Friday, June 24, 2011

From Homeless to Harvard or UCLA to Homeless? (cross post)

ah, but didn't Cal's John Wilton say "its not all doom and gloom, far from it"-- but for whom?
Chancellor Block-- why are these stories coming out in the midst of a plan to build an on campus hotel for visitors/investors? isn't the chancellor house free/unused (so many are at UC)?:

"The email was sort of cryptic, but certainly from a person who was educated. Of course the grammar was nearly perfect. The origin of the email address was UCLA.

Our homeless agency had just received an electronic plea for housing from an about-to-be-homeless student at one of California's prestigious higher education institutions, home of Nobel Laureates, and basketball coach John Wooden.

Like other universities with the stature of UCLA, young scholars aspiring to reach the heights of education and career building spend every waking high school hour working hard to earn that coveted letter of acceptance. These days, acceptance is not just straight A's, but also leading school clubs, volunteering in community outreach initiatives, and scoring high on the SAT. It is America's version of those crazy preparatory schools where their kids have their noses in books 12 hours per day for years.

The idea of a smart, hard-working young person with the discipline and talent to get into one of this country's prominent schools becoming homeless clashes with our stereotype of homelessness. Some of the people we see on the streets, arguing with imaginary people or reeking of alcohol, validate our typecast of homelessness. But certainly not a talented university student."

read the full post: here.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cleaning Up UC's Mess -Cross Posted

check it out:
"If UC gets its way in 2011, instead of getting to climb that next rung on the ladder out of poverty, [the low wage workers] will take a step backward through a combination of increased contributions to retirement and healthcare and UC withholding a 3 percent raise," Bas said. "All the while, UC is showering already highly-paid executives with six-figure bonuses."

Cleaning up UC's mess--Low-wage University of California workers live in poverty while top executives get big bonuses

and the report referenced in the article can be read here:
"Bad Budgeting, Broken Promises" Report

Déjà vu all over again -remember Berkeley's Betrayal report from a few years back (available in the right hand column)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Are The Latest Cal Workplace Climate Survey Results Bunk?

This is: the way Cal spun the results of their recent workplace survey:

but the FAQ section includes many other less glowing details like:
Q. How does Berkeley staff compare nationally?

A. To enable survey comparisons between Berkeley and the U.S. workforce, 23 items in the survey were drawn from a national quality of work life survey (NISOH). Overall, Berkeley's survey results were lower than the U.S. workforce. Berkeley survey responses were as positive as or more positive when compared to national surveys on n nine items related to work environment, pride in working for organization, relationship with manager/supervisor, job satisfaction, recognition, and general health. Berkeley responses were lower than averages in the U.S. workforce when compared to the remaining 14 other items, including items related to working conditions, respectful treatment, workload and stress, resources to get the job done, career development, and promotions.

Maybe everything in the spin of the survey results is correct- things are great.
So, pair that with the billions raised in under three years-- means things are great.It seems the further cuts to UC in the Cali budget aren't gonna be so bad for Cal. They're doin' great. Ignore the contentious, low attendance staff - chancellor meet ups, etc.
The Cal workplace survey results don't seem to fall in line with what is happening throughout the rest of the country-- but UC spin meisters have a tendency to operate in a vacuum.

here are some other stories:

Brown promises Democrats alternative budget plan
Mandeep Chahal, UC Davis Student Wins Last-Minute Deportation Reprieve
UC Summer Sessions nonresident tuition fees could rise

Much more on the Chiang Decision and Brown

available from CalBuzz:

No Pay, No Peace: Chiang Rising, Boosts Gov

Monday, June 20, 2011

"UC changed its books, then asked the Department of Finance to change the state budget, which also listed athletics as an auxiliary enterprise. "

check out Patrick Lenz:

"The language gives the perception that there's a problem," Lenz said, noting that UC has never diverted money, despite drastic cuts to the university's budget. "I'm not sure what we need the language for."
The issue of how UC pays for intercollegiate athletics has been particularly contentious at UC Berkeley. The campus has paid an average of $11 million a year to help fund some two dozen money-losing teams, according to a panel of faculty and alumni convened last year after the Faculty Senate urged Chancellor Robert Birgeneau to stop subsidizing athletics.

"Intercollegiate athletics should have been listed under student services" because student service fees are their primary source of support at campuses other than Berkeley and UCLA, said Lenz.

