Media Coverage 6/24/16

There was a bit of a flare up over the revelation that Graham Fleming continued to receive compensation for administrative work, despite being taken out of his administrative role following a complaint he sexually harassed an assistant. Elsewhere, Katehi and UCOP continue to exchange accusations in the press, with the current focus being on whether the UC Davis chancellor’s UC-owned electronic devices contain privileged communications.

Graham Fleming

6/20 – UC Berkeley exec booted for sex harassment got to keep high pay (SFChronicle): Graham Fleming, who was vice chancellor of research until April 2015 when he was stripped of his executive role for sexually harassing an assistant, was compensated at his executive level until March 2016. While Fleming has tenure, he received about $100,000 more than he would have had he reverted to his faculty pay in April 2015. UC Berkeley says they allow administrators a one-year transition period when shifting back to faculty jobs. “The terms of Professor Fleming’s transition leave were consistent with standard practice and university policy in place at the time,” said Dan Mogulof, a UC Berkeley spokesperson. Napolitano says she didn’t know and wouldn’t have approved. Fleming’s higher pay was cut short by one month, a move Mogulof said the university felt was “appropriate.”

More: Graham Fleming receives executive pay for nearly 1 year after resigning amid sexual harassment allegations (DailyCal)


6/18 – Katehi’s Team Charges Bias with the Sacramento Bee’s Reporting of the Chancellor (DavisVanguard):  UC Davis defends sending employees to learn from social media gurus on the shores of Lake Geneva, saying social media is the future, which, the university suggests, is something the Bee has failed to grasp. The Bee broke a number of stories about Katehi, including her service on corporate boards for an academic publisher and DeVry, as well as the university’s efforts to scrub the internet of it’s pepperspray incident. It should be noted, the Davis Vanguard has come out in support of Katehi in this dispute, which throws their reporting into question. They also published part of a press release by Katehi’s attorney, which is odd.

6/20 – Katehi refuses to turn over cellphone, iPad to UC investigators (SacBee): Katehi is refusing to turn over a UC-owned cellphone, computer and tablet to UCOP, which is investigating allegations the UC Davis chancellor misused student funds, favored relatives in her employ and misstated her role in the hiring of consultants to scrub her and the school’s online image. Katehi claims the devices contain privileged communications. The two sides are fighting over what outside group could create a privileged log which a judge could potentially arbitrate over.

6/21 – Attorney Alleges Katehi Conflict in Disciplinary Action Against Employee (DavisVanguard): In a new development, a professor from the UC Davis medical center accuses Katehi of hiding a conflict of interest as she investigated claims the professor plagiarized from a co-author of a publication published by Wiley & Sons. At the time, Katehi was on the Wiley & Sons board. The professor was cleared of academic wrong doing, but says he was forced into a settlement regarding retaliation aimed at his co-author. He since claims UC Davis has maligned his reputation to a potential employer.

Higher Ups on the Move

6/16 – UC Berkeley associate vice chancellor moves to Harvard (DailyCal):Associate Vice Chancellor for Admissions and Enrollment Anne De Luca will be moving to a similar role at Harvard.

6/20 – Andrew Szeri resigns from position as vice provost of strategic academic and facilities planning (DailyCal): The mechanical engineering professor will return to teaching and research, citing personal reasons as the motivation for his move. Had he stayed on, he would have been key in cost-cutting measures. Szeri’s chief of staff said the resignation of Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Claude Steele, who was to help Szeri lead cost-cutting played a role in Szeri’s decision. Steele faced criticism from faculty.

This & That

6/22 – How Public Universities Are Addressing Declines in State Funding (NYT): An interview with Napolitano and other higher ed leaders about handling declining state funding. Not much meat here, but Napolitano does point to consolidating payroll across the campuses as one thing that will help.

6/20 – 1 in 10 Cal State students is homeless, study finds (LATimes): About one in five are also food insecure.

6/22 – Stacking the deck (IHE): UCSD is pushing a court to hold a new hearing on a five-year-old cheating case. Earlier, a court ruled the university violated the student’s right to due process when it wouldn’t reveal the identity of a witness.

6/21  – UCLA co-founded nonprofit to form national manufacturing institute (UC): Feds award $70 million to a nonprofit UCLA helped launch in order to study smart manufacturing.


6/20 – Cleaning House at Louisville (IHE): Recently elected Republican governor removes the entire University of Louisville board of trustees to help overcome what he characterized as a governance logjam.

