Friday, September 14, 2012


Here is: Video and coverage of the return of four foreign service members to Andrews, including UC's J. Christopher Stevens, Ambassador to Libya

the music was important
the service ended with this:

and, the service began with this

Culture Clash? Is that what it is?

Also there was "a proposal to have a campus-wide purchasing service for various supplies rather than leaving such things in local campus hands. Some possibility of coordinating in purchasing with CSU and the community colleges was mentioned."

and 'let's blame the lower admin culture...'

starts at 111:00

119:00--Blum :Peter I am totally non plussed about this conversation - we hired a monitor on this five years ago- Anne Broom, Katie Lapp-at least $350 million dollars in savings possible was identified then- I just assumed that you had gotten most of this and to hear this is still an issue five years later I find unbelievable

(note: now the potential savings estimate is at $500 million+)

119:00--Island comment: priceless

this topic goes on til 126:00

[of course, an administrative assistant who goes out and contracts with a copier vendor has so much power- their cultural stance so much more powerful than a CFO, and so much more powerful than a UC Regent who is a billionaire and married to a demure, powerless US Senator. Of course, this administrative assistant culture is what is causing all of this loss. Not the UC Regents who didn't catch on- over five years- that their highly compensated 'monitors' (one of whom traveled through UC so fast on her way to Harvard that the entire system almost got whiplash) never fully implemented the strategic sourcing initiatives (some of these initiatives began more than five years ago btw)-- all because of the 'culture' of mid and lower level administrative staff...]

Yudof talks butterfly effect/syndrome, beakers
He says this money can't necessarily go back into core funding
Lansing says any money is good
and non UC constituents look at this exchange with their heads tilted sideways, and with their jaws dropped- 'you mean these folks knew five years ago they could save hundreds of millions of dollars and so far they have only managed to save $75 million- wtf.'

The 'make it mandatory' vote is coming?

2 Week Pepper or 2 Day Pepper

take your pick

in two weeks details will be released


in two days it will be released: However, both UC officials and the ACLU of Northern California, which is representing the students in the lawsuit, refused to divulge settlement details, saying the rules of the agreement talks require a federal judge to review the matter before it can be made public. That may happen within a few days, they said.

more background from Sac Bee

if UCOP, Regents want to move on to get focus on Prop 30 etc-and contingencies- then, 2 weeks is taking a huge chunk of focus leading up to the November

Thursday, September 13, 2012

UC Final Report On Protest Policies

you can read it at Daily Cal

Mickey and WalMart too

they are in on it with Facebook vs. UC

Inside Higher Ed has two good stories

one on UCLA B School
one on Cheit, Stanford the presidential campaign -folks around Cheit Hall might find it interesting- important to note a couple of things: 1-Romney actually cross picketed the anti-war protests at Stanford so he was not completely removed from it with his nose in a book
2- there are other aspects of his life,dealings that are more of a 'tell' than his limited time at Stanford.
but the parts on Cheit are interesting.

"No Upcoming Events" at UC Regents Meeting?

that is what it says on the link to listen to the UC Regents meetings right now- it appeared at around 2pm

the posting there stated an event was scheduled at 12:30pm but that likely was a typo-- because the Regents agenda said that they were to come back into open session at 1:30pm - but it continues to list an event that is to start at 12:30pm??

but for the past hour from 130pm to 230pm there has been no posting of the "in progress" link to click on in order to hear them back in open session

and now the screen simply lists "No Upcoming Events"

is this how the Brown act or other sunshine laws allow the UC Regents to operate?

all times listed above are PST
went over to Daily Cal and apparently they came back into session at around 1pm-BUT-this still does not explain why the in progress link was not available to hear and it also does not explain why the scheduled event displayed a 12:30pm start time at the 'granicus' link:

