Friday, September 30, 2022

What Happened?

You may have received a series of alerts yesterday by email or text message from UCLA reporting an evacuation of the Molecular Science Building yesterday. 

From CBS News: Staff and students inside of the University of California, Los Angeles' Molecular Science Building were forced to evacuate Thursday after reports of an unspecified "environmental hazard" were reported. No injuries were reported, though the building was evacuated out of an abundance of caution. 

Both UCLA campus police and fire department units rushed to the scene at around noon after learning of the hazard. A Los Angeles Police Department bomb squad and Los Angeles Fire Department personnel were also called to the scene. The remainder of UCLA's campus remained open throughout the day. Charles E. Young Drive South was closed between Tiverton and Manning Drives for an unknown duration as authorities investigated the hazard. 


An "all clear" bulletin was put out at 9:45 pm. But it had no information on what had occurred. Nothing has appeared in the Daily Bruin as to the event or the cause as of this posting at around 7:30 am. 

What is not "clear" is what happened or why no explanation was released about what had happened.


To hear the text above, click on the link below:

Admissions: An Audio History You Didn't Know About (Dartmouth)

In two earlier postings - in advance of the Supreme Court's hearing of the Harvard and University of North Carolina admissions cases - we posted  audios about the history of college admissions standards in the twentieth century, especially at Columbia and Princeton. Those Gatecrashers audios dealt with actual and de facto quotas on Jewish students as more of the sons of immigrants applied to Ivy League schools.* One college that had relatively few Jewish students (although it had quotas) was Dartmouth. Part of the explanation was its rural, isolated environment. But those who went to Dartmouth became enthusiastic supporters as alumni. Here is the story: 


Click on the link below to hear the text above and the Gatecrashers audio (with extraneous announcements edited out):


* and

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Extra Money for Riverside & Merced

From the Riverside Press-Enterprise: UC Riverside will get $201 million in new state funding after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an Inland lawmaker’s bill. Assembly Member Jose Medina, D-Riverside, praised the governor’s signing Sunday, Sept. 25, of AB 2046, which allocates $313 million to UCR and UC Merced... 

Medina and other Inland lawmakers lobbied for the money to make up for what they described as a funding gap between UCR and coastal UC campuses such as UCLA. That gap, lawmakers argued, forced UCR’s growing student body to deal with crumbling classrooms and a lack of classroom space, counselors and faculty...

Full story at

The bill seems focused on capital projects and refers to two fiscal years. It is unclear how the funds are split across the two years. There is language in the bill stating that "these funds shall supplement and not supplant any current or future funding." Of course, there is no obvious way to determine whether the funds supplant other funding that might otherwise have been allocated.

The bill is at


You can hear the text above at the link below:

New Bill Signed on Dorm Construction

UCLA dorm room back in the day
From Politico: Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation Wednesday that repeals environmental requirements for university housing construction as California grapples with crisis-level shortages in dorm capacity.

Key Context: California universities have struggled to generate enough on-campus living spaces as the Legislature pressures them to enroll more students — particularly from within the state. The challenge captured national attention earlier this year, when a successful environmental lawsuit nearly forced University of California Berkeley to freeze its enrollment, slashing over 3,000 slots from planned admissions.

The Legislature quickly passed a workaround, making minor changes to the California Environmental Quality Act that formed the legal basis for the court challenge. But many provisions of CEQA — a law loathed by developers but supported by environmental groups and some cities — continued to apply to university housing.

Details: Newsom’s signature of state Sen. Scott Wiener’s (D-San Francisco) CA SB 866 (21R) Wednesday will exempt public college and university housing projects from CEQA, provided they meet a list of other labor and environmental requirements laid out in the bill. Projects for both staff and student housing will be covered, and the exemption will last until 2030 barring further action from the Legislature...

Source: and UCOP Daily News Clips.

Note 1: The bill listed in the Politico article - SB 866 - originally dealt with vaccine mandates and was not passed. It is possible that the bill enacted was a gut-and-amend of the vaccine bill. 

Note 2: The governor has recently been signing housing construction bills in other contexts. You can see one such ceremony at the link below:


You can hear the text above at the link below:

Watch the morning & early afternoon meetings of the Regents: Sept. 21, 2022

Errata: In our previous coverage of Day 1 (September 20) of the Regents meetings last week, we listed the topics covered in public comments.* There was a confusion between Day 2 and Day 1.

The Day 1 list should have been greenhouse gas and climate issues, Hawaiian telescope, labor relations, and anti-abortion. The Day 2 list was instead included for Day 1. 

Day 2 topics were COVID vaccine mandates, antisemitism, climate change, the Hawaiian telescope, transfer students, undocumented students, labor relations, fossil fuels, and abortion. Some speakers seemed to think that Governor Newsom - who is an ex officio Regent - would be present and wanted him to sign a bill dealing with nursing. Of course, he wasn't at the meeting. 

Regent Chair Leib made it clear that the later discussion of the Regents in regards to the UCLA/Big Ten decision in open session would not in fact be reviewing that decision but would only focus on delegations of authority going forward. He said the Big Ten matter would be reviewed only in closed session. (As blog readers will know, the Regents did not announce any decision regarding the UCLA/Big Ten matter.)

As blog readers will know, the videos originally posted by the Regents had various deficiencies. In particular, the recording of Compliance and Audit was incomplete. We notified the Regents office and corrected videos were posted. In the relevant websites, we have posted both the original and the corrected videos.

In the Compliance and Audit session, the focus was on a state requirement that police departments - including those at UC - provide a listing of "military" equipment. There was some questioning of why different departments have different equipment. It was noted that none of the campus departments use drones. However, they have agreements with neighboring departments, some of which may have air support. The departments had various lists of equipment that they wished to purchase which the Regents have to approve.

