Wednesday, August 31, 2022

More on the Faculty Club Reopening

The following message was received today by email from outgoing president of the Faculty Club, Jane Permaul. It includes lots of thank-yous. We add our own thank-yous to those blog readers and others back in the day who prevented the Club's demolition, a history we pointed to in a prior blog posting.*

From the email:

To: Valued Members of the Faculty Club

Re: 2021-22 - Highlights, News, Acknowledgement and Gratitude

As my term as President of the Faculty Club’s Board of Governors comes to an end today, I’m writing to recap some of the highlights of this last year, share more important news, and offer my thanks to the many of the people who have made my term so rewarding.

First, let me acknowledge that our efforts to reopen after the long closure were difficult. Many factors contributed, including pandemic-related supply-chain issues that caused a significant delay in getting the needed occupancy permits. In addition, staffing shortages that are pervasive throughout the hospitality sector have been a significant challenge. I realize that these delays tried your patience; be assured they tried mine as well as that of Board members and staff too.

On the positive side, our limited reopening on July 18th has been a success. Many of you much-missed members have returned for coffee dates and lunches. It’s wonderful to see the Club buzzing with activity again.

Allow me to share wonderful and exciting news. Thanks to an extraordinarily generous gift of $1.6 million from Sherie and Don Morrison, we now have the funding we need to undertake a critical project for which we did not have the budget during our recent renovation project. The Morrisons’ gift will enable us to undertake an extensive remodel of the west side of the Club’s main hallway. In partnership with UCLA Administration, which is funding crucial plumbing and sewer work under the front terrace, the project will allow us to enlarge the north restrooms, making them gracious and accessible. By capturing space currently occupied by two closets, two unused phone booths, and a portion of the custodians’ closet, we can add a single-occupancy restroom, which can also serve as a green room, family room, or bride’s room. If budget allows, we will also be able to enlarge and upgrade our telecom closet and make improvements to the lobby.

Just last week, the construction fence for this project went up to begin this latest project.

Working with UCLA Capital Programs, UCLA Facilities Management, and General Manager Luciano Sautto, we anticipate that the project will require 13 months. Much of the work can be done from the west side of the building – that is, from the outside going in -- which we hope will minimize disruptions to members and guests.

As you return to the Club, please check out our many new and wonderful improvements, including:

The attractive new main patio with drought-tolerant landscaping

The lovely new Miller-Moran Patio off the Sequoia Room (named for Bruce Miller and Jennifer Moran)

The completely redone downstairs lounge, now named The Sherie Bar and Lounge, in honor of Professor Sherie Morrison

The beautiful bronze fountain by George Tsutakawa near the front entrance, which was purchased by UCLA in 1965, but which had been in storage for more than 10 years

The four redone fireplaces with environmentally-friendly ethanol-fueled inserts

The well-functioning HVAC system

The fabulous new restrooms on the south side of the building

The accessible entrances in the front of the building, at the south entrance, and off parking lot A

In the south hallway, the gorgeous suite of reproductions representing the Pacific Ocean by Joseph Young, originally created in 1962

The many improvements to the attractiveness of the Coral Grill

The beautiful new exterior lighting

These improvements would not have been possible without the extraordinary efforts and hard work of the following individuals:

Eric Heggen, Senior Project Manager, UCLA Capital Programs

Clover Linné, Senior Associate, Moore Rubel Yudell Architects and Planners

Susan Santon, Associate Vice Chancellor UCLA Capital Programs

Luciano Sautto, General Manager, UCLA Faculty Club

Kelly Schmader, Assistant Vice Chancellor UCLA Facilities Management

Mario Violich, Principal, Moore Rubel Yudell Architects and Planners

Buzz Yudell, Partner, Moore Rubel Yudell Architects and Planners

A special thanks is also owed to Michael Beck, Administrative Vice Chancellor, for his crucial interest in and support of this project.

I must also give a heartfelt thank you to the many sustaining members and committed donors whose contributions towards the renovation project enabled us to raise more than $4 million, an all-time record for the Club.  And, please join me in thanking Vicki Steele for her incredible efforts in leading the fundraising effort and acquiring many of the furnishings and artworks for the Faculty Club.  She truly is the volunteer extraordinaire of the UCLA Faculty Club.

With our full opening date of September 22nd just three weeks off, let me update you on staffing. With immense gratitude, I wish to recognize the extraordinary efforts of the longtime stalwart staff who have stayed with us:

Luis Cervantes, Banquet Head Chef

Jasmine Dade, Catering Sales Coordinator

Ramon Duarte, Food Services Supervisor I

Salvador Duarte, Food and Beverage Lead Server

Jill Perry, Accounts Receivable and Membership

Rodolfo Ramos, Food and Beverage Services

Amal Silva, Catering Sales Coordinator

Betty Elizabeth Vasquez, Food Services Supervisor

Please also welcome the following new staff:

Gerardo Cueto, Marketing and Graphic Design Coordinator

Robert Ito, Executive Chef

Cherisse Rutledge, HR and Executive Assistant

Currently we are in the process of recruiting for the following positions:

Food and Beverage Manager

Fiscal Officer

Wait staff



As for the Board of Governors, my heartfelt thanks to the three hardworking members who are rotating off the Board:

Julie Kwan, Past President

Albert Aubin, Member-at-Large

Robert Freel, Member-at-Large

And I look forward to working with the three incoming board members:

Claudia Mitchell-Kernan, President Elect

Kym Faull, Member-at-Large

Rosina Becerra, Member-at-Large

Please join me in congratulating Caroline Streeter, who steps in as President on September 1st.

