sept. 4 at the first home game, will be called FTX Field. The stadium itself will remain California Memorial Stadium. Cryptocurrency giant FTX is paying UC Berkeley $17.5 million in cryptocurrency for the naming rights. "That money will come straight to our athletic department bottom line and we'll use it to fund student athletes and our mission. FTX is one of the leading cryptocurrency companies in the world," said Joe Mulford, the chief revenue officer of UC Berkeley's Athletic Department.

Source: https://abc7news.com/amp/uc-berkeley-football-stadium-renamed-cal-memorial-ftx-cryptocurrency/10970254/.

You can read all about FTX and its CEO here:

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/ftx-ceo-sam-bankman-fried-profile-085444366.html.

Discretion

The Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) has come out with its review of the 2021-22 state budget enacted by the legislature. Below is what the LAO classifies as "discretionary" spending. Note that the largest chunk is deferred maintenance. Exactly why maintaining the physical plant of the campuses is discretionary while other things are not is unclear. 

All figures are in $millions.


Source: https://lao.ca.gov/Publications/Report/4448/1 which contains the Appendix to

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

CalPERS Long-Term Care Lawsuit Settlement

From time to time, we have reported on a lawsuit by individuals who bought long-term care policies from CalPERS and were subsequently subject to large rate hikes.* Although UC is not part of CalPERS, because UC employees are state employees, they were allowed to buy these policies. 

We have also cautioned about long-term care policies in general; you are trusting that some insurance entity will treat you properly, perhaps ten or twenty years into the future or more, when you are likely to be incapacitated. 

It was hoped when CalPERS initially offered the policies, that - as a public organization - it would be more reliable than a private insurance company - but subsequent events indicated that was a false expectation.

In any case, the Sacramento Bee is carrying an article related to the settlement of the lawsuit noted above. The article is somewhat confusing concerning what individuals covered by the suit should do. So we just reproduce it as published below and are not offering advice (other than you should seek advice if you are covered by the lawsuit).

From the State Worker blog of the Sacramento Bee:

CalPERS long-term care insurance settlement: how to avoid missing out on $35,000 checks

Wes Venteicher 8-23-21

People with CalPERS long-term care insurance policies might have questions about two pieces of mail they received recently. The first informed them of another big rate hike — 90% over two years — coming to their plans, which help cover nursing home and in-home care costs. The second told them about the proposed settlement of a class-action lawsuit related to a previous round of rate hikes.

CalPERS agreed to pay up to $2.7 billion in July to settle the lawsuit, which was filed in 2013 by policyholders who claimed CalPERS improperly raised rates on their plans. The plans at issue came with an “inflation protection” benefit and a promise that rates would remain stable. The settlement agreement gives 60,000 current policyholders a choice: they can participate in the settlement and receive a refund of all the premiums they’ve ever paid, but will lose their coverage. Or they can reject the settlement and keep their policy at a higher price.

The 90% rate hikes require a separate choice, and people who want to remain eligible for maximum settlement checks — up to about $50,000 — need to make the right one, plaintiffs’ attorneys said Friday. Policyholders can keep their plans and pay 90% more over two years starting this fall, they can reduce their benefits and pay a smaller increase, or they can drop their plans entirely. No one who is covered by the lawsuit should drop their plan, Stuart Talley, an attorney in the lawsuit from Sacramento-based law firm Kershaw, Cook and Talley said in a Friday webinar. “The most important thing is you need to keep paying your premiums,” Talley said.

Those who pay the full increase and those who pay a smaller increase will each be eligible for a full refund of all the premiums they will have paid when the settlement is fully finalized, he said. Anyone who drops their plan to avoid the rate hike would lose out on the full premium refund they could get in the settlement, Talley said. “When CalPERS sends you that notice of the rate increase that’s coming up, and you have to decide, ‘do I downgrade the policy or pay the rate increase,’ you need to make that decision as if there was no settlement,” he said.

