Friday, December 31, 2010

"If UC Is Perceived As Untrustworthy"

Read the rest of UC Berkeley's Dean of Boalt Chris Edley's comments here. Someone should show him the list on the right-- he is a little late to the game.

To the RIGHT
To the RIGHT

(here's Beyonce's Irreplaceable)

and this in today's headlines
''No matter what we pay people, it is never enough and they always find something to complain about.''
from the newspaper at one of the greatest places to spend New Year's Eve - (they are talking about the same make, same model).

Quick resolution? No way-- UC management thinks we should let this powder keg pot stew for a few more months:
"Regent George Kieffer, who serves on the compensation committee, said the issue won't be addressed by the board until its March meeting in San Francisco."
-- that's gonna be helpful to the UC image and the UC community...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Introducing New UC Regent David Crane?

"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger named one of his top economic advisers Thursday to the governing board of the University of California, which has been rocked in recent years by California's budget crisis.

David Crane, 57, was named to fill the UC regents seat vacated by Joanne Kozberg. Crane, who will not receive a salary, must be confirmed by the Senate for a term to expire in March 2022.

Crane, a Democrat, has served as special adviser to the Republican governor on jobs and economic growth since 2004. He also has been a board member of the California High-Speed Rail Authority and the Commission on Economic Development.

Crane is a former partner in the global investment firm Babcock & Brown. He earned a law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. He also holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan.

"I look forward to working with the Regents to ensure access to a high-quality and affordable education for California's students," he said.

you can read the full SacBee article on Crane here

also: "He has criticized the California Public Employees' Retirement System for not disclosing important information to the Legislature before it voted to substantially increase pension benefits for state employees a decade ago. He repeatedly said the retirement benefit structure is unsustainable."
and here is the latest on plans for the Brown inauguration on Monday hopefully, there are going to be soy dogs and garden burgers there too.
Patty Fisher at SJ Mercury News wrote a a pretty good piece on the UC 36 issue.

Low Balling

Why did the UC 36 chose this specific wording in their letter?

"more than 200"

and SF Chron said:

"Forcing resolution in the courts will put 200 of the University's most senior, most visible current and former executives and faculty leaders in public contention with the President and the Board," they wrote.

"The difference would be significant for the more than 200 UC employees who currently earn more than $245,000."

There likely are significantly more than 200 employees earning $245,000+ per year in the UC system. Why pick the phrase "the more than 200" -- why pick the number "200"-- and why isn't the press or UCOP providing us with an accurate confirmed number for employees who fit that criteria of earning more than $245,000 when covering this story?

One would think a reporter would ask UCOP directly "how many employees do you have who earn more than $245,000 annually?" and include it in the coverage.

One would not seek or wait for a confirmed answer on that from the UC 36- who have refused to grant interviews or provide further statements to the press. It might be interesting to ask them -- but really a reporter would directly ask UCOP that question and provide readers and viewers with that answer as part of coverage of the story, don't ya think?

Why hasn't a confirmed figure from UCOP or the UC Regents office been reported in the coverage?

Yet, they can provide a $51 million and $5.1 million figures here and in other news papers - how is that calculation made?

Are they hiding behind curtailment? They have given quotes during previous curtailments for other major events.

Or, are all Californians suppposed to operate on Regent Meetings time and wait for the answer? Bain,ScottMadden, Huron Consulting etc. should likely have this confirmed info at their fingertips (if UCOP does not have it) as part of their Operational Excellence data.

according to this salary database
here are the rough numbers for those making more than $400,000
merced 0
riverside 0
ucsc 0
ucsb 1
berkeley 7
ucop 12
davis 48
irvine 55
ucsd 65
ucsf 86
la 108
Total for this group: 382
here are the rough numbers for those making more than $300,000
merced 1
sc 1
riverside 2
sb 11
ucop 28
berkeley 47
irvine 132
davis 155
sd 179
sf 296
LA 378
Total for this group: 1230

here are the rough numbers for those making more than $245,000

merced 7
sc 30
riverside 66
ucop 74
sb 110
berkeley 379
irvine 397
davis 552
sd 629
sf 931
LA 1172
Total number for this group: 4347

This does not make distinctions for base pay, extra pay,`covered compensation'- its just rough numbers -- but the total for each group is significantly higher than "200" - we'll see- if/when we get detailed answers.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Phuck 'em!

This is what "blowback" really looks like.
UC Execs' Demand For More Benefits Angers Many
(amazing quotes from Sacramento, and potential donors to UC from Carmel,and other alumni)

Gov.-elect Jerry Brown, state lawmakers and others minced few words Wednesday in condemning high-paid executives at the University of California who are threatening to sue UC unless it spends millions of dollars to increase their pensions.

"These executives seem very out of touch at a time when the state is contemplating billions of dollars in reductions that will affect people who are far less advantaged," Brown said.

MUST WATCH!: Michael Finney, our favorite consumer reporter, covered the story here in video on ABC Local- boos, hisses, and caterwauling from the outraged live SF - Bay Area audience.

An editorial from the SF Chron UC Execs Tone Deaf On Pension Request

Here's additional interesting coverage (from SignOnSanDiego)

Some in LA are predicting Clash of The Titans at the next Regents Meeting

Huffington Post gave the story some weird, obtuse coverage (but their college section has devolved mostly into a College Crime and Obituary section rather than in depth coverage of higher ed issues imo.)

Gasstationwithoutpumps is reading the scene the same way we are.

The "thirty-six" originally wrote in their letter:

"However, forcing resolution in the courts will put 200 of the university's most senior, most visible current and former executives and faculty leaders in public contention with the president and the board."

- Well, it is currently in the court of public opinion and exposing the public contention between the parties anyway - along with a major loss to the image of UC no matter how you look at it. Perhaps they don't care about it, shouldn't they? Aren't they supposed to care about the UC image as part of their executive jobs?

They also wrote "We write not only as university leaders who counted on (the change) in our own retirement planning," they said, "but also as executives who will be recruiting the next generation of university senior management."

- and many are openly wondering and saying "maybe we don't want people like this doing the recruiting of the next generation of UC senior management- for obvious reasons. It would ensure a tin eared senior administration for future generations of faculty, staff, students. Why would we want that to happen?

(Still waiting for an on the record quote from UC on how many in the system who make $245,000 or more. If anyone has a source- other than the salary databases we've already cited- with that info that we can link to please send it in a comment.)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

"Nor is there reason to believe that there are significant wasteful expenditures within the UC system. "

Erwin Chemerinsky is dean of the UC Irvine School of Law, he said this:
"Nor is there reason to believe that there are significant wasteful expenditures within the UC system. " you can read his piece here.

That quote (by a dean) does not help make the case for UC Irvine's controversial new law school or securing its hoped for future prestige.
We need Deans who can look at waste, fraud and abuse news stories and confront the problems and implement real solutions-- not obfuscate, brush off real problems, spin. (There seems to be a run on weak puff piece editorials by UC Irvine Deans in the LA Times this week.)
Please, with due respect, read the articles to your right, Mr. Chemerinsky then come back to us with something of substance. Perhaps also give a legal opinion on this story on one of your UC Irvine colleagues:
UC Irvine Doctor arrested in Calif. fertility scandal
15 births resulted from improper egg transfers; $1 million in billings hidden

Maybe no problem there either...
But we would really love to hear a UC law school dean talk about this news from last year-2009- where we find out that UC paid out $24 million dollars to some of these patients
"UC Irvine settles lawsuits of stolen eggs, embryos"
and there is a section in that story that we can't get out of our minds about current UC Irvine faculty who worked at the center and continue to work at UC Irvine:

"Whistle-blowers said the university had ignored early warnings and tried to cover-up problems. Attorney Dan Hodes, who represented the couples, said many felt the medical misconduct went unpunished. "The individual doctors who the evidence suggested were most at fault got off without any recrimination at all," he said."

and this chilling comment left by a reader on the LA Times coverage of this story:

"This scandal is only one of many (illegal liver transplants, black market sales of cadaever tissue and bones) at UCI Medical Center, and recently, the apprehension of a physician who charted medical records describing the surgical outcomes of his patients -who hadn't yet had the surgery. What is not really discussed is their cover-up system and what they do to whistleblowers at UCI. Arrogance trumps ethics, and the excessively overpaid administrators will keep their dodgy system working exactly the way it always has done. Is it more dangerous to be a patient there or to be a whistleblower? (Oh, yes, what happened to the nurse who tried to prevent overdoses of pain medication caused by infusion pump malfunctions? -FIRED
Posted by: Orangey | December 28, 2010 at 11:52 AM"

One is left feeling very concerned for the employees of UC Irvine who courageously speak up when something is wrong--what happens to them? In such a climate is it really possible for any member of such a community to assert "Nor is there reason to believe that there are significant wasteful expenditures within the UC system."?

