Thursday, September 15, 2011

Key, Necessary Asset, or Cog- Which One Are You?

UC Regents, when voting in favor of raises for senior execs calls them "key" or "necessary assets" - let us get them $ asap!! yep, raises to "keep the key staff people"-- well, some people are key and get raises and some are cogs and no raises...
Are you a "necessary asset", or not?

during the open meeting on compensation actions a woman stood up off mic in the audience and said -'this is wrong, those people are getting huge raises for things that other people being denied their raises actually labored on' - or words to that effect. The man reading the compensation actions then said to her excuse me, we listened to you during your turn-now, excuse me and she replied back "yes, you need to be excused" -- it was a moment that summed up so much going on today.

an account of this from a reporter in the room is covered here toward the end of the story.
Note: the 3 o'clock hour meeting on wednesday was listed as "in progress" but when we clicked the link to listen it said no meeting scheduled and to check the agenda - which we did- also tried a number of different things to see if they worked - but no deal. So if the meeting did happen during the 3 o'clock hour on Wednesday we did not get to hear it-- if no meeting occurred during that time-- well, it was listed as being "in progress"...

rough notes below are not exact quotes and the identification of speakers is as best we can hear it -- it is just notes to sum up-- if you want to listen to the audio - well, the regents don't provide recordings or archives on it-- but you can try to see if the UCLA Faculty Assn has posted the audio- they do so sometimes.

Or, go back to the agenda and the minutes once they are published here.

The notes below flow with the most recent stuff at the top -- so, maybe scroll up rather than down - and just rollover the links to see where it leads and return to that section after reading the rest of the text- just a suggestion.

Also, the Daily Cal twitter account has promised other upcoming stories on other aspects of the meeting, so also check there over the next few days.
(end of meeting)
Yudof--I've invited people over we've given them dinner we informed them it is not a free dinner-- we are in the midst of the corp scholarship campaign -- one of the regents is willing to give air time during the Superbowl game?! advertising, corp giving, Sacto, cluster committee/sub committees to work on these campaigns. In a sense Island is right-Yudof says he rarely disagrees with him but the problem is the middle class getting squeezed out and not growing the university fast enough. Commitment to maintain quality is the most important over everything else.

Yudof--corporate approaches, he has had multiple dinners with these people--we've done this. We need stability- everyone in that (Lt Gov Ex Officio) chair and on over has made speeches for the past twenty years and for twenty years tuition has gone up because the state support has eroded over the twenty years. We need realism, we need realism. A lot of this is driven by inequity b/c of the state's failure to support the pension fund.

Lansing- states she is product of feminist movement and civil rights and wants to fight this --she asks Eddie (Island) and Odessa (Johnson) to speak up (they are African American regents, and this part feels awkward to listen to- btw Justice Ginsburg was at UC Hastings and Hillary Rodham Clinton was in SF and spoke about UC Hikers in Iran) Island says he wanted to stay silent and listen but ok he will speak-- he also mentions that this might be one of Crane's last meetings, he agrees with Crane and Blum but, he says, we have come to a tipping point - where are we going to collect exorbitant fees- the majority of CA high school students are of color and poor-- affluent white declining. If we are going to look out of state -- then the UC is not going to be for CA. He agrees with Gould that we should show how the legislature is saying it is okay to raise student fees. We are not VA, we are not MI - their demographics and mandate is different from ours. Their models do not work with our constituency- our constituency is different. There is no money in Sacto to save us anyway- but there is money in CA-- but we can't get there by creating a student fee regime. 1 out of 6 in poverty - 1 out of 5 without health insurance in CA. Student fee increases are not gonna do it for us. 4.5 million underrepresented minority kids need to be educated- that is our job - VA and MI don't have that same mandate. Yudof did a good job cutting fat. We need to look at alternatives now cuz no more fat to cut. We don't have the customer base for raising prices- we need to look at other alternatives. Island tries to avoid voting for student fee/tuition increases - he did vote for it once but he does not think that is the option anymore-- we need to come up with more thoughts, more rigor to identify other alternatives. Chancellor Leland backs up what Island is saying by listing numbers from Merced. need to sufficiently staff student support services, provide academic programs that allow them to graduate timely, promise donors their contributions will reach fruition in reasonable time frame, etc. likens UC to sick crops-- Island also talks about avoiding just reaching for low hanging fruit. Chancellor White of Riverside mentions Dickens Tale of Two Cities. You can't implement plans without the resources. Riverside will lose enrollment. Documentary California Dreaming- The Legacy of Pat Brown was viewed last night by regents and White also mentions this documentary. Riverside medical center an example of what is happening in the state. Lost 30 ladder rank faculty. Chancellor Yang of Santa Barbara-- he touts a bunch of awards given to UCSB- highest Latino population of any AAU institution. 15% rise in gpa of incoming but this could easily change or be lost if future cuts etc.

Lansing is going to be the person to say "you are all right" to each of the regents, faculty, etc who have just spoken... we need to become actively involved in all of these relationships with legislature, with corporations, with other higher ed. Going to alumni to ask them to give back to "the institution that gave them the life they now have"-- omfg! yes, she did just say that! she wants subcommittees that work on each of these to come back and report on assignments-started in the next ten days and begin immediately to work on it.