WHO’S INCLUDED IN THE LTC SETTLEMENT

The settlement covers policyholders who purchased CalPERS long-term care policies with inflation protection benefits before 2004 and who were living in California in 2013, when CalPERS announced that it planned to raise rates by 85% in 2015 and 2016. The suit covers people who paid the increases, those who dropped their plans to avoid the higher prices and beneficiaries of policyholders who have died. Most eligible policyholders would receive settlement checks of $35,000 to $50,000, and the minimum is $10,000 Talley said.

The money will come from a specific long-term care insurance fund, not from the $484 billion fund CalPERS uses to pay retirees’ pensions. If the settlement agreement is finalized, it won’t be until sometime next summer, said Gretchen Nelson, of Los Angeles-based firm Nelson and Fraenkel. A judge is scheduled to decide June 8, 2022, whether to grant final approval. The settlement likely will be finalized about 60 days after that, Nelson said.

Policyholders who drop their plans would still receive a settlement check, but dropping the plan would move a policyholder into a different settlement category with a much smaller payout, attorneys said. The nine categories of class members are listed in the settlement agreement posted at calpersclassactionlawsuit.com. On top of the 60,000 current policyholders included in the lawsuit, another 20,000 people are covered, including those who dropped the plans instead of paying the increases along with family members of dead policyholders.

OPTION FOR NEW INSURANCE

Additionally, the agreement includes a potential option for policyholders to swap out their CalPERS long-term care insurance for a new long-term care insurance policy. The attorneys said they are working with insurance brokers to see if anyone will offer the group a new policy after they leave CalPERS.

Policyholders who are interested in that option must return the award acknowledgment letters they received in the mail by Sept. 22, attorneys said. Once the attorneys have received all letters expressing interest, they can take the details to insurance brokers who will decide whether they will offer coverage to the group or not. If an insurer takes them up on it, policyholders would receive similar coverage at reduced daily benefit amounts but would pay no future premiums, the attorneys said. Under that option, policyholders wouldn’t receive premium refunds — all the money would instead go to the new insurer. The lawsuit faces another hurdle: if more than 10% of the 80,000 members of the settlement class reject the agreement, choosing to keep their plans and pay the new rate hikes, CalPERS will have the option to nullify the settlement.

More information is available at calpersclassactionlawsuit.com. The attorneys plan to hold three more information webinars, which may be accessed by computer or phone. The dates for the educational sessions are on the website or at 1-866-217-8056.

Source: https://amp.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/the-state-worker/article253645333.html.

===

NOTE: THE LAWYERS OFFERING SETTLEMENT ADVICE ABOVE THEMSELVES ARE INTERESTED PARTIES. IF YOU ARE POTENTIALLY AFFECTED BY THIS SETTLEMENT, I SUGGEST YOU LOOK ALSO FOR INDEPENDENT ADVICE.

===

*Example: http://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/2020/01/litigation-over-calpers-long-term-care.html

Monday, August 23, 2021

UC-San Francisco Extends Work-at-Home Until March

From the UC-San Francisco Chancellor:

Change in Date for Returning to On-Site Work

August 20, 2021

Dear UCSF Community,

As we monitor the evolving course of the pandemic, I have decided to extend the date of returning to on-site work, for those who have been working remotely, to March 1, 2022.

Our COVID-19 response team is continually assessing data about the pandemic and its impact on our community. Based on its guidance, I have determined that limiting the number of people on site to those whose work is performed on campus and in our facilities is the right course of action under current circumstances.

Remaining Flexible

This extension will help us reduce the impact of a potential winter COVID-19 surge and prepare for a cold and flu season that may be worse than last year due to greater social interaction. Cold and flu symptoms often resemble COVID-19, and this will strain our ability to meet the COVID-19 testing and contact tracing needs of our on-site workforce and patients.

It is important that we remain flexible in managing the pandemic, not only in patient care but also in our education and research activities. As new developments occur, we may revisit the extension. It is likely that some of our employees who are currently working remotely may be asked to return to on-site work in the months ahead to accomplish duties and responsibilities that cannot be performed remotely. We will keep you posted as we monitor the upcoming cold and flu season, school re-opening schedules, and possible COVID-19 vaccinations for 5- to 11-year-olds and booster shots for adults.

