Thursday, January 27, 2011

Update: Operational Exodus at Cal

read this update on Operational Exodus at Cal:

Cost-Cutting Initiative's Investment Still Unclear


-can you say boondoggle, snake oil etc.?

to top it off: the Operational Exodus folks are apparently claiming the Daily Cal Student Newspaper published a story that misled readers?! Or, are they saying that THEIR OWN OE produced graphics are misleading?!-Szeri is getting paid an extra $40,000 for this kind of communication?:
"Operational Excellence Article Misled Readers" By Peggy Huston and Andrew Szeri (written by Operational Exodus staff)

also see this story:
State Report Advises UC, CSU To Cut Earlier Than Expected

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Donor States, Donor Universities...

If you don't know what "donor state" means watch this video clip from Dylan Ratigan.
Then, consider this story:
Restoring the Faculty Voice
- not all states have the same interests...

Is UCLA In Desperate Need of An On Campus Hotel?

Calif. animal feed mogul donates $100M to UCLA
"Half the gift goes to the UCLA School of Public Affairs to support teaching and research in public policy, urban planning and social welfare. The rest goes toward construction of an on-campus hotel and conference center."
Should all UC campuses have large hotels on them?- is this the priority?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Billion Giveth; Billion Taketh Away

No discussion of Meg Whitman's 1 Billion Dollar campaign promise to CA Higher Ed.
Would it really have materialized post election? How?
No discussion of it in the following stories...

California Runner-Up Bypasses Review of Race


Meg Whitman Will Mount A Second Terrible Political Campaign As Soon As She Figures Out Why The First One Was Terrible

Is Republican billionaire Meg Whitman planning a political comeback?


We need an answer on how the Meg Whitman camp came up with that promise and whether or not it could have been realized post election...but the post election analysis is not giving any in depth analysis on this question.

also, check out this story:

Berkeley Gov Panel Outrage; Brown’s Bitter Medicine

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fiat Tenebrae?

There is an interesting piece on the dark ages at UC. It makes the point that UC should not set future policy and plans for UC solely based on what is happening right now. Giving a good warning to beware reactionary higher ups engraving mistakes in stone. It also mentions auxiliaries- but fails to address how existing auxiliaries are currently operating without transparency -and doesn't give a clear road map to how the sudden shift to willingly engaging in transparency could possibly occur without the necessary legislation. It covers many other points as well- please read:
What Is To Be Done with the University of California? By Akos Rona-Tas Sociology, UCSD

UC Watch twitter account tried to link to a story from City on a Hill Press at UCSC but its a bad link (City On A Hill press needs to check their links - they go funky real fast for some reason.) Anyhow,here is the story from another source if you were trying to read it: Indybay Journalist Files Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit Against UC Police Department its a story that broke last month.

We also think it interesting that @mariashriver follows UCWatch! btw, She tweeted info letting everyone know that her really remarkable father's wake will be broadcast live on CNN - if you don't know who he was- find out.

Christopher Newfield of Remaking the University has his first blog post up at Huffington Post- it is a two part piece, so keep an eye out for the next installment.

There is an interesting exchange in the comments section of Changing Universities. It is another post offering some proposed solutions- a good read.

We 'did the google' on the title for this post to see what came up- surprise: "Searchlights stroking the bellies of clouds".
Fiat lux! Peace.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Salt

in the wounds, we know. but you have to know too:
"UC Finances so dire --- $4 Million in 'Incentive Pay'" handed out yesterday.
UC regents approve controversial pay hikes, urge campuses to adopt admissions change
Today-
"As they wrapped up their meeting in San Diego, the regents also awarded controversial, 10% pay raises to three financial managers in the UC president’s office whose salaries after the increases will range from $216,370 to $247,500. Officials defended the one-time raises as a way to save money in the long run; chief risk officer Grace Crickette; Dan Sampson, assistant vice president for financial services and controls; and Sandra Kim, executive director of capital markets finance, had contracts that called for annual bonuses even while UC was eliminating such bonus plans. Their contracts were renegoiated for the one-time raise with no bonuses or future raises planned, according to Peter J. Taylor, UC’s executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Unions criticized the decisions, calling such raises for executives unseemly at a time when low-wage UC employees face increased costs for pension and retirement health plans and a state budget crisis threatens large scale layoffs across the university."

Taylor also gave a presentation on mortgage loans for faculty and UC elite- some commented during the presentation that these were minimal benefits- Stanford has a huge piece of land where homes are built for Stanford folk at below Palo Alto market prices, so UC is competing with those sorts of perks at other institutions...

It Never Ends...

this shocker on top of the original story:
"Along with the scandal in 1995 it also came out that a few officials at UC Irvine knew about the scandal and some were told to not report anything to anyone. In 1995 the OC Register found a letter sent to Bob Chatwin the UC Irvine auditor, that explained that Debra Krahel, Associate Director of Ambulatory care at UC Irvine at the time, was sent on leave after expressing problems and concerns and then was told not to say anything about her concerns to anyone by Mary Piccione the Medical Center Executive Director at the time." read the rest here.

and remember this...