Gould?--the idea of the shift in higher ed should be addressed by UC, possibility of converting some 2yr colleges into 4 yr colleges to meet the needs in certain parts of the state should be looked at- we should be part of that conversation. sad that Crane may be in one of his last meetings due to his "candor".

Brostrom tells Newsom about the Hewlett chairs at Cal as an example of how Blum's idea could work.

Gould says biz community believes the most dangerous cuts were to UC --think beyond scholarship money from corporations campaign and enlist students and labor into campaign to pressure legislature with allies. He doesn't think Sacto gets it. Impact of decisions they make - UC needs to make it clear that means tuition increases. This framework/modeling may be uncomfortable but we need 1.5 billion dollars now and he does not think Newsom's efforts or Blum's suggestions could result in 1.5 billion-- but we think Gould could be wrong.

Crane says multi year proposal (16% for 4 years model) is the right strategy to talk about- hope to pressure the legislature- that is the strategy. He raises prison guard lobby issue and loss of funding for UC because of them. Battle between higher ed and corrections is the problem- he says Gould can speak to this. Students and labor have not shown the courage to go to legislature to speak to them as much as they speak to the regents in protest. Medi-Cal growing 14% ; "Patient protection act/Obama care"- he used the term Obamacare- costs projected to grow a lot --he says Gould? said so as well. CTA is going to win more funding. So it is likely UC will lose out to all these others-- get real - start acting like a serious private university. He says he is with Blum, Newsom, etc. but he says everyone needs to 'get real'.

Newsom says Pattis is right to ask the better question. K-12 is linked and all other public higher ed are having the same sorts of conversation. We are walking the path to tuition increase in Nov rather than dealing with the predicate/the problem overall. Regent Blum's suggestions are already a part of the plan for funding other areas. We need to find out and know what we don't know. A sixty day focused effort -- the multi year increase proposal needs to be rejected, it is badly framed and scaring people who believe that it is gaining permanence (Magana also said this too). We need to collaborate with other systems. 'If you wanna go fast you can go it alone- but if you want to go long you have to go together.'- that's what he said. Over the next 60-90 days we need to have a critical focus on this with other systems.

A Regent talks about 'job killing bills affecting private just like public', talks about the chamber raising money for their PAC (political action committee) and his work on that and raising money for business friendly elected officials- he says it will be and is non partisan (but Yudof had troubles with the chamber and questions about partisan behavior just last year more on that here and here.)

Staff Advisor Herbert asks about staff stability and 3% increase bumps -- how close to market will staff get she asks Brostrom. -he says depends on market...

Pattis starts talking really loudly-incomprehensible-support for a campaign on the real story to put pressure on the legislature. Others jump in--Money for a campaign to leverage the legislature or a ballot initiative for a regular revenue stream for higher ed.

Blum says the Deans and Chancellors need to go to the corporations solely for scholarship funding not on collaborations --just getting the check-- and perhaps he is right on this but other regents don't understand. Blum says that extending the amount of time students spend at campus because courses aren't being offered is dumb and not rational. btw his wife just got duped, wiped out of millions in campaign funding

heard one of the regents who said yesterday that she lost her mother to cigarette smoking and cancer and so she really wants a cigarette tax to fund higher ed and supports UC efforts on that --now, that same regent is now touting the idea of developing collaborations with Chevron for funding for UC. wonder where she comes down on the oil tax idea for higher ed...sheesh

Regent Blum --I have no faith in Sacto to do anything-Brown is going to give a very ?? budget- a waste of time to lobby Sacto- they know the benefits of UC - the positive economic impact of UC already. They know. but they are going to do what they are going to do b/c of the politics. we are in the process of bottoming out. the money is in the private sector, corporations and private individuals- focus on the people that can write a check. Chevron, Apple, Cisco, Google-- $5 Million for the next 10 years from each of them for scholarships since they benefit from our students.

Someone says UC approach isn't consistent with planning even when we get full funding.

"saving something" vs. "using something"--regent pattis
says "using something" (UC) more important- tells Lansing the "saving something" misses the point.

A regent says that parts of the legislature are voting against the interests of their own constituents-- refers to the payment of lower income students coming off the backs of middle income students. Another regent chimes in agreement (but UC created the blue and gold plan not the legislature. and UC has advocated for DREAM Act I and II -- part of which would extend Cal Grant to undocumented etc. So? It is confusing how they want to say only the legislature did this -- when the push came from UC - see Chancellor Birgeneau's latest piece. This was an important exchange--we wanted to understand how UC could say that the Legislature pursued the DREAM Act or the Blue and Gold Plan, when it was UC that did that- @dailycal Daily Californian
#UC president @mark_yudof on the #DREAMact: "We will implement it 110% ... We've been on board this train since the beginning."
14 Sep via web- but it was difficult to identify the speakers at the UC Regent meeting and to hear all of it)-- try to listen to this section for yourself if the audio is posted- it was an important exchange. If you are supporting legislation then aren't you supporting it?!

one of the regents said that the cost of education has NOT gone up in constant dollars-it has actually gone down. - what does this mean, is it true?

the press keeps giving us stories that say the costs are going up and up- so, which one is it?