6/22 – Tuition at public colleges has soared in the past decade, but student fees have risen faster (WaPo): While public university tuition has risen over the years, fees have risen more quickly.


A closer look at the budget


Media coverage of the budget has focused on the overall increase in funding for UC and the requirement that the system limit out-of-state enrollment. There’s also been attention paid to the funding of a research center on gun violence. Here are some other takeaways from the budget:

  1. An AFSCME-funded actuarial study found that the UC’s new DC pension option would cost $600 million over 15 years, which led Assembly member McCarty to call for cutting that option. McCarty’s plan, however, was not included in the budget. The DC plan entered the picture following talks between Napolitano and Brown last year, when Napolitano agreed to cap the DB plans at the state’s PEPRA levels. Napolitano claims having the DC option, which is easier to take to another job and ergo more attractive, will help UC recruit top faculty. She notes that most private sector jobs have also shifted toward this DC model. Some faculty have argued a strong DB plan is key to retaining top researchers at UC, because it’s something UC can offer that is less common at private schools. Moreover, it encourages people to stay put, as it is less mobile. The actuarial study assumes that 20 percent of folks opt for the DC model once it launches. Also, it should be emphasized that the $600 million figure is cumulative over a 15 year period. By year 15, the DC option will cost $74 million annually, out of a total payroll of $16 billion, the study suggests.
  2. The budget calls on UC to “implement measures to reduce the university’s cost structure,” specifically noting that “at a minimum, the Regents shall, when considering compensation for any employee designated to be in the Senior Management Group, use a market reference zone that includes state employees.”
  3. An amount of $20 million “is included on a one-time basis for student support services for low-income students and students from underrepresented minority groups, including students who were enrolled in high schools in which the enrollment of students who were unduplicated pupils…is more than 75 percent of the total enrollment.” Additionally, $5 million is set aside “for expansion of retention and support services for students who were unduplicated pupils,” meaning students who are English language learners, meet income or categorical requirements for free or reduced-price meals or are foster youth. The budget also notes each campus is supposed to increase enrollment of such students.
  4. A total of $22 million is included for innovation and entrepreneurship programs. The success of QB3 was discussed by legislators in reference to this money.
  5. An amount of $500,000 was included “for the Underground Scholars Initiative at the Berkeley campus,” which helps formerly incarcerated UC Berkeley students.
  6. No doubt in reference to Katehi, the budget declares UC will “review the policies and procedures governing outside employment by university executives and senior management.” The bill suggests that any outside employment should not create any conflict of commitment, “where those are actual or perceived.”

What didn’t make the final bill?

  1. An amount of $6 million set aside “for support enrollment of at least 600 more resident graduate students in 2016-17” compared to 2015-16.
  2. Earlier language stated the state assumes “a marginal cost of $10,000 for each resident undergraduate student” in reference to a requirement that enrollment increases by 4,000 from 2016-17 to 2017-18. In 2007-08, before the recession, the state gave roughly $16,000 per student.

Budget Bill

Media Coverage 6/16/16

The legislature passed a $171 billion statewide budget that increases funding for UC, though the specter of AB 1711 — which would cap out-of-state enrollment at 10 percent and increase overall enrollment by quite a bit — still looms. Beyond UC, the budget is more conservative than legislative Democrats had hoped, as Brown was able to secure $2 billion to shore up the state’s rainy day fund. While the state’s economy has been growing, Brown senses a future recession is near. In total, UC gets $3.3 billion, an increase of $125.4 million over last year, though $18.5 million is tied to the Regents adopting a cap on out-of-state enrollment. The nature of that cap is unspecified by the budget bill. UC already has such policies in place on the three campuses with the highest rate of out-of-state enrollment — Berkeley, LA and San Diego.

Budget & out-of-state cap

6/15 – State budget heads to Gov. Brown: How education fared (EdSource): In addition to UC ‘s increased funding, CSU also saw a raise of $161 million. In the K-12 world, there was a big focus on early childhood education.

6/17 – Budget pushes UC to limit non-resident enrollment, CSU to boost graduation rates (EdSource):  The Regents are likely to discuss how to cap out-of-state enrollment in July or September.

6/16 – California lawmakers create a University of California research center on gun violence (LATimes): Included in the budget is $5 million to establish a center on gun research. The federal government has long had a ban on funding such research. The funding will cover the first five years of operations. Where the center will be located is still up in the air.

