Monday, October 17, 2016

Make of it what you will...

UC Berkeley personal trainer in ‘Kafkaesque’ tangle

"The saga of the UC Berkeley personal trainer who was put on paid administrative leave over questions about his relationship with Chancellor Nicholas Dirks and his wife gets stranger by the day.

Devin Wicks was the subject of a whistle-blower tip that he was giving free training sessions to Dirks and had accompanied the chancellor’s wife, Janaki Bakhle, who is an associate professor in history, on an alumni association-sponsored trip to India — all on the campus’ dime.

Thanks to Wicks, Dirks had also received an annual membership at the campus’ Recreational Sports Facility valued at $420.

Now, after six months of investigations, Wicks’ former boss at the Recreational Sports Facility has filed his own whistle-blower complaint with the university and UC President Janet Napolitano’s office — accusing them of wasting money by hanging Wicks out to dry for so long.

“He has no idea if and when the investigation will ever be over,” said Wicks’ former boss, Michael Weinberger, who retired as head of the Recreational Sports Facility in February.

Weinberger tells us that he was the one — and not Wicks — who authorized the chancellor’s free membership as a way to encourage Dirks to pay more attention to the school’s recreational needs.

According to his whistle-blower complaint, if there’s been any improper spending, it’s the more than $53,000 in salary and benefits that has been wasted these past six months keeping Wicks on the payroll but not allowing him to work.

Weinberger said Wicks was going through a “Kafkaesque experience.” UC officials have ordered him not to speak to anyone at the university or to reporters, but he’s been given no updates on the status of the case or been charged with any wrongdoing, Weinberger said.

“Also, it should be noted that while this investigation has dragged on, the chancellor was never put out on administrative leave,” Weinberger said.

On Friday, Dianne Klein, spokeswoman for Napolitano, said that “the investigation isn’t finalized, but we anticipate that it will be soon.” Beyond that, she said, she couldn’t comment.

The embattled Dirks recently announced he will step down at the end of the school year. In an earlier interview with us, he described Wicks as one of his and his wife’s “dearest friends” and said there was nothing improper about their relationship. He also said he had begun paying for his training sessions with Wicks after questions were raised about the perk.

As for Wicks, he isn’t commenting."

University of California continues to cull active managers as performance suffers


Many UC workers struggle to feed themselves and their families, study shows

"Seven in 10 University of California workers in clerical, administrative and support services struggle to put adequate food on the table, according to a new Occidental College study.

The study, released Monday, found that 45% of 2,890 employees surveyed throughout the 10-campus UC system went hungry at times. An additional 25% had to reduce the quality of their diet.

The problems persisted even though most of those surveyed were full-time employees with college degrees and average earnings of $22 an hour.

Peter Dreier, an Occidental professor of politics who conducted the study with two colleagues and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 2010, said the results were startling."


"The study by Occidental College’s Urban and Environmental Policy Institute also found:

-- About 9 in 10 single-parent households reported food insecurity.

-- Food insecurity rates were higher among women (71.3%) than men (65.8%).

-- About 8 of 10 African Americans and Latinos, and 6 of 10 whites and Asians struggled with food insecurity.

-- Nearly 70% had difficulty concentrating on work at times because of hunger.

-- About 80% had to choose between buying food and paying rent or utilities."

Direct link to the report:


UCSD Guardian piece has this on UC Regents and UCOP approaches to problems


Check out many links to important, compelling other/non UC stories on Higher Ed at this now Buzzfeed reporter's Twitter handle

Also stuff like this and this out today

University Diaries had a post on Harvard  returns recently, tried to find it, but first this came up with other interesting stuff

Then there it was- this post: "With losses like these, they should hire Donald Trump to do their books."A situation where [Harvard’s] in-house investment managers are getting paid 50 times more than university professors, while delivering lackluster returns, is “politically not feasible,”

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