"If the University were a business, it would likely be the largest corporation in California."

Monday, September 26, 2022

UC Dorm and Faculty Housing Schemes Exacerbate Disparities- Details of A Crisis As UCLA Redesigns- bonkers interior design planning?- No $ numbers given- chair of UC Regents has thoughts... pol optics on it offer up new 'pivotal truths'

"UCLA Housing provides option to remove extra furniture from double occupancy rooms" - Daily Bruin

https://dailybruin.com/2022/09/25/ucla-housing-provides-option-to-remove-extra-furniture-from-double-occupancy-rooms

and calls for this:

..."calling on UCLA Housing to not only offer storage spaces for the extra furniture and reconfigure bunk beds into ground-level single beds, but also to issue a formal apology."...

- is that happening at other UC campuses? UCLA went bonkers on interior design expenses on dorms? No planning? What was the budget, how funded and how much furniture? What is the amount of $ UC loss on the furniture?

As the LATimes details a crisis at UCLA and across UC that mirrors the challenges across the state outside of UC :

"UC housing crisis forces students into multiple jobs to pay rent, sleeping bags and stress"

 - Los Angeles Times

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-09-26/college-housing-shortage-pushes-students-into-crisis-as-most-uc-classes-start-up

in LA Times:

..."As most of the nine University of California undergraduate campuses start fall quarter this month, the state’s continuing college housing shortage has thrown thousands of students into crisis as need greatly outpaces supply. About 9,400 students systemwide were denied university housing this fall because of shortages — and some campuses are back to squeezing three students in a dorm room as a stopgap.....

UC leaders, including Board of Regents Chair Richard Leib and Student Assn. President Alex Niles, say that providing affordable student housing is one of the university system’s most urgent needs. UC campuses are located on some of the most expensive real estate in the nation, yet the university educates more low-income students than its public and private peers. One-third of all undergraduate students — nearly 78,000 — have annual family incomes low enough, generally $45,000 or less, to qualify for federal Pell Grants. And three UC campuses — Irvine, Davis and San Diego — each enroll more Pell recipients than all Ivy League campuses combined.

“A lot of the students we’re accepting have housing and food insecurity, and we have an obligation to address that,” Leib said. “UC is the great equalizer. We have to get students housing and food so they can do well. Leib added that UC should offer unhoused students hotel rooms if necessary — as UC Santa Barbara and a few other campuses did last year when they were hit with unexpected room shortages. ...see full article.

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Earlier this year UCLA decided it would make promises it might never be able to truly deliver on:

"UCLA says it can’t guarantee housing in coming academic year."  | EdSource April 2022

https://edsource.org/updates/ucla-says-it-cant-guarantee-housing-in-coming-academic-year

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strange stuff all over:

..."Nearly $150 million worth of federal grants to the three main housing agencies working to reduce homelessness in Greater Los Angeles went unspent between 2015 and 2020, as the number of unhoused people soared"...

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-09-24/los-angeles-agencies-returned-150-million-in-federal-funds-to-house-homeless-people

and Politico on it last week 

and then this that ties in higher ed, specifically UC Irvine actions and UC Policy in the crisis - where certain UC faculty don't feel any neg effects or losses - only gains:

https://gvwire.com/2022/09/08/rep-katie-porters-university-housing-deal-draws-scrutiny/

  ..."In Orange County, California, where the typical house sells for $1 million, Rep. Katie Porter’s four-bedroom, three-bath residence in a leafy subdivision on the University of California Irvine campus is a bargain.

The progressive Democrat and law professor, who has lamented the cost of housing in her district, purchased it in 2011 for $523,000, a below-market price secured through a program the university uses to lure academics who couldn’t otherwise afford to live in the affluent area. The only eligibility requirement was that she continue working for the school.

For Porter, this version of subsidized housing has outlasted her time in the classroom, now extending nearly four years after she first took unpaid leave from her $258,000-a-year teaching job to serve in the U.S. House

But the ties go deeper, with at least one law school administrator, who was also a donor to her campaign, helping secure extensions of her tenure while she remained in Congress, according to university emails obtained by The Associated Press.

That has allowed Porter, a rising Democratic star and fundraising powerhouse whose own net worth is valued at as much as $2 million, to retain her home even as her return to the school remains in doubt.

Porter’s housing situation does not violate U.S. House ethics rules. But it cuts against the profile she has sought to cultivate in Washington as an ardent critic of a political system that allows “the wealthy and well-connected” to “live in one reality while the rest of us live in another,” as she wrote in "..