Dean Chemerinsky agreed to represent Valerie Plame Wilson, the C.I.A. operative exposed by the Bush administration. We hope he takes these comments about whistle blowing at UC Irvine seriously. Perhaps he has to enter the bash and scapegoat the CA legislature game in order to ingratiate himself to a campus administration that was less than welcoming to him at first.
Likely can't talk about it- UCOP and the Chancellors really only want to hear you say one thing: "CA Legislature Give Us More Money! Now!" - that's it.
No matter how much the LA Times tries to sell the Dean's opinion piece and focus only on the legislature's shortcomings-- the facts seem to tell us that the waste, fraud, abuse and- oh, "the mediocrity" the Dean is so concerned about occurring at UC- they are here already.
We need people with comprehensive solutions -not short opinion pieces which are simple demands for more funding!

(Sadly ironic that according to the LA Times, one of the doctors in the scandal, Ricardo Asch, is represented by Eliel Chemerinski- "To return him to the United States to face the same charge would constitute “double jeopardy,’’ Chemerinski argues in a court filing opposing extradition." We wonder if counsel is a distant relative of Dean Chemerinsky?)

And, finally, it is not just about waste.
It is also about a real debate on whether UC is either:
1-a land grant public higher ed university system created for California.
2-a multinational conglomerate
UCOP, the Regents, and campus administration seem not to be sure.
many thanks to University Diaries for leading us to the Chemerinsky article.

UC Regents Trying To Buy and Sell CA State Buildings While UC Buildings Fall Apart

See this story to find out the latest - which details UC Regent Blum's involvement.

Read this previous post on UC Regent Makerachian's involvement in the state buildings buy deals.

To get a deeper understanding of what it could mean for Californians and American interests check out this Huffington Post article "Could a California Budget Fix Threaten National Security?".

Finally, take a look at this tv news report on how these same UC Regents expect the state to pay for maintenance of UC buildings and about the shocking unsafe state of some of those buildings- they want money from their "fickle, unreliable partner" for that maintenance.

If you also take a look at the UC President's ,Chancellors' housing "arrangements" and the slush fund for it; the in house low interest "loans" to the UC elite etc. --you will have a pretty good sense of what is going on in terms of the high value property UC owns and how it is managed or mismanaged.

Will the UC Regents next agree that if selling buildings is good for the state then shouldn't it also be good for UC?
Will they move to sell the Chancellors' homes no one wants to live in? or sell the UC President's home Blake House that the UC Pres does not want to live in?
Then, will they move to sell academic dept buildings and library buildings?
How is this good for Californians and UC in the long term?

an update in today's headlines:
Court Thwarts Schwarzenegger's Plan To Sell Buildings
but we still need answers on the Regents involvement imo

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Hasta La Vista Baby, Arnold's exit interview with the LA Times mentions higher ed

You can listen to it here click on the dark grey bar labeled "Public Schools and Universities". (The headline: "Arnold Schwarzenegger’s exit interview with The Times’ editorial board: Goodbye Hollywood, California and slow-moving legislators! Hello environmental policy and Washington?" perhaps Charlie Crist will join that DC green effort too-- oy vey.)

Take special note of the visuals - that picture of the LA Times editorial board at that table with the Governator-ah, the diversity?!-- the same ones chortling in the background when Arnie makes disparaging remarks about the legislature. Consider this next time you read an editorial produced by that body.
(Do the google on "Kaplan and Washington Post" if you want to see how these players - higher ed and media/ the supposed fourth estate -can interact with each other. Think it is different for public? We wonder - what would Katherine Graham say today?)

"... and asked whether he thought public schools and universities had been adequately protected, to which Schwarzenegger offered a warning to the Legislature."

Love Arnold's quote: "you know the transparency and all that kinda stuff"
(Dear Arnie, please just read the headlines in the right hand column- just go down the list and read the headlines aloud, you don't even have to read the articles- read the headlines aloud for comprehension if you must. It is not just about a raise for a professor as you said in your interview... it is about so much more!)

And if you don't recall how CA Governors, UC Regents and UC Newspapers can sometimes interact and spar:

Judge Allows Suit Targeting Governor and UC Regents
Court: ACLU says open-meeting law was violated before affirmative action vote. Phone calls by Wilson are at issue.

Take a look at this very long- but worthwhile article/primer on CA budget history and the election: "2010 Jerry Brown Odyssey" by William Bradley.

Also, for what it's worth, Lord Wakeham and Vince Cable- two figures on the British Higher Ed scene are intriguing- check 'em out for yourself.

In the spirit of the season I will share Chancellor Birgeneau's Christmas/Holiday card we received- you can listen to it here but the Campanile bells sound best live and in person walking west from campus with a view of the bay, The City and the Golden Gate Bridge. (Some folks just never come to understand that certain things can't be captured online.) Happy and safe holidays to all.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I Want Money

Check out this editorial co-written by UC Irvine Dean Andrew Policano entitled "Blowback: Want more say over UC? Pay up"
-- it made me think of this specific rendition by The Flying Lizards of Money (That's What I Want)

There are many other versions but they were not the first that came to mind ...
For some reason, it was only The Flying Lizards that leapt to mind (i think cuz the percussion used sounds like clatter).

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Updated-$2 Million to UCSD for Chancellor's House- Oh, The Places You'll Go

(the $161 Million dollar+ figure comes from this story)
Update: You gotta read this story first as background- freakin' disgrace!:
How UCSD Spent Over $500,000 on a Home Remodel That Never Happened
(also note: Chancellor Marye Anne Fox, has never lived in the house and instead has lived in a La Jolla home, leased by UC for $6500 per month- that is the 2008 rental rate it could be much higher now, perhaps closer to the $13,000 monthly rate currently being paid for UC Pres. Yudof's rental home.)

Original Post:
Looks like Dr.Seuss' wife is giving $2 million dollars to renovate the Chancellor's house, with a designer homage to the displaced Native Americans...

But, there is $161,114,912 already set aside for this kind of work. So, why does the 2 mil go to the Chancellor's house?
Well, guess it's 'cause the Chancellors are supposed to be living large- like they are the "winningest winner of all".

You'll recall this ugly story from earlier this year: Seuss Celebration Cancelled After Racist Acts At UCSD. It would seem that 2 million dollars invested in race relations and sensitivity training or increasing diversity through the lure of scholarships for students of color etc. might be a better way to spend the money. Chancellors frequently consult with donors on how best to spend the money- don't know what happened in this instance. (e.g. Katehi at UC Davis is supposed to be working on bringing in $1 billion according to Yudof at the Regents meeting -and they have specifics- they tell donors about where the $ goes.)