At Public Engagement and Development there was review of activities of UC-San Diego including US-Mexico border areas. State Assemblymember Christopher Ward who represents the UC-San Diego area spoke to the committee. The discussion touched on the issue of UC contracting out.

At National Labs, approval was given for part of a requested sum for a childcare facility for Los Alamos. There was concern that the proposal was incomplete and therefore a partial sum was approved with the intent that the proposal would again be on the agenda in November.




You can hear the text above at the link below:


The full set of recordings is at


Board session at:


Compliance and Audit at: (starts at 1:23:07):


Public Engagement and Development at:


National Labs at:

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Love the Lava

Blog readers will be familiar with the Munger Monster Dorm plan for UC-Santa Barbara.* Apparently, a feature of student dorm rooms in the proposed dorm will be a lava lamp. At least, a mock room set up to show what the inside of the dorm would be like has a lava lamp. Is the assumption is that students will be attracted to the lava lamp in way that insects head for the light, thus overcoming their resistance to the proposed structure? For those unfamiliar with the bubbly lamps, here are some internet facts:

The lava lamp was invented in 1948 by an English accountant named Edward Craven Walker. He was inspired by an egg timer in a pub made of a cocktail shaker filled with alien-looking liquids bubbling on a stove top. It took Craven Walker 15 years to perfect his design.

The lava lamp was originally called an “Astro Globe,” then became known as a Lava Lite (after the company who bought the US manufacturing rights) before being known by the name it is known by now.

  • No two lava lamps are the same.
  • Craven Walker knew he had “made it” when he heard that Ringo Starr bought one of his lamps.
  • The lamps were originally intended to be a luxury item before it was picked up by hippies and the swinging 60s set as a psychedelic accessory.
  • The lava lamp made its first TV appearance on Dr. Who in the 1960s.
  • Sales of the lava lamp slumped in the late 1970s, but it experienced a resurgence in popularity in the 90s after the Austin Powers movies were released.
  • There is a lava lamp on permanent display in the Smithsonian.
  • The largest lava lamp ever made is four feet tall and holds ten gallons of lava formula.
  • The most expensive lava lamp ever sold was $15,000.


Anyway, you can see the lamp and other aspects of the Munger Monster Dorm in the YouTube video below:

Or direct to




To hear the text above, click on the link below:

Davis Versus the Virus

Politico has a detailed article about how UC-Davis and the City of Davis dealt with the coronavirus before vaccines and readily-available tests had come along. Excerpt:

In the summer of 2020, this rural college town near Sacramento was on edge. Thousands of college students who had been sent home during the Covid-19 pandemic’s early days were about to return, flying in to the University of California, Davis campus from all over the world and potentially turning the reopening into a superspreader event. The concern wasn’t just for the students and the rest of the university — any outbreak would likely spread to the rest of town, putting at risk vulnerable people of all ages and walks of life. At the time, there were no vaccines, and rates of death and hospitalization were high, particularly among older Americans and those with weaker immune systems...

Brad Pollock, chair of the university’s department of public health who coordinated the campus’ Covid response, was home one weekend in June mulling the problem. Given how easily people were spreading the disease before they knew they were sick, he knew that protecting the city would hinge on what seemed impossible at the time — regular testing, even before people knew they were sick.

It’s hard to remember now, but in those early days of the pandemic, testing was hard to come by. Home tests were more than a year away and getting a test at a testing site was usually contingent on having symptoms and getting a doctor’s referral. Lab results were taking so long to come back that sometimes people were no longer infectious by the time they received them.

Brad Pollock, a public health professor who coordinated the campus’ Covid response, knew that protecting the city would hinge on what seemed impossible at the time — regular testing, even before people knew they were sick. Protecting the community meant testing both on and off campus, widely and for free. Pollock sat down and started sketching. Inside a big circle, he jotted down everyone he could think of whose lives could be upended by the pandemic. University students, families, people who commute to town for work. Business owners, seniors, homeless people.

Nearly 40,000 students were enrolled at UC Davis, including medical and nursing students at its Sacramento campus. About 6,000 were coming back to on-campus housing. There were more than 23,500 academic and university staff living in various locales. Hundreds of other people come into the city, which has nearly 70,000 residents, to work every day — all people whose lives center on Davis and whose health would be at risk in an outbreak. To make Pollock’s plan work, the university had to find a way to test thousands of people every week, quickly and cheaply.

Lots of universities and communities knew that the best way to control COVID was pre-symptomatic testing. But UC Davis is a world-class agricultural research institution, and so it had an advantage they didn’t: expertise in pandemic testing — for plants...

Even with its world-class technologies, the university’s labs didn’t have equipment with the kind of capacity to test the whole university, let alone the whole community. The machines that could do that — test up to 40,000 samples of human saliva for COVID each week — cost about $450,000 a pop. And they would need two, for backup.

The university administration, desperate for a workable plan, agreed to pay for them. And researchers across UC Davis, from the engineering department to the medical school, began to collaborate, searching for ways to solve the enormous logistical challenges. The plant researchers worked to refine the process, using a papaya enzyme to make human spit less viscous and easier to process. A colleague in the engineering department devised a machine to shake the vials, a necessary and laborious step previously done by hand. These scientific innovations — and an anonymous $40 million donation — allowed this college town to do something that few, if any, other communities were able to do during COVID. Starting in the fall of 2020, the university tested its students and staff every week and made free, walk-in testing available throughout the town...

Full story at


You can hear the text above at the link below:

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

New Satellite Campus

Our previous post dealt with enrollment growth at UC. At the July Regents meeting, UCLA Chancellor Block talked about having a satellite campus. You can find his remarks at the YouTube video below, starting at around minute 5.* This morning, an email from the chancellor was circulated announcing a new satellite campus. The new sites in Rancho Palos Verdes and San Pedro, were not among the locations he mentioned in July. He did mention a site in San Pedro in July, but it appears to be a different location from the one described in the email. 