In moving on as Past President, I will continue actively to serve you, your family, friends and colleagues, as well as the wellbeing of our revered Faculty Club.

See you in September and beyond.

Jane S. Permaul, Outgoing President




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New Booster Coming Soon

According to the New York Times, a new booster shot will be available soon:

...Only people who have received at least two shots will be eligible for the updated booster, and only those who have had two months or more after finishing their initial two-shot series or getting one of the previous boosters. The updated shot will replace the existing one and could be available in a few days...

The Biden administration is casting the so-called bivalent shots as a standard upgrade that Americans should embrace ahead of potential surges in cases in the winter, like the flu shot, which is reconfigured every year to target more current versions of the influenza virus...

Full story at:

Exactly what UCLA will do in terms of requiring the booster shot remains to be seen. Presumably, there is interest in preventing what happened last winter quarter to repeat, i.e., pushing the first four weeks online.


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Brace Yourself (or not)

Blog readers will likely have taken note of a front-page article in the Los Angeles Times yesterday about a seeming scandal in orthodontics.* However, if you got past the headline, you will have noted a decided lack of clarity on exactly what took place. The article suggests that certain students were charged extra for admission, and that there was a report by a law firm indicating the payments were improper. There is a vague reference to the compensation system found in the health sciences.

Maybe there will be more revelations. Or maybe the whole affair will quietly dissipate, possibly with some monetary settlements.




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Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Moving Right Along

An interview with UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond is more interesting for what he didn't say than what he did. He didn't say anything about the Regents, despite the fact that they have already had two meetings on the UCLA/Big Ten deal and will have another meeting in September. As we have noted in prior blog postings, the practical ability of the Regents to upset the deal - as opposed to the legalities - is very limited. From CBS News:

... "This is about the future and where college athletics is going," UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond told CBS News. "And you've got to operate in a position of strength if you want to excel in this environment, and that's what we intend to do." ...

"One of the challenges we have here on the West Coast is when you have late games, for example, you're not seen on the East Coast and Midwest like we should," he said. "It's like our talent deserts….being a part of a conference that spans from the Pacific to the Atlantic, you're going to have that national platform."

The Big Ten also secured a record TV deal with Fox, CBS and NBC that analysts believe is worth as much as $8 billion over the next seven years, ESPN reported. This means any school under the Big Ten will get a higher distribution from the conference, and it is projected to eventually distribute up to $100 million per year to each of its 16 members.

More money means more power when it comes to recruiting the next generation of the nations' top athletes, according to Jarmond. Especially in the new world of NIL — or name, image, and likeness — deals that have exploded after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that college athletes should be allowed to control and make money off their own brand. The historic move opened doors for athletic programs to connect their players to national brands like Nike, Puma, Door Dash, United Airlines, and more. It has also led to a race among athletic directors and program heads to sign the biggest media deals, in order to bring in more resources.  

"To win, to compete at a high level, it takes resources, period," Jarmond, who is in his third year as UCLA's athletic director, said...

Full story at


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Monday, August 29, 2022

Hate to Dredge Up Old History, but let's do it anyway

The Daily Bruin has an article on the reopening of the Faculty Club with some history. Excerpt:

...Instead of relocating the Faculty Club when it fell in need of repair due to age, the university redesigned the building to achieve reconstruction goals – such as roof replacement and outdoor expansion – without sacrificing the treasured landmark, said Susan Santon, associate vice chancellor for capital planning and finance, in an emailed statement. “A holistic planning approach enabled the project team to achieve seismic and infrastructure goals, while preserving the defining features of this unique mid-century modern facility,” Santon said in an emailed statement. “The Faculty Club has a rich history, and renovations were designed to restore the original vision for the club.” ...

Full story at

But that is a very sanitized version of what happened when UCLA came up with a plan to demolish the Club, build a Grand Hotel in its place, and maybe - when the Hotel was finished - designate some space within it as a replacement Faculty Club. Along the way were badly written business plans supposedly justifying the proposal from an incompetent consultant, a phony telephone push-poll of neighborhood residents paid for by the university, an election campaign to vote in Faculty Club board members who would not go along with the plan, and numerous meetings and protests by faculty. Behind the scenes was the retirement ambition of a particular former UCLA executive who came up with the demolition plan. 

Much of the protest activity was centered on this very blog. And the protest campaign succeeded in killing the demolition. So, take heart! Sometimes, the good guys win. The Grand Hotel (Luskin Center) was moved to the center of the campus. The Faculty Club was saved. Eventually, the folks in Murphy Hall got past their hurt feelings and a deal was reached to renovate the Faculty Club.

You can get a sense of this unsanitized history by typing "faculty center" in the search engine for this blog. Sadly, many of the links you will find in the blog postings - which go back to 2010 - are no longer valid. That is the peril of daily blogging and the ever-changing internet.