When will the UC Chancellors be on MTV Cribs? Or, maybe the Bravo Network can put on a show called "Real Chancellors of the UC"- let's pitch it to Andy Cohen: another bad behaving, all for show,decadent,over-indulged, pimped out, superficial displays of charity cohort group? Kim, Vicki,Jeana, Tamra, Luanne, Kyle , Danielle, Teresa, Juicy Joe, Bethany, Jill, Alex and Simon et al meet Bob, Maryanne, Mark, Linda, Gene, Susan et al...-- who gets to play Big Poppa?

Recently found this old gem on the UCLA Chancellor House scandal - the same themes interwoven from other scandals like Blake House and more outrages that were yet to come: empty expensive homes abandoned, other remote expensive housing purchased at height of market, high priced moving allowances, in house jumbo mortgages financed by UC provided at very low interest to the UC elite etc. And, you've got to love a quote at the end of page 1 of the three page article. It sounds like it is from a 'dotted line advisory- its not like the Regents have any real power' mindset. UC Regent's comment on the UCLA Chancellor House debacle:

"It's a highly sensitive matter," said another regent, who requested anonymity. "You've got this mammoth house that is sitting there vacant and the question is: 'Why?' "

Now, many years later, we are asking the same questions about Blake House, among many other things. UCOP and the Regents never learn any lessons from the past...what is the point of giving them 12 year appointments when they have no ability to maintain any level of institutional memory? or, worse yet, they remember and don't care?

Love us some Dr. Seuss -especially, Oh the Places You'll Go.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

"Fickle, Unreliable" UC Partner Wants Shared Custody,Child Support Instead of Alimony

Its feeling a lot like the year right before when the folks break up:
some high profile Regents and the UC President are calling the legislature "our fickle, unreliable partner"-- but Sacramento is saying it wants more say in the rearing of the progeny and wants to know where the money is going, how the bills are being paid.

California Legislature wants a say in public university budgets
Lawmakers say years of fee hikes and pay bonuses threaten the right to an affordable, high-quality education in the University of California and California State University systems.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Paging UC Regent Eddie Island and UC Regent Odessa Johnson

Dear UC Regent Eddie Island, and UC Regent Odessa Johnson,
Your well placed fears behind your NO votes at this week's Regents Meeting have been realized.
Please read the write up on Non Resident Tuition- here.

Mr. Island, please note this section:

"For an extra $20 million, Berkeley has raised the question of its loyalty to the citizens of California, which in turn raises the question of why state taxpayers should vote more tax-based funding. The additional $20 million adds about 3.5% to Berkeley's instructional budget of about $550 million, and is about 1% of the campus budget of going on $2 billion. Try the same thing at the other campuses and you have even less in percentage terms -- and with the opposite of goodwill from the public they are trying to court."

-- this falls in line directly with the concerns you voiced at Monday's meeting.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Jerry Brown Education Budget Summit at UCLA

and this story today:
"At times Brown sounded irritated at the unabashed lobbying of public educators at the forum, seeming to ignore his pleas that "we are all in this together," and his reminders of all the other constituencies, like higher education, the criminal justice system, and business, that will also be at the table as decisions are made on how to "carve up scarce funds."

But in general, he was far more loquacious, even relaxed, than he was at the first gathering he convened in Sacramento last week with state legislators. He was perhaps savoring his last two weeks without the full weight of California's fiscal problems squarely on his shoulders. "I thought long and hard before I ran for this job," he said. "I knew it was pretty bad, but I didn't know it was this bad."
'Worse Than The Great Depression'
coverage here and here and here.

and "Even in a sea of bad numbers, one statistic jumped out at me: the scandalously low number of counselors in California schools. The state's public schools have 809 students for every counselor -- yes, you read that right. That's the most in the country, and nearly double the number in Florida and New York and more than three times the number in Texas." read this

but there are different statistics cited here: Jerry Brown warns educators to brace for more cuts

apparently UCLA newsroom carried live webcast of the event but there isn't any archived video posted- why does UC have such a hard time with providing archived video??! and why doesn't the gov elect office or California Channel or UCTV provide it??! it could be seen as a strategy to not provide video of regents meetings -- but even the gov elect and state official panel is blacked out?!

looking for video, will post later if found

finally, there is this: California's Teacher Supply Plummets

-- but no worries we will just offer online teacher ed prep certifications and after the new teacher crops are done sitting in front of computers doing that-- we will place them in classroom in front of children for instruction and in charge of online and face to face curriculum development-- and enroll the older kids in Kaplan Online Highschool and online higher ed etc. and that will give CA its needed college grads and teachers-- no worries, move along...

and, anyway, UC is a research university
the Cal State system can deal with addressing this mess
that is the 'teaching arm of public higher ed'
- do we still have the luxury to think this way?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Excellent Links on Today's UC Regents Meeting

available here
and here is the LA Times coverage of the meeting:
UC regents seek to cut retirees' pension eligibility and health benefits
Unions are expected to object to the proposal's creation of a two-tier workforce.

Bloomberg is covering it too, here.

Changing Universities has this post Regents Rubber Stamp Fake Future

San Francisco Chron's late coverage on the story is available here

and posted at HuffPo here

Inside Higher Ed treated it as a Quick Take and did not discuss the UCOF portion of the meeting.

and Critical Mass might want to take a look at this story on bicyclists at Cal.

Dear Press Corps, re: censorship of govt scientists and whistleblower protections

Would you please cover this story- the opposing positions, its important:
"Today a letter was released by 30 whistleblowers that support passage of S. 372, the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act. Signed by star whistleblowers including Frank Serpico and Ambassador Joseph Wilson, to intelligence community and FAA whistleblowers, the letter concludes:

“In short, we can’t wait any longer. Even if you could get us a three quarters loaf two years from now at the end of the next Congress instead of two thirds now, we can’t wait. We need stronger rights now. Many of us have been hanging on for years already, waiting for a new law that would give us a fighting chance. We’re running out of time, money and hope. Our cases are getting stale, with witnesses moving on. We need to file in January 2011. We can’t wait until January 2013. Now, we urge you to stand with us or stand aside.” read the full post here

and this opposing view:

6. "The Bill Permits Policy-Based Censorship of Government Scientists. Supporters of S. 372 have pointed to a provision of the law that prohibits censorship of government scientists as a major breakthrough for federal employee rights. Again, a close reading of those provisions demonstrates that the opposite is true. The bill actually would permit censorship of scientific papers and dissenting scientific opinion. S. 372 explicitly excludes from the definition of protected activity dissenting policy positions advocated by government employees. Section 102. Furthermore, the Act narrowly defines the circumstances upon which a government scientist can claim improper censorship. Those circumstances are limited only to "censorship" that "relate(s)" to a gross "violation of law, rule or regulation," "gross mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety." Sec. 110(b). It will be very difficult for scientists who are being censored to meet this standard and obtain any relief." read the full post here. and more here.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Universities and Eminent Domain, and other important threads

"Columbia University, an elite private institution, came to the conclusion that what it wanted -- a brand new monolithic campus in West Harlem -- could not be accomplished legally and legitimately through the open market. It therefore secretly went to, solicited and convinced that unelected agency, the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), to help it expand its facilities onto the very land where my business (and dozens more) stood. The method: the threatened use of eminent domain.