From the email:

What you need to know:

*UCLA will acquire two sites associated with Marymount California University in Rancho Palos Verdes and San Pedro

*Marymount California University ceased operations this summer; UCLA’s acquisition will allow us to maintain a tradition of higher education on the sites and to advance institutional goals

Specific plans for the properties will be developed jointly by faculty and administrative leaders

Dear Bruin Community:

I write to share the very exciting news that UCLA will acquire two sites associated with Marymount California University (MCU) in Rancho Palos Verdes and San Pedro, 30 miles south of Westwood. This expansion, representing the largest land acquisition in UCLA’s history, was approved by the University of California Board of Regents last week.

With our Westwood campus as its center, UCLA has been a crucial nexus of education, research and public service within Los Angeles for more than 100 years. As demand for our academic offerings continues to grow, this acquisition will allow us to expand student access in line with UC’s 2030 goals, strengthen our connections to the greater L.A. region, and deepen our institution’s research and public service impact. The new sites add to existing ones UCLA operates in downtown Los Angeles, Culver City and elsewhere, as well as across the region through UCLA Health.

Under an agreement with the stewards of MCU — a small private Catholic university that ceased operations this summer — UCLA will acquire the university’s 24.5-acre main campus in Rancho Palos Verdes as well as a smaller 11-acre residential campus a few minutes drive away in San Pedro. While there was intense interest from developers in purchasing and building on these properties, we were able to reach an agreement with MCU largely because of our commitment to carrying forward a tradition of higher education on the sites.

We are in the early stages of planning for the future use of the new properties. In partnership with the Academic Senate, we will establish a faculty- and administration-led task force to determine what kinds of academic programs the spaces might best support and how we can best use them to advance institutional goals. It is my hope that we will have some programs operating on the sites as soon as 2023. I will share updates about this process and the future of the spaces in the months ahead.

In closing, I wish to express my gratitude to all those who worked so hard to make this exciting opportunity a reality. This expansion will be a boon for both our institution and the region, and I am eager to see all the ways in which it will extend UCLA’s already deep impact.


Gene D. Block



*Click on the link below to see his remarks starting at around minute 5:

Or direct to


To hear the text above, go to the link below:

(Un)Ready, Fire, Aim

In case you missed it, the front page of the LA Times yesterday had an article about what happens at UC when you up admissions and enrollment under pressure from the legislature and governor without having adequate dorms or other residences for students. The article mostly provided examples of students having housing problems. It appears that the problem varies from campus to campus. However, the pressure on affordable student housing will only grow, given the promised future enrollment targets.

...As most of the nine University of California undergraduate campuses start fall quarter this month, the state’s continuing college housing shortage has thrown thousands of students into crisis as need greatly outpaces supply. About 9,400 students systemwide were denied university housing this fall because of shortages — and some campuses are back to squeezing three students in a dorm room as a stopgap.

UC Berkeley set aside only 102 single rooms this year, compared with 453 last year, and has ended up with nearly 400 more dorm beds this fall. The campus turned away about 5,500 housing applicants last year. But supply still fell short and 1,100 students were not offered beds as of earlier this month. UCLA, Davis, San Diego, Merced and Santa Barbara have been able to accommodate all housing requests submitted in time for this fall. UC San Diego, for instance, added 700 undergraduate beds this year by tripling up some rooms and will reinstate its two-year campus housing guarantee for incoming undergraduate students in fall 2023.

But some campuses were caught off guard by surging demand. UC Riverside, for instance, has added 2,300 new beds since fall 2020 but still had to turn away 3,500 students this fall because the housing demand doubled...

Full story at


To hear the text above, click on the link below:

Lots of People Don't Want to Do What UCLA Does

As blog readers will know, much of the controversy about Title IX standards revolves around such matters as what constitutes "due process" in deciding a case. Yours truly has taken the position that use of an outside "decider," would be the most important way of providing due process, something the university already does, and has done for years, regarding employee grievances under union contracts.

However, there appears to be another area of controversy developing. The feds have proposed making all faculty and other university employees (with limited exceptions) mandatory reporters of sexual harassment. Substantial opposition has arisen to the proposal, citing circumstances in which a victim wants to talk to, say, a faculty member in confidence and may not want to initiate an official case. From Inside Higher Ed:

Professors, researchers and sexual assault prevention advocates want the U.S. Department of Education to rethink plans to expand mandatory reporting requirements to more college employees as part of its overhaul of the Title IX law. The department proposed requiring most campus employees to report cases of potential sex discrimination to Title IX in the regulations released earlier this summer. The public comment period for the new rules closed Sept. 12. The department received more than 240,000 comments, which it is reviewing before publishing a final set of regulations on Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the law that prohibits sex discrimination in any education program or activity that receives federal funding.

Dozens of the published comments mentioned the mandatory reporting change, with faculty members, advocacy groups, students and others weighing in. Nearly all of the comments were opposed, criticizing the proposed provisions as ill-advised, complicated and not beneficial for survivors of sexual assault. Many critics said the department’s proposal would result in nearly all faculty members becoming mandatory reporters.

“Mandatory reporting systems where all but a few faculty and staff are required to report anything they hear, whether or not they have talked to or gotten consent from the student, effectively ruins opportunities for survivors to have a safe avenue for getting help,” wrote Pardes Lyons-Warren, chair of the Student Title IX Assistant Resource Team at Colorado College. “Maintaining control over survivors remains mandatory reporting’s key purpose, regardless of the violations of free speech, privacy and academic freedom that come with that.” ...

Full story at

What is interesting about this debate is that what is being proposed already is in effect at UCLA and UC. From FAQ's for Responsible Employees:

Under the UC Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment, any UC employee who is not identified as a confidential resource is a “Responsible Employee” required to report sexual violence, sexual harassment or other conduct prohibited by the policy to the Title IX director or designee. 