Didn't The Hellmans Give Us Robert Dynes?

and he in turn gave us Birgeneau? well, here's another Hellman World Bank guy - new to UC Berkeley...
background and more background if you need it.

of interest:
"The focus on these goals as the immediate agenda for the next vice chancellor led to a change in title from vice chancellor-administration to vice chancellor-administration and finance. Erin Gore will continue to serve as chief financial officer, reporting directly to Wilton."
Does that mean there's no Associate Vice Chancellor Finance and Associate Vice Chancellor for Budget etc. anymore? They keep circulating in new people from different investment houses claiming they have the expertise to find solutions but the problems keep persisting! So confusing.
Wilton will earn $375,000 per year according to this article.
there's also this latest news:
UC Berkeley Administrator to Leave for UCSF

and this is dedicated to Rex Hime ("I feel like a passenger on the Titanic being told by the captain how long it'll take before the boat sinks," lamented regent Rex Hime, who suggested pushing Congress to tax Internet sales so the money could be set aside for higher education.-- Today, at the Regents meeting Regent Norm Pattis took time out to say how much he loves Regent Blum in between thanking Blum for Blum's family member support of the labs in particular-the same family member who officiated the wedding of the new Governor to his wife Anne Gust who, if we remember correctly also is connected to Hellmans via GAP-so its for all of them too.)

Yudof said: “You’re looking at layoffs. You’re probably looking and thousands and thousands of them.”

The full story from SignOnSanDiego here.
(but the labs just poked their head into the regents meeting to say they are doin' great and they are experiencing budget INCREASES.) The labs run as LLCs and the Regents want to make the UC connection to the labs an even greater revenue generating source according to Regent Norm Pattis.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Yudof Warns Of "More Exclusive UC"

As he enjoys a cozy moment with Blum... look for yourself.
From SF Chron:
Yudof estimated that 20,000 to 30,000 qualified students will be turned away because UC won't have the money to educate them.

Besides turning away students, UC is likely to lay off more employees next year, offer fewer courses, reduce financial aid and enroll more out-of-state students who pay higher tuition than in-state students, said Yudof, who will propose specific cuts in March after hearing from each campus' chancellor.

Other regents have suggested: tax wine, tax oil, tax the internet

"I feel like a passenger on the Titanic being told by the captain how long it'll take before the boat sinks," lamented regent Rex Hime, who suggested pushing Congress to tax Internet sales so the money could be set aside for higher education.

another- Regent George Marcus:

He proposed that UC ask its 1.3 million alumni to contribute $1,000 apiece, to raise more than $1 billion.


Regent Marcus, take a look at the news stories on the right-- then talk to alumni.

Sweet Home Alabama

check out:
Reality resurfacing in California
Michael O'Hare, professor of public policy


"The Republicans are reacting according to their vacuous script, refusing to countenance any tax increases and prating in the usual way about shared sacrifice and waste in government. The California Republican Party long ago lost its tether to responsibility, reality or even humanity, and no-one takes their policy discourse to mean much more than “please, please, don’t primary me in my safe district of rich people who think they don’t need any government.” But they do have their 1/3 plus blocking minority for tax increases."
___
"If the tax extensions fail at the ballot, things will get uglier faster, which might help move things along."
___
"we could wind up in a stable pessimal condition, the Alabama of the west."

Here is another post from Remaking the University on Birmingham - but not the one in Alabama...

UC releases first accountability report on staff employees

read the whole thing here - it is a big report and takes a minute to download.

it will be interesting to see what Operational Exodus- after it hits all campuses-does to these numbers...

Tomorrow's Regent Meeting

will cover the labs at 9:15 am * Committee on Oversight of the DOE Laboratories (open session)

9:45am * Joint Meeting: Committees on Governance and Oversight of the DOE Laboratories (open session)

pay special attention to this story, and note :

"For research at Stanford, the short-term concerns are limited. The collaborative research done between Stanford and the UC system is conducted in national labs operated and funded by the federal government, such as SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

“Fortunately, for the area of research that I’m working in, there’s actually quite a bit of funding going to the universities now because the Department of Energy has been really successful in persuading Congress that we need to put more research funds into clean energy technology,” said Sally Benson, professor of energy resources engineering."

Jerry Comments on Gavin's Comment

UPDATE: In an interview this afternoon, Newsom elaborated that the UC Board of Regents should look for alternatives to some of the cuts suggested by Brown and help the governor avoid making them.

"Isn't our job to make the case to the Legislature about alternatives and give the governor some cover?" Newsom said. "(Brown) needs people to advocate against it."

The Bee caught up with Brown this afternoon and asked him about Newsom's comments.

Brown's response: "I understand that regents are going to advocate, and just like the cities ... everyone is going to be advocating in the best way they can. At the end of the day, you've got to come up with our $25 billion in solutions. It's all moving the pieces on the board. And each group does advocate but at the end of the day we'll get most of them in the room and we'll come out with something."

Read the whole thing here.

Berkeley Envy

Some are ticked at Breslauer's new piece on Berkeley Greatness.

What You've Said Does Not Enliven the Mind

--that was Gavin to Yudof in opening remarks this morning - loved it!-(maybe he didn't get the memo that Yudof said "being president of the University of California is like being manager of a cemetery" within his first few months on the job.) oh - looks like he is getting wide spread coverage check it out.

Anyway, the Lt. Gov. has a new website for feedback about higher ed- you can visit it here.

Changing Universities has a new post.

Remaking the University has a semi new post here.

Student Regent is giving pretty good coverage here.

Regents go dark in private session over compensation etc. at 2pm today - and Mary Anne Fox has promised them a "good time this evening" so their time is well spent we guess-and they open up again tomorrow- see agenda link in previous post.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

'SOD Off!' - Join Them Tomorrow 1/19 Wed.

They are at it again!- with a "moral challenge to us all."
http://www.saveourdean.com/
more info here.
Be there - or at the UC Regents Meeting.

DREAM Act for UC Staff Opposed by Cal "Leadership"!

DREAM Act for UC Staff (aka "a job") Cut!

