Thursday, September 30, 2010

When Academic Workplaces Crumble, Consider The Impact On Staff

Minding the Workplace has this great post on Operational Exodus and UC - it also mentions Remaking the University and yours truly .

P.S.
Arnold vetoed SB 330. Future reform of the auxiliaries will happen one day soon or Californians will continue to support cuts to public higher ed- including UC- given all the scandals and we do mean MANY scandals. It is too bad Arnold didn't make this important vote for transparency part of his legacy, he was encouraged by so many honorable Californians to do the right thing.

Refusing To Go Quietly

"Yesterday was the worst day of my life. This almost seems surreal," Clark said. "I've literally woken up every morning of my life for 30 years and tried to bring credit to this university "... tried to make Cal people more proud of Cal.

"And to have my university demote my sport and then aggressively defend the decision, which was my take of yesterday, it rips my heart out."
That's right! Go Bears!
Everyone needs to take a look at all of the priorities.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dept. of Energy Investigating Armed Livermore Lab Guards’ Trip to the Airport

Armed men in black create a ripple at Mineta San Jose International Airport

The San Jose Mercury News reports that the Department of Energy (DOE) is investigating an incident that suggests poor off-site protocol for the Livermore Lab guard force--as well as a possible misuse of Lab security resources and personnel.

DOE’s investigation centers on events that occurred last Saturday, when two heavily armed guards from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory strolled around the baggage area of the San Jose International Airport waiting for another security staffer to arrive from a flight. They were armed with assault rifles strapped to their chests and pistols in their holsters, with difficult-to-see identification on the battle dress uniforms.

DOE sources tell POGO that Livermore guards have no authority beyond the fence line of the Lab, except when they are in hot pursuit of someone who has stolen highly enriched uranium or plutonium.

you can read more from POGO here

and Patty Fisher has written a piece on it, you can read that here

Also, there was this recent story about Los Alamos:

Former Workers at Los Alamos Charged with Transmitting Classified Nuclear Weapons Data to Injure the United States

for more info see this: http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/labs/welcome.html

and this: http://www.ucop.edu/labs/

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Operational Exodus Hits ASUC, and RoundUp

Operational Exodus Hits ASUC Auxiliary AND IT HAS OUR ANTENNAE UP! see the story in Daily Cal

you can also find details of severe cuts to intercollegiate teams at Cal- our bears are under attack!

President Obama conducted a conference call on colleges and mentioned UC and public higher ed read the full text here

the debate: NutMeg (who said UC, CSU are gems -perhaps to put in her crown) - Jerry (who said he could not wave a magic wand and remove the fee increases and make it all affordable over night or without some pain) was not so deep but read Bob Samuels piece --it pretty much captures it all for us on that race.
____________________________________________________
On a completely separate note:

Debated whether to address it - but feel compelled to:

We send condolences to all those affected by a very tragic death at Cal- (it brings to mind the recent suicide in Harvard Yard; the University of Texas suicide sniper incident; and an elementary school teacher who received a bad eval and may have committed suicide after becoming distraught-- all of this occurring within the space of days--this news has us thinking of all those suffering out there and the fragility of life.)

and this story is just DISTURBING

Be good to each other.

Walkout: An Open Letter to UC Berkeley Students (repost)

It takes a lot of guts to post something like the message below as an undergrad- we would like to honor that bravery, so, we:
1- Dedicate this song to all those who participate on October 7th
2- happily repost the following
(3- Go Bears!)
_____________________________________________
Walkout: An Open Letter to UC Berkeley Students
Posted on September 28, 2010 by rgomez1989

Over the last school year, we’ve seen tuition increase by 32% and massive cuts to every sector of our campus from academic departments, to maintenance staffing. This is old news.

Just this semester, the Chancellor announced his intention to eliminate 200 campus faculty and staff positions, Chicano Studies and Asian American Studies as majors may disappear, and there’s been a 12% drop in Latino admissions.

Meanwhile, investigative reporter Peter Byrne has uncovered some disturbing facts about the UC Regent’s use of the UC’s investment fund. In 2003, three Regents restructured the UC’s investment fund, investing in risky financial instruments, making students and workers poorer, and making themselves richer in the process. To put it shortly:

many of these deals, while potentially lucrative, have lost significant amounts of money for UC’s retirement and endowment funds, which were worth $63 billion at the end of 2009. (These losses ultimately reduce the amount spent on education, since the endowment supports teaching activities.) And the non-transparency of these private deals enabled multiple conflicts of interest to arise without challenge.

You can rest assured knowing that every time your fees go up UC Regent Richard Blum, with his investments in for-profit private colleges, gets a little bit richer. As if to add insult to injury, at the last Regents meeting the Regents voted unanimously to cut pensions for the UC’s lowest paid workers and to increase the pensions of the UC’s 250 highest paid employees. This news comes only a few short weeks after the New York Times and other major news agencies reported that, before moving to his new mansion in Lafayette, UC President Mark Yudof racked up $70,000 worth of damages to his previous UC mansion.

As students, we are asked to take out more loans that force us into jobs we don’t like to pay off debt we can’t afford for the privilege of getting a lower quality education. We are then told to kindly shut up and move along when we voice our reasonable conclusions: that the crisis of our university is not just a lack of state funding, that UC administrators give the public little reason to believe that new funds will be used in a reasonable or just manner, and that the governance structure of the UC is fundamentally flawed.

Over the last year, tens of thousands of UC students, workers, and faculty stood up, walked out, sat-in, occupied, and disrupted business as usual, forcing the governor to restore funding to public higher education. His chief of staff, Susan Kennedy, stated “those protests on the U.C. campuses were the tipping point. Our university system is going to get the support it deserves.”

And while we await the materialization of those hollow words (the California budget is over 80 days late, the restorations are not enough, and they will come from cuts to essential social services), we again look to ourselves, the students of the U.C., as well as the workers, faculty, and community members with whom we’ve built solidarity over the last year, for the strength to change the status quo.

Administrators and legislators need to know that the current order of business cannot stand. The current order of business says that we should stay quiet and obedient, that politics is complicated, that if we vote (and just vote) everything will be better, and that it is natural to spend trillions on war, prisons, and tax breaks and little on education, jobs, and social services. The current order of business stands against direct action and movement-oriented organizing, but only a movement can offer the kind of change we seek.

This is why I urge all UC Berkeley students, faculty, workers, and community members to participate in the October 7th Walkout and Day of Action. On October 7th, we have an opportunity to make ourselves collectively heard, to organize a mass movement, and fight back against austerity cuts and the privatization of everything. But we need your help promoting October 7th. Here are a few ways you can help:

* Repost or “share” this letter and tag friends friends.
* Join the Facebook Group and invite all your friends: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=119043614817780&ref=ts
* Post directly on your friends’ walls “I’m going to walkout on October 7th to save our educations, are you?”
* Repost the October 7th video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ljp_gk3VRkQ
* Sign up to do daytime or nighttime outreach: http://www.wejoinin.com/sheets/gzjxm http://www.wejoinin.com/sheets/oefys
* Email all of your professors and ask them to cancel class on October 7th, prepare a lesson on the education crisis or ways to resist, or at least to accommodate students who would like to participate
* Change your facebook profile picture to the walkout flyer: http://mobilizeberkeley.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/WALKOUT-FB1.jpg
* (Starting on Sunday) Change your middle name on facebook to “Walkout Thurs.”
* Wear a red armband (available on the 2nd floor of Eshleman Hall) starting now to show your solidarity with the movement.
* Go to the Faculty, Student, Worker Teach-In on Oct. 6th at 5:30pm in Eshleman Hall
* Text “follow ucbprotest” from your phone to 40404 to get mobile updates on protests and important meetings in the movement

We must continue the struggle to restore the public good and we must always remember that this struggle is not about us. We are fighting this battle for our university, for the people who work in it, for the families of California with foreclosed on futures, and the children of California whose dreams we are told are too expensive to fund.

Thank you.

Ricardo Gomez, Undergraduate Student

Day of Action Sponsored by: the American Association of University Professors, the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC), b.a.n.g lab (UCSD), Berkeley Students Against the Cuts, bridges Multicultural coalition, Cal Berkeley Democrats, California State University Employee Union-Teamsters, the Raza Caucus, the Solidarity Alliance, the Student Worker Action Team, the UC Student Association (UCSA), University Council-AFT, University Professional and Technical Employees-CWA local 9119, Veterans for Peace

Relevant Links:

http://mobilizeberkeley.com/


Peter Byrne’s Article on UC Investments: http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2010-09-21/article/36292?headline=The-Investors-Club-How-the-University-of-California-Regents-Spin-Public-Money-into-Private-Profit

Monday, September 27, 2010

SEX, its a pop culture reference

Bob Samuels has a post called Pensions, Lies and Videotape:: An Employee's Guide to UC's Propaganda - a must read. It is a reference to the movie Sex, Lies and Videotape for any of you who didn't get "it".

