Sunday, September 30, 2018

UC Student Regent details concerns over UC Regents Committee Structure, makes proposals, more.

See at the 29:00 minutes mark of this forty- eight minute long meeting on assessment of the UC Regents committee structure - how it is or isn't working- the student Regent took the opportunity to point out hard truths about the make up of the committee membership and committee chair leadership picks. Such decisions are so deeply flawed and undemocratic and reduced to power moves among the Regents...there has long been a concern among many UC stakeholders, community members about the practices that surround these decisions and the lack of transparency- it was good to see the student regent raise it directly in public session.

At the 29:00 minute mark here:

Regent Graves says to chair Kieffer:
On committee structure:

"I want to discuss committee membership. I think a board that has 18 regents , it's shocking that there are regents that hold multiple chairships and vice chairships. I think we need to spread the leadership and the responsibility amongst the board members and I truly believe that there are only a few regents that are in positions of power and keep things amongst that group of folks. I think that needs to change. I think that the selection process and the nomination of members and how that's selected is not clear and there's inconsistencies amongst the numbers and of the numbers of members on committees. There's some folks that are on three or four committees. There are some that are just on two. So, there are just decisions that are made to keep certain people out of conversations and I'll even say for the student regent and the alumni regents are not given a fair opportunity to be a part of committee leadership and to make a case for being on certain committees and that's because we're only serving on the board for one year. So, I just want to make sure to put that out there as we have this conversation and think about how we make up these committees and what opportunities we're giving to other members of this board."

Regent Kieffer: "Let me just, there's no effort to keep anybody off committees, but you can't serve it's hard to serve on two committees at the same time. Maybe you feel that way as a student regent but I know when we're talking about it in the governance committee no one is talking about he can't be on this the governance committee, no one is talking about he can't be on or she can't be on this committee."

Regents Graves: "Well for example, there were regents who made a request to be on the health services committee this past round and health services committee has"

Keiffer interrupted: "Health services has a certain number we can change that. We're open to changing that, but that's in our charter of who's on that."

Graves responds:
"Yeah, but members could have been replaced. We could have switched out members."

Keiifer: "Okay." (Keiffer does not respond further. Regent Zettel does offer up some good alternatives to the current committee structure as the next substantive comment)

--This also has to do with full 12 yr term Regents realizing that the health enterprise is a significant player in:. "University of California’s massive health network brings in nearly half of UC’s revenue, but regents were told Thursday that its existence could be in peril if it isn’t able to be nimble and change." See:

Yet the meetings of that health services committee are held off cycle.

Some additional history , when Perez was made vice chair almost immediately awkward set of comments that came from the chair reminding the regents that the vice chair role does not assume the chair once the chair's term expires... That kind of disclaimer was never made by a chair when Reiss was made Lozano's vice chair , or Ruiz was made Varner's vice chair etc.

Also, the governance committee this year was to be chaired by regent Reiss - during her illness and after Ortiz Oakley as vice chair of that committee fufilled her duties in her absence and the role chairing the governance committee at regents meetings-- then suddenly, at some point, Sherman stepped into the chair role of governance committee permanently. Sherman, who also has ties to UC health interests, is already the long term chair of investments committee and chairing that one committee alone is more than enough it would seem..

And the public engagement committee has been reduced down to a very superficial, mutual admiration society type of effort in it's proceedings and now Ortiz Oakley has now been made chair of that committee...
One should also note that much of the work of that committee is now the responsibility of a direct report to Napolitano. So, the regents oversight is of those efforts now concentrated in Napolitano's immediate office of direct reports
It appears a redundancy, or superfluousness, it looks like busy work to make a chair conduct bi- monthly meetings on work already handled /directed by Napolitano...

- all of this comes up in the above special meeting on committee structure- but the regents don't say it outright or so directly, it is alot of subtext-

Don't know how the Daily Bruin came up with just: this as recap of that meeting
where they described the above meeting like this:
"Governance and Compensation Committee

The regents discussed the structures of all of their committees, including the different names and how many regents are on each committee.
Two years ago, the regents reduced the total number of committees from 10 to eight, and added subcommittees. The regents reviewed the decision during this meeting.
The regents mostly agreed that allowing regents to specialize in certain issues by focusing on fewer committees is beneficial. They concluded that being in fewer committees allows the regents to go over certain issues extensively. Therefore, meetings that occur simultaneously are acceptable."

Just to note it here:
- students and staff also should note the end of that meeting concerned a proposal from the UC student Regent and designate requesting a special non permanent committee on basic living needs for students and staff and they were told by other regents that to delve into staff basic living needs would be to delve into areas that would be too troubling for the regents...if the student regent and student regent designate restrict their proposal solely to basic needs assessment of only students there may be some regental support of the proposal...