So UC changed its books, then asked the Department of Finance to change the state budget, which also listed athletics as an auxiliary enterprise.

"Our intent was to make the change consistent," Lenz said.
Read more of the up is down, and down is up- there's no problem where there clearly was a problem- and we didn't do what the facts say that we did indeed do- just semantics- and now we will ensure the CA Dept of Finance adopts the semantic we want and puts UCOP doublespeak into the budget so that it will be true- or kind of look like true- read comments coming out of UCOP on this issue:

also check out this article on Brown's effort to gain a super-majority over the next two years.

Brown Reconnoiters on Budget - Actually He Plans to Make Republicans Irrelevant

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Quotes: "Brown and CA Leg. Need 'Make Up Sex'" and "I think that if we really want to get the media to cover education, however, than "education" needs to start posting pictures of its penis to Twitter."

Tom Ammiano, former SF supervisor and current CA assemblyman, gave SF Chron/KPIX CBS anchor Phil Matier a rather interesting TV interview this morning- (we almost choked on our coffee watching it- can't find a video link of it, but will post it if it becomes available.):
Ammiano says he broke up some assembly member fights this week saying "ladies break it up, break it up" (believe he thought it funny 'cause it was addressed to two male assembly members)
and Ammiano said no one expected Brown's move - and that Brown wants even more cuts and is known for using this veto maneuver- did it a lot apparently as Gov in the 70's. Also, Ammiano said Chiang wants to be Gov in the future and that he has ticked off a lot of folks because he is flexing his muscle right now on being the final arbiter of whether or not the budget pass was a balanced one and whether or not the legislature should get paid:
"Another wild card factoring into the budget veto aftermath is State Controller John Chiang. Under a ballot proposition, the legislature has to pass a budget by mid June or they don’t get paid. Chiang is now trying to determine if the budget passed last week was balanced."

KPIX has other very good coverage on all of this - you can find that here and here.

and Matier and Ross has the skinny here.

Note how the discussion has moved to the Chiang issue and away from anything to do with higher ed etc.

and parts of the blogosphere are "mis-attributing" (?) an important and accurate quote:

"I think that if we really want to get the media to cover education, however, than "education" needs to start posting pictures of its penis to Twitter."

(a reference to the Anthony Weiner saga, find your own link for that mess.)

--that quote, we believe, belongs to HuffPo's Jason Linkins - but some are misunderstanding and saying it belongs to Face the Nation's Bob Schieffer because Schieffer dedicated his closing commentary to the sad state of affairs on education. Anyway, it's a pretty spot-on quote.

So, who at UCOP or UC with a twitter account is brave enough to "take one for the team"?

And, that quote was echoed by CNN's Christine Romans who mentioned during her Sunday program that education was never discussed in the latest two hour long GOP debate. (Romans rightly states education sparks innovation-- but she does not talk about the other values of education.)

We didn't watch that debate- is it true?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Could Jack Scott's Online Course Fee Headache Become Yudof's?

Given UC's plans to expand online course instruction, students should pay special attention to this article on the CCCs-check out:
Community college system looking into online fees

California community college officials are looking into whether students are being charged improper fees to access online courses at campuses across the state.

"If the fees are not valid, the chancellor's office will direct the colleges to cease and desist the practice, and provide direction on how to proceed," said Paige Marlatt Dorr, spokeswoman for Jack Scott, chancellor of the 112-college system.

The review could impact hundreds of students and dozens of community colleges that increasingly are turning to online classes as a cheaper alternative in an era of deep budget cuts.

The state investigation was initiated in response to a June 3 story in The Chronicle highlighting complaints at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills from students who had to pay $78 to a publishing company to access an online math class after paying their $85 registration fee.

Hundreds of colleges use private companies to provide course materials such as online books that students cannot access after finishing the class. Critics say it is against state laws to charge twice for access to a class, a practice that's common throughout the state's community college system.

If the fees are found to be improper, instructors who rely on ready-made, Web-based classes from commercial publishers might have to abandon those products in favor of developing their own online courses - or using those created by other professors - on free, open-source software, as many already do.

Alternatively, state education officials could move to change state law to permit the extra fees.

"We don't want to chill the growth of quality online courses," said Assemblyman Marty Block, D-San Diego, chairman of the higher education committee. "On the other hand, we want to follow the letter of the law. So this may require a legislative fix."