Personally, I was going to work on a post called "Rick Steves (Brostrom) takes UCOP" or something - but I really had not so much to say about the retirement townhall - which was no townhall imo-

-the bussed in small audience of "acceptable staff people" who asked questions in some basement somewhere vs the online questions etc.

-a chat session that had some important comments and questions that were never answered and anonymous online chat administrators said "could not be archived" (I copy and pasted a large section of it -drop a line if you want me to add it in here)

-the silliness of Brostrom and Duckett taking off their ties to show their casual friday working class affinity and undershirts - did Duckett use that tactic with the auto folks before the industry tanked and he came out UCOP way?

-mind you this "townhall" happened just a day after Pence, Boehner did the same thing in plaid pendletons and workshirts with their "pledge"- it just looked like déjà vu all over again but with no faux G. I. Joe (Pence) or Tan Man (Boehner) in the mix- but we don't want to get all political on ya.

I started to "live blog" it (the UCOP townhall) on Friday but my first line was "I don't believe anything these people at the table have to say, except for maybe Anderson" - and realized my beautiful Friday could be better spent --and we could all just live out our golden years in cardboard shanties along the faculty glade.

Funny that we arrive at the same conclusions--

All I could think is "I don't trust these people". Take a look at the headline stories on the right to find out why.

P.S.
- ok, someone asked for it- see below:
chat copy and paste (the one that UCOP says could not be archived nor displayed for those who view the broadcast later on after the live feed)
11:05 smoyer01: Could I PLEASE get some online support to compel them to answer my earlier Appendix E question??
11:06 smoyer01: Since all of these individuals will greatly benefit monetarily from implementing Appendix E.
11:06 AndHello2U2: Next time people attending in person should have to submit their questions in writing, then they are presented/considered the same way online questions are presented
11:07 smoyer01: I'm quite disappointed. Online individuals are essentially allowed to view the conversation between the panel and the small group of individuals in the room.
11:07 RMBeach: What is Stif?
11:08 shtimseht: K8IFY – Thanks that helps. Go Slugs!
11:08 smoyer01: STIP
11:08 shtimseht: STIP -Short Term Invest Pool
11:09 LBNLemployees: With the credit system contracting and asset valuations falling. What is the contingency plan to avoid riding asset valuations to the floor. These events have happened often in history.
11:10 ucsc_gina: Please comment on appendix E. What makes this fair?
11:10 mlabriola: I'm quite interested in the possibility of an online calculator too. It would help make these complex options more transparant and their implications understandable to the average employee.
11:10 smoyer01: Yes, Appendix E. Thank you!
11:11 LBNLemployees: We are in the 6th Depresion of the modern financial age which is about 400 years last time was 80 years ago
11:11 Infotrader: My question: what is the currrent status of Roth 403b and why it is held back.
11:12 ktaft: yes, what is the status of roth 403b
11:12 dakane: What about tuition discounts for retirees' children?
11:13 charlessd: Is this a strategy for UC to get rid of the "older" more experienced employee, staff and replace with "younger" less experienced at less cost?
11:13 Infotrader: The Roth 403b question is for Prof. Anderson who is the chair of investment TF.
11:14 negotiate88: Certainly supplemental retirement benefits for SMG members is a specific benefit for a select group, how does that differ from tuition benefits for dependents of employees. This is a benefit offered
11:14 negotiate88: by Stanford one of the univerity's comparator institutions
11:14 pdy65: Yes Appendix E please explain
11:15 ktaft: is an explanation of appendix e online somewhere
11:15 smoyer01: negotiate88. Quite right. Please ask them WHY they are recommending the Appendix E benefit for highly compensated individuals?
11:16 smoyer01: Thank you.
11:16 negotiate88: Does the University get any tax benefit from the Obama Health Care Plan?
11:16 dogberto-1: likewise, health/dental/vision insurance for dependants is also a benefit for a selected group
11:17 giusi18: can the panelists answer why we can't have a plan in which I manage the money, since is my pension money afterall, instead of someone else that I don't even know
11:17 dogberto-1: the DCP, 203, and 457 aren't sufficient?
11:18 dogberto-1: (@ giusi18)
11:18 dogberto-1: 403
11:18 smoyer01: The question was WHY PEB recommended this? Please ask Mr. Pitts to answer the question please
11:18 ktaft: seems those falling in the Appendix E category, should have been furloughed on the ENTIRE amout too....
11:19 negotiate88: Doesn't the Appendix E advantage the SMG hired after 1994? Again, discrimination against the lower paid employees in pension and pay.
11:19 smoyer01: Pitts just explained what the recommendation was, not WHY they recommended implementation as part of the PEB taskforce recommendations.
11:20 Infotrader: What is why Roth 403b is so important, since Regular 403, 457, DCP are all in the same tax category.
11:20 edwardfields: Has UC applied to be part of the Health Care Act, Early Retiree Reinsurance Program? This money should reduce UC's costs for health care for retirees under age 65.
11:20 mtrust1: younger emloyees would benefit from a Roth account in that the tax rate may be lower and there are no future taxes on earnings.
11:20 smoyer01: The question was WHY did the taskforce feel that increasing benefits for highly compensated individuals was appropriate as part of their recommendations??
11:20 Infotrader: What is why Roth 403b is so important, since Regular 403, 457, DCP are all in the same tax category.
11:20 edwardfields: Has UC applied to be part of the Health Care Act, Early Retiree Reinsurance Program? This money should reduce UC's costs for health care for retirees under age 65.
11:20 mtrust1: younger emloyees would benefit from a Roth account in that the tax rate may be lower and there are no future taxes on earnings.
11:20 smoyer01: The question was WHY did the taskforce feel that increasing benefits for highly compensated individuals was appropriate as part of their recommendations??
11:21 smoyer01: Moderator: I would very much appreciate that my question regarding Appendix E be fully addressed on the website.
11:21 smoyer01: Thank you.
11:22 CdkRetrd: Someone asked about recording the text. It's simple to copy & paste into a Word document.
11:22 K8IFY: Yes, copy & paste, but that is only for the current chat stream (15 minutes?)
11:23 gcepparo: Is there any anticipated change to dependent coverage? Some employees have a benefit rate of 50% because of families and others only at 17% as a single employee. This is inequitable to single EE.
11:23 CdkRetrd: I'm doing it periodically to save as much as I can get.
11:23 charlessd: How will you make it easy for the employee to make a decision about what to do? online calculator, individual HR consultation?
11:24 K8IFY: CdkRetrd - I didn't think about doing that, though it's not an efficient way for the rest of us.
11:24 CdkRetrd: Did I miss it or have they addressed exactly how current retirees medical coverage will be affected?
11:24 Infotrader: What are those firms?
11:25 dogberto-1: i thiink they touched on it briefly CdkRetrd
11:25 dogberto-1: something about 90% UC contribution decreasing to 70% over time
11:26 kvalerio-1: It would be nice to have a calculator for future employees - we may have family or firends we would either encourage or perhaps discourage to consider UC as a career option
11:26 egran001-1: The broadcast will be saved and posted to : http://universityofcalifornia.edu/sites/ucrpfuture/ in the next day or so.
11:26 ktaft: excellent
11:26 ucihr01: thanks egran001!
11:27 K8IFY: Why the accellerated push to make a decision on these extremely complex proposals that will change the UC sytem so signficantly?
11:27 GJC96: I hear that our benefits won't change but I read that only people with service credit+age >= 50 will be unaffected. Please clarify.
11:27 JohnValdez: Is it true that PPS cannot even handle the calculations neccesary for any of the proposed new plans?
11:28 Infotrader: GJC96, that was what I asked. It sounds like the panel does know what is in the report.
11:28 Infotrader: does not know
11:29 cmusselman-1: Why can't an employee designate a non-spouse as a dependent for retirement survivor benefits? That you have to chose a spouse or domestic partner discriminates against non-married employees.
11:30 GJC96: Infortrader, thanks I was bumped offline for a bit - must have missed that part
11:30 cmusselman-1: I'm specifically referring to nopn-children, non-parental relatives.
11:30 dogberto-1: thanks egran001 for moderating
11:30 ktaft: thanks to the entire panel......nice to see technology deployed so well!
11:30 egran001-1: All, we have collected all of the questions from this broadcast. Please remember you can submit questions and comment on our website http://universityofcalifornia.edu/sites/ucrpfuture/
11:31 JennieRush: thank you!
11:31 ucihr01: thanks!
11:31 Infotrader: GJC96: they sound like all current employees will be grandfathered in, but I read in report is age + service = 50+
11:31 egran001-1: We will be updating the Q&A Section of the website overtime, as well as posting new information on the future of UC Retirement Benefits
11:31 egran001-1: We will be updating the Q&A Section of the website overtime, as well as posting new information on the future of UC Retirement Benefits

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Operational Exodus at UC Davis

Hey Aggies,
Operational Exodus is happening at Davis too!
here is an idea of their 'vision':

"One employee at UCD might process about 1,065 invoices per year, working on paper with a long approval process. At Johns Hopkins University, which uses a shared service center model and automated system, one employee can process 45,000, the report says."