We then were forced to endure the attempted theft of the neighborhood in broad daylight by Columbia -- not even the state -- using the very public threat of eminent domain to purchase all the property they were unable to through the open market. Businesses that had been solid bedrocks of the area for decades were suddenly shuttered. Jobs were lost; vital services to our community were eliminated and families were thrown apart in bitter struggles over how to stop the Columbia steamroller. By the time the state finally got around to announcing that eminent domain would indeed be utilized in late 2008, its mere threat by Columbia was enough. Only my business and one other were left.Incredibly, the rationale that the state used to condemn our properties was that the area was blighted. But this designation was fueled by the fact that once Columbia had purchased the vast majority of the land they systematically moved all occupants out and allowed the buildings to decay and deteriorate. Then, to ensure that they got the desired result -- an independent neighborhood study declaring the area blighted --the state, in collusion with Columbia, hired Columbia's hired gun, who was already lobbying the state to invoke its condemnation powers, to perform the study...The court effectively concluded that if the emperor said he was wearing clothes, then he was wearing clothes!"
please read the full piece: Highway Robbery in the 21st Century

other important threads:
this piece on Veterans and Online Private Colleges and Universities:For-Profit Colleges Cashing In On Veterans

and Lanny Davis' recent entry into the private vs public online higher ed war:
What Transparency by the Department of Education?
(Lanny is now a Faux News darling, well paid attorney/lobbyist/consultant type and he recently wrote this --compare it to Robert Reich's piece here- we wonder which one Bill and Hill love best?)

and this piece on PISA (Program on International Student Achievement; it's run by the OECD) and Shanghai test scores

if you are visiting this blog then you are likely also visiting Remaking the University - but, if not, add it to your blog reading list and be sure to read this piece on the final UCOF report.

Friday, December 10, 2010

"Everything Is Accurate Except The Myth That HR Is Supposedly The Role Model For Organizational Integrity."

Wow, just saw this video and want to share it because it seems to have resonated with so many people! It is about a public entity so its an interesting case study.
Similarities to UC, your experience?
Interesting that UC has developed an "Intolerance Reporting Form" for :
* Expressions of Bias
* Hate Speech
* Hate Crime
* Graffiti/Vandalism
* Intimidation, Bullying or Physical Violence
* Bias Incidents
* Hostile Climate
* Other Campus Climate Issues
Do these things work- or is it just CYA?

Proposed UC Regent Pension Deal is Bad for Workers

" 1) In the last 13 years, the UC Office of the President and the UC Regents have tripled the number of executives at UC. This mushrooming of executives has occurred at the same time that the number of faculty has fallen. Previously there was a one-to-one ratio of faculty to executives; now the ratio is 1 to 3. Executives seem to need a lot of outside consultants. UC Berkeley recently spent $11 million on the Bain&Co. consultants.

2) Highly paid UC executives also receive an extra 5% pension package. Chancellors and the UC president receive extravagant pension packages; e.g, President Yudof will receive $350,000 per year for life after seven years of service. After twenty years of service an employee with an annual salary of $50,000 will get $10,400, if s/he is old enough at the age of retiring.

3) In the early 2000s the UC Regents let go of the treasurer of the UC pension fund, Patricia Small, under whose management the fund had done extremely well. Patricia Small was replaced after criticism had been made illegally in closed (secret) session as ruled by the California Supreme Court in 2003.

4) On two occasions the Regents told UC employees that the fund was so robust that instead of salary increases, the regents would take money from the fund to give employees an extra retirement bonus prorated to their individual incomes. Obviously, this meant more to higher paid faculty than lower paid faculty; and more to executives than to front line workers. It also meant that these workers would forgo annual raises. Faculty and executives continued to receive salary increases. "

read the rest of this important post, here

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Next UC Regents Meeting at The Savoy Hotel London

check it out:

NOTICE OF MEETING – Revised (site added)
Date: December 13, 2010
Time: 1:30 p.m.
Location: UCSF–Mission Bay Community Center, 1675 Owens Street, San Francisco
James E. West Alumni Center, Los Angeles Campus
22220 Lodgepole Circle, Modesto
The Savoy, Strand, London
101 South Tryon Street, Charlotte, North Carolina

no doubt they will be drinking Ketel One cocktails rather than getting kettled like the students...

posh, so very posh

here are links to the agenda:

oh well, maybe next month they will be at the George V in Paris...

in contrast, here's some coverage of UC low wage staff protests on pension cuts in CA: UCSB, UCSC

Fed Judge Upholds California's Affirmative Action Ban

(they misspell ward connerly's name below but that's who they are talking about)
"Connelly, a former UC Regent and Sacramento businessman, called the ruling a "powerful victory for fundamental rights."

Everyone is owed a full measure of equal treatment, including applicants to the UC system, and indeed all students," Connelly said in a statement. "None of us should be classified by race or sex, by government."

(didn't we just go through a census where they got to do exactly this?! and more!)

and the US House of Reps pass the Dream Act

Prince Charles and Camilla get caught up in student protest apparently-- not to be a party pooper but we do wonder how many scholarships could be paid for by Prince William and Kate's upcoming multimillion dollar wedding?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

UC panel's plan to raise money comes under fire

"These efforts to push people through in three years and moving to online education reflects a privatized model where you bring people in based on how much profit they'll create," said Stanton Glantz, vice president of the Council of UC Faculty Associations. "The priorities of the institution will reflect the market interests instead of the public interest."

Read more: here

Respectfully, Prof. Glantz, the University has been operating based on market interests for a long time- please tell us what has been the result in other areas, in addition to admissions- then perhaps Californians will understand better. Please read the comments being left by the readers in that story for some of the blowback/feedback.

California Budget Conference with Governor Elect Jerry Brown

you can watch it live here

Monday, December 6, 2010

$161,114,912 Extreme Home Makeover Slush Fund for UC President, Chancellors

"$161,114,912 - which is meant to cover costs the state will not fund including maintenance of chancellor's homes, travel costs and conferences."

read this story in full: "Past Protests Lead to Pricey Upgrades"

but they couldn't use that money to do the supposedly necessary $10 million dollar repairs on Blake House?! why not? it would have avoided so much embarrassment resulting from the multiple lavish Yudof house rentals.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

No "Faith Based UC Budgets", No Faith Based UC Auxiliary Foundation Books

More on Yee's UC, CSU auxiliary, foundation transparency bill he will put forward here and here.
read this damn shame - another "just give us the money" post from an unlikely source,sad.

Recall Yudof said "I do not think the University of California can continue faith-based budgeting"- Well, he is right! We also can't have faith based books for auxiliaries and foundations either.

No Faith Based Budgets!
No Faith Based Shadowy UC, CSU Auxiliaries and Foundations!
Fiat Lux

Regent Blum and His Pals

Please recall this story on UC Regent Blum
then read this Bloomberg News report
and watch the video for further understanding - if you still don't quite get it.

and please also take a look at this and this on UC Regent Makarechian
with more background available here

kinda feel sorry for Yudof after reading this paragraph:
"Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, pays President Drew Faust $800,000 a year. Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, received $1.6 million and was the highest-paid president of a nonprofit or public university, according to Chronicle of Higher Education surveys of the most recent college filings. The median annual pay of presidents at private nonprofit universities was $358,746, compared with $627,750 at large, private research universities, the Chronicle found. Heads of public institutions took home a median $436,111, according to the Chronicle."


Friday, December 3, 2010

Yee to Reintroduce Public University Transparency Bill

Bill to expand public records law to be introduced Monday

SACRAMENTO – Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) is hoping the third time’s a charm – or more importantly having a new governor – as he reintroduces legislation to bring greater transparency and accountability at California’s public higher education institutions.

As the Legislature convenes the 2011 Session on Monday, Yee will introduce a bill that has twice been vetoed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Los Angeles). Yee’s bill would update the California Public Records Act (CPRA) to include auxiliary organizations and foundations that perform government functions at the University of California, California State University, and California’s community colleges.

“I am confident that unlike his predecessor, Governor-elect Jerry Brown will match his action with his rhetoric and sign this bill into law,” said Yee. “Our public universities should not be allowed to hide billions of dollars without any accountability. Most of these auxiliaries are fully staffed by public employees who administer public funds, yet their decisions are made in complete secrecy. Taxpayers and students deserve better.”