The Board will reconvene in a public session around 1:30 p.m.
by Amruta Trivedi 10:05 AM
The UC Regents approved the settlement reached with the lawyers of the students pepper-sprayed by UC Davis police officers last November. The terms of the settlement have yet to be discussed.
by Amruta Trivedi 1:00 PM
Public comment session goes without note since no speakers signed up.
by Amruta Trivedi 1:02 PM
"It's a really ugly chapter in the university history,"
said UC Student Regent Jonathan Stein regarding the settlement. "In my view, we did an injustice to our students that day at Davis. Some amount of recompense is appropriate. It's time for us to publicly acknowledge that's not how we treat our students."
by Amruta Trivedi 1:19 PM
#UCRegents meeting ends. Details on settlement reached w/ students re pepper spray incident to be released once filed w/ courts via @cmehra
by dailycal via twitter 1:32 PM
Given how this last part of the meeting was noticed and not broadcast -- it is no great surprise that there were no public comments or speakers signed up.
here is partial audio of what happened in today's afternoon session:
Listen to Regents Approve Everything in Afternoon of 9-13-12 (partial recording)
"Indeed, they approved all executive compensation recommendations of the compensation committee and all projects endorsed by Building and Grounds in toto, i.e., no separate votes on particular items. No discussion."

this is why it is very difficult to take Yudof seriously when he pens something like this:
"At every meeting, people stand up in outrage over tuition, pensions, and other similar concerns. But there is no outrage over the threats to UC’s academic quality. And when these meetings are over, our chancellors, administrators, employees, and faculty must return to their campuses, and do what needs to be done to absorb allocated reductions. They are simply left to contend with the budget realities on the ground.

There were no board votes approving faculty salaries that lag behind our peer institutions by 10-20%. There were no board votes approving a freeze on faculty hiring for several years. There were no board votes approving a steady rise in our student to faculty ratio over the last few decades. In the last six years alone, we have enrolled 30,000 more students while adding hardly any new faculty members."

the votes are ramrodded in closed sessions and then not broadcast in open session...
cynical- ploy... those are the words that immediately come to mind.

Lansing: ..We are adjourned.. Oh we forgot to vote
Lansing: Good we ended at 1pm like we said we would.
When exactly did they say they would end at 1pm?
One of the regents says loudly on open mic "Oh, Mr. Newsom you're back"
Apparently Gavin didn't get the "we'll be finished by 1pm" memo either
In any case, the agenda and the portal for distance listening were not updated with the new and/or correct times...

Prop 13, Prop 30 and UC Payroll Stats

on the Prop 13 and Prop 30 dynamic.

on the UC Payroll stats and much more
UC regents brainstorm changes if voters reject Prop. 30

UC Considers Major Budget Changes

California Universities Use Out-Of-State Students To Plug Budget Hole, Following National Trend

wild scribbles, notes, not quotes from third day- posting mostly for the purpose of tickler to come back to:
de la Pena, Cricket somebody, and Stobo are getting the final touches on systems fixes and credentials in place on the student health centers operations etc.

all of this should have been done long ago by predecessors but -- oh well

but still they have not addressed mental health services fixes, review for students visiting these centers
even with the Haas B School shooting, the suicides, the Aurora,CO event involving a recent alum-kudos to Gould for asking about it- when do they finally pick up speed on that?

scribbles, notes, not quotes from first day:
Regent Island's comments on local campus relationships with vendors/contracting is very very important to understanding why strategic sourcing systemwide has never fully succeeded and the savings in the order of magnitude possible has never been fully achieved, realized.

Blum "non plussed"- yeah, like Taylor said 'me too'- take a number.

did Blum even stay for the second half of the meeting?

Island on parents and Californians becoming sour on UC if UC turns away qualified Ca residents - yes!

why isn't Regent Gould using this opportunity of the retreat to explain why he is against Prop 30?

Why did Yudof tell Pattiz that he would tell him offline why CA constituents might be opposed to UC moves on certain legislation but he would not discuss it publicly at this retreat? (it was not b/c of the laryngitis, it was due to content)

Blum is against parking rates raise scheme to pay for pensions- he says it is selling a UC asset to the pension fund.

Regent Wachter had some interesting comments, usually don't hear from him. Will try to go back to it later.

the parking scheme on retirement is the reverse of the set up of the proposed Luskin conference center at UCLA..huh?

Pattiz - UC is really an international university...

on int'l tuition rates- there is the "i paid more, i deserve more" effect for campuses servicing of students

none of the regents want to talk about their (previous UC regent cohorts) failure to deal with the pensions for decades -- they only want to complain about the failures of the CA Legislature.
Are any of the Ex Officio UC Regents from the Legislature present to respond?

another group that is involved in every topic is the Chancellors -- but the Chancellors are not at the table to partake in this discussion on the first day.
Can't someone give em a mic?

