Media Coverage 2/17/17

With the state budget slowly taking shape and two campuses (likely) nearing official announcements concerning their next leaders, it was a slow news week for UC. The big headline concerned a patent fight between Berkeley and MIT/Harvard. Despite an upbeat press release from Berkeley, most media outlets are portraying the decision as a win for the east coast universities. The most likely outcome moving forward is that Berkeley’s claim to CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology will be shared with the two private institutions. Also, the LAO offered its analysis of higher education funding to the Legislature, suggesting that “UC’s Academic Excellence initiative lacks clear objectives and detail. If UC is unable to provide sufficient justification for this initiative, we recommend redirecting the associated funding to higher priorities.”

2/15 – UC Berkeley Suffers Big Loss in Patent Fight (LATimes): Despite a sunny press release from UC Berkeley, the university faced a setback in a patent battle over CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology. A Berkeley scientist and collaborator first used the technology, successfully editing the genes of prokaryotic cells. However, shortly after, a scientist at the MIT and Harvard-affiliated Broad Institute successfully used the technology on eukaryotic cells, namely the cells found in animals and plants. Because the Broad patent application was relatively more narrow, applying only to the technology’s application to eukaryotic cells, it was approved before the Berkeley application, which, if approved, will apply to the CRISPR-Cas9 technology more broadly. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board this week decided to allow both patents to coexist, despite objections from Berkeley. The decision could be appealed, or future applications of the technology could be required from both parties.

Read the UC Berkeley press release here.

More coverage: Daily Cal | NYT | Nature

2/16 – LAO: Higher Education Analysis (LAO): The LAO offered its analysis of budget requests from the state’s higher education systems. Note the below about UC:

Second, UC’s Academic Excellence initiative lacks clear objectives and detail. If UC is unable to provide sufficient justification for this initiative, we recommend redirecting the associated funding to higher priorities. Finally, the Legislature faces two other significant UC decisions in the coming year: (1) whether to use Proposition 56 funding to replace or augment existing funding for graduate medical education, and (2) whether to allow UC to increase nonresident enrollment in 2017‑18.

2/14 – Livermore: UC admission at risk for charter students (EastBayTimes): UC Berkeley informed Livermore Valley Charter Prep that its seniors may not qualify for admission because of the high school’s accreditation woes.

Media Coverage 2/10/17

We now have a likely candidate for UC Berkeley’s top post, Paul Alivisatos, while UC’s run of large settlements following sexual misconduct continues at UC Riverside.

UC News

2/6 – Ex-Lawrence Berkeley chief is front-runner for Cal chancellor (SFChron): UC Berkeley Vice-Chancellor for Research Paul Alivisatos is considered the frontrunner in the search for Berkeley’s next campus leader. Alivisatos, who formerly ran the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is apparently prized for his familiarity with the campus and his hard sciences background, which the article suggests is seen as key for fundraising. Robert Reich has not applied for the chancellor job, according to the article.

2/9 – Jury awards $2.5 million to former UC Riverside counsel fired after alleging sex discrimination by campus officials (LATimes): A jury has awarded a former UC Riverside attorney $2.5 million, finding that UCR officials fired her in retaliation for reporting allegations of gender discrimination. As the article notes:

Michele Coyle, who served as chief campus counsel from 2006 to 2012, alleged that she and other women were subjected to “rampant gender discrimination” by Dallas M. Rabenstein, who became UC Riverside executive vice chancellor in 2010. / In a civil complaint filed in March 2015, Coyle alleged that Rabenstein favored men for promotions and salary increases, intentionally misreported data on gender-based salary differences for a federal audit, refused to accommodate women with young children, called some women “biddies” and labeled others who asked for raises as “overly aggressive.”

See the complaint here. More from IHE.

2/7 – After landmark settlement, questions remain in UC Santa Cruz rape case (SJMN): Following a $1.15 million settlement concerning the alleged rape of a student by a professor at UC Santa Cruz, UC will soon issue a report describing its Title IX investigation of the matter.

