Friday, February 27, 2015

A Different Kind of LLP

Daily Cal: UC maintains AA bond rating, reflecting stable financial outlook

The report highlighted potential plans to expand the UC Merced campus, which could affect the university’s credit profile. The goal of the expansion would be to increase enrollment of the UC system’s newest and smallest undergraduate campus from 6,000 to 10,000 students by 2020. The proposed plans have not yet been approved by the UC Board of Regents.


At: recent Sacto hearing - scroll toward middle of the home page to see video on a recent CA joint legislative audit that included discussion of non resident and CA resident enrollment at UC below - the topic/practice of CA residents being offered admission to UC Merced (instead of the applicant's other 'higher ranked UC campus preference') and the low rate of acceptance of those offers to UC Merced came up in hearings in Sacramento on UC admissions and budget. Keep that in mind as you read that excerpt above in that story from Daily Cal...

In Sacto there was good explanation given etc- it is a new campus, has to grow, amenities questions etc.
Asking too much of a new campus?
When the other campuses were starting out did they have the same pressures?
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Fox & Hounds gives a good synopsis of some parts of that Sacto hearing, here: Assembly Subcommittee Flunks UC Budget
including this hot button issue:
Most of the testimony from witnesses at the meeting, with the exception of the UC representative, contended UC is not spending its money wisely or transparently. Paul Golaszewski, principal fiscal and policy analyst at the Legislative Analyst’s Office, led off by taking issue with UC’s contention that its professors are underpaid.
“We looked at data on faculty recruitment and retention over a number of years and concluded that it appeared that at the salary levels and the compensation levels they were offering, they had a very low turnover rate for faculty, something like 2 percent a year,” Golaszewski said. “It appeared that they were still able to get the types of faculty that they needed.”
He told the committee that it’s hard to know exactly what UC professors are doing to earn their salaries.
“Faculty workload data is much more difficult to come by,” he said. “We do have data on the student-to-faculty ratio. But that’s not telling you how much faculty are teaching. The University doesn’t track that data, the federal government doesn’t track that data. So that’s an area you might want to drill down and get a better understanding moving on.”


- A question arises: How do those UC profit sharing circles work if they "don't track that data"?
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There is some drama for a UC Regent these days:

If board ‘disruptions’ continue, LBCC President Eloy Ortiz Oakley says he may leave

“Unfortunately, disruptions at the governing board level have caused the college to lose focus and shift human resources to respond to the disruptive nature of the board’s functioning,” President Eloy Ortiz Oakley wrote to the Board of Trustees in a Feb. 17 memo obtained by the Press-Telegram. “The disruptions have led to several key executive team members, including myself, to consider other professional opportunities.”

and
The team said in its report that noncompliance issues related to morale, raised in previous reviews, were “found to be resolved,” but also recommended that the college address “communication problems and increase transparency and trust.”

The team said in its report that trust is “unacceptably low amongst nearly all campus groups” and the biggest issue impacting morale “was the state fiscal crisis resulting in faculty and staff cuts, program eliminations and furloughs.”

and
Oakley wrote that the work the college leadership and board has done over the past five years has placed LBCC as a state and national leader when it comes to policies that lawmakers are pushing in higher education. He added that his leadership and the work of the board is why Gov. Jerry Brown appointed him to UC Board of Regents, why LBCC was invited by the White House to present at two college opportunity summits, and why “President Obama also borrowed from the LBCC playbook by launching America’s College Promise in January.”


There seems to be some affinity b/ween the Pres and the Pres of the UC Regents on other topics, too...
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There's - No words
just Genesis

and "Pure Energy"

and Pure energy?
and
(L)ive
(L)ong and
(P)rosper

Thursday, February 26, 2015

US Senate Task Force on Federal Regulation of Higher Education -- Recalibrating Regulation of Colleges and Universities

Here is a link to the Report: US Senate Task Force on Federal Regulation of Higher Education -- Recalibrating Regulation of Colleges and Universities (144 pages)
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see Inside Higher Ed: With Deregulatory Slant, A Higher Ed Act Push

But some Democrats as well as consumer and student groups have pushed back against the report, saying its recommendations would undermine key protections for students.
Senator Patty Murray of Washington, the top Democrat on the Senate education committee, said that colleges must be run effectively and efficiently but worried about removing important rules to hold institutions accountable.
“It would be a mistake to roll back important protections for faculty, students and families,” she said.
Murray singled out federal regulations in the Clery Act and Title IX that govern sexual assault on college campuses.
“We shouldn’t move in the wrong direction by unraveling these core protections that provide students with a safe learning environment,” she said.

