Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Speaker Perez Moves To Bring Back California Postsecondary Education Commission

Lawmakers Seek To Restore University Watchdog and Database
A move is afoot in the Capitol to bring back a higher education watchdog and restore a data trove of 1.7 billion records on public colleges and universities that were placed in limbo by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Outgoing Assembly Speaker John Pérez, D-Los Angeles, wants to restore the functions of the California Postsecondary Education Commission. His bill, AB 1348, would create a new independent entity with a new name and a redesigned governing board.

Brown eliminated the commission in 2011 to save $2 million.

“Not funding CPEC didn’t save the government that much money in the scheme of things,” said David McCuan, a political science professor at Sonoma State University.

But, McCuan added, Brown’s unexpected action did “push the issue forward about what should we do with higher education in California.”

Pérez’s bill would set up an office called the California Higher Education Authority, or CHEA, which would perform largely the same functions as CPEC.

But there is a major difference: His bill would cut the 16-member board that governed CPEC to 13 members, eliminating a representative of each of the public institutions of higher education. Instead, the CHEA board would be composed of nine members of the general public appointed by the governor and Legislature to staggered six-year terms, and four student representatives who would serve for a year.

Removing higher education from the governing board stems from suggestions by the lawmakers’ analyst that the CPEC was ineffective in riding herd on higher education because the very institutions it was watching wielded undue influence on its board.

and Union Complains About UC Tactics,
Sac Biz Journal: Union complains about UC tactics
Napolitano On Drought.
SCPR: Napolitano adds to the drought vocabulary - they also have further links on the following:
New UC president Janet Napolitano (who's apparently known for some other position she's had in the past) took an aerial tour of areas hit hard by the sereation. This is ahead of a sustainability plan due out this spring that will involve all 10 campuses:
It was Napolitano's first visit to the 330-acre center -- one of nine UC agriculture research hubs that dot California -- where she took a tour of the canola, walnut and blueberry crops planted there. Her visit comes as California faces a third year of drought and one of the driest years on record. Napolitano said the UC system will do its part to help farmers find relief. For example, she said, UC Merced could soon play a more prominent role in agricultural research. (Fresno Bee)
But agricultural research itself is taking a hit.
Many growers in California will receive no surface water allocation this year because of the drought. Neither will the University of California’s Westside Research and Extension Center (WSREC) near Five Points, which gets its surface water from Westlands Water District. (Western Farm Press)

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