Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Kim K Post Wedding Update

First on the UC Front:
So weird how the head of operations can give an interview on lack of UC state funding to Time magazine but he could not be in on the call with the state controller on why his division- UC OPs -needs $1.5 million dollars for report/data info requested by the controller. Tens of millions of dollars in software purchases over the past decade were supposed to give UC "at your fingertips" reports on this very info being requested by the controller. Nope, UC logic dictates that the media relations folks can deal with the State Controller and the head of operations can talk about state funding with Time...??!! The Tarnished State of California's Golden College System

Or, maybe UC or SCPR could have asked the UC CIO to sit in on the call with State Controller Chiang to explain why it would cost $1.5 million to get that data? No, just the media relations folks scratching their heads saying they don't know why that figure --but that it would take so much staff time to get it. So, so much time-- what happened to "at your fingertips"? Chancellor Berdahl, President Dynes- their replacements- 'their people' --where are they to answer this question on the expensive products they pushed as campus initiatives? Long gone? Not all of them.
LA Times and HuffPo had some stuff-- but, once again, no mention of the state controller latest angle to the story:
University Of California Tuition Income Eclipses State Funding For First Time
Professor Stout rocks!: "“The creation of a Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy will damage my personal and professional reputation, as I have devoted my career to arguing for investor protection and honest and ethical behavior in business,” Lynn A. Stout wrote in a letter last month to the president of the University of California and U.C.L.A.’s chancellor."

Ms. Stout, a specialist in corporate governance and moral behavior, said in an interview last week, “I think it’s somewhat distressing that so few people seem to be aware of Lowell and Michael Milken’s business history.”
read the full article: Milken’s Gift Stirs Dispute at U.C.L.A. Law School-- it isn't like, as an example to UC, it isn't like there are any high brow east coast schools that engaged in the same thing and then grew to regret receiving some gifts ... no, not anything like that goin' on as a red flag, cautionary tale to UC. Nah, it's for the kids so it doesn't matter the source, it's for the kids...the bad state won't do right by them but this $ will...at what cost?

-difficult to believe that she is the only one with a negative opinion on this donation--that is very difficult spin to believe.
reading more on this:
Cal's Akerlof and Romer --
"To a very great extent, the market [in junk bonds] owed its existence to a single individual, Michael Milken, who acted, literally, as the auctioneer," economists George Akerlof (a Nobel laureate) and Paul Romer explained in a 1993 paper, "Looting: The Economic Underworld of Bankruptcy for Profit." Akerlof and Romer argue that Drexel Burnham's junk bond business was likely based on "manipulating the market."- see Mother Jones Apparently We've Forgotten Who the Milkens Are

Reading up more on this now-- finding that this donor thing is referred to as "reputation colonic"--a common practice in certain circles- yuck.
and then there is:
UC indulgence

The one thing noticed this week as students return to campus: Parents, students, tuition/fee payers are pissed, and there is a 'cloud' of anxiety, wariness over the first days back at campus-- with a distinctly different vibe from other years. A feeling they are paying more for a less enjoyable, very different experience.
Was it a strategy coming out of UCOP to announce the raises just as folks were coming back to campus?-- to create more division between students and faculty, the represented against the unrepresented? Divide and conquer. They could have done it in July -- when they do other stuff they don't want the students to be around for, like individual SMG above scale raises-- the decision on fac, staff raises was already made a long while back. Yudof chose to take it up at the end of August...

(Many in the $100-$200k group are going to receive raises and it seems a wide perception that most don't deserve them-- esp. given the state of things and the many negative headlines UC upper mid management share responsibility for-- that seems to be the reasoning. Many angry readers comments include suggestions "that if they think they can get that kind of pay in this economy they should go out and get that job outside of the public sector if they are threatening that they will bolt"- words to that effect. It makes us recall the 'Ladders' special people commercials? --a psych study -- that campaign! especially the tennis version.
Since we've already mentioned MeshBook etc. and Obama's take on the textbook "racket" in previous posts -- here is an interesting HHMI article: Evolution of the Textbook --it features Cal's Jennifer Doudna--also, there are other really good articles on the post doc teaching vs research angle etc. in this issue.
Outside UC--Many are so interested in what Moody's thinks-- they should also read this: Former Moody's Exec Says Agency Didn't Listen to Analysts and it looks like POGO has caught on to a theme. and Former Lawmaker Says Government Nearly Powerless To Stop Corporations: 'We Are Impotent'
OK, so Kim K... important news on Kim Kardashian's wedding- includes the following: "A report by UCLA researchers published in the July issue of Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace crystalized the growing and nagging concerns I have harbored and quantified them in a psychological study. The article, The Rise of Fame: An Historical Content Analysis, examined the values portrayed in popular shows over four decades, from 1967 to 2007. Sadly, it reveals how dramatically those values have changed in just ten years, for the worse (my opinion, not the researchers)." Love UCLA Visiting Professor, Communications Jim Moret- he holds his nose- covers the story- but then- after what he has been through- searches for something deeper.
20% (?) of Cal's freshman class is now from out of state -is that right?

Welcome Back.

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