Thursday, May 25, 2017

Games UC Play

Right, wrong they just can't stop it:

Recall from May 2016 UC regents compliance and audit committee:
"Advising on Significant Transactions
■ We will provide input to management on the potential accounting impact and reporting
treatment for significant transactions such as ... UCLA’s sale of its royalty
interest connected with a leading prostate cancer medication, Xtandi to Royalty Pharma.
This will help management make informed decisions and eliminate surprises."

And, a headline "UCLA will get hundreds of millions for rights to prostate cancer drug - LA Times "

And, UC Regents Win Prostate Cancer Drug Rulings - Inside Higher Ed


"Battle over a pricey drug now engulfs the University of California - STAT News

Has this abstract:

"Dozens of advocacy groups are urging one of the largest American universities not to pursue a patent for a pricey cancer drug in India, opening another front in an ongoing battle over access to the medicine.

At issue is the Xtandi prostate cancer treatment, which was originally invented at the University of California, Los Angeles, and has become a flashpoint in a wider debate in the United States over the extent to which Americans should pay high prices for medicines that were developed, at least in part, with taxpayer dollars."
the full article requires subscription

Btw, UCOP and UC transparency in question, so
Cue a Leonhard article in NYT with the usual quotes from in house pro UC at UC Berkeley higher education researcher
...Sunday Review: The Assault on Colleges -- and the American Dream

-Then have UC staff promote said article,, rinse, repeat...
It is funny the UC Regents home page has this displayed:

California State Auditor's report
In late April, the California State Auditor's Office released its report entitled "University of California Office of the President - Administrative Expenditures

But that was not the title of the report.

The title of the report is:State Audit Report on UCOP: "The University of California Office of the President: Report 2016-130—It Failed to Disclose Tens of Millions in Surplus Funds, and Its Budget Practices Are Misleading"


"Never mind that feeding students with one hand and then slapping them with a fee increase with the other is "...

"Too many UC administrators make more than the governor"

..."Over the past five years, the number of UC administrators earning salaries in excess of $174,000 a year has nearly doubled — from 5,931 employees to 9,640. Today, there are 712 UC administrators, excluding faculty and physicians, who earn more than $190,103 — the salary we pay the governor.

This salary ballooning is even happening in the middle ranks, where a “director” of one department is suddenly named “executive director.” The inflated title comes with a substantial pay raise and the help of an “assistant director” making his or her own inflated salary.

During the great recession, after tuition was raised by 32 percent, low-wage workers were furloughed or fired and student admissions cut. But UC officials quietly handed out $100,000 pay raises to select administrators.

Unfortunately, UC is at it again, this time with a fall tuition increase that will raise another $143 million from students.

It seems UC President Janet Napolitano has forgotten her own words. In one of her first speeches as president, she told the Commonwealth Club of California in 2013 that she would “stay constantly on the prowl” for savings.

Now we learn from a state audit that the UC Office of the President has managed to secretly squirrel away $175 million in funds, much of it collected from fees assessed each of the 10 campuses. Only when pressed by The Chronicle did the office inform the public that the money is divided into separate pots — even one for food pantries to feed hungry students.

Never mind that feeding students with one hand and then slapping them with a fee increase with the other is "...
"To rein in the excessive spending and administrative inflation, I am authoring State Constitutional Amendment 13, a bill that will amend the state Constitution and force a recalcitrant UC to stick to a new budgetary constraint: No tuition increases can be implemented if the number of administrators making a salary above that paid to the governor exceeds 600. Right now, UC has 112 well-paid administrators beyond that ceiling."


The lack of serious questions from UC Regents to UCOP in open session on the 'whys,and how ' (like why did UCoP only offer that list of UC initiatives at the Sacramento hearing in April 2017 when the audit was approved last Spring 2016 and UCOP had from March- correction actual approval occurred in August 2016 to September 2016 before the launch of audit started to put it together, and UCOP had even all thru the active audit period to offer it, and UCOP also had even after the audit when response period from UC to CSA could have occurred prior to the audit being made public???) Why is the list only offered in a rush in Sacramento in late April 2017?! And why were the regents and UCOP self congratulating over their having spent from March5-15, 2017 finally working on those numbers?! why was that?)

seem to be exacting a toll of as yet unknown proportion:

An Editorial Board writes:
"Subpoena needed on UC financial deception"


Also see this new report out:

Full report:

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Fraises 'n Fresas UCD style...

See on the $2Bil strawberries/Aggies:
"In strawberry lawsuit, jury sides with UC Davis over former professor"

And Sac Bee

AP coverage:

Years later, and still incomplete


UC Berkeley Professor Fired After Sexual Harassment Investigation
"In May of 2016, a third complain was filed by a former undergraduate student who charged that Wentworth “immediately began using his position to pursue a personal relationship with her” after becoming her thesis adviser in October 2014.