Consider that in light of:

And one final note to add in, not sure if the student organizations are still involved in that ' scorecard of UC regents' initiative, but :

There are some UC regents who are frequently absent from meetings.

There are certain regents who attend only sections of meetings they find important to them.

There are certain regents who, when they chair committees, do not get the committee to meeting their objectives, goals.

There are certain regents who engage in bellicose comments while UC is in the middle of sensitive negotiations on the topic the regent is spouting off about. This has sometimes caused problems for UC at key moments.

There are certain regents who try to say they are "specialist" rather than "generalist" regents as an excuse.

*Such regents who engage in the above continue to be rewarded with their first plum picks of committee assignment, and that is wrong.*

All regents agreed to the same trustee/ fiduciary responsibilities- but there is no accountability for it in reality.

If you want fuller coverage of the UC Regents meeting check out:

This also gives some synopsis:


And there's:

This sentence: " The committee said a survey recently revealed California residents believe the UC is neglecting California and favoring international students." In recap of the 26th

Then add to that the discussion during the academic committee where hiring of international applicants to faculty positions was triple the number of those hired of domestic underrepresented minority (URM) faculty-- that is not a great narrative for UC, so Napolitanto's office puts out this:

Is this just a campus $ shakedown but with the same lousy results in future years, or??:

Regent Elliott wanted an explanation from UC provost Brown about the tracking or lack of tracking of numbers and data on these hiring decisions at the campus level and reporting that to the UC Regents in order to meet the goals and objectives the UC Regents set. Pres Napolitano responded to say she has meetings with each campus Chancellor and their leadership to tease out the numbers and then she sends a follow-up letter to each chancellor detailing out the specific expectation for each campus that UCOP and regents have of each campus- but , because regent Elliott was not aware of what is in these communications it is unclear if the UC Regents are apprised of any of this- the meetings with campus and the letter of expectations etc.


And don't miss:

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Four UC Regents Speedily Confirmed in August, ICYMI

As we consider confirmation processes this week, along with the UC Regents meetings...

At the UC Regents meeting this morning Pres Napolitano in her opening comments to the board mentioned that new regents Cohen, Estolano, Leib, Butler were appointed and confirmed on what she termed as 'rocket docket' time frame.

She's right:

The first week of August 2018 they were first announced:

On August 22 and August 27 they were all confirmed.

These regents were appointed and confirmed during summer break and there was virtually no UC nor other news outlets coverage of the confirmation hearing...
In the comments made during the confirmation hearings there is mention repeatedly of the CA Senate rules committee members' private meetings with the appointees where they held questions and answers on various unknown issues- this may help explain why the confirmation hearings ran so short -almost fifty five minutes total for all four appointees to answer questions- where mostly the appointees made statements and mentioned they've got big ideas (including e.g. on tech for instruction) with not much deep questioning of any of it...

Whether popular or unpopular appointees- is this a good example of the appointee UC Regent confirmation process? Would it be an acceptable model for other confirmation hearings?

The confirmation hearing held on August 22nd confirmed UC Regents Cohen, Estolano, and Leib -it is viewable from the 40:00 minute mark thru the 1:26:00 time mark on that session.

So about forty five minutes for the three appointees.
With only one public comment from one elected public official in support who gave extended public comment and was not cut off for time in the manner other UC folks like staff, students have been at other Sacto hearings on UC budget, Title IX etc
There were no UC students nor UC faculty nor UC staff who spoke in support or opposition to the appointees in public comment. The public comment runs til the 1:31:00 mark

A separate session was held to accommodate the schedule of appointee now regent Butler
That session ran 12 minutes total.
Once again the committee mentioned their having already asked the appointee the questions they had in earlier private meetings with her in the morning.
The same type of public comment occurred
With public comment from one elected public official in support who gave extended public comment and was not cut off for time in the manner others have been at other hearings.
There were no UC students nor UC faculty nor UC staff who spoke in support in public comment.

Perhaps the support of the appointees came in some other form but the optics for this confirmation process in both hearings made it look like a rush job...

It appears there was no time to register opposition or general concerns and so the question remains unanwered - was there opposition, concern?

Chair Atkins recused from the vote for one of the appointees , Estolano, because of a long standing business relationship with that UC Regent appointee, so there's that...
She mentioned it at the beginning of the meeting.
In the May 2018 previous batch of UC Regents Atkins chaired to confirmation, Atkins expressed the view that generally she thinks the Gov should get a smooth and quick confirmation of his appointees...She scheduled that confirmation hearing for Anguiano, Guber, Tauscher,Park even in light of significant UC stakeholders opposition to or concern about some of those appointees. She did that shortly after she took over the senate pro tem role from De Leon... It was about one hour total of questions for a batch of four UC Regents then in May 2018 as well...

