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.


"My sole focus has been on protecting excellence." ROFLMAO

Here's Mark Yudof's open letter to California posted in the Huffington Post and a separate story on the proposed 8% fee increase.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Protecting the Blue and Gold Plan For Californians?

Here is the latest agenda for next week's regents meeting.

One of the items: "Endorse expansion of the Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan for 2011-12, under which the University will provide that financially needy California undergraduates with total family income under $80,000 will have system-wide fees covered (up to the students’ need) by scholarship or grant awards."

We wonder what protections are in place to avoid other states abuse of our UC Blue and Gold Plan?- could out of state students claim residency after the first year and receive the Blue and Gold Plan services from sophomore year on? Californians should remember this fact: California law, enacted in 2001, promises in-state tuition to any student who graduates from a California high school they have attended for at least three years. 70 percent of University of California students who pay in-state tuition under the provision are, in fact, legal residents of another state. Californians need to decide if they think these practices are fair to--well, um-- Californians.

Here is the Yudof/UCOP press release

Some potentially good news for CA: California job growth could turn positive, indicator says

Also, CSU will start using the term tuition, read about that here.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

$208 Million Dollars Annually?

Came across this California Supreme Court: Educational Outreach Session where UC counsel and CSU counsel gave their arguments in Martinez vs UC Regents. One of the opposing counsel stated that a $208 million dollar figure for annual tuition paid out for "illegal aliens"-- that figure was not challenged by the other side (UC,CSU). Is it an accurate figure? Does it include community colleges?
You can view the proceedings here:
(it starts at the 1:10 mark)
you can also read more about the case here:

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Psychic Rewards

We are Jerry fans, don't disagree much with the idea of psychic rewards but throughout the campaign I have been wondering and hoping that Brown would address this excerpt:

“You don’t want a place,” he(Leland Yee) says, “where the workers want to burn the place down.” When I ask whether UC would lose good executives if 
it didn’t pay competitive salaries, he (Leland Yee) replies that “other things attract people,” that academic quality and reputation are equally important. That thought is eerily reminiscent of former governor Jerry Brown’s oft-quoted remark that university employees enjoy “psychic rewards” and should therefore be satisfied with modest pay. (As if Yudof doesn’t have enough trouble already, Brown, who never hid his contempt for UC and inflicted deeper cuts than his predecessor Ronald Reagan did, may become governor yet again.)

from this old story
(during the campaign I was reluctant to raise it)

Why did Brown let that author get away with the last sentence?

Do the google on "Jerry Brown, Psychic Rewards, University of California" to see further discussion on this topic. Governor-elect Brown needs to address how he views psychic rewards and its applicability to present day UC- the campaign did not provide answers on higher ed.

Now that Newsom has won the Lt Governor position we also wonder if Leland Yee will throw his hat into the ring for Mayor of San Francisco? If so, who will pick up the mantle of Reforming the UC in Sacramento? We think UCOP would be only too happy to see Yee go to City Hall and out of Sacramento for obvious reasons. It would be a serious loss for students, alumni, and faculty groups.


Monday, November 1, 2010


2010 World Series Game 2 - Fans sing along with Steve Perry of Journey
Love My Giants! Thanks Guys!
Now P!ss off a Pelosi H8er and VOTE!!

Tony Bennett
I left my heart
from Game 1

Gavin is gonna have a crazy week- crazy in a great way!

Cal Has Joined The 50K Club

"One Year Of Public College Can Now Cost $50,000 In California" read it here.
It looks like some folks are organizing -November 16 is a Day of Action- against confirmed UC wide fee increases of up to 10 percent. If you do Facebook, you can sign in and find out about it here
but the most important thing folks can do is:
VOTE People!