Now, let's look at modeling if the state decreases or increases its support.

UC generates billions for the state. wow, like we didn't already know it.

oh gosh, the whole grad student support presentation was a mess- Regent Makarechian said it looked strange and pointed to slides that used terms like revenues and expenditures when he was not sure that those terms necessarily applied and perhaps other terms should be used-- but the person who created the slides openly acknowledged he did not know the accounting systems and terms used for this --- good grief-- regents telling the faculty presenters "this looks like your keeping two different sets of books"...(btw, the agendas posted online should include the presenters names and titles for each agenda item but, anyway)- calling grad and prof student tuition "sticker price", "published price", "discounted price" etc-- JD Powers should do the regent says "we are talking about competitiveness but this is cockamamie" another says we have to do better cuz everyone in the room, including the smart people are looking at this confused or with their eyes glazed over-- the regents cross talking over each other - they could have made it clearer-- it is a shame. But try to listen to this section if it is on the audio tape on the UCLA Fac blog link listed above if they have it and see what you can glean from it. There will be other presentations on this issue throughout the year- resident and non resident grad level will be taken up in the spring and the prof students will be handled as a separate presentation because it is so distinct from the others.

on Wednesday's regents meeting:
Listen to/Read the presentations of: UCSA's Claudia Magana and the Director of the Labs if you can find them on the web- the UCSA and Lab websites really should post their leaders' addresses to the regents.

no questions for Claudia lots of questions for the lab director...
not even "Claudia, why is it that you feel each student group should have its own regent for prof students, grad students and undergrad?" or "what time frame is your organization setting for this?"
or "Claudia, did you read the audit of the student health centers?" etc.
nope--Claudia rushed through her presentation - like they had a giant hook to pull her off the panel any second
it is like an unspoken thing that she is to understand that the students only get three minutes because of their revenue stream status and they should be grateful for the time- then, with egg timer in hand, pat on the head move along... not even an attempt to feign curiosity on the undergrad student perspective from anyone at the table- but let's use them for lobbying.
neither Yudof nor Lansing could even pronounce her name correctly but she has been before them several times over the last two years-- it's Magana pronounce Magan-ya - not that difficult--simple really.

but when the Lab Director was on there was unlimited time for him -people called nat'l treasure-- an absolute love fest, all the time in the world.

they talked about Energy Sec. Chu and his understanding of important things others don't understand-and it is true- but they did not mention the recent Solyndra embarrassment and the negative impact of that news story on the Green jobs movement--

(in fact, on a side note, if the POTUS administration was smart it would stop using the term "Green Jobs" and use the term "Stop Our Dependence On Foreign Oil Jobs"-- when are they going to understand that all of it has to be spoon fed right now.)

apparently the quality of services at some of the student health centers was not so great in certain spots -- a recent audit was conducted and they openly referred to it and said they addressed many of the problems as they found them and will continue to work on other identified problems. several regents compared and contrasted it with the UC hospitals. hope it gets better. regent de la pena led the effort.

FFRRC employees at the labs?

The LLC aspect of the UC Labs is a trouble spot. it might turn it into Halliburton or something?-- --many were complaining about the constraints of LLC or the contract nature of it and how it impacts UCs part of the research.

Tuesday the regents talked about a cigarette tax to fund higher ed in Cali
also read this article Milken's money, UCLA's dilemma --with this sentence: "The more serious ethical problem for universities lies in, say, accepting tobacco company money for research on smoking addiction (as UCLA did a few years ago)" -- seems Big Tobacco was fine for UCLA and for the Chancellor at UCSF only recently-we hate the habit, but the hypocrisy meter is on overload- didn't Rob Reiner lead a campaign to tax tobacco to fund early childhood development programs like First Five-yes, but the regents say this initiative will "keep them (First Five) whole"-- it would be good to hear that directly from the First Five folks.

Came across this- UC Regents: Dumb and Dumber
One obvious way to pressure the state would be to pursue ballot initiatives that give special constitutional protection to the university systems -- the same kind enjoyed by K-14 education, prisons, and a host of other spending programs.
When I suggested as much to UC President Mark Yudof during a press call earlier this year, he said that such guarantees are the kind of bad public policy that hurt California. He's right, of course.
But that's not his problem. His problem is that UC's reputation, quality and budget are at perpetual risk. And the ballot box is where budgeting is done in California.

also see: Reinventing California's Higher Education System

a thought--the Regents keep saying the facts are on their side, that student and labor lobbying in Sacto is the answer -- but if they really believe that then why are they making it so hard for the students and labor to hear the UC facts at UC Regents meetings? why can't the regent meetings be video taped? then the students can email the legislature and refer to facts/snippets from UC regent meetings that they have viewed themselves etc.? if the regents truly want students and labor to lobby Sacto...
Say My Name

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