Tuesday, August 30, 2011

UC's 'Reputation Colonic', You Won't Feel A Thing

you'll recall an earlier post where we mentioned how University Diaries coined the term "reputation colonic" with regard to certain types of higher ed donations and, more specifically, a recent UCLA donation - and the UCLA donation was covered by the NY Times- well, UCLA tries to do damage control on this "transformative gift" --and goes further --read the full account: here
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You will not feel it -- but it looks like we are about to lose a bunch of higher ed sunshine in the next few weeks: Closure Of State Commission Could Limit Access To Aggregated Higher Education Data
perhaps the most disturbing sentence in the piece: "“There are other options available once the site goes down, such as think tanks and the UC and CSU systems themselves, but that’s about it,”"
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"The closure of the California Postsecondary Education Commission this fall will mean that, for the first time in 38 years, aggregated higher education data will not be available to the public.

The termination of the commission — whose website receives up to 120,000 hits a day, according to Karen Humphrey, executive director of the commission — is scheduled to occur sometime in the weeks prior to early November. After that, policymakers, reporters and the general public will be forced to look elsewhere in order to access and analyze higher education information."
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Although the commission has until early November to close, Humphrey said the site could be shut down as early as in the next two weeks.

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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?
--
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...

University of California Salary Database For 2010

University of California Salary Database 2010 has been updated and posted at Sac Bee: http://www.sacbee.com/statepay/

Friday, August 26, 2011

UPDATE-Hear No, See No, Speak No...

the link is working again so you can read the story for yourself: HERE. -- you have to read it yourself- there simply are no words-- we are speechless...for now.
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earlier:
it looks like someone put the kibosh on the the link re: the UC Irvine Suda story -- anybody know what happened to it? is the site down? well, here is more info: "Bad PR For UC" --strange??
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original post:
read:
Are Professors Picking the Public’s Pockets?
High-flying professor Tatsuya Suda’s double-billing antics highlight the loose controls on the off-campus earnings of research university academics.
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DailyCal:
UC Office of the President releases payroll report
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and no - not playing any Rita Coolidge- not after what she did to this song.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lowell Milken,Pablo Escobar, Rudy Guiliani,The DeBartolo Family, and a biz law institute with a big asterisk and disclaimer

all of them mentioned in this audio interview with Prof. Lynn Stout discussing the proposed Lowell Milken Business Law Institute at UCLA*.

Rudy, Eddie D. -- listen to it!

If you don't understand what the big deal is read this book excerpt.

If Elizabeth Warren wins that senate seat Prof. Stout might -- well, naw we like her at UCLA-- but the lemmings are giving her a hard time.

We would really love to hear a comment from Prof. Akerlof and Prof. Romer at Cal on these latest developments - would love to hear/read their perspective, position on this deal.. and what building gets to be named Du Bee at Davis?



Jojo Passed Away

he helped to make the campus feel safe and familiar-- talked us through experimental reverse route changes so we weren't late. the luck of catching a perimeter shuttle on a rainy or hot day and seeing him smile...- listened to this ;-) or some other retro etc.- he would just smile/laugh as we blasted our ear buds, kept time with the beat, danced on and off the bus- remind us to get a bag,umbrella, don't forget a book etc. Sweet, kind man--rest in peace.

Takin' Clery Act To The Streets?

Normally, don't really comment on this side of things but--while skimming thought these incidents were really just one incident being reported multiple times with updates-- does that make sense? but-- well, it looks like they are three separate incidents at Cal(!):

UC Berkeley female student sexually battered on Southside


Man arrested following sexual battery of UC Berkeley parent on Southside

Female sexually battered on campus, UCPD arrests one suspect

recall:
Bill Would Require Campuses to Report Sexual Violence

US Senator Casey has info on it here.

More info here

--not sure what the current status is of that new legislation (does Clery cover it? think so.)...but we were reminded of it.
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Birgeneau gave presser - Daily Cal also covered it. -- he talks about patent revenue,hitting up Silicon Valley, faculty retention, financial aid for undocumented students, promises made to him back in the day during his recruitment to Cal etc. and more.
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Berkeley Daily Planet: Vishalli Loomba, President of the ASUC (Associated Students of the University of California), told the new students “we all bring something unique and special to the table.” ... She added that she remembered a piece of advice that Steve Jobs had offered during a talk she attended at Cal when she was herself a new student.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

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UC Davis Aggies have a certain feline named Du Bee to thank for $7 Million! -- at UCLA they would name a building after him/her for it...

Takin' It To The Streets - Doobie Bros.

--stay safe, look out for each other.

Do The Math...

read:
Operational Excellence: an overview as implementation begins

comments:

"Note that from October 2009 to August 2011 there hasn't yet been any budgetary saving."

"So, if I read this correctly, we're spending 70 +3 + 4.5 = 77.5 million to save maybe 100 million, which was still only 2/3 of the deficit in the prior year... SO, we're spending 2 years and countless staff hours to "save" 22.5 million dollars (less than 20% of the deficit). Wow. "


couldn't have said it better

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Tour of UCSF Mission Bay Gets Gavin A $400 Louis Vuitton Pen And Raises Many Questions

the latest story on Ex Officio UC Regent Gavin Newsom...
see:
Gavin Newsom's Lavish Gift From Russian Billionaire Raises Questions


some sections on UCSF's involvement:

-"The billionaire is Dmitry Rybolovlev, 44, a businessman and physician from Perm in central Russia. In 2010, he was worth approximately $8.6 billion, according to Forbes magazine - the 79th-richest person in the world.

-Rybolovlev has a checkered past. In 1996, he was arrested and charged with the contract killing of an influential industrialist, according to a report from the Russian state central information agency ITAR-TASS.

-Rybolovlev has no known ties to California. But on Nov. 18, 2010, the Russian billionaire gave the expensive pen to Newsom, according to a disclosure report Newsom filed. Newsom was mayor of San Francisco at the time and had just been been elected lieutenant governor.

-Newsom spokesman Francisco Castillo provided limited information.

In a statement, he wrote: "Mr. Rybolovlev was one of many business figures that visited San Francisco during Newsom's term as mayor. The Lt. Governor met with Mr. Rybolovlev, as he often did with many business leaders that visited the city, and gave him a tour of Mission Bay," the locale of a UC San Francisco research campus and many biotech companies.