"About 6,500 finance, HR and IT employees would be affected by the first phase of the project, as drawn up by the consultant.

“On the amount of savings projected, what percentage of that is from staff positions?” asked a woman in the audience during a presentation Monday to employees of administrative units that would be part of the proposed center.

Answered Karen Hull, associate vice chancellor for human resources, “Those savings reflect staff positions.”"

you can read more here:
http://search.davisenterprise.com/display.php?id=69024

and

http://search.davisenterprise.com/display.php?id=69402

and

http://vision.ucdavis.edu/


The vendor for UC Davis Operational Exodus:
Atlanta-based consulting firm ScottMadden
but their website seems to be down at the moment -anyway, I am not experiencing operational excellence with it- so here is other info on them if you experience the same
__________________________________________________
OE apparently is also occurring at UCLA, you'll recall this story:

http://changinguniversities.blogspot.com/2010/02/ucla-hires-tainted-firm-to-restructure.html

and here is their website:Huron Consulting Groups
_________________________________________________

and here is info on Bain of our existence

"There are three executives for every faculty member."

sf chron second story on UCB layoffs can be found here
with a very goofy and OT picture of Bobby B

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Operational Exodus - UC Berkeley to Eliminate 200 More Jobs Over The Holidays

San Francisco Chronicle has this story on Birgeneau's latest announcement on Cal's Operational Exodus.
I will paste the announcement down below since many pages on that OE site get altered from one day to the next with no explanation or mention of edits and omissions/redacting- and the site map for OE website lives apparently in someone's head.

If you want to read up on UC Davis' Operational Exodus (and, yes, that's what we have decided to more accurately call it here) you can find Davis OE info in the comments section here

feel free to leave a comment on what you think of this announcement below:

Chancellor's update on Operational Excellence

We do not yet have a state budget and although I remain cautiously optimistic about this year, as we look ahead to the budget challenges facing our campus, we need to keep advancing our strategies to reduce our reliance on state funding. Improving our campus's operational effectiveness will permanently save us at least $75 million annually and we must continue to move forward with the design and implementation of Operational Excellence.

Becoming operationally excellent will decrease our administrative costs and allow us to invest as much of our resources as possible in teaching and research and to support our faculty and students as effectively as possible. We have assembled a leadership team of highly accomplished and administratively experienced faculty, who are fully invested in the success of our campus, to join with some of our most talented staff leaders to work with our faculty, staff and students in designing and implementing the changes that will be required. We are fortunate to have many distinguished academic and staff leaders step forward who believe that we can be as excellent in administration as we are in teaching and research.

We cannot continue with our current administrative structures and operations and be the best run public university in the country. The diagnostic phase of Operational Excellence identified seven initiatives for operational effectiveness which we are pursuing: procurement, organizational simplification, information technology, energy management, student services, a new financial model for the campus, and a high-performance culture. All seven are moving forward.

The organizational simplification initiative includes a unit restructuring component that specifically addresses our management structures. Reshaping these structures will significantly flatten our organization and eliminate layers of administration while saving us $20 million annually. The savings will be achieved by the elimination of some 200 positions through a combination of attrition, retirements, voluntary separations and layoffs. The restructuring will also impact many people whose positions, roles and relationships may change in various ways through this process. Some staff may have different jobs, or new supervisors, or may become "individual contributors" (i.e., specialists who are not in supervisory positions). Our goal is to have this restructuring leave us in a more sustainable position to face our ongoing fiscal challenges and with an organization that can better support our needs. The design phase of this restructuring is currently ongoing in units across campus and we expect that the implementation of these changes will be taking place after January 2011.

These are particularly stressful times for our staff and for managers who are working to realize these changes. It is important that we all acknowledge the important role that Berkeley managers and staff play in the success of our teaching and research mission. This will be a difficult transition and period of uncertainty and anxiety for many. We are committed to treating all of our employees with dignity, respect and fairness while recognizing that in the end, we will have fewer administrative positions on campus. In addition to crafting a somewhat smaller workforce, our goal is to rationalize policies and procedures such that staff jobs become more interesting and less frustrating. As the OE initiatives are completed, staff will continue to have opportunities for career growth.

I want to thank all of the many initiative sponsors, managers and volunteers who are engaged in helping us develop our plans, and our campus community for its engagement with this important effort. The OE Program Office will continue to provide information and updates on progress on this website.

Robert J. Birgeneau
Chancellor

Ah, the upcoming holiday season -- isn't it lovely of them to announce that they will have fully "designed" how to relieve 200 employees of their jobs by Thanksgiving holiday?

William Bagley, Former UC Regent Supports SB 330 along with many others!

“There is no accounting, no access to records of and expenditures made by university-affiliated organizations to and for campus-related activities. Senator Leland Yee’s Senate Bill 330 solves that problem. Even staff to the UC Board of Regents, by media accounts, recently ‘forgot’ the very existence of the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act. During the 1960s era of good government, the Legislature passed AB 495 and AB 219 to open the meetings of all State multi-member bodies. You would have thought that this message of transparency would have been received and honored. Not so. It is thus that, more than 40 years later, I ask that our Governor sign SB 330 to extend the Public Records Act of 1968 to certain defined ‘auxiliary organizations’ engaged in University activities.” –William Bagley, authored California’s landmark open government statutes as a member of the State Assembly from 1960 to 1974, and served on the UC Board of Regents from 1988-2002

Extensive Coalition, Including Author of Landmark Open Government Law, Urges Governor to Sign Transparency Bill
Thursday, September 23, 2010
PLEASE TELL THE GOVERNOR YOU SUPPORT SB 330 YOU CAN REACH HIM HERE
___________________________________________________
Newspapers, faculty, workers, consumers, taxpayers, open government advocates urge Governor to sign SB 330 into law

SACRAMENTO – An extensive coalition of newspapers, faculty, university employees, consumers, taxpayers, and open government advocates are calling on Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Los Angeles) to sign legislation to bring greater transparency and accountability at California’s public higher education institutions. Bill Bagley (R-San Rafael) – a former University of California (UC) Regent and the author of California’s landmark open government law, the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act – also joined the coalition urging the Governor to sign Senate Bill 330 authored by Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco).

The Governor has until September 30 to act on SB 330, which would update the California Public Records Act (CPRA) to include auxiliary organizations and foundations that perform government functions at the UC, California State University (CSU), and California’s community colleges.

While the community college administration is neutral on the bill, the administrations of the UC and CSU are attempting to get the Governor to veto the bill, falsely claiming it would result in a “chilling effect” on private donations. In fact, the bill allows for donors to stay anonymous under most circumstances. Also, another state saw significant increases in donations after a similar law was enacted.

“UC and CSU administrators are doing a disservice to taxpayers by misleading the Governor,” said Yee. “Their claims are completely erroneous and unfounded. Secrecy breeds corruption and not more donations. I expect the Governor will see through their charade and sign SB 330 into law.”

Under existing law, these public institutions are able 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.

“A majority of the billions of dollars held by these auxiliaries are funded by students and parents, and they have a right to know how their money is being used,” said Yee. “The Governor has another opportunity to burnish his record on open government. By signing SB 330, he will provide taxpayers and students what they deserve – information on how their universities are being run and how money is being spent that is intended for the benefit of the public institution.”