2/7 – UC Berkeley Chancellor: Trump’s Threat to Cut Federal Funding ‘Ill Informed’ (KQED): Chancellor Dirks notes UC did what it could to allow Milo Yiannopoulos to speak on campus, and that President Trump’s threats to withhold funding are ill-informed. Dirks stressed that he believes the violent protestors were not students.

2/6 – UC Berkeley probes staffer after post-protest Web campaign (SFGate): A Berkeley staff member  has been accused by far right online circles of some crime relating to the protest of Milo Yiannopoulos. Campus police and the FBI are investigating.

2/6 – 2016 East Bay Person of the Year: Janet Napolitano (Oakland Magazine): In a lengthy article, the magazine praises Napolitano for her commitment to undocumented students and her ability to juggle addressing multiple chancellor scandals.

Media Coverage 2/3/17

The violent protest at Berkeley and President Trump’s threat to withdraw federal funding dominated the media discourse around UC, but other stories broke, including a $1.15 million settlement UC paid to a rape victim.

Non-Milo UC News

2/3 – Creating a Safe Space for California Dreamers (NYT): An in-depth look at UC Merced’s efforts to help undocumented and first-generation students

2/1 – Campus admin, UC professor discuss future of public university system (DailyCal): Coverage of Christopher Newfield’s talk with Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Carol Christ. Unfortunately, the article misidentifies Newfield’s home institution…
2/1 – Panel: UC Berkeley must change how it sanctions faculty accused of sexual harassment (SJMN): Panel recommends dropping the three-year rule which set a limit on sanctions against professors and giving victims a greater say in setting the punishment
Read the full report here
2/1 – Here’s what would it take to give California students a debt-free college education (LATimes): LAO finds the cost of debt-free education in California would be $3.3 billion annually, which covers not only tuition but living expenses
2/1 – UC settles sex assault case for $1.15 million (SFGate): The former UCSC student who was raped by a professor claims the campus knew of past bad behavior
Milo News
2/3 – Op-Ed: Berkeley Republicans VP: University ‘worked tirelessly’ to protect our rights (WaPo): Student notes the campus did what it could to allow the event
2/3 – Berkeley Mayor, UC Police Union Criticize Campus Over Plans for Milo Yiannopoulos Protest (KQED): The city’s mayor and the union which represents UC’s police force were critical of the lack of planning
2/3 – Editorial: The No Free Speech Movement at Berkeley (LATimes): Editorial notes that Berkeley did the right thing in allowing the speech to be scheduled, but bemoans its eventual fate, despite painting the speaker in a very bad light
2/2 – California’s members of Congress deride Trump idea to cut UC-Berkeley funding after violent protest (LATimes):  A number of the state’s Congressional delegation attacked Trump’s threat, including one Republican, Fullerton Rep. Ed Royce
2/3 – UC would lose $9 billion for research, healthcare, education if Trump cut federal funds (LATimes): “Legal experts” say that Trump has no authority to cut off funding to UC. A number of UC voices point out that federal funding supports a number of very beneficial projects, including cancer research and energy innovation
2/3 – Could Trump really cut funding to UC Berkeley? It would be very difficult (LATimes): Articles emphasizes the lack of a legal framework within which Trump could strip Berkeley of funding
More: NBC | USA Today | WaPo | SFGate | KQED

Media Coverage 1/27/17

UC Regents approved a tuition increase, campus leaders responded to conservative political figures at home and in DC and the health of UC President Napolitano became an issue.

UC News

1/26 – UC regents approve first tuition increase after six-year freeze; some students ‘infuriated’ (LATimes): Regents approved the first tuition hike since the system’s freeze agreement with Gov. Brown Expired. The paper characterizes the hike as:

Under the new budget, tuition will rise to $11,502 for the 2017-18 school year — a $282 increase. The student services fee will increase by $54 to $1,128.

Nonresident undergraduates will see a total increase of $1,688. They will pay the same higher base tuition and student fees as well as 5% more in supplemental tuition, which will rise $1,332, from $26,682 to $28,014 next year.

Financial aid will cover the increases for two-thirds of the university system’s roughly 175,500 California resident undergraduates.