...All UC employees who are not designated as confidential must inform the Title IX director if they become aware that a student (undergraduate, graduate, or professional) has experienced sexual violence, sexual harassment, or other behavior prohibited by the university’s policy. This includes managers and supervisors, all faculty (including faculty advisors), all staff, athletic coaches and student employees. Responsible employees include both represented and non-represented employees.

Under the UC Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment, any UC employee who is not identified as a confidential resource is a “Responsible Employee” required to report sexual violence, sexual harassment or other conduct prohibited by the policy to the Title IX director or designee.

...All UC employees who are not designated as confidential must inform the Title IX director if they become aware that a student (undergraduate, graduate, or professional) has experienced sexual violence, sexual harassment, or other behavior prohibited by the university’s policy. This includes managers and supervisors, all faculty (including faculty advisors), all staff, athletic coaches and student employees. Responsible employees include both represented and non-represented employees.

...All managers and supervisors, Human Resources, Academic Personnel, faculty and campus police must inform the Title IX director if they receive a report of prohibited behavior from anyone affiliated with the university , which includes faculty, staff and others affiliated with the university...

Q. As a Responsible Employee, if someone tells me about an incident of sexual violence or sexual harassment, should I tell them I need to report it? What if they asked me to keep it confidential?

Before the individual tells you about an incident of sexual violence or sexual harassment, you should inform the person that you are a Responsible Employee and that while you want to provide assistance, you required to report incidents of sexual violence, sexual harassment or other conduct prohibited by university policy to the Title IX Director. You should tell the person that you cannot keep reports of sexual harassment or sexual violence confidential, but that the Title IX Director will consider requests for confidentiality.

Full guidance at

In short, the victim cannot talk to a faculty member or other employee with a guarantee of confidentiality at a UC campus. All that can be said to such a person is that a higher official, not the individual the victim wants to talk to, will "consider requests for confidentiality." In short, while the wisdom of making almost every faculty member and other employee a mandatory reporter is being debated nationally, it seems to have been made official policy at UC.


To hear the text above, click on the link below:

Monday, September 26, 2022

De-Cluttering Dorms

According to the Bruin, a controversy erupted over extra, unneeded furniture that was left in UCLA dorms when triples were converted to doubles:  

UCLA Housing announced in a Sept. 13 email students in double occupancy rooms could have extra furniture removed after widespread student backlash.

The announcement came after a Sept. 9 email notified some students in doubles they would have a third set of furniture. According to the email, building capacity varies annually so dorms are meant to function as either a double or triple. In the past, students have made the best of their circumstances by finding creative uses for extra furniture, according to the email...

UCLA spokesperson Steve Montiel said in an emailed statement UCLA was not obligated to supply exactly two sets of furniture for double occupancy rooms. However, Montiel said they take critiques from residents to heart.

“We recognize that this decision caused stress for students and families as they prepared to move in to their housing, and moved quickly to address their concerns,” Montiel said in the statement. “We appreciate the feedback, which allowed us to reconsider the decision we made to maintain the residence hall furniture despite the change in occupancy.” ...

Full story at


To hear the text above, click on the link below:

Admissions: An Audio History You Didn't Know About (Princeton)

In an earlier posting - in advance of the Supreme Court's hearing of the Harvard and University of North Carolina admissions cases - we posted an audio about the history of college admissions standards in the twentieth century, especially at Columbia. That Gatecrashers audio dealt with de facto quotas on Jewish students as more of the sons of immigrants applied to Ivy League schools such as Columbia.* But related to admissions, there was the problem of acceptance and integration of students who were admitted. Another Gatecrashers audio deals with that topic at Princeton with its system of eating clubs.

"Back in the 1950s, the Princeton eating clubs were essential. The dining hall was only meant for freshmen and sophomores. The club you joined as a sophomore became not just a place to eat but the center of your Princeton social life, a place to hang out, nurture friendships, and make connections.

According to one estimate, by the late 1950s, the school was about one seventh Jewish. But the Jewish students were about to find out that just because you’re admitted doesn’t mean you’re accepted. In February 1958, at the end of the bicker process—like fraternity rush, but for eating clubs—there were 35 sophomores who got no bids at all. And most of them were Jewish. The scandal was immediately dubbed “the dirty bicker” by the national press; it was reported in the New York Times, the New York Post, Newsweek, and more. It nearly caused the downfall of the eating clubs."




At the link below, you can hear the brief text above and the Gatecrashers Princeton story (with extraneous announcements removed):

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Watch the Regents Meeting of Sept. 20, 2022

We now get to the Regents meetings of last week. In this post, we review the meeting of Tuesday, September 20th, which consisted of segments related to innovation and to investments. 

At Innovation Transfer and Entrepreneurship, the Regents continued to follow the progress of an initiative to move the tracking of UC patents to the campuses. As we have noted in prior comments on this committee, there is an element of micro-management. Some portions of meetings of the committee have been devoted to the general topic of entrepreneurship in research and potential commercial applications. That topic seems appropriate for the Regents - although whether a special committee is necessary to explore this subject is a question. 

On the other hand, the details of moving an administrative function seems to be largely a UCOP matter. However, it may be that the Regents - having been burned on computer projects such as UCPath - feel some micro-management, or at least detailed oversight, is warranted.

The Innovation meeting began with public comments which dealt with COVID vaccine mandates, antisemitism, climate change, the Hawaiian telescope, transfer students, undocumented students, labor relations, fossil fuels, and abortion. Some speakers seemed to think that Governor Newsom - who is an ex officio Regent - would be present and wanted him to sign a bill dealing with nursing. Of course, he wasn't at the meeting. 