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Sunday, August 28, 2022

Money Honey

If there was any doubt that money, and more money, is the key to the Big Ten/UCLA deal, the Las Vegas Sun provides the evidence:

The Big Ten Conference's, seven-year deal with Fox, CBS and NBC has not only set the benchmark for college sports rights, it has established the latest ground rules for realignment. With the additions of Southern California and UCLA in 2024, the conference will have schools in the nation's top three media markets and in every time zone from coast to coast. Whether other conferences follow the Big Ten's lead will start to be known over the next couple years...

Television rights...have become the leading source of revenue for the Power Five conferences, supplanting ticket sales and donor contributions. With fewer funds available from student fees or state assistance, media rights provide some certainty due to the length of contracts. "The rule of thumb is that football drove 80-85% of the rights. It is now 85-90%,” said Jeff Nelson, the president of Navigate, a market research company... The Big Ten will be the first to receive at least $1 billion per year in its deals with Fox, NBC and CBS. If the Big Ten remains at 16 schools in 2025, each program will get at least $162.5 million from conference rights.

...The Pac-12 and Big 12 each have their deals expiring soon. The Pac-12's ends in 2024 and the conference has already started negotiating as it tries to prevent more schools from leaving... If the Big Ten added three or four Pac-12 programs, that would put the Big 12 in position to snap up most of the remaining schools. Goodbye Power Five and hello Big Four...

Full story at

In short, the UC Regents are not really well positioned to stop the Big Ten/UCLA deal, but they could do more damage than good by mucking around with already-signed arrangements. Some kind of revenue sharing seems to be a better path.


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Senate-Drake Clash on COVID Recovery

Robert Horwitz, chair of the systemwide Academic Senate, wrote a letter to UC President Drake concerning COVID recovery policy and a conflict between the Senate and Drake over a portion of that policy. We reproduce the letter here:


August 25, 2022



Re: Sabbatical credits for UC faculty

Dear President Drake,

Thank you for supporting many of the key recommendations of the Mitigating COVID-19 Impacts on Faculty (MCIF) Working Group Final Report and sending your letter of July 28, 2022 to the Chancellors. That said, we write to register our disappointment of your rejection of recommendation #4: Support for Faculty Success, described in the section of your letter that reads:

Campuses have established different practices for mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on sabbatical leaves and there is no reason that these practices be the same. Moreover, implementing a systemwide sabbatical credit program with retroactivity to AY 2019-20 would create a significant administrative and financial burden that appears unnecessary given that locations already have mechanisms in place, arising from campus consultation processes, to reward faculty for the dedicated work they engaged in to pivot to remote instruction or to address concerns about lost opportunities to take sabbatical leave.

As you know, when COVID-19 closed the campuses in February 2020, UC faculty pivoted on a dime from customary in-person to unfamiliar remote instruction.  The faculty’s quick action kept the educational mission of the University afloat.  Teaching across the system resumed within days and enabled students to progress along their educational paths.  As many have stated, the University would not be where it is today if that pivot had not been so successful.  There were associated costs, however.  What suffered most for faculty was the research mission.  Many faculty were unable to access their research sites, and those teaching were unable to maintain their research at expected levels because of the great time and effort needed to instruct and to meet student needs.  Many faculty also spent large amounts of time and effort, and sometimes personal funds, keeping their departments and labs functioning under the arduous conditions of the pandemic — a sacrifice that has largely fallen below the radar.  The 2020-21 survey of the faculty, which we presented to UC Regents in July 2021, gave empirical ballast to the many challenges for faculty during this period. 

The past 2-1/2 years have been difficult for the entire UC community and various efforts have been made by the University to support employees across the institution.  As leaders of the faculty, it is incumbent upon us to inform you of problems among our ranks, particularly for early career, female, and underrepresented minority (URM) faculty, who, as we learned from our surveys, have had an especially difficult time meeting professional expectations during the pandemic.  We appreciate that the new Achievement Relative to Opportunities (ARO) principles will help address some of these concerns.  But it does not provide enough support, especially for early career faculty who are trying to establish their research programs and for female and URM faculty whose research was hit particularly hard during the pandemic due to great personal demands.  In response, we proposed the idea of an extra sabbatical credit to recognize and appreciate the faculty’s extraordinary teaching efforts and to aid them in reviving their research.  The MCIF Working Group endorsed this proposal and included it as one of the recommendations in its final report.

We are repeating things you already know.  What you may not know yet is how abandoned many faculty feel.  Faculty believe they sacrificed for the students in time of need and that, now, the institution could provide more support to help them relaunch their research careers and restore their equipoise.  The 2021-22 survey of the faculty, which Senate Vice Chair Cochran is finalizing, reveals a faculty burned-out, stressed, anxious about the future, and feeling unappreciated.  And many are worried that the University will enshrine the extended effort devoted to instruction during the pandemic going forward, while still expecting high levels of productivity and excellence in research and service.  In the survey, the number of older, accomplished faculty contemplating early retirement is striking, and the number of younger, female, and URM faculty thinking of leaving UC or academia in general is deeply concerning.  In short, additional sabbatical credit would convey a message of appreciation to faculty across the system and help revive research activity.

You write in your letter that, “Campuses have established different practices for mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on sabbatical leaves...,” but according to Division Senate Chairs and Senate Executive Directors, this is not the case.  To our knowledge, to date only at UCI has the Senate been working with the Vice Provost of Academic Personnel on a COVID mitigation program that is faculty-forward in terms of research support, including some form of sabbatical credit.  UCD has initiated such a conversation.  We have not heard that any of the other campuses are contemplating such support for their faculty.