The most recent scandal of an auxiliary organization involved the CSU Stanislaus Foundation. The Foundation negotiated a speaking contract with Palin, but originally refused to disclose her compensation. They first claimed they had no documents pertaining to her June visit. After emails written by administrators regarding the visit were uncovered, they then claimed the Foundation was exempt from the state’s public records law despite being fully staffed by taxpayer-funded employees.

Students later found pages 4 through 9 of the Palin contract in the administration’s Dumpster, which showed her visit requirements included a hotel suite, first class airfare or a private Lear jet, pre-screened questions, and “bendable straws.” After a lawsuit filed by CalAware, a judge ruled that the CSU acted illegally and forced them to disclose the complete contract which showed she also received $75,000 plus expenses.

The UC and CSU have often evaded the public records act by shifting some responsibilities to foundations and other auxiliary organizations operating on campuses. Several recent examples demonstrate the need for increased public oversight and accountability provided by Yee’s legislation:

• At Sonoma State, a $1.25 million loan issued to a former foundation board member two days after he resigned. A bankruptcy court forced the Sonoma State Foundation to return a portion of that loan which the former board member attempted to pay outside of the bankruptcy court proceedings. The Attorney General’s office and the FBI are investigating a number of auxiliaries at Sonoma State.

• The Fresno Bee newspaper was denied information in 2001, specifically concerning the identity of individuals and companies that received luxury suites at the Save Mart Center arena at Fresno State. The denial resulted in CSU v. Superior Court (McClatchy Company), in which the Court opined that although it recognized university auxiliaries ought to be covered by the CPRA and that its ruling was counter to the obvious legislative intent of the CPRA, the rewriting of the statute was a legislative responsibility.

• At San Francisco City College, a campus executive has been indicted for using money from the San Francisco City College Foundation for personal and political purposes. At San Jose/Evergreen Community College, the Chancellor was found to have engaged in lavish travel and other examples of financial impropriety that prompted her resignation. Since local community college campus auxiliaries are already subject to the CPRA, these instances of waste and abuse have lead to the parties being held to account.

• Sacramento State President Alexander Gonzalez spent $200,000 from the campus auxiliary money to remodel his kitchen in 2007 which created “the appearance of impropriety,” according to an Attorney General audit. Additionally at Sacramento State, $6.3 million of public funds was transferred to University Enterprises Inc. – a campus auxiliary – to backfill losses from a property acquisition, which is completely contrary to UC and CSU claims that no taxpayer dollars are used for campus auxiliary operations.

• Campus leadership at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo appears to be under the influence of a well-heeled donor. In October 2009, Cal Poly eliminated a guest lecture at the request of executives from the Harris Ranch Beef Company, who threatened to withhold $500,000 in support for a new campus meat-processing center. Emails recently obtained by the San Luis Obispo Tribune also found that Harris Ranch may have also forced the resignation of a faculty member who taught a course on sustainable farming. Harris officials are now requesting a meeting with Cal Poly administrators to determine whether or not they will continue with their donation.

According to the CSU Chancellor’s Office, in 2009, 20 percent of its $6.7 billion budget, or $1.34 billion, is held in their 87 auxiliaries and foundations, and out of public view.

While the community college administration was neutral on Yee’s bill, the administrations of the UC and CSU succeeded in getting a veto by falsely claiming it would result in a “chilling effect” on private donations. The bill, however, allows donors to stay anonymous under all circumstances unless they receive something of value over $500 in return. Also, another state saw significant increases in donations after a similar law was enacted.

California’s major newspapers endorsed Yee’s previous bill, SB 330, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Sacramento Bee, San Jose Mercury News, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Merced Sun-Star, Fresno Bee, Stockton Record, Bakersfield Californian, Monterey County Herald, Modesto Bee, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Chico Enterprise Record, San Mateo County Times, Salinas Californian, South Bay Daily Breeze, and Woodland Daily Democrat, among others.

What others are saying about the bill’s reintroduction

“This bill would ensure that auxiliaries are accountable to the public and end the environment of secrecy in which corruption, mismanagement and self-dealing has thrived.” –Jim Ewert, Legal Counsel for the California Newspaper Publishers Association

“CSU campus foundations are nonprofit organizations for no other reason than providing tax write-offs for those who donate to their universities. Otherwise, their functions are as governmental as are the universities, and often rely on university housing, staffing, equipment and other resources. Once donors are guaranteed anonymity, there's no reason in the world why the foundations should not be as operationally transparent as the universities themselves.” –Terry Francke, General Counsel for Californians Aware

”For too many years, foundations and auxiliaries of our state’s public colleges and universities have been able to hide billions of dollars from public scrutiny. As a result, California taxpayers have only glimpsed the inner workings of these agencies when scandals revealed appalling examples of mismanagement. It is time, at long last, for these hidden monies to become more transparent and accountable to the people of California.” –Lillian Taiz, a CSU professor and President of the California Faculty Association

“Senator Yee’s legislation would create transparency regarding how auxiliary organizations that are closely affiliated with and provide funding to postsecondary educational institutions spend their dollars. These organizations provide as much as 20 percent of the funding for these postsecondary institutions that also receive general fund dollars. If any of this funding is going toward administrative excess, while student fees are rising, the public has a right to be informed about it. Subjecting postsecondary nonprofits to greater scrutiny under the Public Records Act will hold these organizations and the institutions they fund accountable to taxpayers.” –Michele Pielsticker, Vice President and General Counsel for the California Taxpayers Association

“Open government and transparency is the bedrock of our democracy. Senator Yee’s bill ensures that public agencies like the University of California be compelled to conduct business in the open and within the rule of law. For too long, UC executives’ decisions have been shrouded in secrecy. This bill will finally help end the practice of backdoor deals and give Californians confidence in our public institutions.” –Lakesha Harrison, a UCLA nurse and President of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Local 3299, representing UC patient care and service workers

“This bill will strengthen the California Public Records Act and force public institutions to comply with how the original law was intended to work. The nurses that work for UC understand how important it is for the public to have transparency when dealing with their hospital; it improves patient care and ensures that the UC continue to fill its roll as part of the safety-net system.” –Stephanie Roberson, Legislative Advocate for the California Nurses Association

“Senator Yee’s bill reflects the intent of Proposition 59 – approved by 83% of voters in 2004 – granting the constitutional right of the public to access public records, with the assumption favoring ‘open disclosure.’ Campus auxiliaries are used to hide public contract information about the expenditure of public funds. This legislation will provide the public and state policy makers greater transparency in determining how publicly-funded college campus auxiliaries are operated, and how student revenues are used to enhance the educational mission of our state and community colleges.” –Terry Brennand, Senior Government Relations Advocate for Service Employees International Union

“Auxiliary organizations have more and more taken on the role of providing services and performing the mission of these higher education institutions. Yet, they operate in the shadows because they do not have to comply with the transparency rules like those that work right alongside them. That simply creates too much opportunity for shenanigans.” –Shane Gusman, California Teamsters Public Affairs Council, representing UC clerical workers

“This bill will result in greater transparency as to how private donations and student campus fees are used. We are extremely pleased and gratified to endorse it.” –John S. James, Vice-President of the Academic Professionals of California, representing academic support staff at CSU


Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Update: please also note that APBears is, like the recent BFS upgrade, coming to us from the same folks who are heading up Operational Excellence Exodus...oh, the hypocrisy! STINKS!
("Cross Posting" )
TO: EVC George Breslauer

CC: Vice Provost Sheldon Zedeck, Associate Vice Provost Angelica Stacy, Associate Vice Chancellor Shelton Waggener, Dean Andrew Szeri; campus offices

FROM: The SAVE Coordinating Committee

Evidence and testimony from across campus document that APBears was “rolled out” in a condition unfit for the use of staff and faculty. Moreover, it is potentially damaging to faculty who are now preparing dossiers for promotion review (see below). It is widely understood that some administrators in charge of this system knew about its deficiencies but suppressed this knowledge and refused to correct problems so as not to miss their “rollout” deadline. If they have not apprised you of this situation, we do so now and ask that you investigate it. Academic Senate Chair Fiona Doyle has already written to VP Zedeck and the chair of the Senate Budget Committee about this problem; VP Zedeck has responded to Deans and Chairs, but his response addresses only one of the system’s problems (the CSIR data).