Get Vaccinated

In the meantime, remember that most COVID-19 infections are occurring in the community. Getting vaccinated, wearing masks, and practicing good hygiene will help you protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community. There is a long clinical record that shows this is the best way to prevent serious illness, hospitalization, and death. As a reminder, all members of the UCSF community must comply with the UC-wide vaccine policy by September 1, 2021.

This has been a long year and a half for us all. We continue to be tested by an unpredictable virus, but we are making overall progress against the pandemic, even considering the current surge.

On behalf of my entire leadership team, I extend our deep appreciation for all you have done for our patients, learners, and community.

Sincerely,

Sam Hawgood, MBBS, Chancellor

Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor

Source: https://chancellor.ucsf.edu/blog/change-date-returning-site-work.

This Should Help

The FDA approval to the Pfizer vaccine should help in the UC's reopening plans and vaccine mandate. It gives the "vaccine hesitant" one less issue to complain about. And it tends to undermine legal challenges.

FDA NEWS RELEASE

FDA Approves First COVID-19 Vaccine

Approval Signifies Key Achievement for Public Health

For Immediate Release:

August 23, 2021

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine has been known as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, and will now be marketed as Comirnaty (koe-mir’-na-tee), for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.

“The FDA’s approval of this vaccine is a milestone as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. While this and other vaccines have met the FDA’s rigorous, scientific standards for emergency use authorization, as the first FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, the public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. “While millions of people have already safely received COVID-19 vaccines, we recognize that for some, the FDA approval of a vaccine may now instill additional confidence to get vaccinated. Today’s milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the U.S.” 

Since Dec. 11, 2020, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine has been available under EUA in individuals 16 years of age and older, and the authorization was expanded to include those 12 through 15 years of age on May 10, 2021. EUAs can be used by the FDA during public health emergencies to provide access to medical products that may be effective in preventing, diagnosing, or treating a disease, provided that the FDA determines that the known and potential benefits of a product, when used to prevent, diagnose, or treat the disease, outweigh the known and potential risks of the product.

FDA-approved vaccines undergo the agency’s standard process for reviewing the quality, safety and effectiveness of medical products. For all vaccines, the FDA evaluates data and information included in the manufacturer’s submission of a biologics license application (BLA). A BLA is a comprehensive document that is submitted to the agency providing very specific requirements. For Comirnaty, the BLA builds on the extensive data and information previously submitted that supported the EUA, such as preclinical and clinical data and information, as well as details of the manufacturing process, vaccine testing results to ensure vaccine quality, and inspections of the sites where the vaccine is made. The agency conducts its own analyses of the information in the BLA to make sure the vaccine is safe and effective and meets the FDA’s standards for approval. 

Comirnaty contains messenger RNA (mRNA), a kind of genetic material. The mRNA is used by the body to make a mimic of one of the proteins in the virus that causes COVID-19. The result of a person receiving this vaccine is that their immune system will ultimately react defensively to the virus that causes COVID-19. The mRNA in Comirnaty is only present in the body for a short time and is not incorporated into - nor does it alter - an individual’s genetic material. Comirnaty has the same formulation as the EUA vaccine and is administered as a series of two doses, three weeks apart. 

“Our scientific and medical experts conducted an incredibly thorough and thoughtful evaluation of this vaccine. We evaluated scientific data and information included in hundreds of thousands of pages, conducted our own analyses of Comirnaty’s safety and effectiveness, and performed a detailed assessment of the manufacturing processes, including inspections of the manufacturing facilities,” said Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “We have not lost sight that the COVID-19 public health crisis continues in the U.S. and that the public is counting on safe and effective vaccines. The public and medical community can be confident that although we approved this vaccine expeditiously, it was fully in keeping with our existing high standards for vaccines in the U.S."