What others are saying about SB 330:

“There is no accounting, no access to records of and expenditures made by university-affiliated organizations to and for campus-related activities. Senator Leland Yee’s Senate Bill 330 solves that problem. Even staff to the UC Board of Regents, by media accounts, recently ‘forgot’ the very existence of the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act. During the 1960s era of good government, the Legislature passed AB 495 and AB 219 to open the meetings of all State multi-member bodies. You would have thought that this message of transparency would have been received and honored. Not so. It is thus that, more than 40 years later, I ask that our Governor sign SB 330 to extend the Public Records Act of 1968 to certain defined ‘auxiliary organizations’ engaged in University activities.” –William Bagley, authored California’s landmark open government statutes as a member of the State Assembly from 1960 to 1974, and served on the UC Board of Regents from 1988-2002

“SB 330 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 monies. If any of this funding is going toward administrative excess, while student fees are rising, the public should have a right to be informed about it. Subjecting postsecondary nonprofits to greater scrutiny under the Public Records Act would hold these organizations and the institutions they fund accountable to taxpayers.” –Michele Pielsticker, Vice President and General Counsel for California Taxpayers’ Association

“SB 330 would remove the cloak of secrecy that prevents the public from understanding whether significant amounts of educational funding for taxpayer-funded colleges and universities is being spent for the benefit of all Californians or just a privileged few.” –Jim Ewert, Legal Counsel for the California Newspaper Publishers Association

“If government agencies can spin off front groups to handle their income with no transparency, those who provide that funding will never know quite where their money goes.” –Terry Francke, General Counsel for Californians Aware

“Donors have a right to know how their money is being used and to have confidence their monies are used appropriately. A signature will prevent these public institutions from continuing to operate in secrecy, and our hope is that the Governor is not misled by the CSU and UC’s specious arguments.” –Lillian Taiz, a CSU professor and President of the California Faculty Association

“Governor Schwarzenegger made a commitment to the people of California to expose waste, fraud, and abuse in government. SB 330 is a necessary first step in bringing greater transparency and openness to our public colleges and universities. Everyday Californians should not be compelled to sue the UC just to obtain public information on how taxpayer dollars are being spent.” –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

“Auxiliary organizations have been growing in influence on California campuses without restraint. Auxiliary organizations at the CSU have been found by the state auditor to lack adequate accountability. SB 330 will allow consumers to enjoy greater transparency and accountability of how private donations and student campus fees are used at the CSU, UC, and California Community Colleges.” –Richard Holober, Executive Director of the Consumer Federation of California

“With our public higher education system in a critical state, Greenlining believes that greater transparency will limit sacrifices made to the quality of education while ensuring that public money is used efficiently. SB 330 crucially extends the transparency and report requirements to auxiliary organizations, while addressing concerns of donor privacy by including an exemption. SB encourages accountability and would help prevent the recurrences of prior instances of misuse and abuse of funds.” –Samuel King, Managing Attorney for the Greenlining Institute

“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.” –Barry Broad, California Teamsters Public Affairs Council, representing UC clerical workers

“The public’s business should be transacted in public and public agencies must make their action open and conduct their deliberations openly.” –Toni Trigueiro, Legislative Advocate for California Teachers Association

“Senate Bill 330 is a measure that secures transparency in auxiliary organizations of a CSU, California community college, and UC. We commend Senator Yee for authoring such a valuable piece of legislation.” –Sherri Golden, California State University Employees Union

“SB 330 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

“SB 330 will result in greater transparency as to how private donations and student campus fees are used. We are extremely pleased and gratified to endorse SB 330.” –John S. James, Vice-President of the Academic Professionals of California, representing academic support staff at CSU

“SB 330 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. SB 330 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

“Our public university, the University of California, for years has used auxiliaries and foundations to run more and more campus operations behind closed doors. It is completely unacceptable for our university to hide their operations and spending of student fees, tax dollars, gifts, etc. from students and the citizens of California. The Board of Regents and all of UC must be completely transparent and accountable to not only students, but to all of California, and in all of their endeavors, not just the ones that they feel are appropriate. What do they have to hide? The UC workers in UPTE-CWA strongly endorse SB 330 and commend Senator Yee for this essential legislation.” –Rodney Orr, Legislative Advocate for the University Professional and Technical Employees - Communications Workers of America, Local 9119


California Newspapers Overwhelmingly Endorse SB 330:

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: Yee's crusade is about public disclosure, not Sarah Palin – Yee has proposed legislation, SB 330, to provide more oversight. It's overdue. And this time, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who vetoed a similar bill last year, should sign it.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Fundraising, with limits – Sponsored by Sen. Leland Yee, the rare legislator who seems to have minded his knitting this term, SB 330 would make it expressly clear that auxiliaries are adjuncts of the schools. If they were genuinely private, they might have a claim to privacy, but they are not. With his signature, the governor can right a wrong.

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: Open the windows on UC, CSU foundations – The foundations aren't at all transparent, and it appears that they aren't always responsible, either. CSU officials have admitted that the foundations have mixed private and public money to the point where it's impossible for them to track the monies separately. There's more at stake here than just careless accounting. It's time for the public to know what the foundations have been doing with our money.

SACRAMENTO BEE: Palin visit becomes a teachable moment – It took Sarah Palin's celebrity status to elevate what had been a sleepy issue about California's colleges and universities hiding information behind their "private" nonprofit foundations. This case also revealed how the college's top administrators and foundation board are virtually the same. Lawmakers passed a bill to include these nonprofits in the Public Records Act. The governor should sign it.

SANTA ROSA PRESS DEMOCRAT: Opening Up – Yee's new bill exempts volunteers and anonymous donors from disclosure unless they receive benefits worth more than $500 in return. We can't always rectify our mistakes, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has a golden opportunity.

MODESTO BEE: It's time for foundations to be open – We encourage Gov. Schwarzenegger to sign the bill, which addresses a major concern he had last year when he vetoed similar legislation. While the Stanislaus foundation's secrecy over Palin's June appearance at the Turlock campus clearly added fuel to the fire, the issue is much greater than politics. Openness is openness, and we need more of it by foundations associated with public universities.

STOCKTON RECORD: CSU slush fund – It's time to increase transparency of university system's foundations. The fact that Palin's visit resulted in the largest fundraising event in the university's history is utterly beside the point. Taxpayers have a right to know how their money is being spent. We urge the governor to sign Yee's bill.

FRESNO BEE: College foundations should be open – There have been serious questions about how foundations have used their money. We think the public -- and foundation supporters -- deserve to know about such things.

BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN: Keep tabs on state university foundations – Classifying such documents as public record not only minimizes the chances that state resources will be doled out extravagantly or irresponsibly, it limits the chances of individuals using such funds for personal benefit. Yee rewrote the bill to address one of the governor's primary concerns. These universities are playing with our money. Taxpayers deserve the right to keep closer tabs on them.

MONTEREY COUNTY HERALD: Someone has to watch college foundations' spending – It makes no sense that foundations closely affiliated with universities should be allowed to spend money on programs or facilities in secret. The foundations often play a valuable role supplementing state dollars, but officials at all levels of the state and college systems have shown strong tendencies to play fast and loose even with purely public money. What they are capable of without public scrutiny is anyone's guess.

MERCED SUN-STAR: It's time for openness at universities – Senate bill to shine a light on foundations is on governor's desk. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger should sign the bill, which addresses a concern he had last year when he vetoed similar legislation.

SALINAS CALIFORNIAN: Governor can boost open government – A bill that would boost transparency in state government sits on the governor's desk awaiting his signature; it could lift his legacy a tad once he leaves office. By signing SB 330, Schwarzenegger would keep his promise to improve open government in Sacramento. Taxpayers have a right to know how their money is being spent. They have a right to decide if certain expenditures are appropriate and ethical for public purposes.

LONG BEACH PRESS-TELEGRAM: A measure worth signing – SB 330 would make foundations associated with public universities subject to the same transparency rules as other public institutions. Exempting some donors from disclosure should allay the governor's earlier fears about discouraging donations.

CHICO ENTERPRISE RECORD: Universities should have nothing to hide – State universities aren't private schools and shouldn't try to operate as if they were. We find it despicable that the CSU and UC systems are lobbying hard to kill a bill that would make their operations more accountable. This time around, with the Stanislaus State fiasco fresh in everyone's mind and the exemption for anonymous donations written in, the Governor has good reason to sign it.

SAN MATEO COUNTY TIMES: It is about public disclosure of the public's business – Sen. Yee's demand for disclosure of Palin's contract pointed up the need for foundations affiliated with state universities to be more transparent. At least four of them, including those at CSU campuses in Sonoma, Fresno and Sacramento, have been accused of financial improprieties. Yee's broader concern — that universities may be using foundations to sidestep public disclosure — is justified by this fact: The foundations control about $1.3 billion in assets, 20 percent of the CSU system's annual budget.