It is true that the extra sabbatical credit plan would entail some administrative burden,including validating who taught during the relevant terms.  We also realize that the plan would not apply to our Health Sciences clinicians because of the nature of that employee series.  We believe the clinicians (as well as other UC employees) who took on extraordinary work during the pandemic should be rewarded for their contributions to the institution.  Notwithstanding that front-line clinicians might be recognized separately, such action should not prevent you from extending due support for research faculty, and additional sabbatical credit is one way to do so.

As with all actions taken by the University to ameliorate difficulties caused by the pandemic, it is unknown how much goodwill an extra sabbatical credit would secure.  But we are certain that not recognizing faculty across the system in some way risks hardening the faculty’s perception of the institution’s inadequate appreciation of faculty contributions during the pandemic.  Given the uncertainties of the pandemic going forward, there may be further expectations of the faculty by the administration, which means now is not the time to sow seeds of disaffection.  In our view, not awarding the sabbatical credit, especially after being recommended by the MCIF Working Group, is disheartening.  It may also be short-sighted considering the survey’s revelations of faculty contemplating departure from the UC. 

In developing this and other mechanisms of faculty support, the Academic Council would be happy to work with the Provost on guidelines to insure that implementation is appropriate and equitable across the campuses.  For instance, additional sabbatical credit could be reserved for faculty at particular career junctures, with certain needs, or whose research progress was demonstrably harmed by the pandemic.  Other possible mechanisms, such as “pandemic fellowships,” could provide teaching release for faculty whose research is in dire need of support at this time.  We fear that without a signal from the systemwide Administration, one that recognizes the faculty’s extra effort during the pandemic and its impact on the research enterprise, the faculty’s ability to remain an engaged and willing part of the University’s workforce may be in jeopardy.


Robert Horwitz, Chair of the Academic Senate, 2021-22

Mary Gauvain, Chair of the Academic Senate, 2020-21

CC: Chancellors, Provost and Executive Vice President Brown, Executive Vice Chancellors/Provosts,  Academic Senate Vice Chair Cochran, Academic Senate Vice Chair-Elect Steintrager, Academic Council, Mitigating COVID-19 Impacts on Faculty Working Group members, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Nava, Executive Vice President Byington, Senior Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer Bustamante, Laboratory Director Witherell, Chief of Staff Kao, Vice President Brown, Vice President Gullatt, Vice President Humiston, Vice President Lloyd, Vice President Maldonado, Associate Vice Provost Lee, Deputy General Counsel Woodall, Campus Senate Executive Directors, Executive Director Lin


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Saturday, August 27, 2022

No sign of recession

Our weekly check of new weekly claims for unemployment insurance in California reveals no sign of recession in the state. The numbers remain at pre-pandemic levels. There have been reports of some cooling of real estate markets for single-family homes, but that's about it - despite hikes in interest rates by the Federal Reserve.

As always, the latest claims data are at

Affirmative Action: UC versus Oklahoma

As blog readers will know, California voters banned affirmative action in university admissions under Proposition 209 in the mid-1990s, effectively endorsing a resolution by the UC Regents of that period. Voters recently refused to repeal Proposition 209, despite an endorsement of that repeal by the Regents.

Now the matter of affirmative action has come before the U.S. Supreme Court in cases involving Harvard - a private university - and the University of North Carolina - a public university. The case has attracted friend-of-the-court briefs from various universities. Given the Court's recent willingness to overturn precedent with regard to abortion, it appears that its current position on affirmative action is also at risk. The NY Times reports:

...Two of the country’s top public university systems, the University of Michigan and the University of California, were forced to stop using affirmative action in admissions. Since then, both systems have tried to build racially diverse student bodies through extensive outreach and major financial investment, well into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Those efforts have fallen abysmally short, the universities admitted in two amicus briefs filed this month at the Supreme Court, which is set to consider the future of affirmative action in college admissions this fall...

The University of California system says it has spent more than a half-billion dollars since 2004 to increase diversity among its students...

The Supreme Court is scheduled on Oct. 31 to hear the lawsuits brought by the anti-affirmative action organization Students for Fair Admissions that challenge the race-conscious methods that Harvard and the University of North Carolina use to pick freshman classes. The organization says that Harvard discriminates against Asian Americans and that North Carolina gives an admissions boost to underserved racial minorities. And the group argues in its own brief, filed this week, that ending affirmative action nationwide would help improve diversity at the University of California and the University of Michigan, “because they could better compete with universities who currently use race.” ...

Affirmative action is banned by local edict in nine states, including Michigan and California. Some states without affirmative action programs, like Oklahoma, have taken the opposite position in briefs to the court, arguing that the University of Oklahoma “remains just as diverse today (if not more so) than it was when Oklahoma banned affirmative action in 2012.” Thirteen other states joined the Oklahoma brief...

Full story at


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Friday, August 26, 2022

The Ability to Use Remote Exams Just Became More Remote

Experiments with online courses had been going on long before the pandemic accelerated the trend. Indeed, we have noted in previous postings on this blog that courses via television go back to the 1950s. Before that, there were courses on radio going back to the 1920s. And, of course, there were correspondence courses by mail even before then.