Castillo declined to reveal how Newsom had met the billionaire or what year the visit had occurred."
Read the article directly at California Watch

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.
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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
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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.
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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.
BTW
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.
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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.
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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'
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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.
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20% (?) of Cal's freshman class is now from out of state -is that right?

Welcome Back.


Friday, August 19, 2011

UPDATE:Chiang Responds--UC Gives The Middle Finger To The State Controller?!

Chiang responds to UC in a phone interview : UC opts out of public salary database & gives $140 million in raises: justifiable or egregious?-- if you want to go straight to the audio click: HERE (LA Times' David Lazarus filled in for Patt Morrison and did a great job questioning- refreshing.)
we are still reviewing it -- but had to laugh when - paraphrasing- the PR guy from UC says 'UC is a 20 BBBillion dollar a year operation with a 10 BBBillion dollar payroll-- so we can't dedicate 1.5 mmmillion to comply with the State Controller's request.'-but all the other state agencies can do it!- just laughable and revolting.
see: UC to Chiang: We probably won't give you all pay data you want
and
UC Opts Out Of Controller’s Public Pay Database
Information requested would be too expensive to provide, system says
and then read this story:Bell Scandal Fails To Boost Public Pay Transparency
and then let's remember:UC gets poor grade for complying with records requests
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on a side note...quote from the sac bee piece above:
"But that data -- usually published in May or early June -- still isn't ready."
...so much for Operational Excellence...
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P.S
this made us sad, sad, sad to read it. we'd read the stories surrounding it already - but the piece from a recent UC alum just read so poignantly to us today-- he captures a certain longing, desire to be proud of one's alma mater even in the face of -- well, read the headlines in the right hand column-- what would you call it?

Like BART protests, Internal Documents Reveal UC Has Spied on Student Fee Hike Demonstrations


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fried Butter,Abercrombie, Fried Oreos, Christine O'Donnell, Fried Pork Chops and the Situation

...big topics the news wasted vast amounts of time on while real %^$# is goin' down. local color bs they think we are interested in-- so...anyway...

there is a good article at
UC takes first steps into online education By Lisa M. Krieger

--initial impression it seems a concern that many are using the term cyberstudies rather than calling it online general studies or calling it a particular existing major. are the students going to have a stigma of being referred to as a cyberstudent in cyberstudies? but some secret coven? folks at santa barbara will figure it out...

and more on the topic: here(you can also find further clarification of the merit pay raises there, too)
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Higher education transparency bill sent to governor- he has 12 days to sign it:
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SB 27x1-Bill To Stop Executive Pay Hikes At CSU And UC Introduced Senator says UC/CSU decisions are appalling, Trustees are out of touch

Cal Alum Edges Out Gavin On CA Jobs Initiative

see:
Gavin Newsom 'blindsided' as governor names jobs czar

Read : "Rossi, a UC Berkeley grad, held a number of executive positions at Bank of America, including senior vice president and chief risk officer, before retiring from the private sector for eight years."
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Ex Officio UC Regent Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom seems to have been surprised by this:
"OK, but wait. Wasn't that what Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom's "growth and competitiveness agenda," introduced three weeks ago, was supposed to do?

"Blindsided," said a staffer in Newsom's office after I forwarded the press release. "Didn't even know this announcement was being made today.""

also see this story on Jennifer Granholm's work at Cal.

Add Chile To The List...

see:
UC students abroad notice the impact of recent unrest

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Compulsory Participation In Direct Deposit At UC? Raises at UC. Data Mining, "Goopple" or "Appgle", Mesh

Does anybody recall the exchange at the last UC Regents meeting where some of the regents/senior administrators engaged in cross talk about making direct deposit compulsory for all employees as part of efficiency,Working Smarter or OE (think Pitts, Brostrom, or Taylor were in on the conversation-- paraphrasing-- "oh yeah we pay a load out for cutting paper checks"-- "many of the faculty are hold outs/insist on paper" and one of the regents or admin said "yeah we should make direct deposit compulsory for all and look at that in the near future" etc)??- anyway, it was brought to mind today reading many tech headlines and got us to thinking...

Should it, could it, would it be compulsory? and is that right?

broader questions beyond UC:
Why does an employer feel it has a right to employee info for direct deposit? is it broadly accepted that it is the employer's tacit right to have it? Same question on other things like health benefits- employees negotiating procedures with employers etc...in these hard times are employees- particularly lower wage employees- giving up many privacy rights just so as to not rock the boat? Shouldn't they/employers/providers be required e.g. to clean up their house before asking for even more info of customers, employees, anyone?
and
Michael Ostrolenk touches on this topic in a different way.
Related news out today:
UC To Give Merit Pay Raises To SOME Faculty Staff-- here is the letter from Yudof and press release.

still no update to the state salary database- providing updated 2010 figures-- it is still only loaded with 2009 data... strategic?
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Heather Brooke: Data Dealing Is A Bigger Scandal Than Phone Hacking
and

iPhones and Android phones building vast databases for Google and Apple

Italy, France and Germany to investigate smartphone tracking software amid privacy concerns
and
Google buys facial recognition firm, despite privacy concerns

Google buys Motorola Mobility - market reaction

Google has struck its biggest-ever deal, announcing it will buy Motorola's mobile phone business for $12.5bn (£7.7bn), to allow it to expand in the smartphone market and challenge Apple's dominance.

Cable execs wary as Google acquires Motorola boxes

and Steven Levy -Wired

KTVU coverage and KPIX and KGO's and KRON's coverage.

Perhaps one should become a conglomerate rather than a corporation? seems to have worked for university systems when dealing with state etc.

...all you old-fashioned traditional-individual-human-beings need to rethink things.
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Student-Loan Delinquencies Rise, Adding To Fears Of An Education Bubble
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With all this tech advancement and the not so much cheaper, not so much leaner online instruction explosion--

Why do all forms of textbooks continue to be so expensive?

Battle over online class fees moves to Capitol -- (it is a bad headline- gives short shrift to the more interesting open source text books aspect.)

"Although the Obama administration has taken no position on the fee issue, Plotkin said he was "greatly heartened" to see Steinberg's letter, which also urged the college leaders to consider "other online educational resources that may be lower in cost or free to students." Chancellor Scott and Board President Himelstein have not yet replied to the letter."