We believe that faculty should be able to use an accurate and well-designed online academic personnel system. APBears, as it now runs, is not that system. We therefore ask the following:

1. Suspend APBears immediately and re-implement it only when a taskforce of campus department faculty and staff has reviewed its functionality and seen that the necessary and advisable changes to it have been made. Until then faculty should be permitted to use the present bio-bib case system.

2. Make certain that any new iteration of APBears contains clear statements about which data are supplied by external (non-faculty) sources, whether their errors can or cannot be amended, which information is supplied by faculty, and that faculty are responsible only for the information that they supply.

Here is a partial list of what is wrong with APBears:
1. It is full of procedural errors, glitches, and technical problems that are time-consuming to fix or work around. Some of these could be fixed with diligent review of a committee of faculty from all levels and across campus departments. We ask you to convene this group.
2. The data supplied by the Administration on teaching and mentoring are unacceptably inaccurate. One professor found that she was credited with only 25% of her teaching; another 400%. The requests for detailed data on student mentoring and employment are unnecessary and burdensome; faculty are not the HR office. The first problem cannot be fixed because it involves CSIR data; the second problem can be fixed by switching from a pull-down to a narrative system and eliminating several informational field requests.
3. Faculty are prohibited from correcting many kinds of errors in the system, and some apparently cannot be corrected by anyone. Despite these errors, faculty are being required to sign a statement that they have read and approved all information in their files, even though they cannot see some of it. Faculty should not be coerced to sign a document that they cannot fully review. This situation is indefensible and probably legally actionable. It could be partly fixed by prominent statements on the website that acknowledge clearly and fully that the accuracy of CSIR data is in doubt, note that data uploaded to the system at the time of its roll-out cannot be corrected, and that clarify that faculty are responsible only for the accuracy of statements that they upload to the system. This does not solve the problem of the proportion of CSIR data that is incorrect or unanalyzed, but it may improve the future accuracy of entered data.
4. Current estimates are that this system typically takes 20-40 hours longer to prepare than the traditional case procedure, and this does not include the “one-time” uploading of personnel data and historical material. This could be remedied by eliminating requests for some data, removing the pull-down menus, and allowing greater use of narratives uploaded by the faculty (see 6, 7).
5. Our faculty are incredibly diverse in the products of their research, the modes of their teaching, and the scope of their professional activities. The “pull-down” menus are time-consuming and do not encompass accurate descriptions or alternatives. These should be eliminated and a greater narrative freedom built in; otherwise faculty may as well just append accurate bio-bib statements and ignore the data fields.
6. There is no way to rank the importance of many activities; hence, a talk to a Cub Scout troop is featured as prominently as election to a national academy. Chairing a panel could mean a lot of work or none at all; there is no role for “convener” or “organizer.” The roles of authors in publications are also not adequately assessed. This could be fixed with greater narrative freedom and the abolition of pull-down menus.
7. The extent and kind of data being gathered represent an unreasonable burden on the faculty. Many of these data have to be entered in three different ways, which is redundant and time-consuming. Many categories do not accurately or adequately assess work done on a project or activity, and represent a “one size fits all” approach to professional activity and achievement. The redundancy and unnecessary fields should be eliminated.
8. It has not been thought out or clarified to the faculty how external referees will access case information in this online system of mixed and risked confidentiality. Currently the old “hard-copy” approach is being used. Why, then, the new system?
9. Department staff are spending an undue amount of time learning this system and trying to interpret it and fix its problems for faculty, at a time when they can least afford to do so, given additional job burdens related to staff cutbacks.

These problems are not simply a matter of system “growing pains” or “first time only” problems that are finding speedy remedy. They appear to be intrinsic and endemic. This system was put into place and mandated before it was ready. The entire faculty and staff should not have to be the guinea pigs for this. Let’s not repeat the errors of the BFS system.

We estimate conservatively that the extra time this system imposes upon the faculty will cost the campus well over $300,000 in faculty time this year alone. We cannot begin to estimate the loss of staff time. The argument that there will be time saved down the road is not sufficient justification for implementing a system (and APBears is by no means the only one) that has not been adequately reviewed, tested, and corrected before implementation by its principal users. Nearly every IT system on campus winds up making the faculty spend time entering data and negotiating systems that are not effectively designed to help research and teaching, but to make the jobs of administrators easier. In the end, however, this does not happen, because the systems – whether BFS, RES, or APBears -- are so flawed that both administrative and faculty time are engulfed by trying to negotiate or work around them.

We agree that an online system ultimately could be easier for the faculty to use. We recognize that this is considered the case on some other campuses. However, given the structural problems of the APBears system, it is clear that this system is not ready to be used or implemented. It could be, but only with further study and correction. Thank you for your consideration of this unwieldy and burdensome campus crisis.
Posted by Michael Meranze at 10:47 AM here
to read more on SAVE please visit them here.

Two Important Articles on Cal Students

Students Bemoan Inefficiency of Tele-BEARS

Committee Defines Student Position to Oversee Operational Excellence

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

UC Psych Study May Explain the Psychology of UC Regents, UCOP, Senior Admins

"People in positions of power are not going to see [the inequality]. They're going to be blind to it and that has enormous implications for how we educate leaders, why they may not see [what's] obvious [to everyone else] and why they may not even understand the suffering of the people below them."

The Rich Are Different: More Money, Less Empathy covers a study that included university employees and college students. It was led by a group including postdoctoral student Michael Kraus, UCSF and Dacher Keltner, a professor of psychology at UCB.

Monday, November 22, 2010

UC vs Bagley Keene Part II

Update:The local ACLU has written a letter to UC-Berkeley PD- you can view it here:
Original Post
please read and circulate widely this post, it reads in part:

"I received word that a police officer pulled a gun on a crowd of protesters. After reviewing the video, I asked during public comment for a full investigation of this incident, which came very close to being a new Kent State tragedy. As I have discussed with campus police in the past, they need to do a better job at preparing for protests and making sure that they only use force as a last resort. Posting a single officer at a sensitive point makes no sense and ends up putting police and the protesters at risk. Moreover, the use of a single row of bicycle racks to hold off hundreds of angry people is a poor defense and opens the door for unneeded police over-reaction.

The general hostile climate against free speech was extended inside and outside of the Regents meeting. Before the start of the meeting on Wednesday, I was told that only people on a special list would be able to enter into the meeting. When I pointed out to a campus police officer that this goes against California’s open meeting law, I was told to back off. In order to make sure that anyone from the public could line up to enter the meeting, I had to contact a staff person from the Board of Regents office who informed the officers to let the public enter the meeting.

While I do feel that the police were often put in harm’s way due to bad planning, there is no excuse for detaining and arresting people for chalking messages, and the police should not be able to simply tear down the signs of protesters. Furthermore, the use of pepper spray at the meeting appeared to be indiscriminate and counter-productive. In general, some police officers displayed a hostile and defensive attitude towards the protesters and the general public.

Since no actions have been taken to discipline the campus police who used tasers on students last year at UCLA, I believe that it necessary for us to investigate filing suit against the university for creating an environment that is hostile to free speech. If we do not counter the aggressive actions of the campus police, we will lose our ability to defend the public nature of our university."

To read the full post, please visit: Bob Samuels at Changing Universities
(bold emphasis in excerpt added by cloudminder)

see this old post and this one for more background.

please share your thoughts with California State Assembly
Committee on Higher Education:

Committee Jurisdiction
Primary jurisdictions are university, state university, and community college systems, postsecondary education, and student financial aid.

