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.

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