Although instruction was possible by these various means - at least by one-way instruction - exams pose a problem. How do you avoid cheating if exams cannot be proctored?

There are various commercial systems that are designed to be de facto proctors. These involved close monitoring of students using the cameras in their computers. But those systems are inherently intrusive. From NPR:

The remote-proctored exam that colleges began using widely during the pandemic saw a first big legal test of its own — one that concluded in a ruling applauded by digital privacy advocates. A federal judge this week sided with a student at Cleveland State University in Ohio, who alleged that a room scan taken before his online test as a proctoring measure was unconstitutional.

Aaron Ogletree, a chemistry student, sat for a test during his spring semester last year. Before starting the exam, he was asked to show the virtual proctor his bedroom. He complied, and the recording data was stored by one of the school's third-party proctoring tools, Honorlock, according to the ruling documents .

Ogletree then sued his university, alleging that the room scan violated his Fourth Amendment rights protecting U.S. citizens against "unreasonable searches and seizures." In its defense, Cleveland State argued that room scans are not "searches," because they are limited in scope, conducted to ensure academic fairness and exam integrity, and not coerced. U.S. district court Judge J. Philip Calabrese on Monday decided in Ogletree's favor: Room scans are unconstitutional...

Full story at

Of course, not all classes require exams, or require exams of the type that need the kind of proctor-style monitoring described in the Ohio case. And the court decision is by one judge in one jurisdiction. Nonetheless, the idea - which was particularly attractive to former governor Jerry Brown - that the solution to the costs of higher education was online courses, has been dealt a blow by the ruling.


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Thursday, August 25, 2022

(Debt) Cancel Culture - Part 2

The information below was circulated by email to emeriti groups but is relevant to all persons with eligible loans:

On behalf of Academic Senate Chair Horwitz and Vice Chair Cochran, please see the letter below, which requests immediate campus distribution of a notice about applying for expanded eligibility for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and registering to attend one of two upcoming UC town hall forums about the PSLF program.

Dear All,

The following went out to all Academic Council members this afternoon, and hopefully each campus will quickly act to distribute to Academic Senate members. I am including Jim Chalfant on this email since he has better connections to retiree organizations. Jim - Could you pass this on to the emeriti and retiree groups? There are a sizeable number of people in their 70s with outstanding student debt, and there may be more who have taken out parent loans. My understanding is that unless people act by October 31 they will lose out on the opportunity to get credit for payments that were previously denied or just not counted.

Best, David Brownstone


August 24, 2022


Re: Public Service Loan Forgiveness at UC

Dear Academic Council Members,

We would very much appreciate it if you could send out the following important message to all Academic Senate members (including retirees) at your campus. Note that President Biden's actions today did not extend the October 31 deadline for applying for expanded eligibility for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

Sincerely, Robert Horwitz, Chair, Academic Council

Susan Cochran, Vice Chair, Academic Council

CC: Campus Senate Executive Directors, Executive Director Lin


UC Academic Senate Members and Employees:

If you have federal student loans (including parent loans), you are likely eligible for cancellation of your entire remaining federal debt following 10 years of working full-time for UC (or another qualifying employer) and making loan payments. Eligibility for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program has been expanded under a time-limited waiver that currently expires October 31, 2022. Even borrowers who were previously ineligible or missed payments can now receive PSLF. Note that it is critical to start the application process now since it takes time to get the necessary paperwork from UC and the U.S. Department of Education.

Please visit the UC Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) page here to check your eligibility and start your application. We expect a surge of applicants who will need their UC employment certified well before the October 31 deadline, so it is important to apply right away.

For more information, please attend one of two town halls on August 31 at 10 AM and 2 PM. For details and registration, see the UC Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) page at:

You must register before you are able to attend the town halls. Please note that even though these town halls are being hosted by Fidelity, the speakers will be experts from the U.S. Department of Education and UC faculty.


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Rumors and Speculation

The sports press is full of rumors and speculation that other Pac-12 universities may join the Big Ten, besides UCLA and USC. Of course, rumors and speculation are not facts. But all of this noise suggests that the UC Regents, who have postponed further discussion until September, simply are being eclipsed by events and deals which are going on behind the scenes.

It's telling that when the Regents had their special meeting on the Big Ten/UCLA issue, they met as a full board. That is because the Regents don't have a sports committee to deal with athletics in the way that, say, the Health Services Committee deals first with health issues before such issues go before the full board. The Regents are not equipped to deal with sports issues such as the one now confronting them. Sure, they were told by the UC general counsel that the chair of the Regents could somehow do something on his own about urgent matters that arose between regularly scheduled meetings. But, in the case of a fast-moving sports negotiation going on behind closed doors and involving non-UC teams, do what exactly?

Here are some examples of the rumors and speculation excerpted from AZCentral:

Which Pac-12 schools could join USC and UCLA in Big Ten?

Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren recently told the Action Network's Brett McMurphy there are a "handful of schools" besides Notre Dame that the conference could potentially add in expansion. Sources indicated that Pac-12 schools Oregon, Washington, Stanford and Cal were among the schools being considered by the Big Ten. ...

Which Pac-12 schools could the Big 12 target in expansion?