From the Daily Cal: The UC system’s patent tracking system, or PTS, will be entirely replaced with a new intellectual property, or IP, management system within the next five years. In place of the usual board meeting, the UC Board of Regents opened its September meeting with the Special Committee on Innovation Transfer and Entrepreneurship... 

Committee chair and Regent Lark Park opened the meeting by acknowledging the university’s first-place ranking in the National Association of Inventors and Intellectual Property Owners Association annual report on top worldwide university patent holders... The committee is in its second year of operation and its main goal is to oversee the implementation of IP recommendations, including the transition from the UC Office of the President, or UCOP, operated PTS to a more campus-specific IP management system. PTS was originally developed to handle patent-related financials, but has since been expanded to include patent management as well, which are typically two independent systems. As each campus is highly unique, the new system will assign more roles and responsibilities to individual campuses, with UCOP assuming a more advisory role... 

The Investments Committee also met Tuesday to discuss the university’s performance for fiscal year 2021-22 and next steps in this regard. The committee first reviewed inflation and past performance, then discussed future investment strategies, particularly on a global scale. Notably, UCOP chief investment officer and vice president of investments Jagdeep Singh Bachher was a proponent of divesting internationally and investing more in the United States...

Full story at

Berkeley economics professor Christina Romer - an advisor to the Investments committee - spoke about the macroeconomic outlook, specifically inflation issues and the threat of recession. Of course, the elephant in the room was the drop in the stock market and its effect on the various university funds. The pension fund suffered a 10.8 percent loss in the year ending June 30, 2022.

You can see the September 20th meeting at:

The Innovation committee is at:

The Investments committee is at:


You can hear the text above at the link below:

Errata: In our coverage of Day 1 (September 20) of the Regents, we listed the topics covered in public comments. There was a confusion between Day 2 and Day 1. The Day 1 list should have been greenhouse gas and climate issues, Hawaiian telescope, labor relations, and anti-abortion. The Day 2 list was instead included for Day 1. Day 2 topics were COVID vaccine mandates, antisemitism, climate change, the Hawaiian telescope, transfer students, undocumented students, labor relations, fossil fuels, and abortion. Some speakers seemed to think that Governor Newsom - who is an ex officio Regent - would be present and wanted him to sign a bill dealing with nursing. Of course, he wasn't at the meeting.

Real or Fake?

Retraction Watch, under the title "UCLA walks back claim that application for $50 million grant included fake data," reports that the university has published an odd notice. UCLA originally alleged that a researcher in the health sciences had faked data in eleven research studies - studies named explicitly in official university and government reports.* It now says there was actually faked data in only ten of them.** From the Retraction Watch article:

...How, we asked both UCLA and ORI [federal Office of Research Integrity], did a report that would have had to be reviewed by multiple officials – and lawyers – at both institutions include such a mistake? Neither would say. An ORI spokesperson said:

We have no further comment beyond that we were notified by the institution that a grant had been included erroneously.

And a UCLA spokesperson referred us to the ORI correction:

As indicated in the Federal Register...,*** “Due to additional information provided by the institution to the Office of Research Integrity, it was determined that NIH grant application UL1 TR000124 did not fund or contain falsified/fabricated data; therefore, this grant application has been removed from the findings of research misconduct reported in FR Doc. 2022–16867.”

Retraction Watch promises to pursue this matter.




*** (Scroll down.)


To hear the text above, click on the link below:

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Still Nothing to See Here

Our weekly review of new weekly California claims for unemployment insurance continues to be at pre-pandemic levels. No sign of a recession from this indicator.

As always, the latest new claims data are at

The End of Hastings; The Beginning of "UC Law"

Blog readers will recall the issue of renaming the Hastings Law School. From the Sacramento Bee:

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a bill into law ordering the re-naming of the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law. Under Assembly Bill 1936, by Assemblyman James Ramos, D-Highland, the college’s new name will be University of California, College of the Law, San Francisco, or UC Law, San Francisco for short. The bill also outlines several initiatives for the college to pursue, including renaming the law library with a Native language name and annually reading a statement of the atrocities that the school’s founder, Serranus Hastings, committed against the Yuki people in the 19th century. The measure will also provide collaborative opportunities for Round Valley tribal students to debate and gain writing experience, according to the governor’s office... 

Full story at

Section 2(b) of the new law states:

 It is the intent of the Legislature to ensure that the College achieves all of the following:

(1) Assists in the formation of a nonprofit organization, as described in subsection (c) of Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code, in association with, and jointly governed by, Yuki descendants selected by the government of the Round Valley Indian Tribes to provide an organizational structure to raise capital, organize pro bono legal assistance and other support, and assist tribal leadership with federal, state, and county matters, water and property rights, economic development, and efforts to meet the social needs of the community. The College’s responsibilities extend only to assisting in the formation of the nonprofit organization, and will not otherwise involve its governance or the ongoing operations of the organization.

(2) Seeks to organize, through the College’s Indigenous Law Center or other administrative offices, as appropriate, pro bono legal assistance and other support, and assist tribal leadership with federal, state, and county matters, water and property rights, economic development, tribal courts, and efforts to meet the social and security needs of the community.

(3) Works with interested public and private parties or entities to develop scholarship assistance for duly admitted law students at the college that are members of Round Valley Indian Tribes, a federally recognized tribal government. These funds may be used to offset tuition, housing costs, and other incidentals for Round Valley Indian Tribes tribal members admitted to the law school.

(4) Dedicates a permanent and public memorial, and other displays, as appropriate, to the Yuki people at an appropriate location on its campus, with display panels, historical explanations, and cultural presentations. This memorial should acknowledge and atone for the historical traumas suffered by the Yuki people.

(5) Provides a fully functional, interactive public internet website to allow dissemination of the College’s approach, to seek public input, and to keep the public advised of historical, academic, and programmatic work to address the broader issues and the restorative justice agenda. A page on this internet website shall be dedicated to the College’s work with Round Valley Indian Tribes and the Yuki people.