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Baltimore Sun: Universities Press Congress for Fewer Rules
"We are alarmed … that the task force's report suggests that current federal regulations and policies governing the response of [universities] to crimes predominantly affecting women students are too burdensome or complex," the group wrote in a statement. "We cannot stress enough that now is not the time to lessen federal oversight designed to protect students from violence."
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Vanderbilt Chancellor Tangles With Sen. Elizabeth Warren During Higher Ed Cost Discussion

here is Vanderbilt's version
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VIDEO HERE: US Senate Full Committee Hearing - Recalibrating Regulation of Colleges and Universities: A Report from the Task Force on Government Regulation of Higher Education

Chair Alexander starts off by talking about a 'Boston consulting firm' - is it that Cal Op Ex firm?

{C-SPAN, which usually has better video quality, states here: "This video was obtained from the Congressional Committee's website and may be encoded at a different quality than C‑SPAN uses for hearings covered with its own cameras. Also, the video might not start at the beginning of the hearing and much of the data normally added to C‑SPAN.org for committee hearings may not be available."}


The written report runs about 144 pages and the video hearing runs almost two hours.


A Lack Of Inclusion. "Oddly Dictatorial" or Gubernatorial or? Editing content of UC Regents Meeting Archive.

Daily Cal with coverage of: Anita Hill delivers the closing keynote address of the National Conference on Campus Sexual Assault and Violence in Wheeler Auditorium on Wednesday. Survivors of sexual harassment and assault placed colored sheets of paper with quotes on the steps outside and criticized the lack of inclusion at the conference.
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Another angle on how tuition policy is implemented/handled here:

UCSD The Tuition Game

Finally, it seems oddly dictatorial that Napolitano’s office can arbitrarily issue a stay of tuition increases after the regents voted to approve it. Although Napolitano herself did propose the tuition increase plan, it was required to go through a vote before it could become official. For her to be able to stop and start it at will brings a sense of uncertainty to all students, especially since a single person seems to be in charge of the price of their education.

The mishandling of the University of California’s finances ranges from irresponsible, like unjustified pay raises for chancellors, to borderline criminal, like the UC SHIP fiasco. Raising tuition by such an exorbitant amount is a burden on those who didn’t create the UC system’s financial troubles. A better, though unlikely, first step might be cutting down the six-figure salaries drawn from our tuition money.


-Is it "dictatorial" -or just old gubernatorial habit... in a state that already has an elected Gov?
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also see coverage accompanying audio clip here: this post "Listen to the Feb. 20, 2015 Meeting of the Regents' Committee on Investments"

"A demonstration occurred which was largely removed from the official recording."

Why did the UC Regents archive edit out the protest at the UC Regents Committee on Investments meeting? Usually, at UCSF where UC Regents full board meetings occur, that content leading up to clearing the meeting room is left in for context. Usually, UCSF also leaves in the statement UC Regents make prior to clearing the room -leaving open the question of whether or not that now standard UC Regent statement was read out to that UCLA room of attendees. There seems to be different rules at different campuses on editing UC Regents meeting archive ...btw this post "Listen to the Feb. 20, 2015 Meeting of the Regents' Committee on Investments" mentions former UC CFO Peter Taylor attended as a 'guest' -- and looks like he also is listed as a member of the UC Regents investment advisory group membership -unless that last name listed now stands for a different "Taylor" -- the agenda documents don't list full names of committee members and advisors... and he sits on one of the UC Foundation boards, too. The foundations are part of the reporting in the meeting etc.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

“For (the campus) to act as a role model in this conference is insulting," - updated

see: Students Demonstrate In Opposition to UC Berkeley’s Handling of National Conference On Campus Sexual Violence
With the exception of the closing keynote address, the conference is not open to the media.

and also see:
San Jose Mercury News: UC Berkeley Sex Assault Conference Draws Student Protest


This week, as university and civic leaders convene at UC Berkeley for a national conference on campus sexual assault, they will encounter a presentation that was not vetted by the event organizers -- the victims' unflattering view of Berkeley's handling of sexual assault cases.

Students organizing a Wednesday evening protest -- which will feature unsupportive quotes that rape victims attribute to administrators and others after reporting their attacks -- say UC Berkeley should fix its own problems before presenting itself as a leader in the movement against campus rape.

One such quotation, allegedly made by an administrator: "How many times did you say no?"