Newsom calls out big biz on donations to middle class scholarship funding etc and he also sort of slams Dooley and Lansing's secretiveness on corporate donors lists remaining private. Newsom wants to know why the chamber of commerce isn't speaking up for UC.

Stein has important points throughout. He esp wants to reiterate the need for support for less well off UCs for scholarship funding and other support...

Lansing wants to adjourn for lunch.

FB's Mark Zuckerberg might be making a hefty donation to UC afterall

see: UC, Facebook and the Patents

UCSD on FB and Voter Turnout

Regents Meeting in Progress Now (regents are in closed session from 10am til 1:30pm PST when they open their meeting again on compensation and closing items to adjourn.)

If you want to listen to audio of the retreat and the first day of the UC Regents Meeting see this site- some of what the regents did in their retreat was out of the box- but some of it was indeed very pointless and bizarre: "they seemed more to want UCOP to bring in ridiculous options such as closing UCLA. The idea was that it would be understood - presumably by the public - that the alternative to not raising tuition would be so draconian that they had no choice. A not-so-nice interpretation of what went on in this segment was venting and posturing." Yes, and, unfortunately, Lansing was the ringleader on it.

There was important comment on the UC Regents lack of knowledge in the pension discussion

"In general, since the Regents are the trustees of the pension fund, their comments suggested a significant lack of understanding about basic information.

Several Regents suggested that if we cut the benefits, we could use the savings to raise salaries. But since benefits have preferred tax status and cash does not, on the face of it, moving a dollar from benefits to cash is a reduction in total compensation to the employee. This discussion was not the highlight of the retreat."

It was a low point in knowledge - particularly for Regent M - but, in fact, this is indeed something to be highlighted because their knowledge level was based on the resource documents provided to them by UCOP- which Regent M cited in his remark.

Also, if you listen to the audio from the first day morning session there is an important exchange between Regent Island and UCOPs Peter Taylor about strategic sourcing (contracting with vendors as a group of campuses etc.) and the reasons local campuses fight against such efforts. Island offers a very frank assessment for the reasons why- what Island says is true, will try to transcribe the exact quote later- what Island is saying is a bit different from Yudof's usually explanation about freedom to contract with a 'favorite beaker maker' etc.- it is deeper than that- and one of the more unpleasant facts of how the campuses run. Wonder if this particular issue will be a focus during the October conference call UC Regents meeting? Big dollars involved.

Other headlines:
NEED NOT APPLY Why The Grass (And Your Money) Is Greener In Other States-
Enrollment Freezes, Tuition Spikes At UC.. How Other Flagships Compare

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Moody's On MOOCs

can be read here in the middle of the piece.
recall how nuts folks can get when they read stuff like the above-the U Va hangover continues.
full audio of yesterday's UC Regents regular session meeting can be heard here
live blog of today's UC Regent meeting can be read here

Born in April 1960 and raised in California, Stevens, 52, studied for his undergraduate degree at the University of California at Berkeley in 1982 before graduating from the University of California's Hastings College of Law in 1989.

Rest in peace Ambassador Stevens
UC Regents meeting begins in a few minutes you can listen live. -hint- you have to keep hitting the refresh button until you see the "in progress" link and then click the link to get the audio- there is no video provided for these meetings.

audio clips from yesterday also posted here and here
btw this logic seems flawed given how many closed sessions UC Regents engage in and the results.
here is background from Daily Cal on what happened yesterday- they will likely live blog today's meeting too.
local thoughts on UC student from Sac Bee and commentary on Linnea Lomax's passing. it starts off painfully like this: "Unfortunately, the sad episode of Linnea Lomax, a 19-year-old UC Davis student, has come to an end, probably in the worst and most excruciating way one could possibly imagine, with her mother finding her body hanging from a tree next to the American River on Friday." but also has this: "We need to figure out what went wrong here, what we could have done, and how we can prevent the next young student from suffering the same fate.
It is difficult in times like these to avoid flailing around blindly for the easiest answers. The first layer has to come at the university - figuring out ways to allow students to handle stress and to distinguish between the normal stresses of college and the overwhelming challenges of mental illness."