-- has Yudof or UCOP commented on this issue in detail? In fact, what is UC's opinion of online high schools and on line CCC credit for admission, transfer? Haven't heard it.

20 Million Minds and MeshBook are receiving funding from a University of Texas alum so Yudof should have some thoughts, no? oh, should say a wealthy alum - that might peak interest. Also, the story seeks a response from POTUS and we know a certain university system president sees the two jobs- POTUS and Univ Pres- as equivalent so...

here is an old post on Obama's comments on the 'textbook racket'.
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Robert Reich's latest piece mentions Cal alum and San Franciscan Rube Goldberg(-like process)-- is he trying to tell us something? Yes.

-as part of MSNBC's Education Nation initiative-UC PR folks apparently got Robert Birgeneau a li'l airtime today (with Alan Greenspan's wife) Andrea Mitchell --talking about the middle class financial strains and brain drain

Birgeneau--"it's challenging".

@mitchellreports "Now you know why we need #Education Nation! typo in tweet re Robert Birgeneau @UCBerkeleyNews our guest #MitchellReports".


They were followed by:
Ezra UCLA alum Klein, who interviewed Cal's Christina Romer --they both spoke in depth about the economy while being fearful of losing ratings because the public's eyes glaze over on econ...is that true? Or, is it just the deep need to teach it to the public in an engaging, accessible way without the alphabet soup and shortcut lingo-- in a way that personalizes and makes relevant to everyday life-- that truly should be a way that higher ed contributes to solving this crisis. Warren Buffet, of all people(!), had to remind us that 60 million Americans earn less than $22,000 and 43 million are on food stamps. Public ed stakeholders should ask themselves if they have the skills to reach that same demographic and explain this economy to them. That is a skill worth having. Could you?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

UC Students Call for Implementation of State Auditor's Report

Press Release: UC Students Call for Implementation of State Auditor's Report
From Darius L. Kemp, Director of Organizing and Communications, University of California Student Association
Monday August 08, 2011

On July 28, the California State Auditor released an Audit reviewing the University of California’s information related to public funds, auxiliary enterprises, student tuition and fees. UC students were very pleased with the Audit and are calling on the UC Office of the President to fully implement the Audit’s recommendations.

The State Auditor called on the university to take critical steps to increase the transparency of its financial information, their budget process, and include its accounting methods in the budget; while making all such information available on its Web site. As the Audit stated, the University maintains extensive financial records, but certain records are not disclosed while others are vague.

“Students have long called for greater transparency in UC budgeting policies. It has been incredibly difficult for students and their families to understand exactly where their money is going. This Audit is an important step forward, but more must be done. UC students call on the UC to fully implement all of the State Auditor’s recommendations,” said Claudia Magaña, UC Student Association President and fourth year student at UC Santa Cruz.

UC students also have called on the Assembly Committee on Higher Education to hold a public hearing on the State Auditor’s report and its recommendations. “The state must ensure that these recommendations are taken seriously. Without oversight from the Legislature, students are concerned that it will be ‘business as usual’ with respect to financial transparency and accountability in the UC system,” said Magaña.

Finally, UC students are especially concerned with the revelations in the Audit related to the inappropriate use of student referenda fees. The Audit revealed that the UC designated $23 million from a student fee referenda that was not meant for the project in which it was used. The UC asserts that a student fee referendum, which allows students to impose a fee on themselves by a vote of the student body for a specific purpose, can be altered and used for other projects at any time as the UC Office of the President sees fit. The State Auditor’s legal counsel disputes that the UC has any such authority.

“It is absurd that the UC would assert its authority to change a student fee referendum at any time for any reason. When students vote to impose a fee on themselves for a specific purpose, they should expect that those funds will be used for that purpose alone. The Audit has brought to light an illegal and unethical practice by the UC that must be changed immediately,” said Magaña.

source: http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2011-08-10/article/38228?headline=UC-Students-Call-for-Implementation-of-State-Auditor-s-Report
but, it is strange - it is not posted here:
http://ucsa.org/document/list/section/81

and the student news papers have not covered the UCSA statement or Yudof's comments: "the university plans to revise the policy on student fees to further clarify student referendum results are solely advisory to the regents and the president."

UC's "Digital Natives"--Cal launches a new consortium to explore online learning opportunities.

complete with a photo -- we're on the yacht-- yachting -- retirement in really bad nautical attire...

Chamberlin Fund launches exploration of online education for Berkeley professional schools, extension program

Monday, August 15, 2011

"Hard and Pure"

see:
President Yudof issues letter to UC students and parents

(we found the site at the above link rather comical to look at because of the surreal comment on: this UCOP piece--guess UC has been very good to some people over the past few years of this economic crisis-- and, yet, juxtaposed against this other comment posted in response to "The Market and You" at Changing Universities story...)

Davis Vanguard:
Nothing Like the Smell of Rank Hypocrisy in the Morning
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The student newspapers are recruiting their staff right now - - we hope they are able to fill their positions soon, there could have been more in depth coverage of this:

"At first we said 'thanks, but no thanks' because the state wanted funds deposited through April 2013, but we wanted to deposit through October 2012," Taylor said. "Since the UC is constitutionally autonomous, we don't have to put a dime in [the bill] if it doesn't make sense."

According to Taylor, the bill was rectified in a way that gave a win-win situation.
read the rest here: UC, CSU to lend money to the state Senate Bill 79 is effective in late September

take a look at it for yourself.

Then compare what is happening in that story with what is happening in this story:
With state funding falling short, seismic needs mounting at UC
Gee, the possibility of creating construction jobs up and down the state at each UC campus on already existing structures-- nope, no one is really terribly interested in funding that- but there actually is money for both? no "win-win" money for existing structures? are we missing something?

And, the Aggie also had this strange headline: Judge finds UC Davis not guilty of gender discrimination-University found in violation of some rules they do not mention its link to this earlier award.

We were perusing the Aggie cuz we wanted to see how they were covering the drop in funding for campus farms story -- but they don't seem to be covering it at all.

KCSB had a radio show discussing the recent UC audit -- but there is no way to listen to the show or read a transcript that we can find - are we not seeing a special 'play' button hidden somewhere?!-- it is a product under the "Copyright © The Regents of the University of California" label --so we would not be surprised if it 'got lost' somewhere-- or maybe they are short staffed or on vacay, too?? but we will keep checking: here. It should be interesting.

