Friday, April 7, 2017

Attitudes, Persuasion and that 'Body Politic' for Higher Ed

UC president walks downtown Merced, future site of administrative center

"Janet Napolitano toured the construction site for the $45 million Downtown Center, which is expected to be the workspace for some 370 employees when it opens early next year."

She also visited a highschool:
"Call this the ultimate University of California college recruitment event with “Jedi”-like advice.

"Your focus determines your reality,” UC President Janet Napolitano told students on Thursday."

And in Modesto Bee:
“A college education is a launching pad to the rest of your life. It’s a place to learn, to grow, to meet new people, learn about new ideas and viewpoints. It will help prepare you to take your place in the world,” Napolitano told the teens Thursday"...

At Sac Bee: UC initiative with Mexico shows advantages of cooperation over confrontation
By Janet Napolitano
"I’ve just returned from three days of talks in Mexico City with leaders in the Mexican government, in public and private education, in energy, and the business sector. At each stop and in every conversation, uncertainty about the Trump administration underpinned the tone.
The current and likely future relationship between the U.S. and Mexican governments – and by extension, the American and Mexican people – is complicado, the Mexicans often told me. Not that complicated was anything new. But that assessment was usually followed by alarming, or nonsensical, or much worse.

That’s just one reason why it’s more important than ever for institutions such as universities to step in to help – with research-backed facts, perspective and common sense – instead of Americans and Mexicans walling off each other.

I started the University of California’s Mexico initiative three years ago to strengthen UC research and collaboration with Mexico’s institutions of higher education, scholars and researchers, government officials and the private sector. The plan was to advance solutions to critical issues affecting life on both sides of the border.

The initiative is now showing results, and these successes have come at a propitious time. Among the outcomes announced during this trip were a $10 million grant from Mexico’s Energy Ministry for energy efficiency projects with UC researchers, gains in combating diabetes on both sides of the border, and new student internships. A reception at UC’s Casa de California brought together more than 200 UC alumni living in Mexico who were eager to support the UC-Mexico partnership.

But we can do more. Knowledge and ideas transcend lines in the sand or marks on a land surveyor’s map, and applying this common-sense adage to help solve mutual challenges in public health, energy and the environment, to name but a few, is part of what UC does.

This makes sense, not only to what Mexico calls its “nation building,” but to furthering and strengthening California-Mexico ties. Mexico has been California’s number one trading partner since 1999 and it remains the largest market for exports of California-made goods. Helping Mexico to become more developed, prosperous and secure helps California, and our nation, too.

When I was Department of Homeland Security secretary, I and others worked closely with Mexican counterparts who shared vital intelligence about binational threats such as drug cartels, human trafficking and terrorism. Let’s hope this cooperation continues, for the good of us all.

In my former role as governor of Arizona, I saw clearly the advantages of cooperation over confrontation with our southern neighbors. Today the former governor of the Mexican state of Sonora and I remain close friends.

We had dinner together last week and the talk around the table was the likelihood that recent anti-Mexico rhetoric and actions could not only spark a trade war, but also catapult a far left, anti-American politician into the Mexican presidency. With each government fueled more by nationalistic slogans than pragmatic respect and cooperation, we’ll all pay too high a price.

On this recent trip to Mexico, I gave talks at the Foreign Relations Ministry, the Energy Ministry, the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, and the Mexican equivalent of our Council on Foreign Relations. Without exception, the Mexicans met me and others from UC with a sense of gratitude and relief. The fact that we had even made the trip gave them hope.

Mexico must remain our trusted partner and friend. Californians, especially, have families, a cultural heritage and interests in common with Mexico. We must be pragmatists, not antagonists.

The University of California will continue building bridges, not walls, with our neighbor to the south, fostering collaboration and respect."

Janet Napolitano is president of the University of California. She can be contacted at

Next item:

One might recall at the March UC Regents Meeting UC Regent Blum's comments about 'Carol Christ, George Soros and Central European University'
'as a point of interest Carol and I both serve on board of CEU a university which is basically fully funded by George Soros' to paraphrase him...( if you missed those comments- see at time mark 23:00 here
-wondered at the time If that was the best way for regent Blum to position a new UC Berkeley Chancellor for success...)

See now Christ co-authors this op ed on that very same topic- at WaPo:

Curious how does it place her position w/ some sphere of influence in DC?


It appears, following a national trend, that some UC faculty have decided to seek public office:

In the sciences:

And in law:


One also remembers the position of the UC ACAD rep designate at the March UC Regents meeting
To paraphrase 'i was a non resident int'l student accepted to UC and for that matter every faculty member in my acad Dept who now teaches at UC also was accepted as an int'l non resident student to UC- every one of us'

And wondered if that was a good positioning for political persuasion - you can find the exact statement:

See at time mark 1:54:00 here

His comments- of which both faculty reps seemed quite proud - sounded to be in disconnect to the interests concerns voiced by many CA residents, should those comments be reassuring to them? And some still recall this history on that school in recent years and so...


Finally there is that Cal higher education conference happening now that includes some UC speakers/ panelists from a very particular vein of UC 'leadership' today--
As they offer their own political slant on higher education funding...
Also remember the exchange between Khosla and Ortiz-Oakley during the March UC Regents meeting, about non resident tuition and that $500 million ask to CA -see at time mark 1:27:00


BTW there is an April 13 UC Regents meeting- health affairs , which always has repercussions for UC Systemwide, so:

Health Services Committee (open session - includes public comment session)
Agenda – Open Session
Public Comment Period2 (20 minutes)
Action Approval of the Minutes of the Meeting of March 3, 2017
H1 Discussion Remarks of the Executive Vice President – UC Health
H2 Discussion Update on the Affordable Care Act

2:15 pm Health Services Committee (closed session)

Agenda – Closed Session
Action Approval of the Minutes of the Meeting of March 3, 2017
H6(X) Discussion Real Estate Terms Related to Child, Teen and Family Center and
Department of Psychiatry Building, San Francisco Campus
Closed Session Statute Citation: Acquisition or disposition of property
[Education Code §92032(b)(6)]
H7(X) Discussion UC Health – Regulatory Litigation and Enforcement; Emerging
Risks and Opportunities

Times indicated and order of business subject to change

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