TORRANCE DAILY BREEZE: A signature-awaiting bill that might help California – SB 330 by Sen. Leland Yee would make foundations associated with public universities subject to the same transparency rules as other public institutions. Foundations are closely intertwined with state educational missions.

WOODLAND DAILY DEMOCRAT: Schwarzenegger should add to his legacy – Here [is a bill] Schwarzenegger should add to his legacy: SB 330 by Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, would make foundations associated with public universities subject to the same transparency rules as other public institutions.

SACRAMENTO STATE HORNET: Shine a light on auxiliary funding – Students, being paying members of these universities, deserve to know where this money is coming from and how it is spent. The Hornet hopes Schwarzenegger will not veto this bill when it comes to his desk.

CSU LONG BEACH DAILY 49ER: CSU needs new atrium to view corruption – It’s in all of our interest to be transparent. It’s important that these foundations end the practice of secrecy so such conflict-of-interest scandals cease to plague the system. Those of us who attend any California system of education are at the doorstep of change.

PLEASE TELL THE GOVERNOR YOU SUPPORT SB 330 YOU CAN REACH HIM HERE
___________________________________________________
source: http://dist08.casen.govoffice.com/

NBC's Matt Lauer and University of California

Please Note:
Whitman, Brown and Schwarzenegger set joint appearance for campaign's final week

Gubernatorial candidates Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown are scheduled to appear on stage with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger just days before the Nov. 2 election in what is being billed as a conversation about the future of California.

The three will appear together at the Women’s Conference 2010 in Long Beach. The three will discuss the state of the state in a conversation moderated by NBC's Matt Lauer.

Brown and Whitman are scheduled to meet in four debates before election day. The first will take place Tuesday on the campus of UC Davis. The Long Beach appearance is the only Southern California event at which both gubernatorial candidates are scheduled to appear.

The joint appearance was announced by California First Lady Maria Shriver's office Wednesday. Others scheduled to appear at the conference include Oprah Winfrey and former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

-- Anthony York in Sacramento
source:http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/california-politics/2010/09/whitman-brown-and-schwarzenegger-set-joint-appearance-for-campaigns-final-week.html

And, Matt Lauer will be doing a one on one interview with President Obama specifically on education you will recall that UC was the major donor to President Obama in 2008 and Regent Blum sat next to him at the inauguration- and we also know the recent revelations on Regent Blum. President Obama has discussed the many areas in need of reform in higher education. Now is a good time to ask President Obama about his thoughts on all of the recent events, staff downsizing, funding at UC, CA budget crisis, and the need for transparency at UC etc..
NBC would like to know what questions we would like to ask- the interview will occur on Monday September 27th.
You can pose a question here at this link

You might also use that same link to pose your question that you would like Matt Lauer to ask Brown, Schwarzenegger, Whitman in Long Beach. I am sure NBC would forward those questions to him for his reference as he prepares for his sit down with Brown, Schwarzenegger, Whitman.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Banksters At University of California

The next installment is out - its an important read :The Investors’ Club: How the University of California Regents Spin Public Money into Private Profit: An Eight-Part Investigative Series

Also, folks I know times are hard but if you have a twenty, or five dollars, or whatever - please consider supporting the investigative reporting that is being done to uncover all of this - because much of the MSM is NOT covering it- they instead prefer to hob knob, get plastic surgery and act as news readers of the latest drivel in most cases.

you can donate to Berkeley Daily Planet here (including a regular mail option)
support Peter Byrne's extensive work to uncover the dealings of the Regents here (it looks like Peter needs about $3500 in order to finish funding on this segment of the UC Regents - are there 100 people out there willing to pitch in $35?- we would love to read the rest of this story!)

Please remember this each time you read a story or commentary in the MSM that sprouts up as a result from the hard work of community funded reporting. THE ENTIRE STATE BENEFITS FROM IT.

Is The Bain Contract At UCB Really $11 Million?

check out comments at Remaking the University-- why won't they release a copy of the contract as requested by the unions and other groups?

how can it be that UC Davis is only paying ScottMadden consulting a couple hundred thousand --but Bain is in the millions?
also this latest:
From a 9/17/10 email to colleagues from Gilless and Yeary, the following:

"The organizational design exercise we are undertaking this Fall is phase one of the work we have committed to in this area. It has two necessary outcomes:

1. To design more sustainable organizations specifically by addressing our management structures

2. To realize lasting annual savings.

Our goal is to achieve $20M in savings through the unit restructuring which translates to approximately 200 fewer positions. These positions will be eliminated through a combination of attrition, retirements and layoffs. We expect to finish the design of this restructuring by mid-November; notification of the restructuring to impacted employees will likely take place next year.

To put these numbers in perspective, our analysis includes ~12,500 employees (head count) which translates to ~9,500 FTE; this figure excludes faculty, graduate and most undergraduate student employees. Just under 2,000 FTE are in a supervisory position with at least one person reporting to them."

--how do they suddenly have attrition, retirements in this job market? are employees "encouraged to retire,quit?" - how does it work?, how does that conversation happen?, been through it? leave us a comment or post one at Remaking the University 'cause we would love to hear from someone who has been through it or has seen it happen in action.

Ah, the upcoming holiday season -- isn't it lovely of them to announce that they will have fully "designed" how to relieve 200 employees of their jobs by Thanksgiving holiday?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Endowed Chair (insert corporation name here)

It is odd to me that there is no discussion of endowed chairs in this piece called "The Imminent Crisis in College Leadership"

the writer laments:
"the risk is that higher education will become an industry that is led by people who do not truly understand it, who view it as a commodity to be traded, a production problem to be solved efficiently, or a brand to be marketed. "

but does not discuss the endowed chair process directly...

Law Prof: I'm Sorry, So Sorry, But Not Really...-on his 'class war' post

University of Chicago law professor Todd Henderson's blog post sparks controversy over "Why The Rich Don't Feel 'Rich'" - Henderson took down the post, but not until after Paul Krugman wrote about it --fortunately, Brad DeLong of University of California, Berkeley still has a link up to the original post:
see this first : http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2010/09/todd-henderson-we-are-the-super-rich.html

read this at Huff Po for further context and links to Henderson's "apologies" and Krugman's piece.

Monday, September 20, 2010

UC Staff Workforce Representation Numbers and Waiting For Superman

why haven't they been updated since 2007? see for yourself

and everyone needs to go see this movie Waiting For Superman -- whether you agree with the content in the movie or not - it directly impacts future conversation on education at every level. also, you can receive a $15 gift code to give to a local public classroom - see this site for more details http://www.waitingforsuperman.com/

William Coblentz

Remembering fellow bear William Coblentz in The New York Times

Thursday, September 16, 2010

UC voted against hundreds of shareholder resolutions designed to promote human rights, environmental sustainability, efforts to fight discrimination- U.C.'s voting record shows.

The documents show that the university voted against nonbinding resolutions that would have encouraged companies to set goals for lower emissions of greenhouse gases, carry out policies prohibiting discrimination against individuals based on sex or sexual identity, report political contributions, form human rights committees and improve treatment of animals. The university voted against 188 such resolutions in 2008, and at least 50 in 2009. Read the article: here or if you insist on NYTimes and not a local paper, see this version if you must.

UC Regents Set to Hike Pay for Executives, Again

Administrators to receive millions in bonuses, while students and low-wage workers suffer
CONTACT THE GOVERNOR TO TELL HIM WHAT YOU THINK! CONTACT HIM HERE
SAN FRANCISCO – Once again, the University of California Board of Regents are set to hike salaries for top executives despite the university’s budget situation which has resulted in significant student fee increases and thousands of low-wage workers living in poverty.

“Sadly, the UC administration is grossly violating the public trust again” said Senator Leland Yee, a UC alumnus who has authored several bills attempting to curtail UC’s executive pay practices. “It is egregious that while they continue to line the pockets of executives, they take away benefits from low-wage workers who are already living in poverty. Students and taxpayers deserve better.”

Today, the Regents are considering executive salary increases and bonuses that will cost UC almost $6 million annually. In addition, they will consider hiring new executives which will cost the university an additional $2.4 million annually. This brings the total executive salary increases and bonuses in fiscal year 2010 to an additional annual commitment of $11.5 million.

The grossest example of UC excess to be considered today is a “retention salary adjustment” for UCLA Medical Center CEO David Feinberg. Feinberg’s salary is set to increase by an additional $160,300 per year to $900,000. The Regents will also vote to award him an additional $250,000 annual retention bonus. With his annual Medical Center incentive payment, Feinberg's annual compensation will be $1,330,000 per year.