6/10 – California budget deal seeks nonresident enrollment cap at UC (SacBee): Written before the budget passed, this article notes an Assembly plan to give $1.1 million to the state auditor to annually look into UC was left out of the final budget deal.

More coverage: California Legislature approves $171 billion state budget (LATimes); California budget by the numbers (AP); California lawmakers approve budget bill – on deadline (SacBee); More State Funds, on One Condition (IHE)

UC Merced expansion

6/16 – UC Merced moves forward with major campus expansion (LATimes): UC Merced will take a public-private partnership approach to a $1.14 billion expansion that will create room for 4,000 new students.

6/15 – UC Merced to expand through unusual partnership (AP): The campus expansion will be funded by the university, the UC system and developers, who will share in the operating revenue from new dorms, a dining hall and other facilities. According to Napolitano: “UC Merced, the youngest campus in our system, is poised to become a model for our other campuses as we look for the most efficient ways to construct, operate and maintain facilities that enable us to pursue our teaching, research and public service missions.”


6/15 – UC Davis chancellor sent aides to Switzerland to learn image-boosting tactics (SacBee): About $17,000 was spent on sending staff to study PR pros abroad and across the country in an effort to revamp the university’s own image.

6/10 – UC delays release of public records in UC Davis, Katehi probe (SacBee): UC says it is delaying the release of records requested by the Bee so as to not interfere with witness interviews pertaining to the Katehi investigation. The documents, requested in late March, include “contracts issued to consultants, emails, travel expenses for Katehi and other UC Davis officials and the complete text of a 2012 marketing study.” Also, it’s noted Napolitano claims she never asked Katehi to give up her faculty post.

This & That

6/12 – Students mark 32nd annual Latino graduation at UC Davis (SacBee): Less than 40 percent of latina/o and chicana/o students are enrolled by their junior year. UC Davis hosts a special graduation ceremony to celebrate those who do make it through.

6/13 – Report: California public colleges not producing enough STEM degrees (EdSource): California compares poorly to other states in terms of producing STEM grads, which this nonprofit thinks is a huge deal. The group, the Campaign for College Opportunity, seems to put more blame on CSU than UC, noting both systems produce about the same number of STEM grads despite CSU having twice the enrollment of UC.

Elsewhere in the great American West…

6/15 – University of Wyoming president to evaluate program cuts (AP): A downturn in the nation’s least populous state is forcing budget tightening at Wyoming’s only public four-year university. The school needs to trim $40 million. For perspective, the entire state budget is about $1.5 billion a year. Some of the savings will be made by reducing the amount of research faculty conduct and increasing the amount of teaching, as positions are left vacant.

Brown and Budget Committee reach deal

For UC, the headline is a funding increase of $144 million over 2015-16. However, $19 million of that would only be available if UC schools enroll at least 2,500 more California residents by 2017-18 and the Regents adopt a policy capping out-of-state enrollment (it’s not clear if the cap has to be at a certain level). It also appears the committee voted against a move to make UC cut a new retirement plan option that would mostly benefit high-earners (discussed at length here). Both chambers still need to approve the deal.

Media coverage: LA Times, Capital Public Radio, SacBee

Here’s a rundown of what’s included in the UC package, quoted from the conference committee’s agenda.

1) Increase above Governor’s Budget of $18.5 million General Fund, for a total increase of $143.9 million ongoing General Fund above 2015-16. The $18.5 million will be released in May 2017 if UC enrolls 2,500 more residents by 2017-18 and the UC Board of Regents adopts a policy capping nonresident enrollment.

2) Adopt Trailer Bill Language to increase the number of undergraduate resident students admitted to UC who are from high schools that enroll 75% or more of unduplicated pupils (low-income, English learners and foster youth).

3) $20 million one-time General Fund for student outreach and student support services for low-income and underrepresented minority students, including students who are enrolled in LCFF Formula Plus schools.

4) $22 million one-time General Fund for UC Innovation and Entrepreneurship program. Budget Bill Language stating that funding distribution and program details will be determined in pending legislation.

5) Senate version on state audits of UC.

6) $2 million in one-time General Fund to support equal employment opportunity activities plus reporting language regarding faculty diversity and how funding was spent.

7) $4 million one-time General Fund to support the UC Scout program to provide California students and teachers free A-G course materials aligned to California state standards.