It's efficient, but is it a good look for UC?

Something else to consider is that then UC Regent appointee Cohen also was being appointed to CALPERS during the same time period- does that deserve discussion in the UC confirmation process?

August 22

August 27

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

UC Regents Meeting 25-27 At UCLA -Agenda REVISED

On committee structure:

The UC Regents have revised their agenda. Now, there is a closed governance committee meeting at the tail end to discuss the committee and subcommittee structure they adopted in 2016 and assess how well or how badly it is working...and the UC Regents have also adopted a plan for this week's meetings where they hold their full board closed session deliberations immediately before going into open session-THAT MEANS THAT THE

* The regents frequently arrive late to the 8:30am start regardless of closed or open session, so..

*Their summary presentations leave alot of questions, are the summaries written by staff etc?
and some other revisions to the agenda...

You can view the full revised agenda here with links for each committee session:

If you want to view the meetings Live or in Archive via YouTube for one year (after one year UC disables and/or removes this archive content of their meetings, proceedings), you can view them here:

- keep in mind that the agenda posted on that particular page only lists the open session meetings so it is not a full agenda of all that is going on. The full agenda is the link directly above.

Original post- earlier:

Agenda here:

  Some doozies in here on compensation increases for senior management group types, another new faculty statement on sexual harassment, and constitutional autonomy legal moves and more:

September 25-27, 208

Tuesday, September 25
1:00 pm
Upon end of Investments open
Location: Centennial Hall, Salons C & D
Wednesday, September 26
8:30 am
Location: Centennial Hall, Salons A & B
Upon end of Board closed
Location: Centennial Hall, Salons A & B
Concurrent Meetings
10:30 am
10:30 am
Location: Centennial Hall, Salons A & B
Location: Centennial Hall, Salons A & B
Concurrent Meetings
1:00 pm
Location: Centennial Hall, Salons C & D
Location: Centennial Hall, Salons C & D
1:00 pm
Location: Centennial Hall, Salons A & B
Upon end of Committee meetings
Location: Centennial Hall, Salons C & D
Thursday, September 27
8:30 am
Location: Centennial Hall, Salons A & B
Upon end of Board   closed
Location: Centennial Hall, Salons A & B

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Title IX cases at UC Berkeley and UCLA that won't go away

See: "Suspended UC Berkeley professor retires, plans to sue"

"We will bring a suit challenging that what the chancellor did was legal, putting herself in place of this committee and deciding who was telling the truth about what,” Siegel said. “It’s going to challenge the ways in which the university runs these proceedings.”...

"AlSayyad has not commented to this newspaper but has denied the allegations elsewhere. Siegel on Tuesday reiterated his client’s denial

“There’s no doubt that he and (the student) had a longstanding, very friendly professional relationship. They had worked together for years. She’s about 30 when this happens, a mature, sophisticated young woman,” Siegel said. “If she objected to anything, all she had to do was tell him to cut it out. It didn’t have to escalate to this degree. This is not Harvey Weinstein using his authority to exert power.”


This case at UCLA: Title 9 Related Litigation at UCLA



Tuesday, September 18, 2018

UCSC chancellor stepping down, more


"Chancellor Blumenthal announces plan to retire"

-currently there is that high profile Title IX case still with no resolution even though a promise of conclusion in July...

- the recent news of the extreme student Housing crisis there hit headlines everywhere

- and last year the CSA audit of UCOP that garnered unflattering headlines for UC resulted in the Moreno report which detailed some deeply unpleasant social exchange from Napolitano toward Blumenthal...

BTW a bunch of senior mostly female leadership are retiring / relinquishing their admin roles at Berkeley...
Latest round on this ongoing, with a promise of another round next week...:
"UC Berkeley professor suspended for sex harassment allegations retires, threatens to file lawsuit against university"

This coming up at UCR:

UC Riverside Student Dies After What Family Says Was Fraternity Hazing - NBC Southern California

And see this post on the current status of the UC regents meeting items:

Saturday, September 15, 2018

UC and President of the UC Regents "our own damn" DIY project


California to launch its 'own damn satellite' to track greenhouse gases
The Guardian


In August:
Space probe to plunge into fiery corona of the sun |
UC Berkeley

In September
UCLA students launch project that's out of this world
University of California

"Turning to claims against the college, Wilken found that because the University of California qualifies as an “arm of the state,” it is immune from civil rights claims under the 11th Amendment."