Latest very good! article on Operational Exodus at Daily Cal- read it here.
some important sections:
"concerns about the transparency of the distribution of layoffs across the campus units, as well as "potential discriminatory effects" of the cuts in terms of the ethnic and gender demographics of those laid off,"

"Though the campus hired the firm in October 2009 at a cost of $3 million, the firm's continued support of the initiative through Dec. 31 of this year cost an additional $4.5 million. ...However, additional funding may be required to complete the initiative's implementation. A clause of the Phase Two Amendment of Operational Excellence signed April 1 states that the initiative may require much more funding, estimating further investments at $50 million to $70 million in total over the next three years, with annual costs of $5 million thereafter. Further investments will occur in process redesign, automation projects, people and training, the amendment said."

"Altering the campus's software licensing, servers and data centers could be another area for big savings. The information technology team found that new software such as BFS9 - the updated version of the Berkeley Financial System - cost between 300 and 600 percent more than originally budgeted. The team hopes to decrease annual information technology spending of $140 million by 10 percent and is currently drafting case studies."

once again, read the full article here - it is a cautionary tale for other campuses (Davis are you listening?!)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Regents Meet at UCSD Jan 18-20

You can listen to the open sessions here.

The agenda, meeting materials, schedule are posted here.

Berkeley Fuels Silicon Valley Part II

Here is a great article from Times Higher Education (which unfortunately needs to use the overused 'Californication' in the title- yawn):

The fruits of Californication

"Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Mellon University is one institution based outside the West Coast that aims to capitalise on the benefits of a foothold in Silicon Valley. In 2002, it opened a satellite campus in the region for research and to be "more connected" with its Californian alumni base (its largest after Pennsylvania). It also offers degrees in software-related fields aimed at working professionals."
*interesting- if the UC can tell the state that they want to play private--the state could also shift its interests to these satellite campuses cropping up, no?*

and discussion about "weaker sister UCs"; and public and private comparisons with quotes from Birgeneau; Richard Walker, chair of the California Studies Center at Berkeley; David Hollinger, professor of American history at Berkeley; John Douglass, senior research Fellow at Berkeley's Center for Studies in Higher Education; among many others.
__________________

Our earlier post related to this is pasted below:
Berkeley Fuels Silicon Valley Part I
Yes, it does.
But what does Silicon Valley do for Berkeley?
also:
Who will fill philanthropy void in San Francisco?
_________________

a new thought on that original post: found it interesting that CNewf tweeted this:
"College Cuts Imperil Dream That Fueled Silicon Valley-with typical? hostile comment from SV alum of UC http://t.co/4Vgu1TB via @BloombergNow"

we assume he is referring to this:
"The cuts won’t drastically harm the University of California system, said Nat Goldhaber, managing director of venture-capital firm Claremont Creek Ventures in Oakland, California. Goldhaber is a product of the University of California system -- both his parents taught there and he attended classes at the school from 1964 to 1985, eventually earning undergraduate and graduate degrees.
“The University of California, although they will cry over the loss of any funds at all, is unlikely to be significantly affected,” Goldhaber said."


-- "typical"? - don't know 'bout that-- but we do not find those comments "hostile" though - *if* there are hostile comments, then the hostile comments seem to come more from Ackerman:

“Right now, if I were the Chinese university system, I’d be running ads showing up on UC’s websites, recruiting students to universities in Beijing and Shanghai,” Ackerman said.

Let us seriously consider Ackerman's quote in light of all that is being discussed about the upcoming State visit in DC this week-- would these students move from e.g. CA to China and have an equal or better experience? Why was that quote not fleshed out more, challenged by the reporter for that Bloomberg story?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Coverage on Higher Ed Cuts in CA and Applications to UC

This Week in Northern California KQED has good coverage of the higher ed cuts etc. You can watch the segment here. (higher ed covered at 12:00 mark)

And the program interview with Willie Brown is interesting.

University of California sees applications surge from SF Chron:

"Overall, the number of students vying for admission to UC next fall as freshmen or transfer students rose by 6.1 percent over last year to a record 142,235 applications, up from 134,029.

More than 106,000 of those applicants applied for a freshman spot- with 75 percent of them California high school students.

UC expects to accept nearly 72 percent of those resident students, with slightly more than half - about 31,500 - likely to enroll, Wilbur said.

Applications from in-state students rose by 3.6 percent since last year. But the big jump in freshman applications came from high school students in other states and around the world.

International freshman applications rose by nearly 23 percent over last year, from 6,805 to 8,336 students.

Out-of-state freshman applications rose by nearly 11 percent, from 11,524 to 12,759 students.

The boost is the first tangible evidence of a new approach, endorsed last fall by UC's Commission on the Future, to raise revenue by increasing out-of-state enrollment from the current 6 percent. Goals range from 10 percent systemwide, to 20 percent at UC Berkeley, although UC officials say that will take several years to accomplish.

Meanwhile, UC faces a possible loss of $500 million in state funding for next year.
Students displaced

Critics say the public university shouldn't invite carpetbaggers to take the place of qualified residents. But UC officials say that since 2007, state funding has fallen short of covering the cost of all students, and the university has had to absorb the cost of educating them. Those undergraduates, currently 11,000, would be displaced by the nonresidents, UC says.

No state funding is used to recruit out-of-state students, Wilbur said.

In California, Asian American students sent in the most freshman applications: 27,681, up 5 percent from last year. White students were next: 25,562, up 2 percent. Black students sent in 4,843 applications, up 2 percent.

But the biggest increase came from Latinos, with 23,976 applications, up 18 percent."

Saturday, January 15, 2011

IGS at Cal: 'Sold My Soul To The Company Store'

Looks like the Regents, or one of them, controls the research at IGS?!:

"But when we asked Darius why Rarick had said he’d been the one who decided not to invite South or why Clemons hadn’t been asked to participate, Anderson asked: “Do you think it would be smart to piss off a member of the Board of Regents?”