and University Diaries has thoughts on the alleged plagiarism involving a Canadian faculty member-where a UCSB faculty member is one of the victims.
this also goes out to foreign service folk at Georgetown

when you look at the world, what is it that you see?

thank you for your service.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

“What’s less clear is how either of the authors might have gotten their hands on a pre-publication version of (the U.S.) paper that appeared in a different journal.” “There are a lot of fishy aspects to the whole thing,”

Hey UCSB-see: University of Waterloo researchers issue retraction and apology after using U.S. expert’s text and information

UC Regents Meeting

Now In Progress at 1pm (PST)
Daily Cal Live Blogged the Meeting
notes/scribbles/not quotes:
If you can't listen live then listen to audio recording of Regent Ruiz comments at 1:35pm today. Regent Ruiz very bravely called out UCOP on needing to lead and set the example- based on his belief (a belief UCOP sometimes does and does not also hold- depending on the way the wind is blowing at any given moment) that UCOP is higher up the hierarchy above campus administrations. He raised questions about rules in place on zero tolerance of sexual harrassment and other behaviors in other workplaces- and wonders how UC has not met the mark of that - how it can be zero tolerance everywhere else but at UC it is a different deal- that at some point UC is going to have to tell folks who act badly that they are costing the system and UC can't afford their behavior, they will have to go somewhere else etc. This section of the meeting is also about Penn State type scenarios and student issues on campus - but it also is about so much more. Must listen to this section. Gen Counsel Robinson tried to answer back to Ruiz on UCOP -basically Robinson tried to say UCOP can only control UCOP physical work environment (Oakland) really can't control the other work environments (campuses) in the system, but they (UCOP) do feel the need for accountability for the system. Must listen to this exchange- it is rather shocking.

in buildings and grounds committee:
SF Mission Bay

Regent M asks about the dean's tax on clinical and how it pays for this construction... interesting.

Schilling suggests UCSF build more robust foundations on future building-- so that taller buildings are possible in the future. Guess all of SF can have UC One Rincon Hill style buildings across it.

Regent M starts explaining comparable three star hotel floor plans to UC on the proposed hotel at UCLA thing. The floor plans have not even considered what the rooms should look like for guests of a hotel caliber space apparently. Separate the toilet and shower from the sink vanity area-he says- double doubles should allow folks to be able to use both areas simultaneously- seriously. Regent M is, once again, having to explain this to them. No access to back of house exists for guests, have to go through public areas for guests to get there. Regent M mentions the trucks are going in the same traffic flow- commercial traffic and pedestrian etc traffic all using the same routes- a bit concerning (they should talk to Cal about how delivery trucks going in the same pattern as pedestrians on campus lanes can pose real probs).

Student Regent designate asks if student space priority has been designated in the design in this hotel conference -- um, they still have not worked that out, but future discussions, input will happen -- sometime.

Regent Kieffer says if this thing ends up looking like a dorm then he will be very disappointed- it better look better than dorms, better than USC's version. 'Given Hadi's (Regent M) comments on bathrooms' etc. he is concerned this design is going to be disappointing.
They go ahead and approve CEQA on this foggy item- even with all the unresolved and unanswered questions.

Health Sciences learning center building thing comes up as next item.
Now Schilling is telling UCLA to sharpen the pencils too. It is an extremely inefficient building, cost per square footage --$2000 per sq ft-- De La Pena also concerned- should be $500 or $600 per square foot. Bring the building back to the regents with multiple options and multiple cost options/brackets in case funding falls through.

Regent M-- just wanna say $1000 per sq ft is class A office space in Manhattan.Don't know how you can work these numbers like this? Where is the business analysis on this? - we agreed to have it when regents receive requests to vote on these items - he says this to Patrick (Lentz?). Do we go forward with this? Should we just vote on schematics? Can we really vote on design development today?

If we approve this are we going to be in a position where we can still say we don't like this? -- the chair asks all of these questions.

Block tries- as usual- to assuage all fears and basically say just sign off on it already

folks get testy- you have already tried several times and you've biforcated these processes already before and blah blah

the regents have biforcated? does UCLA really want to say that?