FDA Evaluation of Safety and Effectiveness Data for Approval for 16 Years of Age and Older

The first EUA, issued Dec. 11, for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for individuals 16 years of age and older was based on safety and effectiveness data from a randomized, controlled, blinded ongoing clinical trial of thousands of individuals. 

To support the FDA’s approval decision today, the FDA reviewed updated data from the clinical trial which supported the EUA and included a longer duration of follow-up in a larger clinical trial population. 

Specifically, in the FDA’s review for approval, the agency analyzed effectiveness data from approximately 20,000 vaccine and 20,000 placebo recipients ages 16 and older who did not have evidence of the COVID-19 virus infection within a week of receiving the second dose. The safety of Comirnaty was evaluated in approximately 22,000 people who received the vaccine and 22,000 people who received a placebo 16 years of age and older.

Based on results from the clinical trial, the vaccine was 91% effective in preventing COVID-19 disease. 

More than half of the clinical trial participants were followed for safety outcomes for at least four months after the second dose. Overall, approximately 12,000 recipients have been followed for at least 6 months.

The most commonly reported side effects by those clinical trial participants who received Comirnaty were pain, redness and swelling at the injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle or joint pain, chills, and fever. The vaccine is effective in preventing COVID-19 and potentially serious outcomes including hospitalization and death.

Additionally, the FDA conducted a rigorous evaluation of the post-authorization safety surveillance data pertaining to myocarditis and pericarditis following administration of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and has determined that the data demonstrate increased risks, particularly within the seven days following the second dose. The observed risk is higher among males under 40 years of age compared to females and older males. The observed risk is highest in males 12 through 17 years of age. Available data from short-term follow-up suggest that most individuals have had resolution of symptoms. However, some individuals required intensive care support. Information is not yet available about potential long-term health outcomes. The Comirnaty Prescribing Information includes a warning about these risks.

Ongoing Safety Monitoring

The FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have monitoring systems in place to ensure that any safety concerns continue to be identified and evaluated in a timely manner. In addition, the FDA is requiring the company to conduct postmarketing studies to further assess the risks of myocarditis and pericarditis following vaccination with Comirnaty. These studies will include an evaluation of long-term outcomes among individuals who develop myocarditis following vaccination with Comirnaty. In addition, although not FDA requirements, the company has committed to additional post-marketing safety studies, including conducting a pregnancy registry study to evaluate pregnancy and infant outcomes after receipt of Comirnaty during pregnancy.

The FDA granted this application Priority Review. The approval was granted to BioNTech Manufacturing GmbH.

https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-covid-19-vaccine.

Brave New World

EdSource notes that campus authorities are hoping that the delta variant of the coronavirus* won't upset reopening plans for the fall: ...In the UC system, campus leaders are optimistic that it won’t be necessary to fully return to remote learning.

“If we need to make adjustments, we will,” said Sarah Latham, the vice chancellor of business administrative services at UC Santa Cruz. “However, we believe that the things we have in place will allow us to stick to our initial approach of in-person instruction and a highly residential experience.”

Even with vaccine mandates, UC campus leaders acknowledge that positive cases will occur. But they also anticipate that those cases won’t be as disruptive to campus life. Last year, any student in close contact with someone with a positive Covid-19 case needed to be quarantined. This year, that won’t necessarily be the case, largely because of vaccinations, but rules vary.

At UC Berkeley, vaccinated and asymptomatic students won’t need to be quarantined if they have been in close contact with an infected individual. They will only need to monitor their symptoms for two weeks and be tested for the virus following the exposure. The only people who have had close contacts who will need to quarantine are those who are unvaccinated or who show symptoms. A close contact is defined as anyone who is within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes.

In-person classes across the UC system may also be allowed to continue even if the class has been exposed to a positive case. At UC Irvine, for example, if a student tests positive and has been attending in-person classes, the only students who may need to quarantine are those who came into close contact with the infected student, said David Souleles, the director of Irvine’s Covid-19 response staff.