The executive pay hikes come at a time when the university is also considering a cut to retirement income for only low- and middle-income UC employees.

Today, Senator Yee reiterated a call for the UC Regents to give current and retired UC employees a greater voice in the governance of their own pension plan.

UC Regents are considering a far inferior response to a bipartisan resolution passed in 2007 by both houses of the California Legislature (Senate Concurrent Resolution 52 authored by Yee) urging UC to create a new pension board of trustees with equal numbers of plan participants and Regent appointees.

“UC’s failure to give employees who pay into the pension a seat at the table may result in retirement benefit increases for highly compensated executives while retired custodians and food servers will rely on state public assistance programs to pay the rent,” said Yee.

Despite all other California public employees receiving representation on CalPERS, CalSTRS and other public pension boards, UC employees have no representation since the UC Board of Regents act alone as trustees of the UC Retirement Plan. UC unions, faculty associations and student organizations supported the legislature’s SCR 52.

UC Regents Committees on Governance and Investments today will discuss a proposal from the Office of the President to add a UC employee with investment expertise to the Investment Advisory Group, a group of outside investment professionals who advise the UC Board of Regents.

Lakesha Harrison, President of AFSCME Local 3299 which represents UC patient care and service workers, responded that the proposal fell far short of reforming the current insufficient governance structure.

The UC pension plan has a history of conflicts of interest, poor governance, and lack of transparency.


The Regent’s meeting comes while the UC and California State University administrations are attempting to get Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Los Angeles) to veto legislation that would bring greater transparency to their campus subsidiary organizations.

Yee’s SB 330 will result in greater accountability regarding 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). The bill will also further the priorities enacted by Proposition 59 – approved by 83% of voters in 2004 – granting the public a constitutional right to access public records.

Under existing law, these public institutions are able 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.

source: http://dist08.casen.govoffice.com/

CONTACT THE GOVERNOR TO TELL HIM WHAT YOU THINK! CONTACT HIM HERE

Prof Michael O'Hare on Dylan Ratigan MSNBC

see it here

PR Staff at Cal should be more respectful of UC Faculty

Was it this Claire H.
who wrote this snarky comment questioning 1) a professor's right to comment on UC initiatives because of his UCSB status and 2) a local journalist's abilities?:
here is the comment:
"Dear Steven, it's unfortunate that you didn't take any time to contact the people at UC Berkeley - not UC Santa Barbara - who are actually working on this effort. We are all curious what prompted you to take on face value this blog posting v. doing some reporting to uncover the facts about why UC Berkeley must pursue a comprehensive effort to contain administrative costs on our campus, so we can direct the largest number of financial resources to focus on teaching and learning? Are we not living in the same state, where we presently have no budget, are in a fiscal crisis, and have seen dramatic decreases over the last decade in state investment in public higher education. We are an academic institution and not a corporation - and no one here is trying to erase the blackboards. We are just trying to save the taxpayers and students money and be more efficient. What's wrong with that?"

in this article

--If so, I'm thinking Bobby Birgeneau needs to have a conversation with his PR folk- who btw are public employees in CA -- and the Chancellor should remind them of how they are to comport themselves when speaking about or to faculty and other members of our community-- which includes all Californians. Principles of Community people... mind you, only if it was, in fact, that person.

or, perhaps the auxiliary (private $$ of unknown quantity closed books) funded External Relations crew don't believe those rules apply to them?

External Relations has a big guiding hand on the so called "Operational Excellence Initiative" at Cal.

Also, we're thinkin' UCMeP might have found their latest candidate for this year's TOOL of the year award recipient.

FYI Prof. Chris Newfield has served at UC Berkeley if I remember his CV accurately. You can find his full report on Bain and other initiatives here and I am sure his full CV is posted somewhere at UCSB -- if Claire Holmes,associate vice chancellor for university communications at UC Berkeley needs to check it out.

BTW Here is her boss' compensation - it got approved today at the UC Regents meeting:

Scott Biddy
Total Cash Compensation: $322,000
Funding Source: 50 percent State funds and 50 percent Discretionary Funds


you can see all the compensation actions taken today here

Update: "ARREST YUDOF!"

being yelled as loud as i have ever heard at a regents meeting! right now. meeting started late - now they are saying they are going to arrest protestor students, faculty, staff

"SHAME ON YOU" now being yelled loud by protesters to the regents - UCPD has taken the microphone, can't make out what they are saying -

this is a response to the proposed pension "rob from the poor, give to the rich" proposals.

"WHOSE UNIVERSITY, OUR UNIVERSITY"

"WE WILL BE BACK, WE WILL BE BACK"
being yelled as protesters move to rally outside - meeting room quiet,empty in recess.

Update I:
After the Imperial Stormtroopers (UCPD) cleared the room the Banksters (regents) came back and gave Jabba The Hut (Yudof) applause etc

and some of the regents (Patis,Blum) said they were "glad that finally a UC leader had the guts and the leadership" to do this pension reform--- are you listening former President Atkinson, former President Dynes (most favored golden child of Blum's, until he left) and former Regents and Gov Schwarzenegger and former Gov Davis (who appointed both Sherry Lansing Appointed March 11, 1999 re-appointed in 2010 term expiring March 1, 2022, and Odessa Johnson Appointed May 4, 1999 reappointed March 1, 2000 to a term expiring 2012)-- Patis also, I believe, said that Californians need to get off their butts yesterday but he could have been speaking about the legislature only...
kids, you've all been thrown under the bus.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

UC Regents Vote To Agree To Comply With Bagley Keene Law (how big of them)

No apology or acknowledgment that they engaged in a violation of open meetings law- no discussion of trying to find out how many other times it may have happened...
yep, folks, the puffed ups think its up for a vote - it was too funny when they voted to approve the item below today- it was all a mix up, there was some such mix up with our media policy, we weren't aware it happened, but want to fix it now - just all confused and dumbfounded and yeah sure we don't mind that Bagley Keene so much... LAME!
check this out:
Regents Policy 1301: POLICY ON MEDIA COVERAGE PUBLIC ACCESS TO MEETINGS
Approved October 17, 1975
The Board of Regents reaffirms its commitment to openness and transparency in the conduct of the University’s business. Meetings of the Board of Regents shall be conducted in compliance with California open meeting laws applicable to the University of California. Any person attending an open and public meeting of the Board of Regents shall have the right to record the proceedings with an audio or video recorder or a still or motion picture camera unless the recording cannot continue without noise, illumination or obstruction of view that constitutes,
or would constitute, a persistent disruption of the proceedings.


At all public meetings of the Board of Regents and its Committees, accredited new media representatives shall be permitted to televise, photograph, and record the proceedings for news purposes, subject to the following regulations and conditions:
(1) When space is available in the meeting room, a specific area shall be assigned for fixed television cameras and power and microphone cables, and no other area shall be used for this purpose.
(2) Audio recording shall be through a central audio feed provided for that purpose.
(3) No microphones or recorders may be placed on the meeting table for the use of news media representatives, and no microphones may be held in front of persons participating in the proceedings.
(4) Depending upon availability of space and the particular arrangements of the meeting room, a specific area may be assigned within which news media representatives with hand-held cameras may move during a meeting.
(5) Supplementary lighting may not be used for photography or filming during a meeting.
(6) Close-up photography, filming, and recording with hand-held equipment shall be permitted prior to the start of each meeting, during a recess, or immediately following a meeting, as time permits, providing, however, that no news media representative or media equipment may be permitted within the inner area of the meeting table.
(7) The presiding Regent at a meeting may request any person to relocate, remove, or discontinue the use of any equipment which is situated or used in such a manner as to disrupt the proceedings, create a potential danger, or substantially obstruct the view of persons in the audience.
(8) The Vice President--University and Student Relations, in consultation with the Secretary of
The Regents, shall be responsible for implementation of the above, and the development of operating procedures in connection therewith.


check out this full agenda item and policy, here: http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/regents/regmeet/sept10/g1.pdf

What's Your Handle? Teamsters-Cue Represent At The Regents Meeting!

CUE-Teamsters Stand Against Pay and Pension Discrimination at University of California
Published: Wednesday, 15 Sep 2010 | 5:18 PM ET

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 15, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Teamsters Push for a Fair Contract at Regents Meeting Hundreds of CUE-Teamsters Local 2010 members were joined by other Teamsters from across the area to rally outside the University of California Regents' meeting today. The CUE members held the rally to deliver the message that they will no longer stand for pay and pension discrimination.