Sports Illustrated's Timm Hamm wrote: "If the Big Ten becomes aggressive to initiate the escalator clause in its new deal, it might target teams like Oregon and Washington. And if they jump ship, it would be the equivalent of pulling the plug on a PAC-12 that's already on life support. That would open the door for the Big 12 to come calling on schools looking for a new home. Schools like Utah, Arizona, Arizona State, and Colorado. That would be a huge win for a Big 12 that is struggling to remain relevant after the departure of Texas and Oklahoma in 2025."

Pac-12, ESPN have had 'productive' talks

Pac-12 Insider John Canzano wrote: "Talks between ESPN and the Pac-12 have been “productive” per a conference insider. “We’re still in the midst of positive conversations but haven’t reached a final offer stage,” the source said. “We’ve been much more engaged with George (Kliavkoff). We’re all in sync, we’re all in line. We’ve got some high level media consultants at the tables."

Full story at

Note that if UC-Berkeley joined the Big Ten, that step would partially deal with some of the revenue sharing anxiety at the Regents. It wouldn't deal with all of the financial repercussions. And it would add to the concern about having student-athletes flying around the country.


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You know it's summer...

...when the movie wagons arrive at UCLA. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

(Debt) Cancel Culture

President Biden today announced a new college debt cancellation program. Some highlights from the New York Times:

President Biden’s executive order on Wednesday will cancel up to $20,000 worth of federal student loans for millions of people. But not everyone with debt will qualify. The order includes rules that will maintain the balances of debtors who currently have high incomes. Those who do qualify will need to navigate the balky federal loan servicing system and keep a close eye on their accounts and credit reports for any mistakes. The order also extends the pause on monthly student loan payments, which means that borrowers won’t have to resume payments until at least January...

Who qualifies for loan cancellation?

Individuals who are single and earn $125,000 or less will qualify for the $10,000 in debt cancellation. If you’re married and file your taxes jointly or are a head of household, you qualify if your income is $250,000 or below. If you received a Pell Grant and meet these income requirements, you could qualify for an extra $10,000 in cancellation.

Which types of debt qualify?

Only federal student loan debt is eligible. Private loans are not.

I’m still a student. Do I qualify?

Yes, but if someone else claims you as a dependent when filing taxes, your eligibility will be based on that person’s income and not your own...

Full story at


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ICYMI - Town Hall on COVID Policy & Other Diseases

A "town hall" was held yesterday on Zoom about UCLA policy on COVID going into the fall quarter. Also discussed was Monkeypox. And there was a brief reference to polio which has made a reappearance in the U.S. 

The presentation - which was followed by questions and answers - was also available live on YouTube and a recording remains available on that platform. A link is available on this posting. See below.

Most of the strict regime that existed up until August 15th is now gone. Vaccination remains required for employees working on campus with limited exceptions. However, mask-wearing indoors is now optional although strongly recommended. 

To yours truly, two issues that came up in the question period were particularly significant. First, faculty cannot require masks in the classroom. Second, faculty are not obligated to record classes for the benefit of students who are quarantining, although they are encouraged to accommodate such students. 

You can see the presentation at the link below:



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Tuesday, August 23, 2022

That Big Ten Decision

Coach Chip Kelly - when asked about the decision to move to the Big Ten - portrayed the move as something decided by the chancellor. See the video clip at:

That may be true. But it would be hard for him to say it was something decided above his pay grade! 

From the Sacramento Bee:


UCLA football coach Chip Kelly ($5.7 million) 

UC Berkeley football coach Justin Wilcox ($4 million) 

UCLA basketball coach Mick Cronin ($3.9 million) 

Former UCLA football coach Jim Mora ($3.1 million) 

UC Berkeley basketball coach Mark Fox ($1.7 million)


Note: UCLA Chancellor Gene Block ($484,947)


Full story at

New Normal = Old Normal

It seems that the new normal at Berkeley's People's Park is settling down to something like the old normal. From Berkeleyside:

Nicholas Alexander Behney, a prominent People’s Park activist, was arrested by Berkeley police on suspicion of vandalism and booked in Santa Rita Jail for four days before being released. He was arrested at his Oakland home on Thursday, according to Berkeley police and arrest documents. 

Berkeley police spokesperson Officer Byron White said officers saw Behney at the People’s Park protest on August 3 and witnessed him commit a crime. UC Police were the primary agency responding to the protest, along with mutual aid officers, but White said BPD officers were close enough to recognize Behney. He was released Friday evening with all charges dropped, and the $85,000 bail was dismissed. The DA’s office did not provide information on why the charges were dropped...

Behney, who was initially arrested on suspicion of battery on an officer, said he hit an officer back when they tried to assault him. Berkeley police said he punched an officer...

Full story at

So, it seems as though everyone in this fight has gone back to their corners. No student housing construction is occurring in the Park. Litigation is continuing.


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Monday, August 22, 2022

Eleventh Campus

CUCEA, the Council of University Emeriti Associations, does a periodic survey of emeriti contributions to teaching and research at UC.

The most recent report - "A Virtual Eleventh Campus" -  covering years 2018-2021 is posted at:


A bit of selection bias?

The online 247sports newsletter apparently filed a Public Records Act request with UCLA for emails related to the move to the Big Ten. In response, it got a collection of emails from sports fans. All the ones reproduced in the newsletter article objected to the move. 