1/24 – Cal football aide under fire since player death is let go (SFChron): The assistant football coach who designed a workout that led to the death of a student and a subsequent $4.75 million settlement is no longer with Cal.

1/25 – Want to know what the UC probe of Katehi cost? So do we. (SacBee): UC has withheld a number of public records requests made by the Bee, which investigated allegations of corruption by former UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi.

1/20 – It’s official: Cal athletics bleeding cash at astounding rate (SJMN): Cal’s atheltic department lost $21.7 million in FY 2016. The deficit is a result of interest payments on construction debt.

1/22 – Column: Napolitano’s cancer treatment took UC regents by surprise (SFChron): Matier & Ross note news of UC President Napolitano’s recent cancer treatment came as a surprise to regents. Napolitano is a breast cancer survivor, receiving treatment for the disease in 2000.

1/24 – California’s public universities need more stable financing, report declares (EdSource): The SF-based College Futures Foundation wrote an apparently unoriginal report noting UC and CSU need more reliable funding from the state.

1/29 – UC statement on President Trump’s executive order (UCOP): UCOP issued a statement criticizing President Trump’s executive action on immigration.

1/27 – Campus task force issues report on new student housing (UCB): In what could be characterized as “stating the obvious,” A Berkeley task force concluded more student housing is needed for both undergrads and grad students in a “draft” report

1/26 – People’s Park among targeted sites for UC Berkeley student housing (DailyCal): Article notes that the draft housing report identifies People’s Park as one possible site for housing. The park is famous as a site of student protest, including one in 1969 in which police shot and killed a student named James Rector.

1/26 – UC Berkeley chancellor affirms Milo Yiannopoulos’ right to speak on campus (DailyCal): Chancellor Dirks affirmed the universities decision to allow the conservative provocateur to speak on campus, stressing the university’s commitment to free speech.

1/27 – Op-Ed: The counterargument to Milo Yiannopoulos at UC Berkeley (DailyCal): Sociology graduate students Luis Tenorio and Miranda Smith argue that Chancellor Dirks mis-categorized Yiannopoulos’ speech as not hate speech.

Media Coverage 1/20/17

An in-depth look at UC Riverside from the Chronicle for Higher Education, an LAO report that says UC doesn’t need a new campus and a flurry of editorials.

UC News

1/19 – In California, Tensions Over Growth Divide a Campus (Chronicle): A disconnect between an administration intent on swelling faculty ranks and research output and the existing faculty at UC Riverside has resulted in the impending resignation of a provost. The article frames the discord around UC’s shared governance model, which grants more power to faculty than is typical across the US.

1/16 – Editorial: UC needs a tuition hike, but also a clearer vision of its identity (LATimes): The editorial board notes the proposed tuition hike only impacts wealthier students and is modest, plus they suggest without it, quality could decline.

1/19 – Op-Ed: UC needs to prioritize online education (SacBee): A Yolo County Supervisor argues UC Davis should not waste money building a new Sacramento campus but instead invest in online education.

1/19 – Report: Assessing UC and CSU Enrollment and Capacity (LAO): This report, packed with some interesting figures, notes that both UC and CSU have more than enough capacity to accommodate projected growth. Thus, a new campus is not needed. In particular, the report notes low summer-enrollment.

1/15 – How the UC system is bracing for an escalation of political clashes ahead of Trump (LATimes): UC weighs its commitment to promoting free speech with increasing conflicts over intentionally-inflammatory speakers.

1/16 – Column: Cal football fans: Put your TV contract where the sun don’t shine (SFChronicle): Matier & Ross note the impractical impacts of the PAC-12 Network’s TV deal on Cal’s football games.

1/16 -UC Retirement Plan holds bonds in 2 companies building Dakota Access Pipeline (DailyCal): The UCRP holds bonds in Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics, which are behind the DAPL.
1/13 – Editorial: Why ‘Dreamers’ at UC should feel very lucky (SacBee): Article praises UC for (ahead of its time) creating UC Center for Undocumented Student Legal Services.

Media Coverage 1/13/17

UC News

1/10 – Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon says he’ll oppose rolling back higher-education aid for middle-class students (LATimes): The Middle Class Scholarship program, which benefits students whose families make between $80,000 and $150,000, could become a contentious issue during budget negotiations. Gov. Brown has proposed phasing out the program.