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The "relationship economy" mentioned in this piece: On Innovation and Optimism

is related to what is going on here:

Officials Interrupt Phone Service To Stall Protest

and here:
Riot Fear: Could U.K.-Style Destruction Happen Here?

Reasonable people trying to be reasonable with each other are searching for better solutions.
--but Jane and Markos associates don't even seem to be able to get along right now...

meanwhile:

“The rich seem to be on the road to recovery,” says Emmanuel Saez, an economist at Berkeley, while those in the middle, especially those who’ve lost their jobs, “might be permanently hit.” Coming out of the deep recession of the early 1980s, Saez notes, “you saw an increase in inequality … as the rich bounced back, and unionized labor never again found jobs that paid as well as the ones they’d had. And now I fear we’re going to see the same phenomenon, but more dramatic.” Middle-paying jobs in the U.S., in which some workers have been overpaid relative to the cost of labor overseas or technological substitution, “are being wiped out. And what will be left is a hard and a pure market,” with the many paid less than before, and the few paid even better—a plutonomy strengthened in the crucible of the post-crash years. read the rest: here.


watch:
Hard and pure in action.


Towering San Franciscan

remember that story about a UC Regent who was interested in buying the state buildings Arnie wanted to sell?

Well-- Don Casper, a "reasonable, moderate Republican"-- "Casper was also the whistleblower on a sloppy plan by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to sell off state buildings for quick cash and then lease them back, resulting in possible city losses into the billions."-- he was killed yesterday in a hit and run in Forestville. It is very sad news.

His dad, Andrew 'Andy' Casper, was SF Fire Chief-- it's a weird coincidence for us b/c this obscure cable channel played The Towering Inferno this weekend and we watched it start to finish-- and his Dad's name came up at the end when the movie credits roll with "great thanks" to him-- that movie did a lot to make the public think about building safety in a big way at a critically important time-- and one of the few times- the only time- Newman and McQueen were on the screen together. (Chief says:"This is gonna keep happening til you guys ask us how to build 'em"-- the architect responds: "I'm asking")

Great San Franciscans--we need more of them.
The Mayor has ordered the flags at half staff.
RIP.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Prop B Author Running For SF Mayor and Fitch Rating Comments On UC

Cal alum Jeff Adachi has entered the San Francisco Mayoral Race
Recall our earlier post on Adachi, Prop B and his ties to Warren Hellmann...
Leland Yee is also running. It's gonna get interesting!

Speaking of pensions: Public Pension Funds Lost Value As Stocks Fell

and more commentary: here.

did anyone notice this section in the Fitch rating of UC: "In addition to an uncertain state funding environment going forward, credit concerns center primarily on the university's significant and growing unfunded pension and retiree health benefits liabilities and UC's recent negative trend in operating performance, which may be difficult to reverse in the current environment."
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expanding on the Corporations Are People thing Rand Paul: 'We're all corporations'

if you didn't catch the Republican debate in Iowa you can watch that: here

UC Regent Blum's For Profit College Inflated Job Placement Rates? and thoughts on Weird Willard's "Corporations are people" comment, sort of...

Update:
Harris seeks millions in for-profit college lawsuit
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Original post

seems so, take a look:

For-Profit College Company Inflated Job Placement Rates, by California Watch

if you don't understand what this has to do with US Senator Dianne Feinstein's husband UC Regent Richard Blum --then read this:

The University of California Invests $53 Million In Two Diploma Mills Owned By A Regent.

John McKernan, ex-Governor of Maine and husband of US Senator Olympia Snowe is the Chairman of the Board of EDMC -Education Management Corp. it is also mentioned in some of these new stories below:
heartbreaking:
NASA Misuses $1.4 Million in Tax Dollars for Degrees Earned at For-Profit Colleges, According to OIG Audit
and:
The Stellar Career Path Of A For-Profit University Leader. and in this story.

the stories about Snowe's and DiFi's hubbies recall to mind the dems who watered down legislation on for profits and diploma mills

it is -mostly- about Congress:
Olympia Snowe On Debt Ceiling Debate: 'I've Never Seen A Worse Congress'

--remember how all of congress ran around to get Collins' and Snowe's votes?
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The London riots and Philadelphia flash mobs coverage has brought "disaffected youth" (the right term?) to center stage - various age groups took part and much still needs to be learned. But, here is an interesting clip with Don Peck, author of "Pinched", discussing long term disillusionment of millennials -- and here is another very good article on the subject of crushing youth resistance (to corruption, waste, fraud, abuse, exploitation and other societal ills etc.)

Philadelphia is a pretty symbolic place for America-- but America has forgotten that too-- the city of Brotherly Love, Ben Franklin, Philadelphia Freedom...but for some reason we can't see its connection right now to London, Greece, etc.-- or the corp media don't want us to see it.

layer on top of this the coverage of Somalia and other world news-- if you want the really full on "we are fucked" effects.
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so, we are sure that by now you know that Willard Mitt Romney, who gave us Operational Exodus at UC, said that "Corporations are people" -- and that this blog sprang up, in part, as a result of looking at (first Washburn's and other analysis of) the corporate corruption of higher education, specifically at UC-- so it would be natural to riff on this particular news story-- but, no, really, it speaks for itself. Weird Willard's words tell the story.

With regard to the Presidential campaign --guess the only thing to add or relate to it are some recent comments still in mind on another branch of govt -- RFK Jr recently gave an interview to Tavis Smiley and his comments were the familiar refrain:
"Now we have a Supreme Court that is the most – it’s not a right wing Supreme Court. There’s no coherent right wing philosophy to this Supreme Court. The only coherent philosophy to Alito, Scalia, Roberts and Clarence Thomas, one thing, the corporations always win. If it’s government against an individual, the government wins. If it’s corporations against the individual, the corporation wins. If it’s corporations against the government, the corporation wins. Show me one exception to that in any decision written by that Supreme Court. We have the Supreme Court and last year they repealed this 100-year-old law and made it legal for the first time in a century for corporations to flood our federal political campaigns with a tsunami of money and that is the beginning of the end." -- but RFK Jr. also spoke about energy and current political discourse, it was a good interview and his voice sounds alot better.

and 'cause the Kennedys are Catholic and the SCOTUS has five self identified Catholic jurists- along with the upcoming events for MLK- got to thinking about Catholicism and Social Justice and how split it gets-- how fractured this country becomes even in 'normal' election year politics.

