Friday, January 25, 2013

'No Jerk Policy' ??- Update on Birgeneau, Berdahl closed door meeting with U. Michigan Regents

From The Michigan Daily: (U Mich) Regents gain insight in California (meeting with Birgeneau, Berdahl, Stanford's Hennessy, and Google)

While the specific topics discussed were not made public, Birgeneau said his time with the regents and executive officers covered topics such as prospects for public universities across the country, budget challenges, streamlining administration costs, competition for the best faculty and financial aid for undergraduates.

Birgeneau said Berkeley has worked to combine its purchasing with the University of California, San Francisco in order to save money on large orders, among other administrative cost changes. Overall, Birgeneau said a “pessimistic” estimate was savings of $70 million per year as a result cost-savings programs.

The issue of declining federal support for research funding was also a primary focus of conversation. Birgeneau added that he was “optimistic” about the future of research funding in light of President Barack Obama’s inaugural address. Private partnerships with industry and foundations could also provide a new source of revenue, albeit one much smaller than the support that the federal government gives for basic research.

“Federal money is important, but we get a lot of money from different foundations,” Birgeneau said. “I would say we are trying to diversify our research base in the same way we diversify everything else.

Birgeneau said Berkeley’s main priority with MOOCs centered on providing “technology-assisted education” to its on-campus population as well as some offerings for the general public.

“We’re doing this to improve education, not to make money,” Birgeneau said.

Birgeneau, who is set to step down in the middle of 2013, said the charge of a public university president is to assemble a competent leadership team, have solidified personal values, withstand “buffeting” from state politics and media and fundraise effectively.

“I’m a strong believer in the ‘no-jerk’ policy,” Birgeneau said.

Gotta ask- does he mean jerk as in using batons on your own students, faculty, staff? Or, jerk as in talking about the DREAM act as part of the attack on Gabrielle Giffords? Does he mean jerk as in talking about Hancock and Skinner as in they 'only know how to do damage'-those kind of statements? Or, is that considered non jerk behavior? Does he consider his BFF Dynes a jerk or not a jerk? Did U Mich ask that as follow up?
Birgeneau also spoke to the regents about programs that California sponsors to defray costs of attendance for lower- and middle-income students. California currently pays the entire tuition cost for a student whose family makes a combined income of less than $80,000 per year and qualifies for financial aid.

Dirks is formally called Chancellor Designate, or something like it, but at the UC Regents meeting he was referred to as "Chancellor-in-waiting"...

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