Ah, ha. So when Rarick wrote in his book on the 2006 post-mortem that “the conference proceedings serve as the principal historical record of California gubernatorial campaigns,” he forgot to add, “unless they piss off a Regent, in which case we redact them.”"

Read about it here.

(not sure if its "owe my soul" or "sold my soul"-- you can listen to it here or here.)

and if you don't remember why it's a company store - then read this (again).

Friday, January 14, 2011

Yudof: 'Pancake Tummied' Man on Campus, 'Creature of the Humanities'

New interview with Yudof--the latest quotes of note:

"When Yudof was hired, UC Regent Richard Blum said, "He's expensive, but he's worth it.""

"I think it's going to take 20 years to dig our way out, but we have a plan."

"They may not [choose another non-UC person] again for another 100 years, given my track record!"

"and in March I'll present the whole thing to the Board of Regents. I'm not planning on asking for a fee increase, at least not at this time; I can't rule it out forever. We're probably looking at layoffs and program cuts and things like that."

On the cuts--"it's not $500 million, it's really closer to a billion,"

On Brown--"I like him. He has a bear of a problem. My job is to explain [to him] how complicated we are. We roughly have a $20-billion budget; $3 billion comes from the state. That's the English department, the Spanish department, economics -- that have difficulty generating the big outside grants. I love the humanities; I'm a creature of the humanities. But the engineering colleges are going to bring in more external research support, and that money's crucial."

--talks about Texas seed corn --and a silly comparison between Brown and Schwarzenegger-- and gives his thoughts on the tone of the Guilded 36 pension letter....

piqued your interest? you can read the rest here (it is written by, we guess, LA's version of Jan Wahl- the hat...it appears he got along better with her than with D. Solomon from the NY Times in 2009.)

"WTF Happened at UC Davis!"

yep, that's what we said- please read this most excellent post by Isis:
"Shameful Gender Discrimination at UC Davis Veterinary School"

here's the email:

"Dear Colleagues,
One of our classmates recently gave birth and will be out of class for an unknown period of time...Below are listed the options that Dr. Feldman has suggested. Please reserve comment on these options and provide us your opinion on them by voting when the time comes. Thank you for your understanding in this matter.
a) automatic A final grade
b) automatic B final grade
c) automatic C final grade
d) graded the same as everyone else: best 6 quiz scores out of a possible 7 quiz scores (each quiz only given only once in class with no repeats)
e) just take a % of quiz scores (for example: your classmate takes 4 quizzes, averages 9/10 points = 90% = A)
f) give that student a single final exam at the end of the quarter (however this option is only available to this one student, all others are graded on the best 6 quiz scores and the % that results)
Please let us know if you have other thoughts on how to handle this situation and please keep your eye out for the upcoming vote.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
Your Presidents"


read the full story:
"Edward Feldman, UC Davis Professor, Asked Students How To Grade New Mother"

and here it is covered by Inside HigherEd
"How Not to Deal With a Student Mother"

(find the term "Student Mother" weird and the way Katehi talks about students who also happen to be parents. They act like they are talking about something so exotic and foreign -and they run a major vet school!--but-- whatever!-that mediocrity everyone fears coming with the lack of funding is here already - and it's not 'cause of the funding- its been in place for a while. Why do the "leaders" in this piece sound so freakin' awkward?!)

Is Katehi on the phone with ScottMadden Consulting to find out how to bring Operational Excellence at Davis to this matter? 'Yes, we'll just send all the pregnant students to that shared services center...'

$3 Million, $11 Million, $7.5 Million

take your pick-- all of those numbers have been cited for how much was paid out to Bain Consulting for Operational Exodus.

Matier and Ross cite $7.5 Million here.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Berkeley's Operational Excellence: Layoffs and Retirements for Staff But not for Upper Administration (Crossposted)

"The campus expects to eliminate approximately 280 full time positions, half involuntarily and half through removal of vacant positions, retirements and voluntary separations, mostly before June 2011. Although this is positive news for our cost savings effort, we are saddened to announce that nearly 150 staff on our campus will be laid off."

read the rest here.

Edley Pension Letter to Boalt: "The UC Pension Controversy and Me"

fyi, here's:
Edley Pension Letter to Boalt
page three of particular interest --"the public doesn't want this, the public doesn't understand that, the public doesn't care" etc.

(listenin' to Stephen L. Carter right now)

MLK2011 and Gabriel Zimmerman, Alum of UCSC

Whatever your position- on any issue- please make a difference this weekend by participating in the MLK Day of Service and social activities.

and

Two UCSC alumni and the University of California at Santa Cruz have set up a scholarship in the name of Gabriel Zimmerman, the UCSC alumnus congressional staffer who was shot and killed in Arizona on Saturday. According to reports, the fund has had a Facebook page since about noon Wednesday and has already garnered more than $3,000 through Facebook donations." read more here and share it!

Yes To ALL Of It!

From Bob Samuels at Changing Universities (have a hard time with number five- but whole sports teams are already being completely let go regardless of how long they have been on campus etc.- so then it seems only fair that all of the teams on all sports still in existence need to share some of the pain.)

1. Reduce senior management group by 20%. Just as academic programs are often reduced by a certain percentage, the Office of the President should get the same type of reduction. This process will force the administration to decide who is valuable in their own ranks, and it could save $20 million. If the same process is extended to the campuses, it could save $200 million.

2. Institute a UC tax on all auxiliaries of 10% to go to the general fund; this will bring in $1 billion each year. (Some of this money could be used to fund the pension plan)

3. Reduce the number of grants that do not bring in at least 50% in indirect cost recoveries. The total savings here should be $200 million. The university also plans to bring in another $300 million by renegotiating the federal and state indirect cost rate to match its competitors.