Do those SCOTUS members believe in the social justice catechism taught to Catholics?-- even the term 'social justice' has become maligned by the far right.
and then remembered this Michelle Bachmann story and this info on this high profile very Catholic Club for Growth member who was very, very outspoken and presented as a moderate voice of reason on all MSM during debt ceiling negotiations -- politics makes strange bed fellows or whatever. Club for Growth Catholics and Bachmann, or even Perry?

but Catholics- cafeteria, cultural and otherwise-they make up 25% of the electorate-- are they seeing the same landscape? Lawrence O'Donnell is one of the few people really looking at this closely-- remember it gets pretty intense-- and these are the topics we visit during the campaign trail- in case any of us forget how far off the rails the year can go.

Dylan Ratigan's rant - is he a Catholic Irish boy?- included a few key sentences where Tea Party types have common ground with Progressives -- not talking about all Tea Party, just some- that might be a thing to build on--for those who want to build.

Unions and others are talking up creating a third party candidate - and so are some east coast elite -- talk of a moneyed up 'progressive conservative' candidate-- cuz 'fiscal conservative social liberal' isn't sounding so sexy anymore. lots of talking heads running around schmoozing extremely wealthy...and unions talking about a 'true progressive' third candidate to use as a wedge, as leverage...

given how crazy election year politics can get-we wonder are they riding the Nader third rail or are they on to something?

Charlie Rose had some folks on (Fareed Zakaria, Editor-at-Large of TIME Magazine, Drew Westen of Emory University and Jonathan Chait of The New Republic) who - by their own admission ,say they are like "professors who never ran for dog catcher" - they spoke about the presidential state of leadership right now.

Chancellor Birgeneau recently seemed extremely proud of the feather in his CV??- oh, wait it was the campus that was tapped --not just him??- being asked to work with the White House on jobs, economy -- we'll see what results...

and the US Treasury employee who found the $2 Trillion S & P error is a Cal alum. Congrats on finding the error - condolences for having to work for Geithner.

just ramblings on the Presidential election right now.

Oh Philadelphia freedom shine on me, I love you
Shine a light through the eyes of the ones left behind


(take Philly musicians over a Philadelphia lawyer any day)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Will You Be There?

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Week of Dedication

MLK on The American Dream

Here is the original I Have A Dream Speech

President Barack Obama will deliver remarks during the August 28 Dedication Ceremony- that should be interesting...around that time he will also be doing this as well.

The leadership of Congress and POTUS should be in emergency meetings right now and explaining the constitutionality of super congresses and super committees to Americans-- and explaining to us how we maintain a democracy when computer driven trades can make the Dow fall 500+ in under a few short minutes-- is that just the market? if so, explain it. not asking much.

There will also be a March for Jobs and Justice in DC on August 27th, mostly east coast-centric. Cali is considered the base.


we are cross posting this, it raises some good points--Notes on State Audit of UC Finances July 2011 by Jelger Kalmijn President UPTE-CWA reads as follows:
"After nearly a year of in depth analysis, a team of 14 specialists from the state auditor’s office came to the conclusion that UC’s financial information lacks transparency. The audit, called for by UPTE, other UC unions and UC students and commissioned by Senator Leland Yee tasked the auditors to account for the public funds UC receives and how they were spent. With the accounting information provided by the Office of the President, the auditors were able to give a very general description of UC’s financial structure but had great difficulty in tracking particular expense categories.

The major points the auditors summarize are:

(1) UC requires greater financial and budget transparency starting with an up-to-date and publically available budget manual that describes how funds are allocated

(2) Students have been forced to make up for most of the loss in state funds, even while UC auxiliaries, research revenue and other sources all increased an average of 25% over the 5 years of the audit (income from investments went up by $446 million or 82% ).

(3) The amount UC spends on students varies widely depending on the campus, with the campuses that have the greatest ethnic diversity getting the least amount of money per student.

(4) UC Office of the President has a category of miscellaneous services which includes consultants that is more than $1 billion per year and has no more detailed information.

(5) Escalators for staff raises included in grants are received by UC, even when UC allows no raises.

(6) The negative balances in UC’s overall assets largely result from accounting changes requiring UC to post their retiree health benefits to their ledger and a reassessment of the pension liability.

UC Office of the President makes political choices about the University ‘s budget. They have chosen to dramatically increase student fees and dramatically cut their contributions for employee post-employment benefits to balance the budget. Other decisions could have been made. UC, while taking substantial cuts from the state, has such a broad financial portfolio that it had other options. UC could reinvest the profits from auxiliaries, investments and medical centers into the teaching mission of the University.

The auditors show that less than 40% of UC’s public income is restricted to specific expenses. The remaining more than 60% can be spent at UC’s discretion. Over the 5 years of the audit only one of the main 10 function categories had reduced expenses: academic support. Research, institutional support, and student aid are among the 9 function categories where expenses increased for an average of about 15%. Academic support includes the libraries and activities related to educational departments.

The money from most of UC revenue sources gets divided up based on unclear formulas and with very little accountability for either how it is spent or if the expenses actually achieve the stated goals. When UC was asked to explain why some campuses got more per student than others they could only response that it was a result of decades of separate decisions by the Regents and the Office of the President and they had no time to reconstruct this history. In essence UC could offer no justification other than to say that is just how it has been done.

The overhead money from research grants gets divided into general funds, University opportunity funds (for high priority research and instructional needs) and off-the-top funds to manage the contracts and grants administration. Most of this money is returned to the campuses and the Office of the President has little oversight on how it is allocated between department funds, administrative support, chancellor’s discretionary funds, and other funds. These funds add up to nearly $650 million annually.

While outside the scope of this audit, the University medical centers made more than $525 million in the first quarter of 2011, making them 4 times more profitable than last year. This profit was made even though UC saw almost exactly as many patients this year as last year for the same time period.

UC has chosen not to take money from the highly profitable portions of the University and re-allocate it to support UC’s key goals of educational accessibility and quality staff. As long as there enough parents who can afford to send their kids to UC, UC will keep increasing the fees, even if the mix of student no longer represents the citizens of California. As long as UC can fill empty positions in a depressed economy, keeping knowledge and quality staff has not been made a priority. UC has opted for the short-sighted strategy of reinvesting like a business trying to make more money rather a tax-payer supported academic institution with a public service mission."

source: http://www.upte.org/president/?p=10

A Dedication To President Barack Obama

(remember this Open Secrets Factoid?)

