Monday, January 16, 2017

Those are big 'if's, little interims, and questionable values

See: "UC needs a tuition hike, but also a clearer vision of its identity"

Includes some harsh statements about the Gov relationship with UC, and does not explain the funny math SF Chronicle pointed out and frames the opinion piece in a way that takes Napolitano's word that it will only be used for the undergraduates-- where is the proof of :

..." if Napolitano is true to her word and this money is used solely to improve the education of those who pay it, the price hike is justified. There are valid concerns about the long-term funding of the university, but for the short-term, preserving UC’s quality in exchange for a small increase in tuition and fees is the right move. The Board of Regents should approve the price hike when it meets next week.

Besides, the increase won’t affect most of the students who attend, at least not for a few years. The university’s financial aid system assures that families of four earning less than $80,000 a year pay no tuition at all. And the state’s new middle-class scholarship program, launched three years ago but still being phased in, will more than cover the increased cost for many more families. Only those making more than $150,000 a year will pay the higher tuition, and spending a little more than $300 extra is something that most of them will be able to afford.

That’s all well and good for the next few years, but there is a nagging and far more important issue that state leaders have yet to address satisfactorily. It’s nothing less than defining the very identity of the University of California going forward.

Gov. Jerry Brown and Napolitano clashed over this a few years ago. The governor, who has never been a major supporter of UC, basically resisted anything that would help the university bring in more money — higher tuition, better funding from the state or admitting more out-of-state students, who bring geographic diversity to campus in addition to paying a higher tuition that helps fund financial aid for low-income Californians. Instead, Brown expressed his preference for a more austere UC, one that saves money by pushing more online courses and prodding professors into teaching more classes while engaging less in research and other academic pursuits."

And no discussion by LAT of the yet to be completed JLAC audits, they just mention:

"Brown didn’t create the funding problem that has bedeviled UC and its students in recent years,"..."no sooner had Brown announced that the state might face a budget deficit this year than he targeted UC again by proposing to phase out the middle-class scholarships. Phase in, phase out, just like that. So much for greater access to higher education for middle-class families. "

But they close out with:
 "Realistically, UC will never return to the glory days when higher education was nearly free. But California can do better than make a public university education a strain on"...

They also have:
"UC Davis protest spurs concerns about free speech — and more political clashes ahead"
As you read that article perhaps also consider:
Should it really fall to an interim Chancellor at UC Davis, a 'Dirks-on- his-way-out-under-a-cloud/s'-appointed 'associate chancellor' (is he gonna stick around after Dirk's is out at Cal Hall?, And when are those clouds around Dirk's gonna get cleared up with actual reported findings from OP?)), a VC from UCLA, and some Prof in some Dept -all male btw-to be the  voices on how UC should deal with these issues?

(Shouldn't the UCSB painful recent years history also inform the subject as well? But no one wants to mention that thing that happened, --you know that thing that happened with a whole lot of  speech and videos beforehand, remember? But UC response spun those events as solely the result of only one very specific type of failed policy, not as a failure of other policies or of championing 'good speech' etc.)

And where are the comments from the non interim UC Chancellors?

OP and the Regents did take the 'more speech' stance but they, themselves, are crickets right now/again...

But in critically important ways the UC values, identity, mission are in question -so why should they wanna speak?
"The University of California does itself a disservice by outsourcing jobs"
By The Editorial Board

"The goal of the UC system, per its own mission statement, is to educate Californians in order to benefit the California economy by creating an educated workforce. It comes as a shock, then, that the UC system has become the first American public university to outsource some of its information technology (IT) jobs to another country. Since last year, the UC system has been firing its IT staff and replacing them with workers from other countries (primarily India), who are brought to the U.S. on work visas.

This action, while motivated by a need to cut costs — with the UC system’s budget being as strained as it is — sends a devastating message to many of the UC’s students. When there are students studying right now to become software engineers, it is tantamount to betrayal for the UC system"...See the full article.

Daily Cal has:
"new electrical engineering and computer sciences department policy revision for the upcoming semester aims to discourage intended computer science majors from intentionally failing lower division prerequisite classes."



As grades, financial aid and other campus information pour in after the end of the fall 2016 semester, issues have come up with the new CalCentral system."...Renee Chow, a professor of architecture and design and associate dean of undergraduate studies at the College of Environmental Design, said in an email that she had not had any issues with SIS nor heard about any problems from academic advisors.

Campus students have taken initiatives to responding to issues with CalCentral by posting complaints and providing feedback in the student Facebook group CalCentral Bugfinders, which now has over 500 members.

The group was created in response to initial issues with the system at the beginning of fall 2016 enrollment.

UC Berkeley senior Leo Steinmetz issued a letter of criticism of CalCentral in April 2016, mainly focused on issues surrounding enrollment processes in the new system. Eighty students also signed a petition in agreement with the letter. Steinmetz said the SIS office responded quickly to the letter and seemed willing to work on the issues, since they scheduled meetings with him and the other authors. But Steinmetz said most issues are still present.

“It is my impression that most of the issues continue to exist and to cause problems for students,” Steinmetz said in an email. “I more or less gave up on trying to get them to make it better about a month after I wrote that letter, because it seemed pretty clear that they had created the system with basically no flexibility, so even when they were willing to make the changes we proposed, they literally weren’t able to.”"

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