It's a bit hard to believe that there were no emails favorable to the move, although the article asserts that there were none. What is interesting is that the comments by readers on the online article - as opposed to those quoted in the newsletter - overwhelmingly FAVORED the move. They pointed to such considerations as the fact that USC was going to move anyway and that fans would want to see UCLA play USC. 

What that suggests is that those folks who were sufficiently moved to email the chancellor were people who - for whatever reason - were angered by the decision. There may well be selection bias in who chose to send in emails. Here is an excerpted version of the article, followed by some reader comments on the website:

Records reveal fan-driven blowback from UCLA's exit of Pac-12

by Chris Hummer

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

Those were the words written under Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren’s email signature when he received UCLA Chancellor Gene Block’s application to the Big Ten on Thursday, June 30 at 9:42 am P.T. (according to an email acquired by 247Sports via an Open Records Request). 

It had, in fact, seemed impossible. The bombshell news that UCLA and USC planned to leave the Pac-12 for the Big Ten ahead of the 2024-25 season would not break until more than half an hour later at 10:23 a.m., but by then the work was done. The two Los Angeles-based Pac-12 programs had been snatched away from the Pac-12, seemingly in an instant.

Like the news of Texas and Oklahoma leaving the Big 12 a year prior, UCLA and USC departing the Pac-12 took everyone by surprise, including the Pac-12’s commissioner George Kliavkoff.

247Sports acquired more than 160 pages of emails from UCLA from between the dates of June 27-July 1 as part of an ongoing open records request, and while those emails don’t shed much light on the Bruins’ process of negotiating with the Big Ten, they do provide a window into the blowback within the UCLA community that’s since sprung because of the move.

...At a meeting of the University of California Board of Regents, a pair of regents went as far as to suggest it could block UCLA from joining the Big Ten. California governor Gavin Newsom has also railed against the move and the secrecy in which it took place. And it did certainly happen behind closed doors.

At 4:30 pm PT on June 30, UCLA Athletics Director Martin Jarmond emailed a group of UCLA professors and deans making things, well, officially official. He gave the group a 10-minute notice – with a heavy dose of confidential tags at the top – that UCLA would indeed be moving on from the Pac-12.

“After careful consideration and thoughtful deliberation, UCLA has decided to leave the Pac-12 Conference and join the Big Ten Conference at the start of the 2024-25 season,” the mass email read.

The blowback to the decision came swiftly after that (247Sports is choosing not to include the names of the emailers). Also, it's important to note that of the dozens of emails 247Sports received in its request, none of them praised UCLA's move to the Big Ten. 

One of the first emails Block received after the news was blasted systemwide at 4:40 p.m. came via an employee from the school's registrar office. “Careful and thoughtful consideration which did not involve the UCLA community and is a complete shock to the whole country,” the emailer wrote. “100+ years of conference history thrown away. This is an outrageous disgrace.” That tone toward Block and Jarmond was a regular theme in the emails 247Sports acquired. As one UCLA undergrad said: “Shame on y’all.” Said one UCLA alumnus: “I sincerely hope the reports that UCLA is considering joining the Big 10 Conference are false. It would be a terrible idea.” Said another UCLA alumnus: “If the rumors of UCLA’s move to the Big-10 are true, it is a sad day for college sports. Many alums are not enthused by this latest, soulless money grab. Count me out.”

Said somebody who identified as a 1972 graduate of UCLA: “Please provide ALL DETAILS of the horrendously dumb decision to toss UCLA out of the Pac12 and into the HIDEOUS BIG 10 WITHOUT FIRST CONSULTING ALUMNI OR THE STUDENT BODY. How dumb can an administrator GET? What does Block think he is, a Supreme Court despot?!”

One alumnus of the University of California system and a nurse at UCLA health sent an extensive email to Block in reaction to the news of UCLA leaving the Pac-12 in which he expressed his disappointment and said he planned to hold his $20,000 athletics pledge...

Another emailer asked two questions of the UCLA officials:

-How is the planned move to the Big Ten consistent with UCLA’s commitment to the health, well-being, and academic success of its student athletes?

-How is the planned move to the Big Ten consistent with the commitment by UCLA, the UC System and the State of California to sustainability to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

None of the other emails 247Sports received as part of its open records request included replies. But this one elicited a response within the school between Professor Eric M. V. Hoek and Chief Sustainability Officer Nurit Katz, who responded to Hoek’s internal reply confirming the sustainability concerns and offering to work with those within the school “...toward solutions to the issues he raises.”

Said Katz to Hoek: I received a number of similar inquiries today from other alumni and alerted our media relations and our sustainability liaison for Athletics, Derek Doolittle. I would ordinarily work with them on the response and talking points for media (which Director Jarmond and others will review), but I would welcome you working with us. Now that the concern has been raised to the Chancellor we will also prepare an official response on behalf of the Chancellor.” ...

Full story at

As noted above, the comments fans made on this article went in another direction. That response could also contain selection bias. Folks who disagreed with the thrust of the article may have felt more impelled to comment than those who agreed or didn't care.

