Friday, December 31, 2010

"If UC Is Perceived As Untrustworthy"

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

To the RIGHT
To the RIGHT

(here's Beyonce's Irreplaceable)

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

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

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Introducing New UC Regent David Crane?

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

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

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

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

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

you can read the full SacBee article on Crane here

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

Low Balling

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

"more than 200"

and SF Chron said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Phuck 'em!

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

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

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

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

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

Here's additional interesting coverage (from SignOnSanDiego)

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

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

Gasstationwithoutpumps is reading the scene the same way we are.

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

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


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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 23, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I Want Money

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

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

Sunday, December 19, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 16, 2010

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Paging UC Regent Eddie Island and UC Regent Odessa Johnson

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

Mr. Island, please note this section:

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

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

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Jerry Brown Education Budget Summit at UCLA

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

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

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

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

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

looking for video, will post later if found

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

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

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

Monday, December 13, 2010

Excellent Links on Today's UC Regents Meeting

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

Bloomberg is covering it too, here.

Changing Universities has this post Regents Rubber Stamp Fake Future

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

and posted at HuffPo here

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

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

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

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

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

and this opposing view:

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

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Universities and Eminent Domain, and other important threads

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 10, 2010

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

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

Proposed UC Regent Pension Deal is Bad for Workers

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

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

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

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

read the rest of this important post, here

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Next UC Regents Meeting at The Savoy Hotel London

check it out:

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

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

posh, so very posh

here are links to the agenda:
http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/regents/regmeet/dec10/joint.pdf

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

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

Fed Judge Upholds California's Affirmative Action Ban

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

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

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

and the US House of Reps pass the Dream Act

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

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

UC panel's plan to raise money comes under fire

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

Read more: here

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

California Budget Conference with Governor Elect Jerry Brown

you can watch it live here

Monday, December 6, 2010

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 4, 2010

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

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

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

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

Regent Blum and His Pals

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

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

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

NOT!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Yee to Reintroduce Public University Transparency Bill

Bill to expand public records law to be introduced Monday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What others are saying about the bill’s reintroduction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

SAVE "Appeal to Suspend 'APBEARS'" At UC Berkeley UNTIL IT WORKS PROPERLY

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

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

FROM: The SAVE Coordinating Committee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two Important Articles on Cal Students

Students Bemoan Inefficiency of Tele-BEARS

Committee Defines Student Position to Oversee Operational Excellence