8) Senate version on firearms violence research center ($5 million one-time General Fund), nonresident admissions standards, Charles Drew Medical School.

9) Assembly version on reporting on outside compensation for executives, cost of instruction, and increasing degree production to meet future state workforce needs.

10) Rescind Assembly and Senate action to provide $6 million General Fund for graduate student enrollment.

11) Adopt Trailer Bill Language eliminating the sunset date of the UC Subject Matter Projects.

Media Coverage 6/10/16

Coverage of the UC system has been dominated by the tussle between UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi and UC system President Janet Napolitano, who placed Katehi on leave.  As an investigation into Katehi begins, the chancellor has filed a formal complaint with UCOP, possibly paving the way for a lawsuit. Napolitano’s name has popped up in a number of media outlets as a possible VP choice for Hillary Clinton, though the UC system’s top administrator is rarely near the top of any lists.


6/2 – Conflict of interest alleged between UC president and investigator in Katehi case (Aggie): Student newspaper notes academic senate chair is also skeptical of the firm hired to investigate Katehi, due to the lead investigator’s ties to Napolitano. Also, check out this “Students for Linda” Facebook page. The opposition, “Fire Katehi,” has more likes…

6/3 – UC Davis delays release of public records regarding beleaguered chancellor (SacBee): UC Davis has dragged its feet on releasing a number of records, a move the SacBee clearly thinks is illegal

6/3 – When universities try to behave like businesses, education suffers (LATimes): Column calls out Katehi’s membership on two corporate boards who, the author alleges, have interests that conflict with UC (DeVry and Wiley) and goes on to discuss the corporatization of public higher education

6/3 – Suspend probe of Katehi, UC Davis chancellor’s reps demand (SacBee): Katehi’s lawyer says the firm investigating her client is biased, asks for the investigation to be halted.

6/3 – Suspended UC Davis Chancellor’s Attorney Reacts To Allegations (CapRadio): Katehi’s lawyers say their client only broke one rule — by joining the DeVry board — but that UCOP was well aware of that move before it happened. The lawyers also contend UCOP tried to mislead the public and media and insists the hold up on public records is due to UCOP, not UC Davis.

More coverage: Suspended UC Davis Chancellor: Conflict of Interest Taints Investigation (KQED); Katehi’s team wants investigation ‘scrapped’ (DavisEnt)

6/8 – Katehi’s team files a grievance, sets stage for a lawsuit (DavisEnt): A grievance filed by Katehi may be the first step in the filing of a lawsuit. The complaint cites breach of contract, violation of privacy rights and defamation, violation of confidentiality rights, retaliation, constructive termination and discrimination due to gender. Katehi alleges UCOP tried to slander her by releasing what she claims was a confidential memo, though UCOP says the memo was requested by the media and disclosure was in the public interest.

6/9 – Katehi Fighting Back against Allegations from UC President Napolitano (DavisVanguard): A longer rundown from Katehi’s perspective on the various missteps by UCOP. Among them, Napolitano asked Katehi not only to resign as chancellor but to give up her faculty position.

6/10 – UC Responds to Allegations from Katehi’s Attorney (DavisVanguard): UC insists Katehi is holding up investigation by not turning over UC-owned devices and refusing to meet with investigators. The investigation is set to end in early August.

6/8 – We narrowed Clinton’s VP possibilities to 27 (WaPo): This article mentions Napolitano as a potential VP pick, though it doesn’t say much about why she made the list.


6/9 – UC retirement plan under threat (Capital&Main): McCarty proposes including language in the budget bill to block a loophole that would allow high-earners in the UC system to use a private IRA and avoid the PEPRA cap.

6/1 – Editorial: UC should heed assembly’s message on in-state students (UnionTribune): Editorial backs state audit finding that UC isn’t allowing enough in-state students to enroll

6/3 – State lawmakers vote to cap nonresident enrollment at UC schools (LATimes): The measure still needs to be approved by the senate.

ALSO: Compare the assembly and senate budgets for UC beginning on page 38.

This & That

6/3 – UCLA sells landmark Japanese garden for $12.5 million (LATimes): I don’t really know what this is about, but seems interesting UC gets rid of a cultural asset for some cash.

6/8 – UC admissions applicants face more essay choices, shorter lengths (EdSource): The UC system will do away with its two longish essay questions for freshman and transfer applicants, instead letting applicants choose four shorter questions from a range of topics. Move is intended to deter canned responses and to be easier to evaluate.