4. Cap administrative salaries, raises, and supplemental retirement perks. This will reduce future costs and help motivate some overpaid administrators to leave. (cost: priceless).

5. Prevent athletic subsidies and force campuses to reduce new construction projects related to athletics. This could save $100 million a year.

read the full post here.

Berkeley Fuels Silicon Valley

Yes, it does.
But what does Silicon Valley do for Berkeley?
also:
Who will fill philanthropy void in San Francisco?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

CA Lawmaker Revives Bill to Give Undocumented Students Access To Financial Aid

"The state Dream Act would help undocumented students become productive members of society, said Kate Jeffery, director of student financial support for the 10-campus UC system. "For that category of student, it would fill a big gap," she said.
If his bill is approved, Cedillo said California would be the third state to offer financial aid to undocumented students, after Texas and New Mexico."


and there is this latest from Matier and Ross
Cal's Robert Birgeneau talks about Tucson shooting

"Birgeneau's office said Tuesday that the statement spoke for itself and he would have no further comment." (ah, the leadership expressed in helming the ongoing dialogue on this matter... NOT!)

[Love how Matier and Ross include this: "A couple of years back, the chancellor argued that Berkeley's tree-sitter protests against a new sports training center were based on "racism against our underrepresented minority student athletes.""]

Yes, we harp on sayin' read the comments section in the SF Chron coverage- this time all we're gonna say is that this issue plays into the heart of discussions with 36 million Californians as Brown works on the budget etc. - to read more on that check out the latest posts here.

update- this goes out to UCMeP's Bobby B:
"You see, when a tragedy like this strikes, it is part of our nature to demand explanations – to try to impose some order on the chaos, and make sense out of that which seems senseless. Already we’ve seen a national conversation commence, not only about the motivations behind these killings, but about everything from the merits of gun safety laws to the adequacy of our mental health systems. Much of this process, of debating what might be done to prevent such tragedies in the future, is an essential ingredient in our exercise of self-government.

But at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized – at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do – it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.

Scripture tells us that there is evil in the world, and that terrible things happen for reasons that defy human understanding. In the words of Job, “when I looked for light, then came darkness.” Bad things happen, and we must guard against simple explanations in the aftermath.

For the truth is that none of us can know exactly what triggered this vicious attack. None of us can know with any certainty what might have stopped those shots from being fired, or what thoughts lurked in the inner recesses of a violent man’s mind.

So yes, we must examine all the facts behind this tragedy. We cannot and will not be passive in the face of such violence. We should be willing to challenge old assumptions in order to lessen the prospects of violence in the future.

But what we can’t do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on one another. As we discuss these issues, let each of us do so with a good dose of humility. Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together.

After all, that’s what most of us do when we lose someone in our family – especially if the loss is unexpected. We’re shaken from our routines, and forced to look inward."
Remarks of President Barack Obama – As Prepared for Delivery
At a Memorial Service for the Victims of the Shooting in Tucson, Arizona
University of Arizona, McKale Memorial Center
Tucson, Arizona
January 12, 2011

You can read the whole thing here.

Interestingly...
Chancellor Birgeneau didn't come out in support of Leland Yee when Yee was getting it pretty bad over the Sista Sarah Stanislaus shredding scandal.
But Yee is standing up for Birgeneau in this article from Chron of Higher Ed -- classy, and a smart stance to take for his district.

So Much Promise Lost ...

Senselessly:
Man who died after club brawl was UCSF med student

- we read this story earlier and found it disturbingly sad - now come to find out he was a UCSF med student.
Please read the story and the comments section -maybe listen to this while you're at it.

Oh 2 B UC Merced

it is kinda mean how so many pieces on the budget mention selling UC Merced
here's another one

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cal Chancellor Uses Arizona Shooting To Talk About DREAM Act

Cal Chancellor Birgeneau's recent press release tying the Arizona shootings to the Dream Act made us cringe a little, here's why:
It felt like he was attempting to exploit a national tragedy for the sake of political posturing about the Dream Act for popularity/publicity sake- and it was not necessary.

He could have said his thoughts were with the victims in Arizona and mentioned that Gabby Giffords voted for the Dream Act and he was grateful for her support, vote. But he didn't. He could have stayed on the topic and discussed mental health services, etc. But he didn't. Birgeneau then could have moved on to talk about a relevant news story like this SF story about a UC student facing deportation -a story that directly relates to the Dream Act. But he didn't. Then, Birgeneau could have more appropriately stated his position as it relates to that issue. But he didn't do that - and it is really too bad. It would have felt less like emotional manipulation- using the tragedy as a tool.

Birgeneau also would be more credible on the Dream Act issue and his statements like: "we must continue to work toward a climate of equity and inclusion for all" if he also directly addressed current demographics on faculty and staff in light of recent and upcoming lay offs, terminations. Where are the numbers on that right now, what is the current state of diversity for faculty and staff at Cal? Why isn't he addressing it directly as Operation Exodus rolls along? Why hasn't this page or this page been updated with current numbers on all race and gender demographics related to workforce diversity? That is the press release he should be distributing regularly and widely. If that info exists - one has to dig pretty hard to find it.

A Cal press release tying the Arizona shooting with the Dream Act today seems ill timed as victims are still in hospital fighting for their lives and the dead have yet to be memorialized or buried.

Make the case - but not in this way.

And, where is Birgeneau's statement on the Gilded 36?- crickets...
(but the subtext of his statement seems to try to link all protests and petitions against UC corruption, waste, fraud, abuse as falsely equivalent to "demonization of others" and "hateful speech"- nice try, but it doesn't fly)
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Albert Einstein on Ghandi
"I believe that Gandhi's views were the most enlightened of all the political men in our time. We should strive to do things in his spirit: not to use violence in fighting for our cause, but by non-participation in anything you believe is evil."
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P.S.
Just found this post on this very issue, its good! please read:
UC Berkeley Chancellor Blames Arizona Shooting on 'Hateful Speech'

only a very small group of folks qualified to form immediate thoughtful conclusions about the tragedy, here is one of them from RFK Jr.