"UC Irvine spokesperson Tom Vasich said faculty “on approved leaves without pay remain UCI employees, and they can maintain their home in University Hills.”

Porter said she intends to win her election, but would resume teaching if she lost. She declined to say whether she would look for housing elsewhere if she won.

After the AP interviewed Porter, spokesperson Jordan Wong provided an additional comment, stating the congresswoman “had no knowledge of Vice Dean Chris Whytock’s role in researching her request for leave” and “at no point” was in contact with him about it.

Still, longtime government ethics watchdogs in Washington, including those with favorable opinions of the congresswoman, say it’s difficult squaring Porter’s housing situation with her crusading rhetoric."

- it has the same ring to it as the Bass full scholarship ride to USC waiver, and those optics can be problematic.One does not have to be in support of their opposition to see some problems with such arrangements.

There has been much SoCal coverage of the above (not much of a peep about it in NCal where UC HQ is):

https://apnews.com/article/2022-midterm-elections-california-congress-university-of-irvine-dcfd583bdfde38b029a473311435810f 

..."coincides with a growth in interest in the school’s housing program, which has resulted in a yearslong waitlist of more than 250 school academics and administrators, as a nationwide housing shortage sends prices for homes outside the on-campus development skyrocketing, university figures from 2021 show.

Whether voters care will be tested in November when Porter, who has amassed a $19.8 million campaign fund, seeks a third term to the once reliably Republican district that has become more competitive in recent years.

“It sounds like the sort of insider deal that really makes people mad at Congress,” said Bradley A. Smith, a professor at Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio, and a Republican former member of the Federal Election Commission who was appointed by Bill Clinton"..."Porter declined to say whether her housing arrangement was appropriate"..."Smith said the arrangement could run afoul of an FEC prohibition on third parties paying the living expenses of federal candidates. He cautioned, however, that the situation was nuanced and unique."..."

Porter said Smith’s analysis “is interesting to think about” and his question about whether the prohibition could apply to her situation “is exactly right.” But she added,“ I don’t think he necessarily has all of the facts about how the housing is structured to be able to definitively answer that question,” citing her payment of property taxes, as well as homeownership fees and other expenses.

Smith responded that he is “not sure how the fact that she paid those fees changes anything.”

For decades, the cost of housing in Orange County has soared above the national average. The University of California Irvine’s solution was to build University Hills, their own exclusive academic community, where home values are capped to make them more affordable and favorable mortgage rates are offered to those approved to live there."..."But for academics and administrators, the trade-off is that they are required to work full-time for the university, with an exception built in for retirees. For those no longer employed by the school, an enforcement provision kicks in, which in Porter’s case would require her to pay off her mortgage within months....When Porter was recruited, school officials outlined their expectations in a letter informing her that they would sponsor her application to the housing program."

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https://www.lamag.com/citythinkblog/everyones-wondering-about-katie-porters-plush-university-deal/

..."Emails obtained by AP show Porter had at least one person working on her behalf, a law school administrator who had donated to her political campaign and “helped secure extensions of her tenure while she remained in Congress.”

Administrators agreed to two separate one-year periods of leave that enabled Porter to keep her house, AP’s documents show. School officials, however, started questioning the arrangement as her 2020 reelection.

“Is there any fixed limit on the number of years of leave without pay… One of our administrators mentioned that they seemed to recall a two-year limit,” law school Vice Dean Chris Whytock, who donated $500 to Porter’s 2018 campaign, wrote in a April 2020 email, adding, “Some government service may, of course, last for a number of years.”

Whytock wrote a memo outlining the case for extending Porter’s leave, according to AP, while suggesting that there are no limits on how long such an arrangement could continue. The plan required the approval of the school’s vice provost, which was granted in 2020, according the the emails.

Whytock did not return AP’s request for comment.

Porter did not address whether or not her housing arrangement was kosher in an interview with AP, but she said she “followed the applicable [University of California] policies, as well as all applicable state and federal law.”"...

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https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2022-09-13/katie-porter-housing-agreement-with-uc-irvine

 this even adds a claim of the high cost of textbooks she wrote and required for her courses

and it comes up in this :

"she still lives in housing subsidized by UC Irvine, bought when she became a law professor there. Her arrangement is legal, but its revelation weakens her." - and that UC policy is part of that...

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Just a few months ago Porter framed as most relatable congress rep offering 'pivotal truths'

https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/13/opinions/inflation-katie-porter-democrats-hemmer/index.html

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/rep-katie-porter-high-food-prices-hurt-my-family-too-11652302300

and in  the above are other pivotal truths...

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