It's funny how Sac Bee gives the event coverage-for the pols involved- but doesn't mention that media are not allowed to attend, cover content.
But there is also this in it:
the California Part-Time Faculty Association, representing about 40,000 community college instructors, will be at the Capitol for a protest and lobby day calling for improved working conditions, starting at 11 a.m. on the north steps.

Lecturers and graduate student instructors at University of California campuses in Berkeley, Los Angeles, Santa Cruz and San Diego are also holding rallies, teach-ins and marches throughout the day.


and 'about a third': A majority of voters said lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown should spend unexpected increases in state revenue on K-12 education. About a third picked higher education for more money, while less than a third chose transportation, health care and other programs.

Half of voters now think the state is moving in the right direction, while 41 percent say it’s on the wrong track.

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and, this Campus Leaders Address ‘Painful’ Budget Cuts, Other Changes At Staff Forum
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and this late breaking: UC Berkeley Built A Parking Garage Right Where Its Students Play Field Hockey
The field hockey players were told during the fall 2013 semester they would lose their field at the end of the season so the school could build a parking garage. UC Berkeley promised the players a new field, but didn't start construction on it until earlier this month. The university did build a replacement field in spring 2014, but it used the wrong kind of turf. The men's football and lacrosse teams can use that field, and indeed are doing so, but the women's field hockey team has to play on the turf of their rival, Stanford University -- an hour's drive away, on the other side of the Bay Area.

Athletes say the extra two hours of travel time per practice has cut into their sleep schedules and forced some of them to drop classes. Plus, the students say, it's degrading to have to play on their rival's home field.

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SF Chron has given some SFGate blog space to: Sex assault victims to protest Cal’s huge sex assault confab Wednesday

UC Berkeley invited 80 speakers to its two-day conference on campus sexual assault this week — including Anita Hill — yet found room for only one of the 31 Cal students who filed the federal complaints that brought national attention to the problem.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

"Of all the places Napolitano could have made her announcement, she chose to do so in a lecture at the University of Southern California — just 30 minutes from one of her UC campuses."

Daily Cal: UC Opted For Poor Context To Announce Tuition Hike Delay
Napolitano’s statement came across as a political move to appease Brown and appear as a calculated negotiator. And the university could not have chosen a worse context in which to make the announcement.

and
There was no press release, no university-wide email, no information packet. Unlike the fanfare of reports the university released after creating the tuition-increase plan, the determination to delay it was taciturn. That’s not to say the message didn’t get out, but that her decision to announce something so momentous for so many students in front of people who held no stake in the matter was a mistake. It came across as unforthcoming. It came across as out of touch.


(and then consider the staging of her Anita Hill talk at Berkeley set for tomorrow and it can feel like there's been some cynical, purely political, and calculated planning for the use- or lack of use- of UC campuses as mere venues, 'staging' of her talks, it's unfortunate.)
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(Kept thinking of then-VP Gore and that superfund cleanup policy while reading this...for some reason- would it need that kind of cleanup?) see: LA Times on UC Berkeley's Richmond Field Station and some hopes to make it an international partnership campus -or maybe wait out the opposition to having nat'l labs there

Dirks has pitched the idea to overseas universities during trips abroad, including recently at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. His staff says that some announcements about partnerships are expected in the spring and that some programs could get underway in 2017; they declined to release specifics.

Previous plans for the site collapsed amid funding problems and concerns about pollution remaining from a long-departed blasting caps and explosives factory there.

Three years ago, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a federally funded and UC-administered energy center, proposed making the Richmond property its second campus. But federal funding dried up, and Dirks said he went "back to the drawing board" and switched to the Global Campus idea. UC regents last spring approved a long-range plan that can accommodate either.

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Remaking the University: The High Price of a Public Authority in Wisconsin
- like a port? not like a port?

update on archive of the UC Regents Committee on Investments February 20 meeting saga

You can now view 'saved for one year video' of the meeting at:

http://bcasts.oid.ucla.edu/bcmedia/static-content/ucregents/ucregents-20150220/Default.html
- the picture is shrunk and the slides look fuzzier as compared to the live stream- but there it is...

The section leading into the discussion on building the business case for a private management arrangement for UC investments mentioned earlier- see specifically at the 02:04:00 mark
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Also UCLA Faculty Blog on it.
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Also noticed in passing: area of concern on UC archiving, see 'approved actions' section of UC Regents: and click on the links there for the the UC Regents finance committee approved actions for March 2014 and May of 2014... it just brings up an error message on both:"File not found Sorry, the page you requested was not found. We have recently redesigned the Board of Regents website, so the file may have been moved. Please use navigation or search to find what you need."