(6) Establishes clinical or experiential educational programs for its students, one that may serve as a model for other law schools, to address the specific needs of the residents of the Round Valley, including the possibility of a center for pro bono legal assistance in tribal legal matters and public law assistance that could be staffed with student interns, faculty leadership, and pro bono contributors.

(7) Collaborates with Governor Newsom’s Tribal Advisor to engage with, and contribute to, that office and the newly formed Truth and Healing Council, which is working to clarify the historical record of mistreatment, violence, and neglect of Native Americans in California.

(8) Assists in the organization of pro bono attorneys with a connection to the College to assist in mutually agreed upon goals and objectives.

(9) Assists tribal leaders, where possible, with other community needs, such as making connections to the College’s award-winning moot court program, preservation of the Yuki legacy with an emphasis on youth, preservation of tribal oral traditions and stories, and advancement in teaching and preserving native languages.

(10) Assists, as appropriate, with the legal aspects of establishing a museum or cultural center in the Round Valley, and a project for the protection of sacred sites and repatriation of artifacts and human remains.

(11) Highlights the injustices of the past by bringing attention to the public at large and the College’s community with a lecture series, guest speakers, and tribal elders, dealing with “Righting the Wrongs.”

(12) Supports collaboration by assisting tribal members to obtain grant opportunities from public and private sources, including identifying grants for economic development.

(13) Establishes an Indian Law Program and related academic and educational programs at the College, available to all students interested in studying Indian Law. The goal of these programs is the encouragement of scholarship, educational growth, opportunity and support for students, and recruitment of qualified individuals from the Round Valley Tribes or Yuki descendants for legal education and career opportunities in law.

(14) Assists, as appropriate to the work of a law school, with the revitalization and preservation of Yuki history and language efforts.

(15) Provides academic support, as needed, to Round Valley Indian Tribes students attending the College.

(16) Creates a working group consisting of members of the College’s Restorative Justice Advisory Board and members of the Yuki Indian Committee to define the content to be placed in the commemorative space reserved for this purpose at the College.

(17) Assists tribal leadership with understanding the federal Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (25 U.S.C. Sec. 3001 et seq.) and the California Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 2001 (Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 8010) of Part 2 of Division 7 of the Health and Safety Code) laws.

(18) Engages in ongoing relationship building between the Round Valley Indian Tribes and the Yuki people, submitting reports to the Legislature, and the Assembly Select Committee on Native American Affairs.

(19) An annual apology on a date to be determined by the Round Valley Indian Tribes, a federally recognized tribal government, its designees of the Yuki Indian Committee, and the College to attest to and acknowledge the social justice components achieved and ongoing efforts.

(20) Grants a seat on the College’s commemorative committee to a representative of the Yuki people. The College shall create a subcommittee of the commemorative committee with Yuki Indian representation.

(21) The College and the Board of Directors provides resources for restorative justice to the extent required by law, and, when not required by law, assists in restorative justice policies.

Full text at


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Friday, September 23, 2022

"Rev-Gen" Partnership

Did you get an email from Campus Human Resources touting a deal with Farmers insurance? It's not clear from the notice (or ad?) exactly what advantage is being offered. Discounts relative to regular rates? Something else?

All that is offered is an ability to get a quote on various types of insurance. Of course, you can go directly to an insurance company and get quotes, so there is nothing special there. 

Yours truly used the link provided to get a quote on auto insurance. The rate quoted didn't seem to be anything special. So, what's the deal?

The notice indicates that the offer is part of UC Partnership Programs. So, yours truly poked around on the web and found some information about these Partnerships. He eventually wound up on a webpage with the following text:

Developing new, sustainable sources of revenue is an important strategy being pursued at UC campuses to develop firmer and broader financial foundations. As part of the recently approved MCI for SupplyChain500, the President has approved funding for a 2-year pilot program to help campuses jumpstart their Revenue Generation (Rev-Gen) activities, with the goal of mobilizing multi-campus partnerships.

As a campus that has matured their Rev-Gen efforts, UC Berkeley will lead this charge in conjunction with UC Procurement, while facilitating all 10 campuses’ involvement. UC Davis and UC San Diego have also taken a strong lead in campus-wide partnerships so we have been consulting with them on a regular basis.

To drive toward these goals, we’ve hired new Rev-Gen Project Manager, Deborah Tallyn, who will start on June 4. Deborah helped set up Berkeley’s University Partnership Program (UPP) so she has very relevant hands-on experience in this arena. She has a passion for Rev-Gen, along with a background in higher education and the private sector, and will be a game changer for this program.

Deborah will work closely with the campuses through leads selected by each campus to spark maximum growth in Rev-Gen. So far, campus leads have been identified at UC Irvine, UCLA, and UC Santa Barbara. As we firm up the campus leads, we will more clearly define their roles and the engagement strategies to move this initiative forward.


So, what we have here is "rev-gen" for the campuses, which to yours truly presumably means a payment of some type from the outside commercial partner to the campus for access. Now, yours truly can't say one way or another whether, if you use this service, you will get a good deal or a bad deal. But it's not clear that you will get a special deal. Caveat emptor.


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Want to Worry a Bit - But Not Too Much - About the State Budget? - Part 2

Blog readers will recall our recent posting noting that state revenue for the first two months of the current fiscal year came in below projections.* We noted that you could worry a bit about this development, although the very large state reserves provide a cushion against a budget crisis.

Sacramento observers are reporting that the governor has noted the lesser revenue and is justifying vetoes of bills as a result. From Capitol Public Radio:

A trend has emerged from a growing number of bills Governor Gavin Newsom is choosing to veto this September – and it’s based on a money problem. Nearly a dozen bills the governor has rejected in recent weeks include a letter cautioning lawmakers against spending unbudgeted funds. Some of those measures would have done things like provide free transit passes for students, limit preschool fees for low-income families, and create a pilot to fund outreach for behavioral health services to certain Medi-Cal patients. All laudable goals, the governor writes, but the cash isn’t there.