“Just because the case was in the room, it doesn’t mean everybody in the room automatically now has to quarantine or that the class has to be canceled,” he said. He added that those protocols could change on a case-by-case basis. If the campus notices, for example, that there are multiple positive cases from one classroom, the campus will consult the public health department in Orange County to determine the next steps...

Full story at https://edsource.org/2021/state-universities-reopen-in-person-will-delta-variant-push-students-back-to-zoom/660088.

As I recall, in Brave New World, the people were denoted by Greek letters: Alphas, Betas, etc.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Reminder - Part 5


Reminder: A governor could - by executive order - attempt to void elements of the various coronavirus-related mandates UC campuses and the UC system have put in place. The Regents would undoubtedly oppose such efforts and legal conflict would ensue. The alternative candidates that have any traction in the (now underway) recall election oppose various mandates.

Watch the Regents' Committee on Innovation Transfer & Entrepreneurship of Aug. 19, 2021


Last week on Thursday, the Regents had a second off-cycle meeting following the Health Services Committee meeting of Wednesday. Although there was a public comment option, no speakers signed up. (Maybe, no one quite knew what the new committee was all about.) The new committee had some outside advisors, among them Peter Taylor, one-time chief financial officer for the Regents. Taylor, when he was in office, opposed the kind of social divesting which the Regents have followed under his successor.* A lot time was spent talking about installing a system of systemwide patent tracking, apparently to prevent infringement of patent rights held by UC. One Regent did point to the UCPath system as a cautionary tale of new computer systems. There was discussion of various legal issues. Apart from the cautionary reference to UCPath, the committee seemed enthusiastic. I didn't hear a lot of "what-could-possibly-go-wrong" type comments.

You can watch the committee at the link below:

https://archive.org/details/regents-health-services-committee-8-18-2021/Regents-8-19-2021-Special+Committee+on+Innovation+Transfer+and+Entrepreneurship.mp4

====

*Taylor's view of divestment for social reasons (as of 2014) is at:

Or direct to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTXbABD-3o4.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

New Regent

From the Bruin: Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed Jose Hernandez to the University of California Board of Regents according to a press release Friday. Hernandez must be confirmed by the California State Senate and once approved, he will begin his 12-year term as a regent. Hernandez has served as the president and chief CEO of Tierra Luna Engineering, LLC since 2012. He worked at NASA’s Johnson Space Center for 10 years, and during his time there, he served as an astronaut, legislative analyst, materials research engineer and branch chief. In 2009, Hernandez was selected to be a mission specialist on board the space shuttle Discovery... 

Hernandez is a member of the League of United Latin American Citizens and Latinos in Science and Engineering. In 2016, he received the National Hispanic Hero Award from the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute. Hernandez, a first-generation student, earned a master’s degree in electronics engineering, signals and systems from UC Santa Barbara in 1986. UC President Michael Drake and UC Board of Regents chair Cecilia Estolano congratulated Hernandez for his appointment in a press release Friday...

“As a native Californian, an alumnus of the University of California, Santa Barbara, a former researcher at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and an astronaut, Jose exemplifies the power of a UC education,” [UC President Michael] Drake said in the press release. “His deep and diverse expertise will be a tremendous asset to the Board as we work together to serve students and families across the state.” ...

Full story at https://dailybruin.com/2021/08/20/gov-newsom-appoints-jose-hernandez-to-uc-board-of-regents.

The More the Merrier - Part 4

The UC-Santa Barbara student housing crisis story continues. From the Santa Barbara Independent:

UC Santa Barbara is facing a significant housing shortage for incoming students this fall, with online message boards and social media platforms alight with hundreds of desperate freshmen and transfers looking for places to live. Many fear they will be forced to sleep in their cars when the quarter begins on September 27, or commute long distances to reach the Central Coast campus.

A Change.org petition started last Thursday ― lambasting UCSB for leaving its students high and dry and calling on the university to negotiate bedspace with local motels ― has generated more than 1,600 signatures. Its creator, Dino Vicencio, said he’s been looking for off-campus housing since May with no luck. “There’s just nothing out there,” he said. 