Though you don't call anymore
I sit and wait in vain
I guess I'll rap on your door
tap on your window pane
I wanna tell you, baby
changes I've been going through, missing you, listen you
'til you come back to me that's what I'm gonna do
The Need to Run a Third Party Candidate for President - UCLA's Bob Samuels

Why did you have to decide
you had to set me free?
I'm gonna swallow my pride
and beg you to please, baby, please see me
I'm gonna walk by myself
just to prove that my love is true, all for you, baby
'til you come back to me that's what I'm gonna do
America's Mad as Hell Moment

Living for you, my dear
is like living in a world of constant fear
hear my plea
I've got to make you see that our love is dying
The Perils for Obama of Not Talking About Poverty in America Sac State's Prof. Palermo

Although your phone you ignore
somehow I must explain
I'm gonna rap on your door, tap on your window pane
I'm gonna camp by your steps
until I get through to you
I got to change your view, baby
'til you come back to me that's what I'm gonna do
Unions and the middle class go hand-in-hand with UC Prof Linda Ehrenriech

I'm gonna rap on your door, tap on your window pane
Open up, baby.
I'm gonna rap on your door, tap on your window pane
Why the President Doesn't Present a Bold Plan to Create Jobs and Jumpstart the Economy- UC Berkeley's Robert Reich

sing
Tavis Smiley: Obama Is The First President Who Hasn't Invited Me To White House


it
Cornel West & Tavis Smiley on Obama: "Many of Us Are Exploring Other Possibilities in Coming Election”

Aretha!
In Defense of Tavis and Cornel


just sing it

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

$1 TTTrillion Moody Blues For Students

see;
Moody's Warns Student Loans May Be The Next Financial Bubble To Burst at the bottom of that piece it links to Bob Samuels from Changing Universities-- he wrote about this a long while back.

(Technically, if you look at the tote-board on the lower right it is still like a few billion away from a full trillion- but really just a few 'graduating classes' or 'not graduating classes' away.)

Higher and Higher -it fits with the theme- you may recall them better from: this.

Bain Exec Gives $1 Million To Romney-- Operational Excellence Rolls On

check it out: a former(?) Bain Exec is the source of a recent secret $1 million dollar campaign contribution to Mitt Romney. -- funny enough, the Bay Area's very own Rachel Maddow said when her folks called the former exec at his home phone -- the phone was answered by someone saying "Hello, Bain Capital"...likely they had an "operationally excellent" voice... (on the headline-- should we have followed Politico's lead - or GOP/Tea/Evang./Neo Cons. covert ops planted story - and called him Weird Willard? naw, that's mean.)

speaking of.. Cal has updated their Operational Exodus website -- search far and wide for the Bain references-- have they tried to bury them? But we remember-- yep, we really do:
Other UC campuses adopt OE model
also see:

Nickel and Dimed (2011 Version) by Barbara Ehrenreich (recall her work on the Berkeley's Betrayal report listed on the lower right hand column).

Was the Innovation Economy Killed by the Debt Debate? Christopher Newfield of Remaking the University

UCLA Law School Gets $10 Million Donation from Lowell Milken -the brother of Michael Milken... -- interestingly, they are in on a bunch of stuff with Larry Ellison of Oracle-- the folks UC use for many of their "enterprise systems" -- systems that have gotten ink in recent years b/c they make many UC folks none too happy.

No Limit for Student Debt by Reclaim UC.

On Wisconsin.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Bypass Trading Currency, Bypass Trading Education?

if you're only into CA higher ed-- there is this rumble currently going on- (wonder if Tom Ammiano is going to step in and break it up again?)-important to higher ed b/c Portantino chairs the Higher Ed Committee in the CA Assembly:
Portantino says Dem leaders are punishing him for budget vote

Newspapers sue Assembly over refusal to release records
and more here.

and now on to:

Bypass Trading Currency
this kind of talk has been around for a while.

"With America occupying the core of the world's financial system, Friday's downgrade will erode over time the standing of the global public goods it supplies - from the dollar as the world's reserve currency to its financial markets as the best place for other countries to outsource their hard-earned savings" from U.S. Downgrade Heralds a New Financial Era by Mohamed el-Erian
and

@DylanRatigan made reference to this as 'bypass trading currency'--(the video with Fleckenstein and Black was pretty amazing)

-- it made us wonder is there a similar thing in higher ed like 'bypass trading education' -- what it looks like, or could look like- would that be a good thing or bad thing? It certainly can't be this incarnation of online education or this either, could it?
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UCSD Joins With Pharmaceutical Giant Pfizer

and

Breakthrough in Photonic Chip Research Paves Way for Ultrafast Information Sharing


found this old link in the mix -- interesting melange of Carnegie Mellon, UCSD, and Silicon Valley.

it recalled our earlier post: Berkeley Fuels Silicon Valley Part II
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Did ya know Alyona Minkovski is a slug? She was recently interviewed by Brian Lamb on C Span.
__

Christina Romer said a bad word heard round the world-and today, she was on CNN and other places calling for "bolder and grander".

Robert Rubin was at Cal a l'il while back, and on Charlie Rose recently.
Robert Reich tried to figure it out with @Lawrence O'Donnell.

POTUS today:
"For all of the challenges we face, we continue to have the best universities,..."
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later in his remarks POTUS said:
"But no matter what differences they might have as individuals, they serve this nation as a team. They meet their responsibilities together. And some of them -- like the 30 Americans who were lost this weekend –- give their lives for their country.
Our responsibility is to ensure that their legacy is an America that reflects their courage, their commitment, and their sense of common purpose."


Navy SEALS are born in California. Most of their names will remain unknown, UC alumni? -unknown. RIP. Bring them home.

Intervention-the episodes at UC

the problems you say we have-- we don't have those problems...

UCLA disputes a state audit reporting the university of wrongfully allocating $23 million in student fees to two construction projects

and, anyway, we were already working on those problems-the probs you say we have that we don't have...
UC says state audit advice was already in the works

and there is this ongoing UC Real Estate saga-- UC wants in on the hotel industry, big time:

UCLA Faculty Center- who owns it?

and is UC interested in: this?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Yee Responds To UC Audit Findings

here is Yee's response on the UC Audit:
State Audit Reveals Lack of Transparency, Misappropriation, and Disparity in Campus Funding in the UC System
Thursday, July 28, 2011
SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the California State Auditor released its audit of the University of California identifying instances of misappropriation of funds, disparities in funding for campuses with a higher-than-average proportion of students from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups, and opaque accounting for $1 billion in annual expenses.