That title quote comes up in this: UC Berkeley defeats ...$23 million suit"


"Chancellor Carol Christ announces updated campus free speech event policy"
The Daily Californian

There's also:

Rewriting the Humanities Story: A Piece of Missing Theory

And some other comment on those cloaked items in the UC Regents September meeting agenda items at:

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The appellations...

A naming things crisis at Berkeley

(On this criteria, and thinking about it, then , what about the names of some parts of the Haas biz complex? Some Corp names with equally bad history, and some of it current events history...)

More background here:

Also a decade ago:


Almost ten years ago, someone headed to UC Berkeley Law or (Elizabeth's?) Boalt Hall - that student took a summer job at UCLA to pay for it, and this happened:


Who handled UC Berkeley Title IX cases over the past 20 years (responsible for UC as "general counsel" on campus, and as "campus counsel" and with what results? Somebody else responsible for that caseload handling, if so who? (The faculty made 'em do it?) If you give a fellowship to one woman does it clean things up entirely? the elites in the administration decide the 'sentiments of all' and add in with window dressing? Or, is this more about the CRISPR patent thing?


UCR and UCSC transfer student support details in this:

Coddling of certain facts and omission of other facts?
It looks like this book junket is using UC Berkeley events in its promotion, and on one hand it seems like an effort that does not give a full history or account of present day circumstances, nor much credit to parents (painting with helicopter parenting broadstrokes then acknowledge that really they are writing about a coddling of a much smaller subset and mostly concerned about the added scrutiny on their lectures, --maybe they should have taken all that up more directly?)- and on tthe other hand, well...

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Unreassuring reassurance

This new part of the story coming out of UCOP :
"Internal Documents: UC Regents Stand Behind CIO Jagdeep Bachher
UC president Janet Napolitano reassured Bachher she’s “fully confident” in him following accusations of mismanagement; investments chair Richard Sherman writes of “complete confidence.”"
-- this update fails to mention that this is not just a Bachher CIO office issue, it seems one likely possibility is that it is a struggle between high level staff who report to Napolitano in UCOP and the UC officials who are direct reports to the UC Regents --oversight can't figure it out. It's been noted that when the original story came out from II: UCOP public relations media staff who directly report to Napolitano made the entire article available in the UC daily news clips sent out UC wide i.e. they wanted everyone to read it, which raised a few eyebrows... For example, see the very end of this post: "*It might be noted that this article is included in today's UCOP's Daily News Clips"
Or, another possibility is that some of the international hires decided to come and create a disruption in that office...

There's also this not insignificant development:

"The following statement about today’s U.S. Court of Appeals decision on the University of California’s patent interference claim before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board may be attributed to Charles F. Robinson, Office of General Counsel, UC Office of the President:

The U.S. Court of Appeals today concluded that the use of CRISPR-Cas9 in plant and animal cells is separately patentable from Drs. Doudna and Charpentier’s invention of the use of CRISPR-Cas9 in any environment, and on that basis affirmed the dismissal of an interference proceeding to determine whether Broad or UC is entitled to patent claims specifically covering use of CRISPR-Cas9 in eukaryotic (i.e., plant and animal) cells.

While disappointed that the court did not allow the interference to go forward to resolve this issue, we are gratified that, consistent with the consensus of the scientific community, the court acknowledged that the Doudna-Charpentier team’s publication of their work in a 2012 paper in the journal Science (Jinek et al) represented a “breakthrough in the art” of gene editing, by first showing how the CRISPR-Cas9 system can be used as genome-editing technology in any environment.

The court did not address the question of who invented the specific use of CRISPR-Cas9 in eukaryotic cells, and emphasized that its decision was “not a ruling on the validity of either” Broad’s or UC’s claims. The decision thus does not preclude other proceedings, either in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office or in the courts, by which UC may seek to establish that it is the actual inventor of use of the CRISPR-Cas9 system in eukaryotic cells.

Accordingly, we are currently evaluating our further legal options in the courts and/or the USPTO.

Lastly, we are pleased that the USPTO will continue to issue patents to UC for its foundational technology relating to the use of CRISPR-Cas9, including its use in any environment. As it has for 150 years, UC will translate this and its many research discoveries for the public good. UC has a policy of openly licensing technologies to non-profits and educational institutions and has licensed CRISPR-Cas9 technology so that it now is used by multiple companies currently working to accelerate breakthroughs in human therapies. Our commitment to develop and apply CRISPR-Cas9 for the betterment of human kind is unchanged by today’s decision.