New Operational Excellence Program Head Announced

Check this out "While both positions require full time dedication and focus, Andrew will rely heavily on his associate deans and senior staff to conduct the day-to-day duties of the Graduate Division to maintain the momentum underway and ensure continuous operations in this critical area on our campus."

How well does this shoving off of duties (for the jobs originally, intentionally hired for) onto others (with their own jobs) go down?--esp. for an unproven latest expensive fetish named Operational Excellence? How does it really affect operations? Will we ever really know? There are other groups on campus that do the same thing- release time away from their positions in the name of helping the Chancellor etc.- what does this tell us about the jobs these folks are originally hired for and about the jobs of those who assume their duties? Where are the OE metrics on that- is Bain monitoring it?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Brown Asks UC Students and Unions to Help Cut the UC Budget by $500 Million (cross posted)

see this post: Brown Asks UC Students and Unions to Help Cut the UC Budget by $500 Million

"However, there is a big new wrinkle in this process: Brown is asking students and union representatives to help make reductions to the UC budget. Here is the relevant passage from his budget proposal: “A decrease of $500 million in 2011‐12 to reflect necessary funding reductions to help resolve the budget deficit. These reductions are intended to minimize fee and enrollment impacts on students by targeting actions that lower the costs of instruction and administration. The Administration will work with the Office of the President and the Regents, as well as stakeholders (including representatives of students and employees), to determine the specific mix of measures that can best accomplish these objectives.”
In other words, for the first time, a governor will try to control the UC budget and attempt to cut unneeded expenses like administrative salaries and athletic subsidies."


Perhaps the $161 Million slush fund for significant acreage for Chancellors' homes and the real estate etc. can be looked at closely as a part of this work? IF all are operating in good faith, honestly stating "everything is on the table" in order to ensure the scholarly work and research comes first... then it should be. Can't think of a time that would be more appropriate for a real legal challenge on whether or not that endowment can or cannot be tapped. If not now -in these dire circumstances - then when?

FYI- the release of the state audit findings on UC has been moved to April 2011.

Here is Yudof/UCOP response to Gov. Brown.

and, here is a preliminary look at Brown's Budget from Remaking the University.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Seismic-Updated

Robert Reich talks about Gabby Giffords, on her wedding day. Sad.

Aftershock with Robert Reich
In this forty minute talk Robert Reich examines the aftermath of the economic meltdown arguing that there is a structural problem with an increasing concentration of income and wealth at the top, and a middle class that has had to go deeply into debt to maintain a decent standard of living. He argues that history shows that such a disparity leads to ever greater booms followed by ever deeper busts. Pay attention to his discussion of being asked to "sound angrier when he is interviewed"- also, note his comments and prognostications on the political scene. Interesting.

No discussion of the Gilded 36...(taped late Nov.)
Two other things: 1-it never fails to amaze the lack of diversity of the crowds at GSPP high profile talks (the wait staff are the only minorities) and 2- that UCTV can capture these sorts of broadcasts but can't use the same technology to cover Regent meetings.

Here also is Reich's write up on public employees.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Chancellors Speak on Gilded 36

well, Katehi is anyway (since she has to try and raise a load of dough)- her statement also covered by SacBee here.
will add other Chancellor statements on it here - if there are any.
Imagine the migraine Birgeneau must be having in developing his response...

they know others are chomping at the bit

Operational Excellence Trolls On

Recall that OE plans state that January is the month when some implementation that will be "personally painful for certain individuals" begins- in light of that, we thought we would check in to see what's doin':

Looks like Prof. Pisano is stepping down from Cal's Operational Excellence- citing "personal reasons"- but the PR folks are talking about a concussion he suffered earlier etc.-- shouldn't that kind of detail come directly from Pisano since it is about his personal health? Strange. They will announce his replacement shortly. "Which one, which one will it be?"
(Best wishes for good health to Pisano.)

Also, it looks like OE is holding an Open House on Jan 21.- it will likely look like this...happy talk

And they hired a former CAL alumni assoc. communications person (someone who worked in the private sector for stanfurd and the banksters as well) to run OE communications. sigh.

We also wonder if the folks who wrote Appeal to Suspend AP Bears ever took a look at the slides from this presentation? (esp. slides 28-38- it's clunky- might take a while to load) They are basically telling you they know they suck and have known for a looonnngg time- talk about throwing your own under the bus-...but it is all magically going to change now. somehow.

Gilded 36 Bring "Bipartisan Joy"

"Spooked by the University of California's pension revolt - in which its highest paid executives are threatening to sue unless UC fattens their retirement benefits - a Democratic state lawmaker introduced a bill Thursday to prevent all public employees from gaining dramatically increased pension benefits.

And Republicans are applauding"
.

Read more here.

Please note this peculiar section:

"Though the executives have been largely silent since the controversy broke Dec. 29, one of the signers, Chris Edley, dean of the UC Berkeley Law School, has said they will stand firm.
He said the signers "disagree with UC staff about what's fair, necessary and wise."


why is Edley pitting himself directly against staff -- when faculty and alumni are the ones most vocal about their disgust? that just won't work.

and it is interesting that the UC Student Regent wrote this sentence.

"I don’t believe that the letter was meant to be distributed widely to the public, and was really directly addressed to the Regents and the President, which is why this has become bigger news."