An incoming transfer from Los Angeles Valley College, Vicencio said he started the petition once he began connecting with other students facing the same challenge. “This isn’t something new,” he said, referencing recent reports that UCSB has fallen dramatically behind on building new housing. “They’ve known about this for years. That’s what got me really upset.” If he can’t find a place soon, Vicencio said, he’ll likely commute to campus via the Surfliner train from his home in L.A. to Goleta, a four-hour round-trip.

Sarah Jochum said she’s in the same boat. “As happy as I am to be admitted,” she said, “the university admitted more students than there is housing in Santa Barbara, and that’s a problem.” Jochum said she was informed Tuesday by a UCSB representative that she is one of 900 students on a waitlist for university housing, and that there is a very limited availability of off-campus housing due to the pandemic. 

While the number of on-campus units has not changed from pre-pandemic years, she was told, COVID-19 has pushed many incoming students to room alone or with just one other person in Isla Vista ― the adjacent community where the bulk of UCSB students reside ― as opposed to the normal-year routine of cramming three or four bodies to a room.

Things have gotten so bad that UCSB’s Community Housing Services department even put out a call to faculty and staff this week asking them to consider opening their homes to incoming students. “Please also spread the word to your non-UCSB community contacts,” the message reads...

Shelly Leachman, a spokesperson for UCSB, said the university is aware of the problem and working on it. “Currently,” she said, “we are planning to maximize our campus housing and are exploring several options to assist students who are having a difficult time finding housing as a result of several factors in the community, including a tight rental market in the Santa Barbara area and many reports of I.V. residents choosing lower-density living situations.” ...

Full story at https://www.independent.com/2021/08/19/ucsb-facing-major-housing-shortage-for-incoming-students/.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Stagnation

We track weekly new claims for unemployment benefits in California as an indicator of the direction of the labor market and the state's economy. Basically, we are stalled around the 60,000 mark and have been all summer. We need to be around 40,000 to be back to normal. Possibly, we are seeing the impact of the delta variant of the coronavirus. 

How this stalling will affect the political scene in California is an open question, what with the recall ballots already in the mail. It has, however, upended the governor's strategy of emphasizing the economy "roaring back,"

As always, the latest data on new claims are at https://www.dol.gov/ui/data.pdf.

Riverside Ahead

UCLA's deadline for vaccine proof, etc., seems to be September 9, although as we have pointed out in prior posts, exactly how that proof is going to be submitted is unclear.*

UC-Riverside, on the other hand, mandated vaccines, etc., as of August 16. See the announcement below from Riverside's VC for student affairs:

Dear Highlanders, 
 
Fall quarter is quickly approaching. In an effort to return to campus safely, we have been encouraging our students, staff, and faculty to get vaccinated and submit their proof of vaccination sooner than later. Well, later has come, and the deadline to submit your vaccination information is Monday, August 16, 2021 by 11:59 p.m. (PST)
 
Per the UC Office of the President, all students must be vaccinated for COVID-19 for the 2021-2022 academic year. The new SARS-CoV 2 Vaccination Policy, which took effect on July 15, 2021, came in response to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases across the state and the nation. 
 
Thank you to all of our students who have received their COVID-19 vaccination and uploaded their proof to the patient portal. Your support in this critical, yet timely, process is greatly appreciated. A safe campus return is essential. 
 
If you have not submitted your proof of vaccination or submitted a request for a medical and religious exemptionthe deadline for compliance is Monday, August 16, 2021 by 11:59 p.m. (PST). Please check your status and confirm your vaccination has been uploaded at https://studenthealth.ucr.edu/covid-19.
 
Vaccines are available at Student Health Services every Friday from 1-3:30 p.m. To schedule an appointment, please contact the COVID Hotline at (844) 827-6827. 
 
If you choose not to comply by August 16th, there will be serious and immediate consequences that will adversely affect current/future registration, enrollment status, and access to campus facilities. If non-compliance persists, an increase in consequences will occur, including interim suspension, which is a suspension of student status and privileges that includes exclusion from classes and other university activities. 
 