Court denies UC appeal, allowing issue of key CRISPR patents (Sept. 10, 2018)"

Monday, September 10, 2018

CBS, UCLA and Title IX


..."Moonves was the anonymous subject of a recent article published this past May by Dr. Anne L. Peters in the Annals of Internal Medicine, under the headline “A Physician’s Place in the #MeToo Movement."...

..."states in her piece that her responsibility as a physician makes her “legally unable” to name the patient “who harassed me,” wrote that she was stunned and did not know what to do as her colleagues trickled in. “I felt ashamed,” she wrote. “I hadn’t screamed—I was supposed to be offering ‘extra-special’ service to this man because he was rich and powerful and good for my institution.” Although disoriented, she managed to figure out whom to call in the administration at the U.C.L.A. medical center. According to Peters’s account, she reported the incident. “I wanted a note placed in his chart warning other women never to be alone with him,” she continued. “What if the patient did the same thing to another woman? I needed to protect people more vulnerable than I was as an attending.” She recalled that “the person” who answered her call in the U.C.L.A. administration “explained my rights,” but also said that the patient had “more money for lawyers” than did U.C.L.A., and cautioned her “to refrain” from reporting the incident to the police “because I would lose in court.” (In a statement, a spokesperson for U.C.L.A. Health noted only: “Sexual harassment and misconduct are not tolerated at U.C.L.A. Health. Members of our community are encouraged to come forward with concerns about the workplace environment, and allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct are promptly reviewed and addressed consistent with U.C.L.A. policies and procedures.”)"...

she wrote. “And institutions have much better reporting policies about sexual harassment now than what I encountered long ago"


Then test that rosy conclusion against:

..."It felt to me, at every turn, like I was the least valuable person involved. When I asked that the respondent not be present in the hearing, my request was denied. When I asked the department chair for a meeting shortly after the investigation concluded, I was asked to wait until he had received “official notification.” It felt to me that sticking with procedure was far more important than my ability to participate.

In the absence of any other information, what conclusion could I possibly have drawn, other than that I, as a student, wasn’t a priority?"

..."None of this offers me any real measure of confidence in support for present or future students.

The university needs to do better by its students. It cannot be up to people like me, who are willing to put our careers and our reputations on the line, again and again. It must be up to those who are tenured, who have careers and protections and who are in positions of real power. Recently, on Facebook, a faculty member told a reporter to ask her and her colleagues if she wanted the suspended professor back. To her I say: Don’t wait to be asked. To all my former professors: Don’t wait to be asked. Speak up.

In the meantime, here are my suggestions to my colleagues, my fellow graduate students. Talk to each other. Reason things out. Share information. Be open. Be willing to be vulnerable. Abuse of power comes through isolation and intimidation. Talk to your professors. Question the seemingly absolute power of some people to destroy, or build, your career."

The Vanity Fair piece also reminded this reader of a HuffPo piece by Nussbaum,
if you follow her hints closely it seems to lead to a now former -supporting not lead- actor from a long time number one show in the CBS Moonves portfolio, was surprised by that at the time, could it be?
Folks want to focus now on 60 min, but that piece pointed toward the entertainment side...

This as well ..."Maybe the whole thing, CBS meets NCIS, will result in meaningful and lasting change, at the network and in the industry it is part of."..
- and raises some very important points

Title IX came up in the last minute of: this, not coincidentally:

And here's why it deserved more than just the last minute of the interview

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Beyond Title IX, and back to it.


On grad students, "UC workers win new protections, but seek continued reform"

..."This month, our union concluded a monthslong negotiations process with the UC Office of the President with the ratification of a new four-year contract. Our new contract is full of protections won by our workers who face the most barriers at UC, protections against sexual harassment and violence.

Management began bargaining with the demand that we give up the right to file grievances over sexual harassment, which would force us to rely entirely on the inadequate Title IX process. This would have been a truly sexist contract in which every workplace violation could be grieved except for those involving sexual harassment.

We won not just the right to keep our full grievance process, but also a broad range of survivor-centered interim measures, remedies and alternative resolutions. We won these new protections through countless conversations that brought workers together, petitions, legislative pressure and, above all, the iron will of survivors who testified at bargaining sessions.

Now, we as workers can determine what a safe workplace means to us and decide what must happen to allow us to work without intimidation, isolation and workplace changes that me place additional burdens on survivors. We won the right to use these same measures in cases of any kind of discrimination or harassment. In other words, for the first time ever, our contract contains measures to address racialized discrimination and all other kinds of discrimination and harassment."...


Then see also,

Reining In the Excesses of Title IX
The Department of Education’s proposed rule changes aren’t without their flaws—but they move the policy in a more just direction.

Some additional background:
Dunno if, as news reports indicated earlier, Zering is still coming out with a sequel soon.