-- really? -- is that why it is becoming "bigger news"?! is that the focus of the story at the regent level?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Gone

Gov. Jerry Brown set to announce elimination of education office

Jerry Brown relies on old friends in first wave of appointments


U.S. colleges offer tenured professors buyouts
_________
take a moment to also read:
UC Execs Pension Plea is Demoralizing (by Gregory Levine, professor of art history at the University of California, Berkeley, and represents SAVE the University, an independent faculty organization. Louise Fortmann is a professor of environmental science, policy and management at UC Berkeley and represents the Berkeley Faculty Association.)

the comments left on the active petition and these letters to the editor at the SF Chron are very moving and a clear display of all that is good about UC.
and there is this:
Tone Deaf at UC in the LA times

Allegiances and Motives

a round up of articles recently read:

"The Rise of the New Global Elite" By Chrystia Freeland
"Peter Lindert is an economist at the University of California at Davis and one of the leaders of the “deep history” school of economics, a movement devoted to thinking about the world economy over the long term—that is to say, in the context of the entire sweep of human civilization. Yet he argues that the economic changes we are witnessing today are unprecedented. “Britain’s classic industrial revolution was far less impressive than what has been going on in the past 30 years,” he told me. The current productivity gains are larger, he explained, and the waves of disruptive innovation much, much faster."

"Richistan" The Economist

Public higher education students graduating with more debt than Stanford

speaking of Stanford:

Stanford's President Hennessy Adds to Technology Fortune With Atheros Deal

Wendell Potter on a case at UCLA Med Center

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Gould, Yudoff Response On UC 36 Letter

Here's coverage from San Fran Chron on this and Inside Higher Ed coverage on this (with some silly advice from Univ of Ohio in Miami or some such in it fwiw)
Also, want to point to three stories that should be on the radar:
CalAware Today A Final Shrinking from Public Scrutiny
Here's the second one: California Progress Report Special Report: California or Bust And, here is the third: this interesting story not covered in the student newspapers.

UCOP Statement on executive pension benefits
"In light of recent media reports about a letter by 36 University of California executives regarding pension benefits, Board of Regents Chairman Russell Gould and University President Mark Yudof today (Jan. 4, 2011) issued the following statement:

Ten years ago the University of California sought a determination from the IRS that a proposed new method for calculating pension benefits complied with federal tax rules. The new method would have resulted in higher pension payments to certain highly paid University employees. While that determination ultimately was granted, it did not obligate the University in any way to proceed with its proposal. In fact, the initial Regental action required that an implementation plan be developed and submitted by the President of the University and approved by the Chair of the Board and the Chair of the Finance Committee. For reasons of fiscal prudence in a changing economy, this step — necessary for the proposal to become effective — was never taken.

For this reason, and contrary to the arguments presented in the letter, it is our belief that the action taken by the Board 10 years ago was not self-executing and that the pension proposal was never implemented. Months ago, the Board retained counsel to assist the University in the event this position should need to be defended in the courts. While those who signed the letter are without question highly valued employees, we must disagree with them on this particular issue."
source: http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/24746

if you haven't signed the petition yet- here is the link again.

David Crane, UC Regent? Pt II

Please read Bob Samuel's post on David Crane and share it: "The Terminator’s Parting Shot: A New UC Regent"

if you don't know what this refers to, here is:
Background

Monday, January 3, 2011

Kay Kerr, co-founder of Save the Bay, dies at 99

They fired Clark Kerr, he stated that he left the university just as he entered it: "fired with enthusiasm." - and, indeed, he and his wife were both a great blessing to UC and CA- especially the San Francisco Bay Area.
Kerr was married to Catherine Spaulding on Christmas Day, 1934.
Catherine Spaulding Kerr has passed away at the age of 99 on Dec. 18 at her home in El Cerrito..
Rest in Peace
Now, it is our duty to be "fired with enthusiasm" to save UC and save the bay for future generations!
With that in mind if you haven't signed the petition yet- here is the link again.
Fiat Lux, Go Bears!
Please also see this earlier post for more background on Save The Bay (discussed mid page).
and here is the post from UCOP:
Catherine 'Kay' Kerr, 1911-2010
Catherine "Kay" Kerr, a dedicated environmentalist and widow of Clark Kerr, the 12th president of the University of California system, died Saturday (Dec. 18). She was 99.

Kerr died peacefully at her home in El Cerrito surrounded by her loving family.

In 1961, Kerr co-founded the Save San Francisco Bay Association, which later became Save the Bay. Kerr was dismayed by a plan by the city of Berkeley to fill in part of the bay, so she teamed with Sylvia McLaughlin, wife of UC Regent Donald McLaughlin, and Esther Gulick, wife of UC Berkeley economics professor Charles Gulick, to start one of the first modern grassroots environmental movements.

Save the Bay helped to successfully lobby the California Legislature to enact the McAteer-Petris Act in 1965, which placed a moratorium on filling in the bay. The law also created the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission to regulate and plan for long-term use of the Bay

"Mrs. Kerr was an extraordinary woman, a devoted counselor and partner to her husband, Clark Kerr, and a dedicated environmentalist, who throughout her long life earned the deep respect and admiration of all who knew her or knew of her," UC President Mark Yudof said in a letter sent to the UC Board of Regents informing them of Kerr's passing.

Kerr was born on March 22, 1911 and graduated from Stanford University.

Clark Kerr and the former Catherine Spaulding met at a youth peace conference in Los Angeles in 1934 where it was rumored that communists were going to try to take over the meeting. The pair was seated on stage next to each other and she passed him a note, "Are you a communist?" He wrote back, "No." She wrote back, "Nor am I." They were married that year on Christmas Day.

Clark Kerr, who died in 2003 at 92, was the chief architect of California's Master Plan for Higher Education, which has guided the state public colleges and universities for 50 years and served as a model for universities around the world. He served as chancellor at UC Berkeley from 1952 to 1958 and was the president of the University of California system from 1958 to 1967.