Here are some examples:

"When it comes to joining the [Big Ten], UCLA was just along for the ride. I doubt UCLA staying behind will affect USC's decision to leave the Pac-12. How are UCLA fans going to like it when they no longer play USC every season? Also, if the people in California think UCLA staying behind is going to save the Pac-11, then I think they are mistaken."

"Maybe all the complainers can pool their money and make up the 70 million [dollar] yearly bump up in revenue to the AD's office created by joining the [Big Ten]. Also, when did the teachers and administrators become such huge supporters of UCLA football? UH, never. Everyone that understands the current college sports landscape knows this was the best and possibly only move to secure a strong future for all UCLA sports."

"Did any of these people screaming tradition know that (the) UCLA athletic Department has now lost more than $100 million over three years? Emotional reactions based off no fiscal knowledge."


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Sunday, August 21, 2022

NIL Ain't Nothing Anymore - Part 3

Prior postings on this blog have noted that the Supreme Court's decision on NIL - name, image, and likeness payments to college athletes - had opened up a loophole in the idea that such athletes should not be paid for playing.*

Now, the Big Ten affair seems to have the potential to widen that loophole. From the Daily Bruin:

After the Big Ten secured an historic media rights deal Thursday, the conference’s commissioner, Kevin Warren, laid out some more goals for the future. Warren ultimately sees his league – the soon-to-be home of the Bruins – expanding to 20 members at some point. And he envisions the conference paying its players. While UCLA football coach Chip Kelly hadn’t heard Warren’s remarks when asked about them at the Bruins’ practice Friday, he said conference realignment and student-athlete compensation both seem inevitable in the near future. But he added that there are still question marks regarding how players will get paid.

“The paying the players thing is something that’s probably going to happen in the future, as long as they can figure out a way for it to comply with all the rules,” Kelly said. Those rules, however, remain largely undefined. As name, image and likeness has ballooned over the past year since its formal introduction in July 2021, the methods by which student-athletes across the country have earned money have also expanded...

While Kelly believes student-athletes should get paid, he said the fundamental model by which college athletics programs are run could be set for a change if paying players becomes the norm – specifically as it pertains to the funding of nonrevenue sports. “I think the players should get paid if it can be worked out the right way,” Kelly said...

Full story at




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With scholarship displacement,
the level stays the same or rises less.
Have you ever heard of scholarship displacement? Unlike displacement in the sciences, adding more sources of student aid may not add to the total package. From EdSource

When Jason Vazquez began his freshman year at the University of California, Berkeley, scholarships were a crucial part of his college financing plan. As a low-income student who had navigated the financial aid process alone, he was thrilled that, in addition to receiving financial aid from UC Berkeley, he had been selected — through a competitive process that involved an essay and an interview — for a $1,500 scholarship from a local organization to support his education. After enrolling at the university, however, he discovered that Cal had “repackaged” his financial aid after he reported the $1,500 scholarship. Instead of gaining additional funding to pay for college by winning an outside scholarship, Vazquez found himself with an altered financial aid package that included more loans, less grant money and less work-study.

Known as “scholarship displacement,” this is a little known but common practice wherein one form of a student’s financial aid, like a university grant, is reduced or canceled when the student receives an outside scholarship. Scholarship displacement affects thousands of students across California and the United States, unnecessarily undermining their ability to seek additional sources of funding for their education...

 Assembly Bill 288... would prohibit scholarship displacement and prevent students from losing the critical scholarship dollars they work hard to attain and need to pay for college.* AB 288 focuses on students like Jason Vazquez, who are losing out on critical scholarship dollars that they need to bridge the gap between the cost of college and their financial aid funds. Ending scholarship displacement has bipartisan support in the Legislature because it’s an issue that can impact any student who needs financial assistance to attend college. AB 288 bans scholarship displacement for over 1 million low-income college students in California...

Full story at

Editorial Note: There is another side to this story. While 100% displacement might discourage students from seeking additional aid sources, some degree of displacement less than 100% might add to the total funding available for student aid.


*The bill is at


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Saturday, August 20, 2022

UCLA Authorized? (A cautionary reminder)

In prior posts, we have cautioned about responding to these ads which have been appearing on Facebook (and possibly elsewhere).* There is no evidence that they are in any way endorsed or authorized by UCLA. 

The firm posting the ads seems to be connected to a parent organization in New Hampshire that apparently tries to attract investments from alumni of various universities. There is at least one SEC complaint.




The Big Ten/UCLA Train Seems to Be Leaving the Station Without the Regents

Although some of the Regents have asserted the possibility that they could kill the UCLA Big Ten deal, nobody else is behaving as though that will happen. For example, there's nothing on the UCLA news website about the Big Ten matter.

As noted in a prior posting, if you view what is happening in public as a de facto negotiation, then one strategy might be to create the impression of a done deal which can't be unraveled.

From the LA Times: ...The Big Ten, which officially adds USC and UCLA in 2024, announced the long-awaited media deal Thursday. The seven-year pact that begins in 2023 is worth more than $1 billion per season. In fact, the total value of the deal is nearly $8 billion, with financial escalators that could push it to nearly $10 billion, according to individuals with knowledge of the negotiations but not authorized to speak about it on the record. The massive deal could give UCLA some high-caliber ammunition in its bid to secure Big Ten membership and ward off the University of California regents who have openly raised the possibility of blocking the school’s planned move from the Pac-12...

Full story at




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