Committee Members

Committee Members District Phone E-mail

Marty Block - Chair

Dem-78 (916) 319-2078

Chris Norby - Vice Chair

Rep-72 (916) 319-2072

Anthony Adams

Rep-59 (916) 319-2059

Wesley Chesbro

Dem-1 (916) 319-2001

Paul Fong

Dem-22 (916) 319-2022

Jean Fuller

Rep-32 (916) 319-2032

Cathleen Galgiani

Dem-17 (916) 319-2017

Anthony J. Portantino

Dem-44 (916) 319-2044

Ira Ruskin

Dem-21 (916) 319-2021

~Standing Committees~

Education Committee meets every Wednesday at 9:00 am in Room 4203.

JURISDICTION: Bills relating to education, higher education, and certificated educational personnel.
Senator Gloria Romero (Chair)
Senator Robert Huff (Vice-Chair)
Senator Elaine Alquist
Senator Bill Emmerson
Senator Loni Hancock
Senator Carol Liu
Senator Curren Price
Senator Joe Simitian
Senator Mark Wyland
Addresses & Staff:
Chief Consultant:
Daniel Alvarez
Principal Consultants:

Kathleen Chavira
Beth Graybill and Lynn Lorber
Barbara Montero and Vanessa Cisneros

you can email them from this page

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Grateful for UCPD, mostly

We've been trying to laugh off this week - have a laugh at the ineptitude of the "leadership" at the Regents meetings- but that's not working. On Saturday morning we got our first look at a video from KTVU News and it was very disturbing. Now, it is clear that events within the UC community have gone down the path from the sublime- to the ridiculous - and further down the road toward the tragic. This seems an important moment to stop and assess. Please see this video -look at it carefully, come to your own conclusions or simply think on it. (Tactically, it looks strange to see only two officers at those elevator doors considering the number of protesters.)

We found that video by reading this year's 2010 UCMeP TOOL Of The Year Award -it was a poignant piece to read. (In it, however, UCMeP failed to reference this recent story -its a story that had Cloudminder concerned because of the UC connection and it felt like it might be a foreshadowing of things to come -- and now, months later, here we are.) The UCMeP statement is one that needs to be heard fully by the administration. Those who can listen with understanding, compassion and solutions- on all sides- need to step in and demand this administration respond to these events immediately. Help the administration help themselves- they need it- and its no secret.

The current students deserve that- the largely positive history of previous UCPD service deserves that- and so does the entire community.

Its seems the overuse of pepper spray and the police gun drawn and pointed at students at the Regents meeting this week could have been avoided. The majority peacefully engaged in their civic duty protests and good policing. They mostly co-existed just fine. In a couple of important instances -they didn't. It went horrible wrong --and it did so in a community that is still hurting from so many other recent similar incidents.

To us, in our student experience, UCBPD helped far more often than it hurt in the service of meetings. Their presence helped people to hear each other and opened dialogue- heated but necessary dialogue. That truly was our experience -- in the not so distant past. Yet, we are not part of the current student population - we did not see multiple tuition increases within the space of a few short years and UC misdeeds on the front page of newspapers almost every week, along with everything else. These are different times.

We also need to balance these events with appreciating UCPD when they: help a student who has had their car broken into;textbooks stolen; laptop stolen; need a late night escort; step in when a date or a party has gone bad; act as first responders when an earthquake, fire, or bad fall happens etc. If you were on campus at Cal during Loma Prieta or the Oakland firestorm you know what we're talking about. If you don't remember or know of those experiences take a look at this and this for more recent reminders. Also, many UCPD are also UC alumni and/or have (or hope to have) their kids attending UC.

As we remember Oscar Grant and Derrick Jones-- let us also remember Oakland SWAT team Sgt. and Cal alum Daniel Sakai and Officer John Hege.

We could go on and on like this...

we deserve better than this -and we are better than this...

In that same vein, in this season, please participate in food and toy drives at the campuses and in your local community. Please go through your cabinets, cupboards, pantries -whatever-and empty out those items you know you will not use. Check the expiration date and throw the good stuff in a bag and take it to your local food bank.

Offload your old winter coats if you don't use them - give them to Project One Warm Coat.

Start a food or toy drive if there aren't any where you live and work.

We are all responsible for Fixing the Future.

We are definitely better than these times would have us be. Fiat Lux.
Happy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

UC- "It Is Responsible Only To Itself For Making Improvements"

If you are in a building at UC regularly you must see this story and here is more background.
This has been a persistent issue but everyone needs to be reminded.
UC gets to hob nob, rub elbows, seek money for new buildings, make the new buildings with specs they want, and be "the deciders" on everything regarding its use and access- but UC believes Sacramento/non UC Californians are responsible for the maintenance bills??

California needs to protect these buildings first imo

oh, and at Cal the big oil BP building and other new building projects are going along... swimmingly- no worries.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Operational Excellence Initiatives Batter SF Bay Area

Roche,Genentech, UC all using the moniker Operational Excellence to lay off thousands in the Bay Area see this -- that's why we call it Operational Exodus.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Tuition Roulette Wheel, and Backlash re: Martinez vs. Regents of the University of California

Chronicle editorial A better tuition plan for UC and Cal State

Please read the comments in this story:
In-state tuition upheld for illegal immigrants

Stacking the Deck With UC Alumni- Eight members named to Calif. redistricting panel

Eight members named to Calif. redistricting panel- they are ALL UC alumni. You can read more details on the members in this story.
Good thing? Bad thing? Dunno, thinking about it.
SCOTUS recently has garnered attention for the number of Catholics on the court- and still don't know what to think of that - but Red Mass was great this year.

Also, this station is going to be doing a story tomorrow at 11pm on all of the UC buildings that need to be seismically retrofitted - while completely new construction goes up all around. Tune in or check back for an update on this post for a link to it (if available, and if this interests you).Update: here is the link to the story.

Anti Matter-- "It don't matter to them if y'all protest, they gonna do it anyway"

That's what one charming and supportive pedestrian yelled to some protesters yesterday and- yep, that's pretty much the truth. The comments at today's meeting makes it clear that more hikes are going to happen for years to come. But the Blue and Gold Opportunity Program will save you, of course. They justify it by saying that previous leadership failed to raise fees during their tenure. So, this cohort and many future cohorts are going to be forced to pay through the nose until they "catch up"- but will it ever be enough?

Future potential students are considering taking their business elsewhere:
Private schools can beat UC cost
(when one also considers the cost of living in the Bay Area or LA $$- well...)

But the administration will say that UC provides the best opportunities to be close to rock stars conducting important research...for some that exhilarating experience really does occur- for many others it does not.

We wonder how many faculty, staff, grad students, and post docs worked on this latest research breakthrough in anti matter?

UC Berkeley physicists trap antimatter atoms

What were their work schedules like? They give it their all and that is what UC really is all about, that is the true heart of the institution.

The Regents meetings are some sort of distorted parallel universe or something.

Cloudminder, for obvious reasons to Trekkies, loves the SF Chron's line: "It's a real-life version of the immortal "Star Trek" fantasy, where antimatter is crucial to speed the Starship Enterprise through the galaxy at warp drive, faster than the speed of light."

We need to pump some dilithium crystals into the fiat lux motto.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"Why Are You Pepper Spraying Students Outside?" --They Are Spraying The Press Too!

Prof. Bob Meister asked that question during morning public comment -You can listen to the Regents meeting here

fyi, KGO, an ABC affiliate, and other reporters also got sprayed
they are spraying the press too--Cheryl Jennings, KGO anchor and health reporter, could see and hear the health problems their reporter was having and commented on it during a live 11am broadcast.