“With our state facing lower-than-expected revenues over the first few months of this fiscal year, it is important to remain disciplined when it comes to spending, particularly spending that is ongoing,” the governor repeats in a veto message attached to multiple bills...

Full story at

So, just remember that you read about it here first.




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The UCLA/Big Ten Move: What Happened?

As blog readers will know, the UCLA/Big Ten issue came up in closed session at the Regents yesterday. Rest assured that we have followed our standard practice of preserving ALL of the open session recordings, since the Regents delete them after one year for no apparent reason. We will review the various sessions as time permits.

Note, however, that this time there were two snafus in regard to the Regents' recordings. As of this posting, the Compliance and Audit recording that the Regents posted omits some of the beginning of that segment. More importantly from the perspective of the Big Ten issue, 38 minutes of audio of the Regents' open session in which they discussed delegation of authority - a topic triggered by UCLA's Big Ten move - is missing! Yours truly has emailed the interim secretary of the Regents asking that corrected copies of both defective recordings be posted. Whether that will happen is unknown. It may be that only defective recordings exist.

Now let's get to the Big Ten matter. We don't know what was said in closed session, of course. But someone - probably a Regent - leaked a copy of a letter sent to all Regents by George Kiliavkoff, Commissioner of the Pac-12, to the New York Times pleading with the Regents to reverse UCLA's decision. The letter, which we reproduce below, does not address the legal ramifications of undoing a deal agreed to by an authorized agent of the Regents. As we have noted in prior blog posts, the Regents' general counsel has taken the position that the Regents have the power to order Chancellor Block to undo the deal. They don't, however, have the power to prevent themselves from being sued for such a step. (And, of course, they have no power whatsoever over what USC does.)

The New York Times also revealed that Chancellor Block informed UC President Drake as a courtesy about the deal. So, Block was not operating in a rogue fashion. From the New York Times:

...So when U.C.L.A. was deep in talks with U.S.C., the Big Ten and its media partner, Fox Sports, U.C.L.A Chancellor Gene Block informed Drake, the U.C. president who oversees the university chancellors. Drake is a seasoned participant in that world, having served as chair of the N.C.A.A. Board of Governors when he was the president at Ohio State...

It should be noted that in the past, the Regents have not wanted to reverse decisions of campus chancellors. In the UCLA case, when the UCLA hotel project went to the Regents, they initially castigated the UCLA presentation and information provided by Block and other UCLA administrators, and they held up approval. But, in the end, they went along with the project. Note that in the hotel case, UCLA did not have the legal authority to go ahead without approval by the Regents. In the Big Ten case, it did have the authority. So, reversing UCLA - apart from any litigation that might result - would be a major decision and precedent. To the extent that the Regents assume the role of managing UCLA athletics, and to the extent that the athletics program has continuing budget problems, UCLA could legitimately present the bill to the Regents. If they make the decisions, the costs of those decisions are theirs.

As we noted, the closed session on the Big Ten move was listed as a "discussion" of the matter; it was not listed as an "action" item. So, unless the Regents schedule a special off-cycle meeting (as they did in August), the matter is now deferred until November, the next regularly scheduled meeting. Undoubtedly, there will be discussions of some type before then. But note that the Regents are constrained by open meetings requirements. Even when they meet in closed session, a notice must be given. They can't just get together informally and chat about what to do.


The New York Times coverage, including the Kiliavkoff letter, is at:;


We reproduce the Kiliavkoff letter below:

September 20, 2022

(Name of recipient and salutation blacked out)

On behalf the Pac-12 Conference and in the interest of assuring all perspectives are considered in your deliberations, I wanted to reach out ahead of the UC Board of Regents September 22 discussion regarding UCLA's decision to leave the Pac-12 Conference and join the Big Ten Conference. The purpose of this letter is to provide facts and context with respect to the impact of that decision on the UCLA student athletes, the UCLA community and our Conference membership, including UC Berkeley.

As a Conference, we were extremely surprised and disappointed by UCLA's decision to leave for the Big Ten. The Pac-12 has a storied tradition of more than 100 years marked by athletic and academic excellence, and UCLA has been integral to that excellence as a very successful member of the Pac-12, winning 119 team NCAA titles (second only to the Pac-12's Stanford University) across 20 sports.

UCLA's decision to leave the Conference that it has been a member of since 1928, and its other flagship UC university in UC Berkeley, abandons our shared value of supporting the well-being of student athletes. Should UCLA's decision stand, it will damage the fabric, century old history, rivalries and familial ties of the Pac-12.

While we acknowledge that overturning UCLA's decision would be significant for the UC Board of Regents, we believe that the impact of UCLA's decision on the young women and men who it is charged with supporting warrants such an outcome. We also want to ensure [sic] the UC Board of Regents that should UCLA remain in the Pac 12, they will not only be welcomed with open arms, but be assured of a future of continued growth and success.

We have five significant concerns with UCLA's decision, described in more detail below.

1. Significant impact on student-athlete physical and mental well-being, which effects [sic] both academics and athletics

Our mission at the Pac-12 is to develop the next generation of leaders by championing excellence in academics athletics, and the well-being of our student-athletes. With a mission to support our student-athletes, we are very concerned that UCLA's decision to join a conference located in the Central and Eastern time zones will unquestionably place much greater physical and mental stress on student-athletes because of significantly increased travel, and cause more hours and days away from campus, impacting both academic and athletic success.

We know from published medical research by the National Institutes of Health, studies conducted by the NCAA, and discussions with our own student-athlete leaders that significant additional travel, including repetitive travel across 3 time zones, impacts student-athletes physical and mental well-being and their academic pursuits.