Do the UC Regents minutes capture all that happened in the approved actions links including the General Counsel approved actions that happen during Finance Committee?

Also, in looking at the UCLA website listing UC Regents Committee on Investments -- it looks like the listed meetings have date stamps that are not consistent:
12/10/2014 listed at UCLA
-but

not consistent : with the UCOP UC Regents meetings archive links
December 1 December 1 > Agenda December 1 > Video

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There's this from Keep California's Promise: February 2015 Assembly Budget Committee Presentation on UC is Misleading

Monday, February 23, 2015

Doesn't it seem strange?

They still haven't cracked the code on providing student services parity? Even though Berkeley has historically had a good percentage each year of what used to be called 'non traditional' or 're-entry' or 'independent status' students: Campus Independent Students Discuss Financial Aid, Social Support At Town Hall Meeting
“Many independent students deal with significant bureaucratic blocks when seeking financial aid help,” Mullen said.

Mullen and Abril said that unlike some of their peers, independent students have unique challenges. Additionally, finding a financial aid counselor who knows how to understand the kinds of issues independent students are dealing with and how to resolve them is difficult, Abril said.

“What we are trying to do from the town halls is make students visible,” Mullen said.

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and also at Daily Cal: Unionized UC Berkeley Workers Rally Against New Pay Calculations

According to Jean Day, president of the local UPTE union chapter, under the new contract, union employees will be paid for eight fewer hours per year. Mason said this change, while small, was not agreed to by the unions, and Day said the unions consider this a “violation of past practice.”

Employees from the UC Student-Workers Union were not affected by the alleged reduction in paid hours. Day said UPTE is facing the same issues as the Teamsters Local 2010 members.

Adding to their grievances is the systemwide change from paper timesheets to a new system known as “CalTime,” which demonstrator Marchella Thomas said is not easy to use.


and includes:

Teamsters Local 2010 said in a press release that the goals of this rally were not only to educate the public on the employees’ grievances with the UC system but also to highlight the pay that UC employees receive. According to a recent Economic Policy Institute study cited in the press release, 80 percent of the union’s members are not paid enough to live in the cities in which their campuses reside.

Why should it be a surprise? Remember these articles:

SF Biz Jrnl: UC Berkeley Hasn't Quite Mastered Marriage of Time and Money

and this post on: University of California’s $220 Million Payroll Project Reboot

So, it is no surprise that this came up recently in this post:
There is no reliable method for delineating these expenditures on a systemwide basis, nor is there a suitable proxy to use to estimate them. Therefore, the University is unable to respond to this portion of the request.”
and
“the University’s accounting and information systems do not readily allow for the disaggregation of educational expenditures requested in the AB 94 language and funding is neither appropriated to the University of California by level of student nor by discipline, nor spent that way on the campuses. Faculty are paid to teach both undergraduate and graduate students as well as perform other functions related to the research and public service missions of the University and their salaries are not apportioned across these activities. Similarly, staff perform support functions affecting students of all levels and disciplines. These expenses are not categorized on the basis of what level of student may benefit or their field of study.”

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Could this next article also be about the continuing CA Leg. questions raised around UC's AB 94 Compliance?
Term of Interim Dean of Undergraduate Studies Bob Jacobsen Extended

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There's: "Campus leaders featured at the roundtable, sponsored by the Berkeley Staff Assembly, are Cathy Koshland (vice chancellor, undergraduate education), John Wilton (vice chancellor, administration and finance) and Jeannine Raymond (assistant vice chancellor, human resources)." Vice Provost Andrew Szeri (strategic academic and facilities planning) will moderate. Staff have been invited to submit questions.

Strange- Why aren't staff moderating their own event? How does a staff group "sponsor" something they have no content control over?

Why aren't the Title IX and the Campus Climate administrators in any of it- "featured at the roundtable"? If 'Opinion: It's Time To Transform Our Campus Climate" work is so important... BTW- is the position in that piece that 'the climate' is just created solely by students?
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Why is it that the only event for this on campus is the very final closing event featuring Anita Hill talk at Wheeler (for this supposed "National Conference" on -they don't want to call it Title IX and Clery compliance and instead want to just call it- "Campus Sexual Assault & Violence" --with heavy spin to just focus it solely on students-on-students behavior and hold the event away from the majority of students... Is it all 'off-campus' because they don't want a large cross section of students and staff around?

If something is important you give space to it.
If something is truly important the administration gives On Campus space to it.
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and, if you are an institution that claims to be public and claims to desire public support - you commit to timely and complete archive of your public meetings... see Daily Bruin here