“The audit released today by the California State Auditor of the University of California (UC) identifies numerous issues related to the accounting and expenditure transparency of the UC and calls into question some funding priorities,” said Yee. “I am deeply concerned by some of these findings and it is my hope that the UC will immediately address the many issues raised in the audit and provide sufficient rationales to both the Legislature and the public at large.”

The State Auditor specifically cited that the Office of the President of UC “… uses only a single accounting code, Miscellaneous Services, to account for an average of about $1 billion in annual campus expenses."

The Miscellaneous Services funding category in the UC Budget accounts for nearly $6 Billion over the past five fiscal years. According to the UC Internal Accounting Manual, these expenses are generally for consulting or advertising services for individual contracted through campuses.

“While the UC Office of the President knows how to pay lip-service to the goals of accountability and transparency, the state audit demonstrates how UC is falling down on the job in practice. The fact that the UC Office of the President uses a single accounting code titled 'Miscellaneous Services' to track $1 Billion in annual spending speaks volumes about how far UC needs to go to truly be accountable to Californians,” said Lakesha Harrison, President, AFSCME Local 3299.

Of significant concern is also the disparity identified by the audit is the less than average funding provided to campuses with a higher than average percentage of students from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups.

Specifically, four campuses with a higher than average percentage of students from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups all received less funding than they would have received if each campus received the same amount per student.

“For years, the University of California has resisted greater oversight and efforts to improve transparency,” said Yee, who is a UC graduate. “It is clear that there remain many significant problems with the way UC operates and this audit clearly illustrates both new and ongoing problems.”

The Audit also identified the misappropriation of $23 million in student funding to pay for two capital projects on the Los Angeles campus. As of April 2011 one of the projects has been cancelled but $5.2 million of this funding for one of the projects has already been expended.

“This audit is only a first step towards more transparency at the University of California. California’s middle class and working class families are counting on the University and the legislature to never allow UC’s finances to go back into a black box of secrecy again,” said Bob Samuels, President, UC-AFT. “The University of California is our University and must be held accountable to all of us.”

Yee, as Chair of Select Committee on California's Public Records & Open Meeting Laws, has long fought for greater accountability and transparency at the UC. In 2007, Yee passed SB 190 to end the Regents’ practice of making executive compensation decisions behind closed doors without public comment or disclosure.

Also in 2007, Yee passed legislation to require greater public oversight of the UC Retirement Plan. However, the Regents have ignored the resolution and refuse to give workers and retirees a voice on their pensions.

In 2006, Yee passed a bill to provide greater speech and journalism protections for UC students, and in 2008, he passed another bill to extend such protections to employees. However, the Regents did not officially adopt the speech protection policies until last year.

In 2009, the Legislature overwhelmingly approved three bills authored by Yee to freeze executive pay during bad budget years, subject campus auxiliary organizations to the California Public Records Act, and provide legal protections to employees who report waste, fraud, and abuse. Governor Arnold

###

Contact: Adam Keigwin,
916-651-4008
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source:http://dist08.casen.govoffice.com/index.asp?Type=B_PR&SEC={EFA496BC-EDC8-4E38-9CC7-68D37AC03DFF}&DE={E957309F-72AE-4465-81D9-0E424DAA95C9}

our comment: "consulting and advertising" -- that might include the PR, media relations, dev. external relations etc. people, that might include the Bain Operational Exodus people, it also might include many who said they were "retiring" but who are still receiving a pay check as 'consultant'...reminiscent of this sort of thing going around.

Governor Brown talks about ...everything.-- including many comments on the university, higher ed.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Two-Headed Beast, UC Berkeley Foundation, UC Berkeley Endowment Management Co.

Is this the heralding in of privatization?:
Endowments at Cal, Stanford on the rise-Even as budgets get slashed, donor support increases

"Berkeley started its own foundation, separate from the UC Regents, about 30 years ago to give it latitude to make more aggressive investments, and to chase greater returns. The reason is as much psychological as financial, since Berkeley’s endowment had done well under all-volunteer advisers. Saviano said he hasn’t sat down with the UC Regents endowment people in over year, a clear sign of how separate these two pools of money are.

“It is our belief that the donors in all of these cases are making gifts to individual campuses, and they feel a higher level of confidence knowing that it is the campus controlling the investment,” said David Blinder, Cal’s associate vice chancellor. “Right now, in our conversations with donors, we recommend in the strongest way that endowment gifts and checks and stocks go to the Berkeley Foundation. It gives us that direct link.”

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Are individual regents allowed to talk to individual "volunteer advisers"? -- that is an immediate question that comes to mind.

Or, is it another way of democratizing the UC Regents? -- but, then, who or what will democratize the "volunteer advisers"...

(Are the volunteer advisers the same group that includes many bio tech deans and Maureen Orth? Orth is a Cal alum and the widow of NBC's Tim Russert, she has written for Vanity Fair etc. and has served on the board in previous years)-- look it up here and here .

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fed Judge Rules UC Davis Violated Title IX

and the UCOP, UC Media Relations Alice In Wonderland Spin Cycle response:

"We are gratified, after all these years, at this vindication of our record of supporting equality for all students,” said Fred Wood, vice chancellor for student affairs at Davis, said in a statement."

--note how similar that is to how they tried to spin the audit findings?

here is more background: UC DAVIS / UC settles former wrestling coach's lawsuit for $725,000

see: UC Davis Title IX Ruling: Judge Finds College Violated Law

you might also recall just some of the other recent stories that flow in this same vein coming out of UC Davis, see: this and this- oh, and this.

Chancellor Katehi seems to be blazing a trail for herself- but what about all Aggie women?
__

it looks like there may have been two moons according to study co-author Erik Asphaug, a planetary scientist at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

yes, Sister Moon, dedicated to Aggie women standing up for their rights.

and the King of Jordan is a trekkie, building a Star Trek amusement park...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

"Need Blind", "Californian Blind", Update on Pell, Stafford,

California's public universities are stiffing middle-class students - excellent op ed in Mercury News - includes comments from Stanford's Hennessy and uses the term "need blind"...