These increased travel demands require student-athletes to travel across multiple time zones regularly, which disrupts sleep, mood, and physical and cognitive function for days after travel and has cascading personal effects. In fact, a common medical guideline is that a body requires one day to adjust for each time zone crossed.

From our calculations based on nine of the UCLA teams with regular season conference travel schedules (football men's and women's basketball women's volleyball, women's soccer, baseball, men's and women's tennis, and softball) UCLA student-athletes competing in the Big Ten will fly 159% more air miles and drive 44% more bus ground miles than they do today in the Pac-12. Longer flight and bus times add up over the season and will result in fewer days on campus with their fellow students focused on education . Even if UCLA athletics decides to charter more flights, UCLA student-athletes will face, on average, double the days missed on campus.

2. Significant hardship for the families of UCLA student-athletes and UCLA alumni

Beyond the travel hardship for student-athletes, we are also concerned by the significant additional burden UCLA's decision puts on families of student-athletes and loyal, invested alumni.

With almost all away, conference games occurring at least 2,000 miles from campus, the families of UCLA student athletes will face longer and more expensive trips to watch their kids compete. 70 percent of UCLA alumni live on the West Coast and will face similar travel and expense to watch the Bruins play away games.

3. Significant negative impact on UCLA expenses

Despite all the explanations made after the fact, UCLA's decision to join the Big Ten was clearly financially motivated after the UCLA athletic department managed to accumulate more than $100 M in debt over the past three fiscal years. The financial uplift to UCLA as an impetus for its decision has been widely touted by the media and in public discourse.

While it is true that the Big Ten Conference has recently announced a large media rights deal and distributions from the Big Ten to its member schools will be larger than distributions available to Pac-12schools from the Pac-12 Conference for the near future, UCLA membership in the Big Ten will also require significant additional athletic department expenditures. By our estimates, UCLA's additional travel costs, competitive salaries, and game guarantee expenses will more than offset ALL the additional revenues that UCLA will generate from the Big Ten's media rights deal.

UCLA currently spends approximately $8.1 M per year on travel for its teams to compete in the Pac-12 Conference. UCLA will incur a 100% increase in its team travel costs if it flies commercial in the Big Ten ($8.1 M increase per year), a 160% increase if it charters half the time ($13.1 M increase per year), and a 290% increase if it charters every flight ($23.7 M increase per year).

Beyond travel, we also expect UCLA to increase expenses to compete with the average Big Ten athletic department. Based on UCLA's latest expenses, normalized to the average Big Ten athletic departments [sic] budget and size, UCLA will have to increase its head coaches salaries & bonuses by 19%, its assistant coach salaries by 13%, its guaranteed expenses by 122%, and its administrator salaries by 27% This represents approximately $15 M in additional annual expenses just to compete at an "average" Big Ten budget. Finally, UCLA will likely face other increased annual expenses to compete as a member of the Big Ten in marketing, fundraising, recruiting, and game operations.

Any financial gains UCLA will achieve by joining the Big Ten will end up going to airline and charter companies administrators [sic] and coaches [sic] salaries, and other recipients rather than providing any additional resources for student-athletes.

4. Significant negative impact on Pac-12, and by extension Cal, revenues 

In the last public Regents hearing on this topic, the impact of UCLA's decision on the Pac-12 media rights was addressed. Since UCLA's announcement, the Pac-12 has been negotiating its next broadcast agreements. As a result of the timing, we have robust market data regarding the current value of UCLA to our Conference's overall media value, as well as the adverse impact this move would have specifically on UC Berkeley.

Our experts agree that losing both Los Angeles schools (and therefore the LA TV market) and the brands of USC and UCLA would most likely reduce the total Pac-12 media value by up to 30%. This reduction in total value needs to be offset by the fact that a new media revenue deal would only be shared among 10 schools rather than 12. As a result, the actual reduction in media dollars for each of our 10 remaining schools would be reduced by up to 16%.

It is difficult to disclose exact projections on the financial harm to UC Berkeley and other Pac-12 schools of UCLA leaving the Conference without disclosing confidential information related to our ongoing media negotiations. That said, a 16% reduction in media revenues is significant because media revenues comprise approximately 65% of the Conference's revenue distributions to its members.

We believe reversing UCLA's decision to leave the Pac-12 would offset more than half of the financial damage to UC Berkeley caused by both Los Angeles schools leaving because it would return Los Angeles, the second largest US TV market, to the Conference.

Beyond the financial impact, UCLA returning to the Pac-12 would create more stability that will ensure the future success and growth of both UCLA and UC Berkeley, along with all Pac-12 members. There is urgency in this situation, however. We are currently negotiating our next media rights deal and are soliciting bids with and without UCLA. If we are forced to sign a deal without UCLA, the financial harm will be locked in for years to come.

5. Significant negative impact on UC system's stated goal of reducing carbon emissions

A final concern relates back to the additional travel required of UCLA in joining the Big Ten and its impact on the overall stated climate goals of the UC system. UCLA's additional travel and carbon output resulting from a move to the Big Ten and the associated increased travel which by one recently published estimate will result in 1,788 tons of additional emissions per year will have a significant negative climate impact and runs counter to the efforts and investments of the UC system and directly contradictory to UCLA's public commitment to achieve climate neutrality by 2025.

For all the above reasons, and most importantly for the current and future generations of UCLA student-athletes, we would strongly support a decision by the UC Board of Regents to reverse the decision made by UCLA. I realize this brief letter only touches on questions you and your fellow Regents may have about the impact of UCLA's decision. If you would like to discuss it further or would like additional information, please feel free to contact me. In addition, I am available and would be happy to come testify in more detail at your convenience as the UC Board of Regents continues to review UCLA's decision.

Thank you for your consideration.

Best regards,

George Kiliavkoff



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