Kay Kerr is survived by three children: daughter Caroline Gage of El Cerrito and sons Clark E. Kerr of Danville and Alexander W. Kerr of Australia; seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

No memorial services have been announced. The family requests that donations in Kerr's name be made to Save the Bay, 350 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Suite 900, Oakland, CA 94612; www.savesfbay.org, (510) 452-9261.

Nanette Asimov Gives Interview on Her SF Chron UC 36 Scoop! Listen.

Listen here:
When unions are giving back salary & benefits, UC executives threaten to sue to keep theirs
Guest:
Nanette Asimov, reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle who broke the story about UC executives retirement packages.

"I think it would be cool to have the Terminator on my diploma."

"ON THE day of the California recall election in 2003, I was on the University of California, Berkeley campus asking students whom they planned to vote for and why.
Beyond the predictable immature musings offered by those who planned to vote for Gary Coleman, Larry Flynt and Angelyne, a number of students said they planned to vote for Arnold Schwarzenegger.One student stood out because of the reason for voting for Schwarzenegger, offering, "I think it would be cool to have the Terminator on my diploma."

The aforementioned statement in some measure is reflective of the legacy of California's 38th governor. California was dysfunctional before Schwarzenegger entered office and it will continue to be for the foreseeable future.The Schwarzenegger legacy is a mixed bag containing accomplishments and disappointments.

Because he was elected the first time through the California recall, his legacy must also be viewed through our collective desire to solve a long-term problem through immediate gratification -- not to mention having the Terminator on one's diploma.

How cool is that?"
Read Byron Williams full post here

You can view today's Governor Brown inauguration footage here. (note: Regent Blum and wife Di-Fi in front row-Brown has a short handshake with them after speech, recall Di Fi officiated at his wedding to Gust; and Brown's remark warning those who are eying his seat and about living to a ripe old age like his 99 year old relative-perhaps directed at Gavin (future Lt Gov.) Newsom in the front row. The Oakland Academy for the Arts -charter school Brown opened- did a BEAUTIFUL job, best version of the anthem heard in a long while!)Nancy Pelosi, Gray Davis were also there- where was Barbara Boxer? Also, very funny to see him take the oath and state "WITHOUT ANY MENTAL RESERVATION-WITHOUT ANY MENTAL RESERVATION REALLY!"

SIGN of Life at UC

"We, the undersigned faculty and staff of the University of California, urge you to resist the request by 36 top executives and deans to raise the pensions of those making over $245K.

At a time when the UC pension system is endangered and the entire instructional and research enterprise of UC is imperiled we find it outrageous that these managers -- whose very job it is to steward the system -- would demand exorbitant pension compensation. They cannot have it both ways: private sector salary levels and public employee pensions.

The damage to the image of the university from excessive pay and benefits, and now from this ill-timed threat of a lawsuit from the 36 signees, has been immense. In order to restore public faith in UC, you must come forward quickly with a statement of intent to hold the line on pensions to elite employees.

The principle here is greater than this incident: this is a public university, one in dire straits financially. Most of us work for reasonable salaries but also for the public good. If the elite earners do not care enough about the public university to stay, then let them depart for the private sector. We believe you can find dedicated people within and without UC who would would be willing and able to replace these individuals."

Sign the Petition here

Sunday, January 2, 2011

UC Promises to The Rich Must Be Kept, Promises to the Middle Class Broken? Seems so.

Regent Blum was very quick to talk about compromise with the UC 36.

But seems Mark Yudof and the Regents have no interest in talking to UC employees who are desperate in their retirement for health benefits they also apparently believe were promised to them.


"The retirees say they tried to discuss their concerns with the UC president, Mark Yudof, and university general counsel, but were rebuffed. Appeals to local elected officials and the Regents went nowhere, they say. Lawrence Livermore National Security is “a business fiction with no real assets,” Davis said. Information on it is scant. Its spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment."

UCOP and the Regents seem all too eager to arrive at compromise with the UC 36 -- but happy to stay mum or tell lower and middle class workers to "produce the documents"- why such different approaches with each group?

Here's the latest Sac Bee editorial on the UC 36 scandal.
And, here is Edley talking about social justice - if you just threw up a li'l in your mouth-- you're not the only one. (It's far worse than when he closed his pitch for online ed with the caption "Si Se Puede"- tin ear big time.)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Livermore LLNL Retirees Sue UC Over Health Care Benefits.

“One wouldn’t want to be 85 and coping with this,”- it brings whole new meaning to the UC phrase "The Benefits of Belonging"- aarrgghh, please read:

Livermore Retirees Sue UC Over Health Care Benefits it is also cross posted in the NYT- here.

Party Like Its 1999!

Heard it last night and could not get the UC 36 outta mind!
Prince 1999 - retro -but the lyrics say it.

and here is a new one bound to make some folks' blood boil:
(Upper) Class War, by Matt Welch at Reason

(Reading that story had a flash back on Steve Garvey who we met in SF during an All Stars game long ago...weird what happens over the years. )

Pay special attention to the two interesting ol' pieces mentioned:
Let Treasury Rescue the States by Edley

UC Law Deans Differ On Ethics of Advocacy (its about UCB's Edley and UCI's Chemerinsky!--Edley's quotes in that piece are wild to read! Chemerinsky recently wrote an op ed that caught our attention, it is important to recall the history in light of their recent actions.)

We think it is also important to note that both Edley and Chemerinsky have spouses (Maria Echaveste and Catherine Fisk) who also work for UC at the same law schools as their husbands- as we consider all aspects of these news stories and a supposed "promise that is financially important to... family,".

(hat tip University Diaries)