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

“I think the one thing that is important from a policy and fairness perspective is that if their coverage can be terminated by UC, then no UC retiree is safe from this kind of treatment, and everyone is at risk of having insurance terminated or drastically modified,”

Nothing says happy(?) staff appreciation day! like this story:

Livermore Lab Retirees May Appeal Benefits Lawsuit Decision

“I think the one thing that is important from a policy and fairness perspective is that if their coverage can be terminated by UC, then no UC retiree is safe from this kind of treatment, and everyone is at risk of having insurance terminated or drastically modified,


told ya things are great at Cal- and they really want you to know it cuz they published that article again :
Campaign for Berkeley reaches $2 billion milestone, illuminating value of philanthropy's role in funding Cal's future

and, yet, - some at UC are not very happy:

Mad as Hell in California, and Students Should Be, Too By Tom Lutz

see what you think of that...

and check this out:
"First, there is the parenthetical phrase, “less than 1% of total enrollment”. Including that phrase in the story makes it seem like the issue should be subject to some sort of percentage cutoff. While the legal case was won, the propaganda case will be lost unless we insist that it does not matter how many students fall into this category: they graduated from California high schools, and they deserve the same chance at a college education here as all their peers.

Second, and reinforcing the idea that the moral point has been lost, there is that continued desire to know how many of the estimated 41,000 beneficiaries are undocumented immigrants. Immigration status is, as the responses from the CSU and community colleges indicate, not even relevant to college admissions. What is relevant is the preparation students bring to the challenge of gaining a college degree. That is what tells us whether the students we admit will go on to form the highly educated workforce that California has depended on.

And that leads me to my conclusion. There aren’t just 41,000 beneficiaries of this decision. There are more than 37 million beneficiaries– the entire population of the state.

We all benefit."

Do you agree? Will a large portion of 37 million Californians agree? and how does it affect the current attempt to woo public funding for UC?
read the full piece:
A Supreme Ruling: more than 41,000 winners by Rosemary Joyce, anthropology prof

UCLA's Connection To Sissy Boy Experiments, and Cloudminders at Cal

some interesting articles on UC research in the last few hours:
Anderson Cooper has this really disturbing detailed report on UCLA's Sissy Boy Experiments -- and it has serious political ties to current legislation.
-- such a stark contrast to the UC AIDS research over the last 30 years esp at UCSF and, yet, it is important to remember that both existed within the UC system within a few short years of each other - research is a double edged sword.

Looks like some interesting cloud research at Cal- but it seems like they are paying UC researchers pennies for it! If they create what they intend to create-- it seems it would be worth much more than the dollar figures being thrown around-- but UC is willing to take a slice of a somewhat impressive lump sum and then open source the fruits of their labor. (UC pays a ton of money out to the same vendors who will benefit from this research.) why?:
"Intel enlists universities in security wars-All research to be shared and open sourced"

(btw, Steve Jobs looked so skinny at the launch of iCloud but the brilliance and engagement was all still there-- and at the Cupertino city council meeting he looked really good and made us wish for a tour of his proposed space ship campus once it is built!-- we wish him the best.)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Supreme Court allows CA to grant in-state tuition to illegal immigrants and CA DREAM Act Update

here's the latest on :

Supreme Court allows California to grant in-state tuition to illegal immigrants


CA Assembly passes part of DREAM Act

and Cal says "UC hails rejection of challenge to AB 540 tuition rules"--here is the UCOP statement on:
U.S. Supreme Court declines to review AB 540 litigation

Date: 2011-06-06
Contact: UC Office of the President
Phone: (510) 987-9200

On June 6, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it had declined to review the California Supreme Court's unanimous decision upholding the legality of AB 540, the California state law that allows certain nonresidents, including some undocumented students, who attend and graduate from a California high school to pay in-state tuition at the state's public colleges and universities. The California Supreme Court's decision is therefore final, and AB 540 remains operative law.

AB 540 (also known as Education Code Section 68130.5) was enacted by the Legislature in 2001. It applies to students who attend high school in California for at least three years and graduate. It has benefited U.S. citizens and undocumented students alike. In 2008-09, for example, approximately 70 percent of the 2,019 students who qualified under the law for tuition exemptions at UC were U.S. citizens or legal residents, and that percentage has exceeded 67 percent in every year since the program's introduction at UC in 2002-03.

