Sunday, September 21, 2014

Newsom comments on A3 Agenda Item, and that Thurs C2 item...

Ex Officio UC Regent Newsom's comments during discussion on that A3 item:
If I may- I respectfully think we've completely failed to address the student athletes as we should with our revenue sports. So, I take this issue very, very seriously and commend the chancellors for their sincerity in terms of their desire to be part of the reform and part of the solutions. I had the opportunity,just a few days ago, to spend time with Chancellor Dirks and I understand now much more intimately his commitment to this. So, I take no aspersions or take no purpose to castigate you, but I take some responsibility. I've been here three years and I've been part of the problem - and I think everybody up here on the dais has- this has happened on our watch. We've got to step up our game. And, it's interesting to me, um, that- I happen to think this is possibly a very good thing-- the potential down side is that this is just an opportunity to have much more autonomy for the further commercialization of these sports, larger TV contracts which will drive, I think, more stress between trying to find and integrate the academic balance and our athletic balance.That said, the goals you two stated in your letter are outstanding and the ones you just enunciated but it seems to me, or occurs to me, about half of them don't require this approval- we can move forward. We can't with stipends- but we certainly have the authority with scholarships --to extend four and five year scholarships. It is crystal clear in the NCAA's two existing by-laws we can move forward, we can do much more today to decrease the hours of voluntary practices we can do a lot of the things that were just advanced and enunciated. And, I guess my point... is the sense of urgency:
I have five task force reports since 1991 that I've read and then I've, honestly, this morning, saw another report representing the other five task force reports-- so that is the sixth. We know what to do, we just haven't been doing it- and the culture is the problem. There is sincerity of individuals but we haven't habitualized it, we haven't institutionalized it. If we believe in student athletes we should be doing scholarships now; we should be costing that now; we should be advancing that now-- not waiting around 'til January or February or March of next year. If we are committed to reducing the hours of voluntary practice. The amount of hours- 44 hours was the survey per week- 21,000 college students in 2007 were surveyed football players in Division I - and 44 hours was the avg they worked a week- though the law is clear that the rules say 20 hours. We can be doing more today we don't need to wait around. So, I feel a sense of urgency. I know the President, to her credit, I wish I was here this morning and I apologize, we're going to be putting together a work group to discuss some of the incentive compensation but we all know the incentives are overwhelmingly 10:1 toward athletic achievement and not academic achievement. But, we talk about academic excellence in all of our literature-- but we're not committed to that and we're not demonstrating that... So, as I've gotten more into this I get more animated about it, I get more intense about it. I think we're - we're culpable. And I'll tell ya if you care about African American graduation rates take a look at our graduation rates- they're comical for African Americans. We had four years where not one basketball player who was on a scholarship graduated. We had four out of seven 'four year rolling periods' at UC Berkeley where 30% of our African American athletes in football graduated, 30%. That's inexcusable. We saw the numbers 44%, 38% ... I know those are older numbers the Chancellor(Dirks) and I talked about that...
He inherited all of this
They're older numbers and we have seen some improvement... but we're not even close to where we've got to go and I think the stress is self evident-you have all this pressure to perform on the field.
Hell we've got to finance a half a billion dollar stadium--that means seat licenses, that means ticket sales, that means alumni jumping up and down and that means performance on the field.
Yet, at the same time you've gotta graduate your kids and potentially we're gonna have this new autonomous Big Five and I imagine a lot of these folks they're saying 'hey, hell this is an opportunity to get a bigger contract'-- that's why we went from Pac 10 to Pac 12-- to put even more pressure on us.
That's why we extended the season and we supported the extension of the season in support of the playoff rounds and that's not even governed by the NCAA and they don't care if they're having playoffs during finals that is not an interest of theirs, quite the contrary. So, we're sort of leaning into this and creating the problems but i think we all know this but we've gotta own this and we've got to do something about this and so I just hope and, I guess this is a very long winded way of saying this, but let's not wait around to advance the priniciples that you guys set forth; let's not wait around for the approval of the project to cost these provisions out which I think are essential; let's not wait around for another task force report to tell us what to do we already know what we need to do; and let's not wait around and let's start to change the culture and integrate athletics.
And let's be serious about the racial components of this which are subtext and profound and I think really, honestly... disgraceful. I don't want to belabor it. And, we'll talk in closed session about more solutions. Then we'll talk tomorrow I don't mean to forewarn but the idea of taking away our oversight in terms of contracts in the midst of this discussion is I think a bad policy and I'd love to have a public discussion about that tomorrow I look forward to that tomorrow morning. But I do sincerely acknowledge the work of the two Chancellors in this presentation they get it sincerely and now let's get it done.


Then, the next morning at the UC Regents Thursday meeting Regent Lozano as chair of compensation committee tried to move item C2 which dealt with approval of delegation of authority and compensation for athletic directors and coaches etc. A "transferring authority" move that several regents communicated they had no interest in transferring. Some regents stated in their discussion that the reason for the agenda item was due to some regents feeling like they were "just rubber stamping after the fact" in instances like the UCLA $17 million dollar coaching contract example and the recent UC Berkeley basketball coach contract- a few instances where contracts were basically completed long before the regents would meet to vote on them at their bi-monthly meetings. Several regents opposed various parts of the language of this item and questioned why it was brought before the UC Regents when several issues directly related to it are in a state of policy flux --such as decisions still yet to be made by UC Regents who are concurrently doing other yet to be completed committee work on academic standards metrics that still need to be aligned with everything else... (There also is the need to align the Title IX campus assault Clery related task force work with this as well- not to mention responses to potential new state and fed requirements that might come down on UC on that over this next year - that other task force told the UC Regents they anticipated a July 2015 end date for their work-- but none of the UC Regents spoke about that other task force. Maybe that's a sign of how much weight they give it?)

These two sections- the NCAA Pac 12 presentation by Dirks and Block and then Thursday's Item C2 discussion and vote by compensation committee- are illustrative (is that the word?) of the UC Regent confusion about how they currently and historically interact with UC Regent created Task Force/Working Groups/'Tiger Teams'and their recommendations/findings/reports --and how the regents prioritize regent agenda items for their own meetings.

In fact, Lozano was asked by fellow regents if her committee was advancing an agenda item that was 'a solution in search of a problem'...

Another example of this occurred when, after the student regent made a motion to place students permanently on the fossil fuels divestment task force etc. Regent Zettel had to get clarification from General Counsel on the weight or lack of weight of Task Force recommendations and regents' option to make policy decisions or amendments during regent discussion. (Zettel is chair of compliance and audit committee.)

Do the UC Regents know what they are doing with the Task Force groups they are creating and empowering for so many critically important issues this year? Do the regent know how they may interact with them to form policy?

And what about OP? e.g. Why did Napolitano support Lozano's C2 and then support table of it a few seconds later?

There also is another aspect to look at in this (Napolitano raised it implicitly several times in her attempt to vouch/give reasoning for votes in favor on some items) --that involves how UCOP does or does not maintain high quality or well communicated oversight of campuses in any OP delegation of authority b/ween OP and campuses... how has that played out on policy implementation or cooperation in system wide projects/initiatives/rollouts historically, recently...ugh.

You can view the video of Newsom's comments at the Wed meeting--start here at the 02:33:00 mark

and there's an audio clip of that here, too

and you can view the Item C2 from Thursday's meeting at the 01:02:00 mark here - the discussion runs about 25 minutes on that item

but, once again, there seems to be some issues in creating a reliable permanent record archive for UC Regents meetings, see more on that here.

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