Monday, August 29, 2011

UC Patents, Library Collections - Another Form of Extraction?

(you know the Ratigan rant about extraction right? -- Or, are folks just being paranoid?)

--Recall Sherry Lansing and others at the last UC regents meeting talking about the Bayer patent and how they want to see more monetization of patents?

Now, recall from the 'Professors Picking the Pockets' article

(also, not our fav title for an article either-but-btw, for those who want to say it is an article on 'one bad apple' -- well, there are at least four 'bad apples' from the same institution mentioned in the piece, the power of ten for better or worse. Let's at least look honestly at the problem rather than pretend a lack of reading comprehension.)

OK, so the article says:

"Misappropriation of technology and ideas that could produce valuable products is a major—but little-discussed—issue for public universities. Those institutions are charged with protecting taxpayer-funded discoveries and revenue from licensing fees on patented inventions.

In 2010, licensing fees for patented discoveries from all ten U.C. campuses came to $125 million. U.C. Irvine ranked sixth that year with $5.2 million.

While schools know what came in, there are no known estimates of losses from misappropriated technology. But in 2008, an unprecedented study found a third of the most valuable patents from U.S. universities were diverted so that only private individuals or firms profited."
(bold emphasis added is ours.)

And so we ask...What about discussion of those at UC not supporting the plan/vision of the regents or not executing it -or those who actively work against this approach that the UC Regents say they want to take (and we are talking about the administration/management failures in this and not just the bad apples' actions) What happens? What are the consequences? What rights do Californians have when the article states:

"The U.C. Irvine audit records for that offense were destroyed per campus policy, police say, and thus weren’t available for the current criminal probe."


and the article also states:
"neither the university nor state officials sought to recover any potential lost money or public technology rights."


Can Californians do anything about it?
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recall this passage as well: "U.C. campuses, like all U.S. universities that receive federal research funds, have staff and committees to monitor professors’ grants and activities with private firms. There are policies and procedures designed to ensure professors teach students and conduct research properly, avoid inappropriate conflicts of interest with industry, and protect public-university ownership of discoveries funded by taxpayers. While industry grants are accepted and often encouraged, conflict-of-interest rules are designed to ensure taxpayer-funded professors aren’t working entirely for industry. But the regulatory system is fraught with problems, as university administrators balance competing goals. The result is often little or no enforcement—which means public universities easily can lose valuable technology and the substantial sums from licensing discoveries."
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Birgeneau recently mentioned monetization of patents: here

"Thanks to some funding from the monetization of a patent, we are also planning to construct two new biology teaching laboratories."

and George Breslauer also hints at it in his welcome back statement.
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-- $125 million seems a paltry sum given all the wonder kids and 'rock stars' running around creating things, right? Just $125 million on patent revenue for the entire UC system? For a $22 Billion dollar operation? Could that figure possibly be right? Look at how the administration describes UC:

""We run multiple operations with multiple sources of revenue - not only undergraduate and graduate education, but also world-class research facilities, national laboratories, some of the nation's best hospitals and agricultural enterprises that affect food production across the world. We're dealing with the realities of a $22 billion-a-year operation that requires sustained investment in people."

Just $125 million comes back on all that?! a pittance.
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"We are transitioning to a new financial model in which the State is now no longer even a tertiary partner."
but does this now mean that UC will be relying on lucrative patents in pills/drug and patents for other industries students may not want their degrees necessarily associated with- like somehow connected to: this kind of stuff??-- remember this is a student body that historically has protested for UC divesting from -- well, take your pick. Then again -- these are different times.

But do present day students majoring in English, Peace Conflict studies etc. want to have their degrees tied to all this other stuff? and why should it have to be tied to this other stuff?
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then check out this in the comments section from a story on UCSD library system:

http://libraries.universityofcalifornia.edu/planning/taskforce/Jan_28_SLASIAC_TF_January_notes_v1.pdf

Some excerpts taken directly from it:

• Talk about “challenges and opportunities” rather than problems.
• Delete “discard,” find a more neutral term (“deaccession”?)
• Use terminology “appropriate number of copies”
• Second bullet in first para.: “inflation” becomes “price increases,” qualify with “barring changes in publishers’ pricing practices”

The following bullet points also indicated that university faculty are deliberately not being notified of library changes.

• Do faculty have tolerance for journal cancellation? Can this be tested?
• “Communicating with faculty” is a non-starter; better to formulate this as “support faculty initiatives”

Additionally, the meeting was held at the Hotel Solamar, a high-end hotel in downtown San Diego. "


nice...a coded language for extraction developed by the administration... detailed in the comments section: of this story on UCSD libraries.
There is a comment from the administration posted there too-- but the management response does not include AN EXPLANATION FOR WHY THEY NEEDED TO STRATEGIZE AND DEVELOP A LANGUAGE OF RESPONSE WITH CODE WORDS AT A SWANKY HOTEL AND APPARENTLY TOLD STUDENTS THEY COULD NOT PHOTOGRAPH THE BOOKS TO BE PITCHED! IF IT'S EASILY EXPLAINED --WHAT'S WITH THE SUBTERFUGE?
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Also of note: Ann Ravel,UC Hastings ’74 - Appointed by Governor Brown, UC Berkeley '61 -to Lead Fair Political Practices Commission

Ann Ravel, 61, of Los Gatos, has been appointed chairperson of the Fair Political Practices Commission. She has been Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Torts and Consumer Litigation in the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice since 2009. Previously she was County Counsel for Santa Clara County from 1998 to 2009. Ravel served in the Santa Clara County Counsel’s office from 1976 to 1998. As County Counsel, she provided advice to elected officials on the Political Reform Act, and she served on the statewide steering committee for tobacco litigation. Ravel has served on the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation, the Judicial Council of California, the Board of Governors of the State Bar of California, as well as the Hispanic National Bar Association. The position does not require Senate confirmation, and the compensation is $132,179. Ravel is a Democrat.

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speaking of Jerry-- he recently launched a jobs thing. And, he also could be described in the same way Bill Lockyer is described in this odd ode.
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also, Chair of the CA Leg Higher Ed Committee Portantino continues in a battle to get some sunshine.
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Much of the above made us recall our earlier allegiances and motives post?
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UC Berkeley researchers find brightest, closest supernova in years
so, it's
Liz Phair...

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