"The true question here is one of access: Will Californians be priced off the campuses their parents' and grandparents' tax dollars created and maintained?"

another point of view, perhaps best described as "Californian Blind":

Give Me Your Wired, Your Rich, Your Huddled Brainiacs by "Cécile Hoareau is a Fulbright postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Studies in Higher Education of the University of California Berkeley."

"In short, the tuition of each international student could, in theory, cover the cost of a local student."

-- we don't have time for the "in theory" business, let's get real about solutions pls. still lots of questions about where the tuition goes that need to be answered. the piece seems to have been written in a bubble far away from the news that came out on UC last week--see right hand column.

also see:
Graduate Students Hit Hard In Debt Deal
and:
Debt Deal Boosts Pell Grant Funding, Cuts Student Loans

Monday, August 1, 2011

Yudof : "the university plans to revise the policy on student fees to further clarify student referendum results are solely advisory to the regents and the president."

for details on that quote and more see Erica Perez's piece from California Watch :

Audit finds UCLA misused $23 million in student fees


or at HuffPo

UCLA Student Fees Misused: $23 Million In Question

Strange Calculus At Cal's Tolman Hall - Only Some Occupants Are Worthy?

wonder what the seismologists at Cal think of: this latest.

"questions about our continued presence in a building that the university deems unsafe.”

“I understand that the university limits its liability, but once you’ve identified that, to leave some offices there seems odd,” Perlstein said. “It’s also a kind of strange calculus of who’s worth what.”

Koshland rejected the idea that the Tolman Hall staff members were being singled out, saying that “their risk is not any different from other people whose buildings are rated poor. They are not being discriminated against.”


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staff in Tolman Hall remain apprehensive. One staff member, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, said the administration has opened themselves up “morally … and legally, probably.”

“They said ‘why are you all of a sudden panicking? Because you have always been in this crappy building and told that it was rated poorly,’” the staff member said. “Well, now they are pulling people out, so that creates a different kind of division among those who have a right to be safe and those who do not … I don’t see how they can get around that, I mean morally.”


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pretty interesting approach to emergency preparedness and risk management. didn't Cal just reach a $3 Billion fundraising bench mark? Maybe move them into an unoccupied UC chancellor or UC president house-plenty of those- there's hundreds of millions of dollars available for renovation of those spaces...'strange calculus' indeed.

speaking of UC Psych here is this latest:
Don't copycat an unpopular boss's behavior, study reminds --they should hand out copies of this at UC Regent meetings.

and this silly article on UC salary database: Pay disparity - ignorance is bliss

Lots of #SugarCoatedSatanSandwiches Going Around

The Newfield piece is an important analysis and contribution- hopefully picked up on by msm:
Annoying Results of the State Audit of UC, Pt 1: No Cuts, You're Fine!
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(Our comment on it posted here due to character limit)- well, the "lede" has been around a long time and the UCOP response has been the same each time- let's remember:

Yudof responds to Samuels when he first raised questions on per student figures ("Yudof: Well, I'm familiar with Mr. Samuels' point of view, and he's wrong." -- but the state auditor just hit on what Samuels was wondering about all those months ago- it's not like it is a shocking finding that UC could not be prepared for responding to in detail. It has been mentioned often and UCOP had time to fully address. Also see Samuels latest The Big Audit Question.),

and

Fired UCSF Dean Whistleblower on UCSF finances,

and

Prof. Schwartz- VP Lenz correspondence, note the tone.

and
UC's previous UCOP response to the state audit of the CIO

and UC's response on other audits.

-- note the behavior and statements coming out of UCOP toward the state auditor -- very similar. This is not an exhaustive list of links, just stuff that immediately came to mind...not just one canary in a coalmine, there were many. Well, with history like this-- not much is gonna change unless legislation is written to deal with the problems of over reaching UC constitutional autonomy.

Easy to understand why Gov. Brown used the term 'hired guns' with regard to UC leadership -- but it looks like they are not acting as hired guns for the students and regular folks--more like hired guns for their moneyed interest groups. Otherwise, their response would have read more like Newfield's piece. Why didn't UCOP address the tuition categorized as public funds question?

Seems as long as the stakeholders have a hand in allowing UC to continue a "$6 Billion in miscellaneous expenses over five years" system...a large portion of 36 million regular Californians will instead begin to be more inclined to give their "bro can you spare a dime" $32 dollars -or whatever they have- to shelters that are closing; hospice/assistance care for elderly, disabled, dying that are closing; or health care/free clinics for the indigent that have no funding etc. -- they need the $32 much more than an institution that operates in the manner the state auditor has shone a light on...it's not like the public wants to feel this way, but look what they are being told-- UC is doin' great, cushy. ... keeping things "opaque"-- out on the street they don't use the term "opaque"- the term "shady" comes to mind ...


It is much more than "annoying"-- esp. in light of what is coming for the states.

Recalling the move away from using the term 'fees' and now calling it 'tuition' -- does the original charter/master plan etc. say that the two terms both fall under or are grandfathered into being categorized as "public funding?" Are the faculty or students seeking a response from the JLAC or state auditor on the origin of treating fees and tuition as public funding?

UCOP seems focused on other stuff, maybe finding out whether or not John Anderson left mega millions in the will for UC-- or other donors like that -- they are after the big money. (We do wonder if Anderson was aware of the efforts to privatize the B School in the last years of his life, what were his thoughts?)

other misc. thoughts: there really should be an add'l staff adviser to regents position (one for staff at the hospitals and one for staff at the non hospital campuses),and an add'l student regent position (one for undergrad and one for grad)
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take your pick: "Canary in a Coalmine"
or
Mary J's "Just Fine"
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perilous sugar -- Seeking Arrangement: College Students Using 'Sugar Daddies' To Pay Off Loan Debt
and fyi on the #SugarCoatedSatanSandwiches term - it is likely to trend... served of course with Tea (in the Sahara) (both progressives and some tea party segments are unhappy with DC's recent debt ceiling deal--not enough cuts, too many cuts, constitutionality of super congresses, power of super committees, more of this same drama during Thanksgiving holiday triggers and on and on- there should be bananas in those sandwiches.)

"Does anybody remember laughter?"
(RP-he has a birthday on August 20th.)