1/12 – Kathleen Salvaty named UC’s first systemwide Title IX coordinator (DailyCal): UC has named its first system-wide Title IX coordinator. Kathleen Salvaty had previously led the Title IX office at UCLA, a role she held since summer 2015.

UCOP’s statement on the hiring can be read here.

1/10 – UCLA professor sanctioned over sexual misconduct allegations returns to teaching, sparking protests (LATimes): Students protested outside the classroom of a professor who recently returned from a suspension tied to accusations of sexual harassment. The professor, Gabriel Piterberg, never admitted to any wrongdoing, but paid a fine and went without pay for a period. The demonstrators resulted in his classes being cancelled.

1/11 – University of California at San Francisco Gets $500 Million Gift (Bloomberg): UCSF has received a $500 million donation from a foundation started by the late Helen Diller and Stanford Diller, who started Prometheus Real Estate Group. The money will largely go into the school’s endowment, an unusual move for such a large gift, the article comments. Typically gifts are tied to more specific projects, such as a new center or building. The gift is tied for the largest ever to a public university. 

Also see WSJ

1/11 – Column: Here’s the real reason Cal fired Sonny Dykes (SFChron): Cal’s football program, which is relied on to help fund the school’s other sports programs, has seen declining ticket sales.

Of Note

1/12 – Review: The Great Mistake: How We Wrecked Public Universities and How We Can Fix Them, by Christopher Newfield (TimesHigherEd): A British university administer criticizes Newfield’s book for its self-righteous tone and what the author calls an “elitist” proposal for free tuition.

 

Media Coverage 1/5/17

UC’s proposed tuition hikes dominated news. UCOP has emphasized that the hikes will only impact wealthier families, while critics have questioned the system’s swollen rank of administrators.

Tuition

1/4 – UC seeks 1st tuition hike since 2011; protests expected (SFC): UC Regents will vote on raising tuition for the first time since 2011, though in-state families making less than $150,000 would not see an increase, under the current plan. The income cutoff means about one-third of students would face a 2.5 percent hike. Out of state students can expect a hike of 5 percent.

1/5 – UC’s tuition increase: A case of funny math (SFGate): Asimov calls out UC for trying to fiddle with the optics of the proposed tuition hike by changing how it calculates tuition. Previously, fees were included in the tuition figure most often cited; recently, UC has separated the two.

1/6 – Editorial: UC tuition hikes? First justify your administrative bloat (SDUT): The editorial board calls out UC for its bloated administrative ranks, noting that administrators outnumber faculty and that CSU, by comparison, is running a much more svelte operation.

1/4 – Napolitano: UC quality not sustainable without tuition hike (SacBee): UC President Janet Napolitano told the SacBee: “We’re now hitting the point where we’re going to miss that sweet spot on quality – on really high graduation rates, on the kind of academic reputation that UC has. There’s only so many years you can go without a rate increase or a small tuition increase that doesn’t sacrifice a lot by way of quality. As much I’d like to say we can sustain this forever, we cannot.”

1/4 – UC proposes first tuition increase in six years for more faculty, courses and financial aid (LATimes): The increased tuition would fund financial aid and smaller classes, though student groups have protested the proposal.

Also see: Daily Bruin | Daily Cal | UCOP Statement

This & That

1/4 – UC president Napolitano says she wants UC Davis to expand into Sacramento (SacBee):  UC President Janet Napolitano says UC Davis’ planned expansion into Sacramento, which earlier was reported to have died with the resignation of Linda Katehi, is still on the table.

1/5 – Editorial: UC Davis, Sacramento make a promising team (SacBee): The Bee is happy the university still intends to expand into Sacramento–an example of old school newspaper boosterism at its purest.

1/1 – UC Davis dumped barrels of wine each year. Now it might sell for $80 a bottle (SacBee): A new law will allow UC Davis to sell student-produced wine.

1/4 – UCSD may build campus fire station (SDUT): Emergency response times are an issue in San Diego, especially on the UCSD campus.