Monday, January 18, 2016

UC Pension, benefits; online instruction; and the 'in name only' factor, concerns in each piece

Questions  Can the UC Regents who were in office during the pension holiday be recalled, removed now due to something like incompetence etc if they still currently sit on the UC Regents board? And, what does the pension funding problem remaining unresolved do to the UC system in terms of creating more disparities  at each individual  UC campus,  future ability to recruit new faculty to UC? And does UC constitutional autonomy play a valid part in the reasoning  for why UC receives a different funding on pension than  CSU ?
Pensions, Politics, and the Failures of Leadership
Napolitano's pension agreement with Governor Brown issued its report on Friday.  To no one's surprise, the Task Force indicated that the task was impossible; given the limits the Task Force faced most faculty and many staff (especially in the health sciences) hired from July 1, 2016 will face dramatically reduced retirement benefits compared to current employees.  This situation results from two interrelated factors: the actual budget deal that President Napolitano accepted and the desire on the part of Vice-President Brostrom that there be savings produced by the new 2016 tier.  In exchange for a relatively small (about 5% of UCRP's unfunded liability) short-term State contribution to UCRP, UCOP has agreed to reduce the compensation for generations of employees to come.

Then see this Associated Press article in:
Retirement liabilities remain despite state budget surplus
But even as the governor and lawmakers debate how to spend a budget surplus, there's a looming financial hurdle: Unfunded pension and health care liabilities of $220 billion for future retirees who work for the state and the University of California system.

And, up pops an adviser to UC Regents (and almost appointed but not confirmed UC Regent) in it:

"They're very big, bigger than ever, and the cost is very high," said David Crane, a Stanford public policy professor who was an adviser to former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Read more here:

What's the rush on Option B?:
The Default Pension Option is Not in Our Stars But in the Plan

Napolitano and Brown have served on WGU board and other ties to consider in this IHE article:

"The Faculty Role Online, Scrutinized
The Education Department's inspector general is auditing Western Governors U over the faculty role in its competency-based programs. The high-stakes audit is relevant to other colleges and forms of online learning."

The logjam eased last summer, when a group representing the seven regional accreditors and the department both issued letters that attempted to clarify the rules on competency-based education. The letters described requirements for the faculty role.

This take on a current ex officio UC Regent:
"Gavin Newsom not your father's Democrat"
"as a completely new kind of Democrat; for lack of a better term, call him a “Silicon Valley Democrat.”

"It’s entirely possible that Newsom will shed his reputation as a lefty and run for governor "

and includes this bit:

In June 2014, he criticized University of California President Janet Napolitano for warning university employees that they would not be reimbursed for using “sharing economy” services like Uber, Lyft and Airbnb for official travel. In a letter to the former secretary of Homeland Security, Newsom said, “A university that is focused on the future and committed to fostering new technologies should not work against innovators and entrepreneurs.”


In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and his last speech- At Berkeley

2002 coverage of the Nestor gift

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