Regents say okay if you assure us you've heard our concerns- alright we'll vote for it to the next step. approved.

what's $2000 per sq ft anyway...
meeting adjourned
Remembering 93
Floating Rhinos of UC Hastings

Friday, September 7, 2012

Updates: GSRs, Unions and UCOP

Important update: UC Davis actions on the same topic- including an email from Dean of Graduate Studies at UC Davis, to the Academic Senate. and this latest disturbing development on the UC Davis student who went missing. There have been a string of recent missing college student stories nationwide lately. Surprisingly, the UK's Daily Mail has the most detail on the story about 19-year-old Linnea Lomax.
UCOP Bashes Unions

GSRs a big part of the grease that run the wheels on research at UC. And, high up on the list of the most exploited groups on campuses.
(GSR= Graduate Student Researcher, different from Graduate Student Instructors (GSI) in the alphabet soup dictionary.) Here's a piece from Daily Bruin on SB 259 from a while back.

The Anderson School at UCLA, ...and community colleges in CA developments.

Yep, need answers to latest on the case of the UCLA Lab Death developments and on UC moves on Anderson.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

2011 Salary Data for University of California

Has been loaded into: Sac Bee and: UCPay searchable databases available to the public. This happens around this time every year.

Looks like Op Ex got raises in a big way. Take a close look at the growing and growing shared services experiments. They're meant to streamline- serve more with fewer- but instead growing as large or larger than what they replaced, with even bigger payroll.

Sad to say, sometimes press releases, internal memos, dept communications don't give a full picture detail- sometimes, the best way to understand reorganizations or what's goin' on etc. is to look at salary data in a given unit, dept, div,cu- esp. sometimes looking at folks no longer there...

well, anyway, there it is... Jus' so ya know.
There is this commentary on the possible pepper spray settlement.
And this update on the UCLA laboratory death case.

Monday, September 3, 2012

UC Regents - Sound the Retreat

Update: Many attachments now included in the UC Regents meeting agenda and available for reading.
So to speak--they call it a 'retreat', others call it 'in-service' and others call it other things..
Anyway, a li'l lite reading of agendas for the upcoming UC Regents meeting has been posted (no attachments available yet)
But it gives a hint to what will be covered at the meeting:
incentive compensation for health, ucop financial/treasurer positions,
litigation in finance committee (including the pepper spray matter- possible settlement),
and,what they will cover as part of their "retreat"

You can view it all here.

Happy(?) Labor Day

BTW, there is this post on SB 863 - wonder what all the NIMH, NIH funded profs think of it?

SB 863 was written by Kevin De Leon- the same De Leon this UCSA student leader worked for, hhmmm.

while we are at it - consider what happened with CA SB 1530...

wonder if any of those votes will be changed post tally?:
CA Assembly Can Change Votes Post-Tally

"In the state Assembly, prior to adjournment on the same legislative day and in the absence of any objection, a lawmaker can instruct the chief clerk to change his or her recorded vote after the vote is announced, as long as the outcome of the vote is not changed. The chief clerk may record any vote change only after the member making the change has announced it to the Assembly.

In the Senate, if the president pro tempore or minority floor leader is in attendance throughout a session, he or she, in the absence of any objection, may instruct the secretary of the Senate to add his or her vote to any previously announced vote that was taken while he or she was performing the responsibilities of their office, provided the outcome of the vote is not changed."
more on this practice here.

"The cost of pensions and retiree health benefits are soaring at the University of California, increasing pressure to raise tuition and cut academic programs at one of the nation's leading public college systems. "

that blurb included in this story: State's Highest Paid Retirees Benefited From Cash Out

approximately 180 participating retirees receiving $100,000 or more a year in pensions took home an average additional lump-sum payment of $147,000 when they retired between 2002 and 2010.
It's not clear exactly how many retiring educators took the lump sum payments in the eight years the option was available, nor is it clear whether the program succeeded in attracting and retaining classroom teachers. By law, the program expired at the end of 2010.
The AP requested data from CalSTRS of 6,600 retirees whose annual pensions are $100,000 or more. A review showed that nearly $27 million was paid out through the lump-sum program to the system's highest paid employees, with many of them cashing out at a time when the pension system was suffering significant investment losses.
Gov. Jerry Brown last week announced a pension reform deal to begin shoring up the state's public pension systems. The Democratic plan would cap future pension benefits at $132,120, among other changes.

Cal Responds to the College Students Subsidizing Other College Students Hechinger Report stories