The plaintiffs in Martinez v. Regents of the University of California in 2005 filed suit against California's public colleges and universities, including UC, the California State University and the California Community Colleges, claiming that AB 540 conflicts with federal immigration laws that prohibit states from granting certain post-secondary educational benefits to undocumented immigrants on the basis of residency without giving the same benefit to nonresident U.S. citizens. In November 2010, the California Supreme Court unanimously rejected those claims. Plaintiffs then filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking further review, which the University opposed and the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately denied.

"We are very pleased with the conclusion of the litigation," said Charles Robinson, UC's general counsel and vice president for legal affairs. "We also are gratified that students who have attended and graduated from high school in California and who have achieved the academic accomplishments to qualify for UC will continue to have access to affordable higher education opportunities, irrespective of their immigration status."


Double Helix, Texas BBQ and Seven Solutions Sauce

University of Texas and Texas A&M University systems both video archive their meetings -- those of us from the University of California don't get to have that luxury we only get access to live audio recordings that are not archived -- too technologically advanced or something for CA or UC to provide video archive of UC Regent meetings...

Anyway, there is an interesting thing happening in Texas higher ed, take a look:

Rick Perry Stirs Texas Higher Education Turmoil Over Reform Proposals
Jaime Grunlan at the TAMUS Board of Regents

see if you don't have a heavy UCOF flashback...
and in London: "The startup college is being funded by private investors, including many with connection to London's financial community. The amount of money being raised is not being made public."

New College Of The Humanities: Forming A New University In The UK

A Fascinating Man and

a remarkable man. A practicing psychoanalyst since the 1940s-a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of California, San Francisco-- Dr. Leo Rangell was seeing patients until shortly before his death. - you can read his HuffPo blog posts here.--"Cool" was his last blog post this year, at the age of 97.

His book "The Mind of Watergate" explored the public pathology that he said gives rise to corruption; he called it the Nixon Syndrome. "The fact is that Nixon was sick in the realm of integrity," Rangell wrote. "This is an area in which the mental sciences have lagged."
A computer-savvy nonagenarian, he blogged for the Huffington Post on topics that included the shooting of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords as well as an unusual malady he developed about 15 years ago. While recuperating from heart bypass surgery in 1995, he began to hear music - Hebrew chants at first, then a hit parade of sentimental standards such as "The Chattanooga Choo-Choo" and "When Johnny Comes Marching Home." It caused him some anxiety when he realized no one else heard the music that he heard nearly all the time. The "musical hallucinosis," as he called the involuntary tunes, became a fixture of his life, though he learned to control and, eventually, accept it.

"I have become familiar with a new dimension of me," he wrote in a 2006 blog post. "The songs come on their own, and I listen. I am listening to me."

--we doubt it - but it would be fun if one of the tunes he could not get out of his head was the Jungian themed Synchronicity I or Sychronicity II -- oh, those Jungians at it again!
Read more:

97, very well done. RIP.

Speaker Perez and Yudof Meet In Sacto

Yudof tweeted his meeting last week with Perez (and others) was "productive"- no news coverage, so who knows what that means and what transpired...

Also State Senate passes higher education transparency bill St Senator Blakeslee voted Nay and Sen. Runner was "not voting". Now, it goes to the assembly and then, if passed,it goes to the Gov. for signature into law or veto. But what is the value of such legislation if UC is already having a rash of stories this year about its failure to comply with other CPRA requests already on the books? Like the recent Cal Aware Audit where UC received an F grade- see other stories on right hand column.

Want to read an interesting piece? see: Whose University? On Yudof and "Us" They comment on Yudof's "lawyer humor of the pathological variety"...

Multi Million $ Crappy System Creators of the Past - Now Creating Crappy Multi Million $ UC Systems of the Future

Cal is gonna pay big money for a timekeeping project before the other campuses
so it looks like whatever they do -- the other campuses are going to follow.
Some folks on the project are the same characters who launched some of the biggest boondoggle failures in IT systems at UC-- this is just great! Remember Appeal to Suspend AP Bears? The BFS upgrade debacles? The HRMS- HCM mess?

and UC HR at Cal is doing a whole lot of expensive hiring for just the time keeping project - why not pursue it system-wide? why only at Cal first? Is UCOP paying for the time keeping trial run team at Cal?

Is any of this new spending cutting into the supposed savings achieved by recent OE cuts at Cal?

have a look:

looks like the trend of "millions wasted- millions supposedly saved - millions reinvested in projects run by failed previous management- soon to be wasted again cycle" is occurring yet again...