KRON 4 coverage

and HuffPo coverage here

KPIX-CBS coverage

if you watch the video you can see people who are simply standing- they are giving no resistance and not near a barricade- and they are being sprayed close contact all over their upper body.

and you can see that they focused on one man who was simply standing with a sign - a Cal alum- and they gave it to him with batons and spray. He was not pushing shoving or anything.
Protestors are shouting:
“UC Me? UC worker poverty. UC Me? UC student poverty.”

check out DailyCal coverage here

Go Bears!

Monday, November 15, 2010

"California Illegal Immigrants Entitled To In-State Tuition, Court Says "

"California Illegal Immigrants Entitled To In-State Tuition, Court Says "

"California Supreme Court Upholds Law Granting Undocumented Students In-State Tuition"

-it will be interesting to see how this news is received by Californians.

It is likely to become part of the discussion during tonight's town hall on immigration on MSNBC.

Also of interest lately:
Fewer US Students Studied Abroad Last Year

Report: More Chinese students studying in US

and this post from University Diaries is a must read-- a head spinning description - "grading is outsourced" and "what is being graded is outsourced" (my own experience has shown me that these shenanigans occur in both online and in person courses- sorry to burst any bubbles)

David Callahan also wrote UCF Scandal Shows the Need to Fight Cheating with New Tactics

Also, here's Elizabeth Warren at Cal on Rebuilding the Middle Class.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mourning in America vs. Morning in America, and a "New Dawn"

During the run up to the Nov. 2010 elections there was this video circulated with Sarah Palin co-opting the Morning in America meme that Reagan used in the '80's. When Sarah said it -the meaning for me was M-O-U-R-N-I-N-G. Even the camera couldn't lie in Sarah's promo- the sun rising over the Statue of Liberty was actually-- a sunset. And when Yudof's Open Letter to California mentioned a "New Dawn" I instantly thought of two things: Patrick Swayze's Red Dawn and Sister Sarah's Mourning in America. Yudof's use of the term "new dawn" was also annoying to the Ezra Klein WaPo column, please see:

The 21st-century retreat from public higher education
By Michael Konczal
he states:
"New dawn? This isn't the talk of someone who is seriously trying to save the ideal of public education."

Also, here is the latest on Gov.-Elect Jerry Brown's prep of the budget and the topic of education- the first draft of his proposed budget goes to printers in Dec before he assumes office.

Recall the JLAC state audit findings on UC are due in January 2011- let's hope they do a better job than the failed audits conducted by non gov't firms of the City of Bell, you can read more here.

In prep, you might peruse the just released UC Annual Financial Report here.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Vets at UC- Thanks!

Thank you for your service- Happy Veteran's Day! here's a video on veterans in higher education
and thinking of those who don't make it back - or all the way back. Peace.

"Two renowned educational systems are taking it out on 600,000 students."

this editorial states

"One solution - and it won't be an easy political sell - is higher state payments to both UC and CSU. Taxes are unpopular, but so is the fact that California lacks the educated workforce it will need to power the economy in years to come."

UC needs to churn out and widely circulate the numbers on how many UC graduates stay in state and become part of the California workforce long term- if they hope to be able to sell that story. And also work on becoming a more transparent institution- stop fighting good legislation that would make it more accountable to Californians.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Shiny Happy People

Perhaps all those upset about the stories listed to your right and on various other blogs should just consult these folks at Cal. They claim their research is not "some weird Berkeley idea we spin up in a hot tub". Oye!
What would help best? Tolman Hall?, Boalt?, does Peace and Conflict Studies dept. still exist or receive funding? Teach the budget. Teach the need for transparency at UC. Teach your area of expertise as it relates to what is happening at UC-- don't talk past each other, talk past what is being experienced where we live and work- as though these are invisible issues or the status of tenure, above scale pay, academic senate membership precludes you from it- it helps with credibility, just a suggestion.
Otherwise, it seems many of the faculty are going to be singing Shiny Happy People
while many of the staff and students will be singing:
" They never woke up From the American Dream -And they don't understand What they Don't See- And they look through you- and they look past me"-- from another 1990's hit No Where To Go
(Yes, I am listening to my i-pod right now, indulge me)

farewell, Judith Butler and thanks again for this

Fees or Tuition, It's Too Much- Both the UC and Cal State systems want to increase fees or tuition. The increases are threatening to price middle-class families out of California colleges.

an excellent editorial on UC CSU tuition increases:

"it's been rising too fast for struggling families in a bad economy. In 2008, there were gasps as Cal State fees were raised to $3,048 a year. Now the $4,200 yearly tuition is expected to rise by 5% next semester and an additional 10% the following academic year, climbing close to $5,000 — more than three times what it was a decade ago.

Meanwhile, UC President Mark Yudof on Monday released a "letter to California" calling for an 8% increase in fees — which also look and feel a lot like tuition — to more than $11,000. This, after a wallet-emptying 32% increase last year. UC campuses also have some of the highest room-and-board prices of any colleges, public or private, in the nation, which are charged in addition to fees. UC Berkeley, for example, is the second-highest, according to a recent report by the College Board."

Prop B and Jerry Brown

an interesting story on defeat of Prop B and some comments on Jerry Brown- a follow up from this previous post-- Warren Hellman flip flopped on his support of Prop B.

State Sen. Leland Yee To Run For SF Mayor

you can read about it here and here.
the question is- if he wins - who steps up to fight for very necessary reform, and transparency of UC system in Sacramento? Whose gonna think of middle and lower wage UC workers and students? Gloria Romero? Others? Who?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Student Fee Hikes Continue to Line Pockets of UC, CSU Executives

While students and low-wage workers suffer, Regents and Trustees continue to hand out pay hikes for administrators

SACRAMENTO – Once again, the University of California Board of Regents and the California State University Board of Trustees are set to increase student fees. The action comes just two months after Regents hiked salaries for top executives and a month after the state increased funding for the UC and CSU.

“There they go again,” said Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco). “Instead of ensuring our public universities are affordable and accessible for all California families, the Regents and Trustees would rather line the pockets of their executives. These are not the priorities and principles our schools should have during tough economic times. Unfortunately, the UC and CSU administrations just do not get it.”

Yee has authored several bills attempting to crack down on UC and CSU student fee and executive pay hikes. Last year, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Los Angeles) vetoed legislation that would have prohibited executive pay increases in bad budget years.

This week, CSU Trustees are set to increase student fees by 10 percent, which would be a 242 percent increase since 2002.

Next week, the UC Regents are also expected to increase student fees by 8 percent – a 224 percent increase since 2002.

The student fee increases come less than two months since the latest executive pay hike at UC, which brought the total executive salary increases and bonuses in fiscal year 2010 to an additional annual commitment of $11.5 million.

The latest example of UC excess is a “retention salary adjustment” for UCLA Medical Center CEO David Feinberg. Feinberg’s salary was increased by an additional $160,300 per year to $900,000. The Regents also voted to award him an additional $250,000 annual retention bonus. With his annual Medical Center incentive payment, Feinberg's annual compensation is now $1,330,000 per year.

Recently, the Regents and Trustees were able to get Schwarzenegger to veto legislation that would have ensured greater transparency of campus subsidiary organizations – entities that often receive student fees.

Yee’s SB 330 would have resulted in greater accountability of how student fees and private donations are used at the CSU, UC, and California Community Colleges by placing the institutions’ subsidiary organizations – known as “auxiliaries” – under the scope of the California Public Records Act (CPRA).

Schwarzenegger’s veto allows these public institutions to hide billions of dollars within their auxiliary organizations and foundations, which are often staffed by public employees. This secrecy has encouraged colleges and universities to create an increasing number of auxiliaries to run campus operations such as food services, parking facilities, housing and bookstores – all of which would be subject to public oversight if they were administered by the agency and not an auxiliary.