Monday, August 22, 2016

"While UCLA remains relatively scandal free"...

"The collapse of the Office of Strategic Initiatives last semester, the office Dirks set up to tackle the budget deficit, forebodes a bleak future for UC Berkeley’s finances without pragmatic, proactive leadership. Dirks has the opportunity to finally start fresh in laying the groundwork for budgetary solutions that include significant faculty, staff and student input — something the campus community has persistently requested.
Additionally, Dirks should prioritize greater transparency in the campus’s handling of sexual harassment scandals. Recently, the campus announced it was investing $2.5 million in its work to combat a culture of sexual harassment. Yet the details — where exactly the money is going and why the project should make the community feel safer — have been scant.
More than anybody, Dirks should understand the difficulties of taking over a campus from an unpopular, ineffective predecessor. And while his fundraising legacy is impressive, a chancellor can’t fundraise his way back to a good reputation. His remaining months at his post should be spent ensuring that whoever takes the position after him is set up for success in all aspects of the chancellor’s job."

"A lack of communication between students and different administrators who are more familiar with and immediately responsible for specific issues keeps students behind red tape. One of the few opportunities for students to be heard on campus is Block’s office hour, which gives six students 15 minutes each to speak with the chancellor every quarter. The limited time and scope of this hour speaks to how limited students’ interaction with the university’s decision-makers is.
Office hours with vice chancellors or associate vice chancellors in charge of different issues could help the relationship between students and the administration at large. While Katehi and Dirks were ultimately responsible for outrage at Davis and Berkeley, the decisions that led to their decline were supported by others in their administration.
Katehi’s and Dirks’ resignations show that students have the power to shape the administration. While UCLA remains relatively scandal-free, it may help if the next time students knock on an administrator’s door, someone answers."

--a reminder the UC Regents meet at UCLA in a few short weeks...
September 14-15 - UCLA

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