Please act now! Your compliance is required. The safety and well-being of our campus community, including students, staff, and faculty remain a top priority. We can all do our part to ensure our campus remains a safe and healthy environment for all.


Source: https://insideucr.ucr.edu/announcements/2021/08/13/student-vaccine-submission-deadline.

===

*http://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/2021/08/incomplete-message-part-2.html and 

http://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/2021/08/incomplete-message.html.

Risky Affordability

The California State Auditor maintains a "high risk" list of state agencies and issues. Included on that list - released in an update yesterday* - is affordability at UC and CSU. From the report:

STUDENTS’ ABILITY TO AFFORD HIGHER EDUCATION IN CALIFORNIA REMAINS A CONCERN

Background

As the State’s largest public university systems, which together enroll more than 777,000 students annually, the California State University (CSU) and University of California (UC) are responsible for a significant portion of higher education in California. In 1991 the Legislature declared that the State must commit to making higher education accessible and affordable for all Californians. In our January 2020 high-risk assessment (2019-601), we found that from 1992 to 2017, undergraduate tuition increased by about 340 percent at CSU and 440 percent at UC. We also found that recent data and studies have suggested that affordability continues to be a problem for students.

Students’ ability to afford higher education

Students have experienced increases in the cost of attending public universities, which affects their ability to afford higher education. The total cost of attending a public university (cost of attendance) includes expenses such as tuition, fees, books, housing, food, and transportation. For academic years 2018–19 to 2019–20, the average cost of attendance for full-time undergraduate students who are California residents increased by approximately $1,010 (from $23,260 to $24,270) at CSU and by approximately $900 (from $32,890 to $33,790) at UC. Although tuition has remained flat at CSU and UC over recent years, increases in other costs, such as campus fees, food, and housing, have contributed to the rise in the average cost of attendance. Further, tuition at UC is scheduled to increase beginning in academic year 2022–23 for future students. Meanwhile, for academic years 2018–19 to 2019–20, average financial aid awards (scholarships and grants) for eligible students increased by only about $120 (from $8,510 to $8,630) at CSU and by approximately $230 (from $18,320 to $18,550) at UC. 1 

Furthermore, students reported that they continue to experience a lack of consistent access to quality food or reduced food intake (food insecurity) as well as difficulties in obtaining adequate and reliable housing. Approximately 40 percent of students at CSU and UC reported experiencing food insecurity, and 11 percent of students at CSU and 4 percent of students at UC experienced homelessness. Additionally, increases in the cost of attendance likely have led students and their parents to take on more debt. Specifically, for academic years 2018–19 through 2019–20, the average annual loan amount for undergraduate education for California resident and nonresident students increased by approximately $190 (from $7,960 to $8,150) at CSU and by about $300 (from $8,860 to $9,160) at UC. Although CSU and UC have taken some steps to improve affordability, such as participating in federal and state financial aid reform efforts and not reducing the amount of system-provided aid they allocated for their students despite cuts in state funding, those actions have not fully addressed or resolved affordability challenges. Because of the increases in the cost of attendance, the level of food and housing insecurity among students, and the increase in average student debt, affordability of higher education continues to pose a high risk to the State.

===

Agency Comments

CSU indicated that it is keenly aware of the financial and other challenges faced by its students and that many expenses beyond tuition and fees, such as off-campus housing costs, are outside CSU control and are a hardship faced by many Californians. CSU also indicated that to address these challenges, it has participated actively in efforts to expand state-based grant aid and other federal and state programs to decrease the cost of attendance for students.

UC agrees that college affordability should continue to be a state priority and looks forward to working with state and federal stakeholders to ensure that college is accessible to students from all socioeconomic backgrounds. UC also stated that it will set aside a higher percentage of new revenue derived from the tuition increase for financial aid to generate additional support for its low and middle income students.

 ===

*https://auditor.ca.gov/reports/2021-601/index.html#contents3