The 14,000 CUE-Teamster members are employees of the university and work as clerical and administrative assistants at each of the 11 university campuses, labs and medical centers. These employees, most of whom are women and minorities, voted to affiliate with the Teamsters Union this past May. They have been trying to negotiate a contract for over two years.

"We are no strangers to negotiating contracts," said Rome Aloise, Teamsters International Vice President and President of Teamsters Joint Council 7 in Northern California. "Our union has a reputation for obtaining quality agreements in the public and private sectors." Aloise expressed concern that the lack of a fair contract could trigger some unpleasant consequences. "If we have to prove the value of our members by halting services, products and materials that enable the University to function, we are prepared to take that critical step and enlist the support of all unions in the state." In a period of just three days, more than 1,500 CUE-Teamster members signed petitions pledging to fight for a good contract. The petitions were delivered to the Regents by Anytra Henderson, acting president of CUE-Teamsters Local 2010.

"As I deliver these petitions to you, let me reiterate that forcing clerical employees to take a net pay cut while you promise wage increases to other groups is unconscionable," Henderson said. "CUE-Teamsters are serious. Our members have not had a raise since 2007. We have single mothers, people living in subsidized housing. Yet, you, the Regents, think you can give others raises. We refuse to be discriminated against." Other groups also spoke out at the Regents' meeting, and the rally that followed, in support of CUE-Teamsters' fight for a good contract. They were: Bob Samuels, President, University Council-AFT; Filiberto Gomez, Executive Board member of the UC Student Alliance, a representative from California State Assemblymember Fiona Ma's office, Assemblymember Tom Ammiano and Leah Rowell, representing California State Senator Leland Yee (D).

SOURCE CUE-Teamsters Local 2010 www.prnewswire.com Copyright (C) 2010 PR Newswire. All rights reserved -0- KEYWORD: California INDUSTRY KEYWORD: EDU

Monday, September 13, 2010

Social Security Must Reads

"There’s an easy and equitable solution: make high earners pay their fair share. Today, most workers pay the 6.2 percent FICA tax on their entire incomes. But the fortunate ones—roughly the top 6 percent of earners–pay FICA only on their first $106,800. Eliminate that cap, keep their benefits the same, and we’d end up with another surplus after 2037."
Consider this fact as you take a look at the salaries of top level administrators at UC - many of them earn more than $106,800. and as you consider and weigh the changes they would like to make to UC retirement plans.

If UC Senior Administrators are promoting a retirement plan where low wage earners would rely on social security and rely on social security being fully funded -- then shouldn't they willingly want to ensure that it is funded by volunteering to create an in house payroll solution that would effectively remove the FICA cap on high wage earner salaries at UC- and placing those funds in a trust account in the same way social security does - since they are such big fans of social security for low wage earners?! anyway, its one thought in the middle of the night...

Then, take a further look at this site - here are some abstracts of a treasure trove of articles to be found there- it is the place where I found the interesting fact stated above:

Behind Closed Doors, An Attack on Social Security
Jane Slaughter
| August 25, 2010

When President Obama named his Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform this spring, he chose 18 wealthy members for whom Social Security will make up only a tiny fraction of their retirement income. The commission is charged with reporting back December 1 with recommendations on how to decrease the ballooning federal budget deficit.

Social Security: Bipartisan Fervor to Whack the Old Folks
William Greider
| August 25, 2010

An appalling consensus has developed among Washington elites: they tell themselves cutting Social Security is a slam-dunk. We’ll have to learn to live with less, we’re told. But our side can win this fight if we mobilize quickly and smartly.

The Attack of the Killer Deficit?
Mark Brenner
| August 26, 2010

According to politicians and pundits across the spectrum, the biggest economic threat to the country is not the suffering of millions of unemployed people but the specter of ballooning federal debt. (Deficits are the shortfalls in any given year, debt is the grand total.) Why this sudden obsession with government debt?

Social Security Is Going Broke’...and Other Lies
Jane Slaughter
| August 25, 2010

The Big Lie technique is working. Polls show that six out of 10 Americans who aren’t yet retired think Social Security won’t be there for them—with the youngest workers the most pessimistic. And more than half of current retirees predict their benefits will be cut. When your co-workers tell you Social Security is a bankrupt lost cause, set them straight. Here are the facts.

Who Pays to Save Social Security? Us or Them?
Jane Slaughter
| August 26, 2010

Social Security is quite healthy now—but it will need more cash eventually. Who should pony up? The vast majority of working Americans, suddenly forced to work through what they’d been promised would be their golden years? Or the biggest earners, the top 6 percent?

Workplace Bullying at Cal

I want to give a little time to something that caught my eye a few days ago on a blog post at Remaking the University- there was a comment that read in part (I have placed in bold the portions I would like to address) :

"OK, all you UC Berkeley department staff people: listen up. There will be no staff meeting (like in the old days of, oh, two years ago) to announce job/personnel changes. You will be called into your manager's office alone, the better to intimidate you and deprive you of the fellow-feeling of your peers....Union member? Use 'em if you got 'em. Insist that the meeting be re-scheduled with a union rep present (we are now, after all, Teamsters). Not a union member? Remember: bullies back down pretty easily if you stand up to them. You are, almost certainly, smarter than they are. You have the moral high ground, and you can form a coherent sentence. Blind them with clarity! "

Also, there was a reference in another comment section on that site to "The M.O. of the change managers.. is to withhold information from staff; to isolate us and pick us off one by one. To make us invisible. We aren't even numbers! You can see that we're scared for our jobs. We hear about assistance with "outplacement", "workshops to prepare employees for re-entry into the job market", "Opportunities for existing staff" in new configurations, but no real solid information about what to expect. It's clearly an intentional strategy to keep us in line,and it's heaven for petty tyrants."

There were so many other critical issues in the actual blog posts that I wanted to address immediately, so I was delayed in addressing these particular comments. Most importantly, I would like to shed a little light on Workplace Bullying handed down to us from experts:

Workplace Bullying is not easily dealt with merely by confronting the bully. In fact, it may be supported by certain segments of management in organizations that are under funded or have to fight for resources (does that remind you of some place in particular?;-)

"Director Gary Namie says many people have reported that bullying in their workplaces has worsened since the recession.

People aren't free to choose another job or move freely in the marketplace, so it's hard to get out, he says. Experts say the added stress of the recession can cause normally good people to react in hurtful ways.

Namie defines bullying as repeated, health-harming mistreatment by one or more people that takes the form of verbal abuse or conduct that is threatening, humiliating or intimidating. While a typical tough boss may set demanding but legitimate business goals for the good of the organization, a workplace bully strives to make someone miserable or drive them out of the company for his or her personal satisfaction. Those actions can result in severe physical and emotional consequences.

We're really talking about abusive conduct, not just inadvertent glances or simple gossip, Namie says. The distinction comes from the impact the action has on the other person- one which produces stress-related health complications. Health difficulties can range from loss of sleep and headaches to panic attacks, heart attacks, clinical depression and even post-traumatic stress disorder. These become common because someone is threatening your career, your livelihood and your character day after day through persistent and consistent degradation, says Judy Fisher-Brando, Ph.D., author of Workplace Bullying: Aggressive Behavior and Its Effect on Job Satisfaction and Productivity (LAP Lambert Academic Publishing, 2010),

Bosses, peers or even subordinate employees can be bullies. Though motivations vary, they often stem from narcissism, jealousy and a need for control. Consequently, bullies tend to target non-confrontational, smart and popular co-workers to tear down the co-worker and even destroy his or her career with the company. Namie also notes that the aggressive nature of the workplace often rewards bullying behavior, which furthers the cycle and the difficulty for targets to fight back.

Namie coaches targets to first name the situation. Naming it -the situation- as bullying helps to externalize it and legitimize it in your eyes, he says."

You can read more here The Bully At Work posted on SiliconValley.com

There is an upcoming conference in South San Francisco that is very reasonable priced and hosted by pioneers on the subject, Drs. Ruth and Gary Namie, here is more info on that event -it takes place 7-9 pm Tuesday, Oct 19th, 2010 and in Sacramento on 7-9 pm Wednesday, Oct 20th, 2010.

For further discussion on Bullying and Bullying in Academia (which is particularly well documented in the UK- where they also call this behavior "mobbing") please see my blog list below.

An important site to note : Minding The Workplace a site hosted by David Yamada.

Help is out there - but sometimes it is hard to find it when one is in the midst of trouble. We hope these resources provide some immediate relief and/or helpful information for you.

If you would like to leave a comment - including an anonymous comment- about this subject please feel free to drop us a line.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Birgeneau and Breslauer Speak To The Daily Cal. "Facts" Imperfectly Communicated?