Details of the fourth student harassment case involving Wentworth were not available."


Former campus professor dismissed after violating sexual harassment policy


UC Berkeley fires South Asian studies professor...



UC Berkeley professor fired nearly two years after sexual harassment claims substantiated
The Guardian

Latest on UC Middle Class Scholarship, more

See IHE on :

"In California, for instance, Governor Jerry Brown has proposed phasing out the state’s relatively new Middle Class Scholarship program, which is based on students’ family income levels.
That program, which first went into effect for the 2014-15 academic year, goes to students at the University of California and California State University systems. It was intended for students whose families make too much for them to qualify for other need-based financial aid programs but do not make enough to allow them to easily pay for college in a state with many regions where the cost of living is high.
The program was to be phased in over time, offering various amounts to students based in large part on their family income. Award amounts also varied based on the number of students eligible and amount of funding set aside in the state budget, but the awards could cover up to 40 percent of a student’s tuition and fees after being combined with other publicly funded financial aid awards. Currently, California students from families with annual income of up to $156,000 are eligible. An asset cap has also been added, preventing those with household assets of more than $156,000, not including primary homes and retirement accounts, to be eligible.
Brown, a Democrat, continued to call for phasing out the Middle Class Scholarship when he released a revised budget proposal this month. Doing so would save an estimated $115 million once the phaseout is complete. Some have objected, however. State Senator Janet Nguyen, who authored a bill to preserve the scholarship, issued a statement arguing that the Middle Class Scholarship program is a “financial lifeline” that is often the only state financial assistance available to students.
The program has provided aid to an average of 50,000 students annually over the last three years. Maximum award amounts have been climbing as the program was scaled up. In theory, the maximum possible award for a Cal State student this year was $1,644, and the maximum award for a UC student was $3,690. Average award amounts have been much lower in practice, however. Cal State students averaged an $800 award this year versus $1,107 for UC students, according to data posted in February.
More than 80 percent of the program’s 46,306 recipients go to the lower-cost Cal State institutions, which also tend to attract students from lower-income backgrounds than do UC institutions. In total, the program paid about $31.2 million to Cal State students and $8 million to UC students.
That’s a relatively small amount in comparison to the total financial aid Cal State students receive, said Dean Kulju, director of student financial aid services and programs at the system.
“Those numbers sound big taken for themselves, but keep in mind that overall total financial assistance from all sources for us is $4.1 billion -- with a ‘b,’” he said.
The number of Cal State students receiving money through the Middle Class Scholarship program is also dwarfed by the number receiving money from the state’s Cal Grant program, which covers students from lower-income families. The Cal Grant income limit for a family of four was $90,500 in the most recent year -- which may seem like a solidly middle-class income if not for the fact that it can be extremely expensive to house a family in California. About 121,000 Cal State students received Cal Grants last year.
Kulju hopes to see the Middle Class Scholarship continued, but with some changes. Right now, students are not told until the summer if they are receiving an award. But students make enrollment deposits months before that. If they learned about their awards earlier, students would be able to factor them into their college choices, he said.
Still, it is too soon to judge the program’s overall effectiveness, Kulju said.
“So far, there’s not enough of a track record to see if it’s truly impactful and the most effective way to go about this for families,” Kulju said. “The budget hawks would argue that it’s still a however-many-hundred-million-dollar drain on the state general funds. Those funds could be used elsewhere.”
Recipients of the Middle Class Scholarship have tended to skew toward its upper income limits. The program makes a small amount of awards to low-income families -- 13 percent of its recipients came from families with household incomes of $50,000 or less. But the bulk of its recipients are from families earning more than six figures. Slightly more than half, 51 percent, fell into the household income brackets between $100,000 and $156,000 this year. Only 36 percent earned between $50,000 and $100,000.
Many would rather see the state use the money dedicated to the Middle Class Scholarship to shore up California’s other student aid programs. The Middle Class Scholarship was not designed to benefit the students who need the most help, said Debbie Cochrane, vice president of the Institute for College Access and Success, a nonprofit that wants to make higher education available for students from more backgrounds.
When Brown proposed eliminating the Middle Class Scholarship, the idea was that doing so would protect the Cal Grant program, Cochrane said.
“If you’re going to choose between those two things, that’s the right priority,” Cochrane said of choosing the Cal Grant program.
Brown is also proposing to stop a scheduled reduction in Cal Grant money going to private colleges. But it’s too early to tell whether that is a net positive for students, Cochrane said.
Preparing for the Next Downturn
The discussions in California fit into a national landscape"

See the article here
Difficult to forget that 'U C hypocrites, I See hypocrites' chant, yelled, on signs etc all around the UC Regents meeting this month, with that in mind, consider the UCOP pivot away from the discussion of UCOP itself-as you read here:

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

UC Regents' Responsibility For the Results, updated

See new coverage with more detail etc:

California lawmakers move to take control of UC president’s budget
"a constitutional amendment Tuesday that would, if passed by the Legislature, ask voters whether Napolitano’s office should keep its full budget autonomy."
..."The Assembly, meanwhile, is pushing a budget measure that adopts Howle’s oversight recommendation — by requiring the Legislature to directly fund the UC president’s office. The funding would give lawmakers oversight and control over how the UC president’s office spends those funds. The office would no longer collect campus fees, which give it exclusive control over how to spend that money.
Specifically, the Assembly budget proposal would set aside $296.4 million in the state budget for Napolitano’s office in the upcoming fiscal year that begins July 1 and another $52.4 million for UC Path, the university’s over-budget and behind-schedule payroll and human resources system. In addition, lawmakers want to examine existing programs in Napolitano’s office to identify $59 million that could instead be used to increase enrollment by 5,000 California undergraduates and 900 graduate students between 2018 and 2020.
The Assembly’s budget proposal unanimously passed its first committee Tuesday. It’s expected to be taken up Thursday by the Assembly’s full Budget Committee"...


How Gov. Jerry Brown can force change fastest at UC
The San Diego Union-Tribune


See the full piece:

"Instead of simply trying to get to the truth of the way UCOP has been acting, most of the regents spent a great deal of time praising President Napolitano and each other. What they failed to examine was why and how UCOP interfered with the audit, and if UCOP was hiding money and actions from the regents themselves. Moreover, no one asked why the campuses changed their reviews of UCOP: were the campus leaders afraid or were they coerced? We still do not know the direct role of Napolitano in any of this, and it is likely that the state will continue to investigate the situation, and the truth will eventually emerge.

As I have been arguing for years, the main problem with the leaders of the university system is that they are not focused on the central mission of discovering and communicating truth through modern methods of education and science. Their main concern is to keep the system running and to maintain its reputational excellence. Instead of trying to discover the truth of its own operations, the regents and UCOP decided to blame the media for focusing on salacious details of the auditor’s report. Some regents also tried attacking the state auditor and the legislature, and this strategy should remind us of another president – the one who is currently running the country."...

And this expert opinion:
UC regents must take responsibility for independent audits of UC
"The regents, through their Audit and Compliance Committee chaired by Regent Charlene Zettel, must ensure that the audit staff they appoint is focused on auditing UC management. As a public institution, the university should require GAO’s Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards — standards followed by the state auditor and by city auditors in San Jose, Palo Alto, Berkeley, Sacramento, Oakland, Long Beach and San Francisco. This would ensure the credibility of the audits and the independence of the auditors. It would also reduce “non-audit services” performed by auditors following standards from the Institute of Internal Auditors, the current practice."

State senator to introduce a constitutional amendment to limit UC's 138-year-old autonomy

"To broaden representation on the UC Board of Regents, the bill would expand membership and voting rights to the California Community Colleges chancellor, three more students, two faculty members and a staff member. Regents’ terms would be reduced from 12 years to four — although reappointment to as many as three terms would be possible. The UC president would lose voting rights and become a non-voting regent."

And see this archive, 'the $59 billion budget is more than twice as large as the university's':

But where were the UC Regents to make sure that acumen was used to resolve the problems at UCOP that were clearly detailed out for them over a decade ago? Or??

Monday, May 22, 2017

Brown Supports Schwarzenegger Dominant Imprint on the UC Regents?

Those closely following UC Regents ask this all the time...(and in the context of Arnold relationship with USC)

Why does Brown leave multiple UC Regents vacancies open for years while Arnold appointees take leadership positions (chair control of the most powerful finance, compliance, governance, committees on the future of UC type committees etc) on the UC Regents year after year?- in this July a Schwarzenegger appointee will chair the UC Regents, keep that in mind as you read:
Gov "Brown could overhaul the UC Regents"
But unanswered in that article:
How does the Gov feel about his UC Regents reappointmens,ya know- the ones who served as chair of the UC Regents after those painful Dynes years when UCOP promised reforms and U C Regents said they would do things differently but now we find the ops situation at UCOP in the present day virtually the same bad state-- Napolitano briefly referenced 2007 events in her opening remarks to the board last Wednesday... Is that a sign she now is willing to look at that history and look at operations through that lens and why didn't she do so from the beginning? The previous UC Regents chairs apparently were not willing to tackle it, or didn't know how...

Also to consider gubernatorially: Will he/can he make himself a 12 year UC Regent on his way out of his last term? He enjoys his alumni status to Yale, Does he still want a connection to UC (other than that seemingly fraught alum relationship with UC Berkeley) to continue on- or is Yale his arnoldversion of USC?