Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Independence of the 'Independent Review'? UC Regents May 11- Special Meeting - Other things...

Some important updates, now Napolitano has this in SF Chronicle:
"UC president responds to critical audit
By Janet NapolitanoMay 10, 2017 "
" understand that all this might be lost in a blur of daily headlines. As too often happens, incomplete details obscure the facts. There is no secret pot of money that funds dubious priorities. The systemwide and presidential initiatives — such as those that benefit undocumented students, that help prevent sexual violence and sexual harassment, that further our and the state’s goals on climate change — have been widely publicized. The monies spent are budgeted and accounted for.

We can do better, and we will. The hallmark of institutional excellence is the eagerness, and resolve, to continually improve. "

And LA Times has this on Speaker Tendon:
"California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon is 'frustrated' with UC President Janet Napolitano over scathing audit"
"I’m very frustrated with the lack of communication coming out of the office of the president,” Rendon said during a meeting with Times reporters Wednesday in Sacramento. “Personally, the higher ed chair and I went to great lengths to spend a lot of time with the president and members of our caucus who have been very critical. We went out on a limb and we feel that to an extent it was cut off.”

Rendon stopped short of saying Napolitano should resign, but said he has a lot of questions to be answered when the regents hold their regular meeting next week. The regents have also called a special closed-door meeting for Thursday to appoint an outside consultant to look at the auditor’s concerns that budget reserves have not been properly handled or disclosed.

“I’m very concerned right now,” Rendon said when asked if he thought Napolitano should step down. “I will ask my questions next Thursday. I think we have an oversight function that we need to perform as a Legislature. I am suspending judgment until I ask my questions and we continue with our process.”

Rendon said any review of the UC budget process needs to be "independent and trusted," adding there is a "need to dig deep in terms of how that has been done in the past and how it is done in the future.”

The Speaker said he is open to a recommendation of State Auditor Elaine Howle that the Legislature take a more direct role in approving the budget for the UC Office of the President.

“We don’t want to manage the UCs, but [the budget role] certainly tends to make a lot of sense,” he said."

And here is some Op-Ed:
Editorial: Transparency needed for UC to regain trust

And this Daviscentric one:
UC Regents phone it in:

Notice of Special Regents Meeting, May 11, 2017

** Revised - Location Changes**

A Special Meeting of The Regents of the University of California will be held by teleconference on Thursday, May 11, 2017

Agenda – Closed Session
B1(X) Discussion Review of Certain Issues Related to the State Audit Report on the
University of California Office of the President Administrative Budget
Closed Session Statute Citation:
Personnel matters [Education Code §92032(b)(7)]

Agenda – Open Session
Public comment period2
(20 minutes)
B2 Action Authorization to Retain an Independent Consultant to Investigate Certain
Issues Related to the State Audit Report on the University of California
Office of the President Administrative Budget

See 3 UC campuses change responses in state auditor's survey
San Francisco Chronicle -

"In one survey, UC Santa Cruz rated the technology help it received from the president’s office as “poor.” But after Napolitano’s office intervened, UC Santa Cruz administrators changed the “poor” rating to “good.” They also changed ratings for three services previously judged “fair” to “good.” And they changed their ratings of three other services, including help in identifying top-performing high school students, from “good” to “exceptional.”

In a letter accompanying the survey, Howle told the campuses to keep the surveys confidential and not to share them “outside of your campus.”

But emails show Napolitano’s staffers learned about the surveys in October when a UCSF administrator informed them she had received one. Subsequently, Napolitano’s office contacted all the campuses and began directing administrators on how to respond to the surveys.

On Nov. 22, Napolitano’s Deputy Chief of Staff Bernie Jones wrote UC Santa Cruz:

“Our expectation is that we review an updated version of the survey responses before it is resubmitted to” the California State Auditor.

Jones’ email was among a flurry of correspondence between Napolitano’s office and UC Santa Cruz from Nov. 21 to 23 showing that the president’s office monitored the survey submissions.

On Nov. 23, an email from UC Santa Cruz Chancellor George Blumenthal to his staff revealed that Napolitano’s office had a problem with even their revised survey.

“The feedback I received from (the president’s office) is that they are happy with the entire submittal except for the long paragraph at the bottom of page 39,” Blumenthal wrote. “I suggest you remove the paragraph and submit it.”

The paragraph contained complaints about Napolitano’s office’s division of Ethics, Compliance and Audit Services.

The final version replaced that criticism with a statement that the ethics division provided “high-quality” services that UC Santa Cruz could not otherwise afford, and was “a critical partner” for the campus."

"On Tuesday, regents Chair Monica Lozano expressed confidence in Napolitano, calling her a “capable and effective leader.”

At the same time, she said the regents will oversee an independent review of how Napolitano’s office handled “certain aspects” of the audit. On Thursday, the regents will livestream a meeting to appoint an outside consultant to monitor UC’s compliance with 33 recommendations from the state auditor to improve financial accountability."
To see all Chronicle stories on the UC audit, visit:

Coverage mentions the UCOP Deputy Chief of staff by name, (coincidentally/apparently he is said to have previously worked at the firm that did the recruitment of Napolitano to UC...attended Haverford and Harvard -did they express the import of survey responses in research?)-- but names of other UCOP people higher up were included in hearing on topic of changing survey responses, but that is not getting much coverage. As mentioned earlier CSA named the Chief financial Officer by name at the hearing in relation to an incident she learned of on UCLA responses to her survey and his name was brought up in relation to his preference on certain answers...

At the 3:53:30 time mark she reads the exchange directly to the legislative committee, here:

Seems it can't just all be blamed on Bernie??
And it isn't just about the actual changes but also the outreach phone calls from UCOP to discuss changes etc
Why is a CFO involved at all in audit feedback from campuses?
"Janet Napolitano, the ‘Political Heavyweight,’ Now Finds Herself Under Fire"

"Professors React

Chris Newfield, a professor of literature and American studies at the Santa Barbara campus, said that state audits can have real power if there is a response from the Legislature, and that the recently concluded one represented a setback for public transparency.

When Ms. Napolitano was hired, many people thought having a former U.S. secretary of homeland security and former governor of Arizona leading the system would signal political power for keeping up relationships with the statehouse in Sacramento. "Basically, she was hired because she was a political heavyweight," Mr. Newfield said.

"I didn’t agree with it, but I saw the logic of hiring someone like her. If you think your problem is Sacramento, then you hire a politician to deal with the pols of Sacramento," he said. "I don’t think that’s worked out."

To regain the trust of the State Legislature, faculty members, and students, Mr. Newfield said it will take full disclosure from the president’s office of what happened with the audit, and a reform process that doesn’t hire outside consultants.

“I suspect that it will raise larger questions about President Napolitano and about the organization of the Office of the President.”
Michael Meranze, professor of history at the Los Angeles campus, said the audit certainly has increased skepticism in the Legislature. "I suspect that it will raise larger questions about President Napolitano and about the organization of the Office of the President."

Shane White, vice chair of the systemwide Academic Senate, said any controversy is demoralizing, especially if it carries the potential to damage the university. But this audit, said Mr. White, who sits on the Board of Regents as a faculty representative, seems like a distraction from addressing the issues facing the university’s long-term funding plans.

"It appears to me there’s no intent here to hide any money," Mr. White said. "It appears to me that the audit is a criticism of some of these central programs rather than a question of dollars and cents.""

- the spin to try to say it is all just a criticism of the initiatives themselves -to try to play off the politics of them- isn't a tactic that will work at this point...The optics have long since moved beyond, so have the facts

BTW a resigning or fired UC President once again is not going to solve the systemic problems...

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