Seems odd to put a major interview with the UCB Chancellor and Breslauer out on a Friday -- but that's what the Daily Cal did, for some reason... you can read the two part interview here

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Immoral Retirement Plans at UC and An Important Thread

A really important comment thread about UC is developing at Remaking the University - please join it if you have something to add--
and we want to draw attention to this easy to read, disturbing post concerning UC retirement proposals at Changing Universities
Our thoughts are with any affected by the San Bruno Gas Line Explosion and Fire. Please donate blood to your local blood bank or make a contribution to your local Red Cross in honor of the victims- if you are able.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

CSU, UC Administrations Continue to Mislead Governor, Taxpayers- the usual UCOP Bullsh!t

Universities Erroneously Claim Transparency Will Result In Lost Revenue, Yet Another State Saw Significant Increases Under Similar Law

California Newspapers Overwhelmingly Endorse SB 330
- it is now on the Governor's desk - will he sign it or veto it? You can contact the Governor by phone or email here.
If you need details on the $ scandals see this post
SACRAMENTO – While the administrations of the University of California (UC) and the California State University (CSU) are attempting to get Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Los Angeles) to veto legislation that would bring greater transparency to their campus subsidiary organizations, their main argument is being quickly debunked by the bill’s supporters and author, Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco). UC and CSU have claimed Senate Bill 330 would result in a “chilling effect” on private donations, yet another state saw significant increases in such donations after a similar law was enacted.

“UC and CSU administrators are doing a disservice to taxpayers by misleading the Governor,” said Yee. “Their claims are completely erroneous and unfounded. Secrecy breeds corruption and not more donations. I expect the Governor will see through their charade and sign SB 330 into law.”

Yee’s SB 330 will result in greater transparency and accountability regarding 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) without creating new state costs. The bill will also further the priorities enacted by Proposition 59 – approved by 83% of voters in 2004 – granting the public a constitutional right to access public records.

Under existing law, these public institutions are able 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.

While SB 330 specifically exempts from disclosure the identity of donors who wish to remain anonymous provided they do not receive something of value greater than $500 in exchange for their donation, UC and CSU administrators are still claiming the bill will result in millions of dollars in lost revenue and would have a “chilling effect on private donations to the Campus Foundations.” While the California Community College system is neutral on the bill, the UC and the CSU administrations argue without a shred of evidence that secrecy is needed to encourage donations.

In contrast, however, research shows that when another state enacted a similar law, their public universities saw a significant increase in donations.

A case watched closely by public university foundations and open records advocates was settled in February 2005 when the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that the state’s public university foundations must open records to the public.

The ruling – involving records held by the Iowa State University Foundation – stated that the foundation “is performing a government function, and therefore its records are subject to disclosure…The foundation’s activities support a myriad of university programs, scholarships, facilities, and projects. The foundation is plainly performing a government function by virtue of its contract with ISU, and therefore…the Iowa Freedom of Information act mandates disclosure.”

In the year prior to the ruling, Iowa State University, University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa saw a combined $234.6 million in donations to their foundations. Following the ruling, the universities saw a 26 percent increase – an additional $59.9 million – in donations. The subsequent four years after the ruling, Iowa public universities received on average $289.3 million annually in donations – an average of $54.7 million more than the year prior to the ruling.

“The result in Iowa confirms that the ‘chilling effect’ argument drummed up by UC and CSU is specious,” said Jim Ewert, Legal Counsel for the California Newspaper Publishers Association. “Donors are more willing to give to institutions that operate in the open with nothing to hide so they can ensure that their gifts are not being misused.”

“The evidence demonstrates that transparency does not have a negative effect on donations to university foundations,” said Lillian Taiz, President of the California Faculty Association. “Instead, the lack of transparency in the CSU foundations has led to mismanagement and commingling of state and private dollars. As the case in Iowa shows, potential donors want to have confidence that their funds are being used appropriately and both the UC and the CSU are simply making specious arguments so that they can continue to operate in secrecy.”

The “chilling effect” argument being made by UC and CSU is not the first time they used such a claim to avoid greater transparency and accountability.

When the CSU made the same argument in 2001 in California State University Fresno Association Inc. v. Superior Court (McClatchy) – the case involving well-heeled donors who were given exclusive access to luxury box tickets at the campus arena – the court concluded: “Any claims by the [CSU] that donations will be canceled are speculative, supported only by inadmissible hearsay…[and] are inadequate to demonstrate any significant public interest in nondisclosure…The unsupported statements [that a “chilling effect” would occur] constitute nothing more than speculative, self-serving opinions designed to preclude the dissemination of information to which the public is entitled.”

By its own admission, 20% of the CSU’s operating budget – or $1.34 billion – is funded by the hidden budgets of its campus and system auxiliaries.

Governor Schwarzenegger has until September 30 to sign or veto SB 330.


California Newspapers Overwhelmingly Endorse SB 330:

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: Yee's crusade is about public disclosure, not Sarah Palin – Yee has proposed legislation, SB 330, to provide more oversight. It's overdue. And this time, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who vetoed a similar bill last year, should sign it.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Fundraising, with limits – Sponsored by Sen. Leland Yee, the rare legislator who seems to have minded his knitting this term, SB 330 would make it expressly clear that auxiliaries are adjuncts of the schools. If they were genuinely private, they might have a claim to privacy, but they are not. With his signature, the governor can right a wrong.

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: Open the windows on UC, CSU foundations – The foundations aren't at all transparent, and it appears that they aren't always responsible, either. CSU officials have admitted that the foundations have mixed private and public money to the point where it's impossible for them to track the monies separately. There's more at stake here than just careless accounting. It's time for the public to know what the foundations have been doing with our money.

SACRAMENTO BEE: Palin visit becomes a teachable moment – It took Sarah Palin's celebrity status to elevate what had been a sleepy issue about California's colleges and universities hiding information behind their "private" nonprofit foundations. This case also revealed how the college's top administrators and foundation board are virtually the same. Lawmakers passed a bill to include these nonprofits in the Public Records Act. The governor should sign it.

SANTA ROSA PRESS DEMOCRAT: Opening Up – Yee's new bill exempts volunteers and anonymous donors from disclosure unless they receive benefits worth more than $500 in return. We can't always rectify our mistakes, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has a golden opportunity.

MODESTO BEE: It's time for foundations to be open – We encourage Gov. Schwarzenegger to sign the bill, which addresses a major concern he had last year when he vetoed similar legislation. While the Stanislaus foundation's secrecy over Palin's June appearance at the Turlock campus clearly added fuel to the fire, the issue is much greater than politics. Openness is openness, and we need more of it by foundations associated with public universities.

STOCKTON RECORD: CSU slush fund – It's time to increase transparency of university system's foundations. The fact that Palin's visit resulted in the largest fundraising event in the university's history is utterly beside the point. Taxpayers have a right to know how their money is being spent. We urge the governor to sign Yee's bill.

FRESNO BEE: College foundations should be open – There have been serious questions about how foundations have used their money. We think the public -- and foundation supporters -- deserve to know about such things.

BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN: Keep tabs on state university foundations – Classifying such documents as public record not only minimizes the chances that state resources will be doled out extravagantly or irresponsibly, it limits the chances of individuals using such funds for personal benefit. Yee rewrote the bill to address one of the governor's primary concerns. These universities are playing with our money. Taxpayers deserve the right to keep closer tabs on them.

MONTEREY COUNTY HERALD: Someone has to watch college foundations' spending – It makes no sense that foundations closely affiliated with universities should be allowed to spend money on programs or facilities in secret. The foundations often play a valuable role supplementing state dollars, but officials at all levels of the state and college systems have shown strong tendencies to play fast and loose even with purely public money. What they are capable of without public scrutiny is anyone's guess.

MERCED SUN-STAR: It's time for openness at universities – Senate bill to shine a light on foundations is on governor's desk. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger should sign the bill, which addresses a concern he had last year when he vetoed similar legislation.

SACRAMENTO STATE HORNET: Shine a light on auxiliary funding – Students, being paying members of these universities, deserve to know where this money is coming from and how it is spent. The Hornet hopes Schwarzenegger will not veto this bill when it comes to his desk.

CSU LONG BEACH DAILY 49ER: CSU needs new atrium to view corruption – It’s in all of our interest to be transparent. It’s important that these foundations end the practice of secrecy so such conflict-of-interest scandals cease to plague the system. Those of us who attend any California system of education are at the doorstep of change.
source: http://dist08.casen.govoffice.com/