Media Coverage 10/28/16

News has been slow to appear, but a study from Occidental College received national attention for its discovery of widespread hunger among UC employees. Elsewhere, the SF Chronicle dug into the “Kafkaesque” situation surrounding Dirks’ personal trainer (no one transforms along the lines of Gregor Samsa) who has been on paid leave pending an investigation.

Hunger among UC employees

10/19 – California Today: For Some U.C. Workers, Skipping Meals to Make Ends Meet (NYT): A study found 45 percent of the system’s full-time administrative employees experience hunger. The study was conducted with support from the Teamsters union, which represents the workers. UC suggests the timing may be political, as the system is in labor negotiations.

10/17 – Seven in 10 UC workers struggle with food insecurity (LATimes): See the report in full from Occidental College.

UC News

10/17 – UC Berkeley chancellor’s personal trainer in ‘Kafkaesque’ tangle (SFChron): The former boss of a trainer being investigated by UCOP for offering Dirks free training lessons has, essentially, accused UCOP of wasting the system’s money and time.

According to his whistle-blower complaint, if there’s been any improper spending, it’s the more than $53,000 in salary and benefits that has been wasted these past six months keeping Wicks on the payroll but not allowing him to work.

10/25 – Giving cash to Clinton’s campaign? Good chance you work for University of California (SacBee): Private donations by UC employees to the Clinton campaign led all such blocks, followed closely by Alphabet (Google).

10/20 – State lawmakers discuss future of higher education at campus forum Tuesday (DailyCal): At an event organized by the CSHE, Carol Christ asked lawmakers if a predictable formula for tuition increases would be palatable in Sacramento. She received a terse reply:
“I would think that would be perfectly reasonable,”  Liu, the District 25 senator, said at the forum. “In fact, we did carry a piece of legislation when I was in the lower house, (but) actually the UCs opposed it. They didn’t want anything that was gradual, predictable or affordable. They wanted do it on their own.”

10/24 – Campus leadership prompted vice chancellor Bob Lalanne’s resignation (DailyCal): Former VC for real estate had his position terminated and declined to take another post, citing tumult within the admin ranks.

Elsewhere in higher ed
10/26 – Tuition bills up, but borrowing down (Politico): Average in-state tuition rose about 2.4 percent, but borrowing is down to $106.8 billion, off from a peak of $124.2 billion in 2011.

See the College Board’s new report on pricing, “Trends in College Pricing 2016.”

10/24 – This photo essay shows what it really means to be adjunct faculty (WaPo): A collection of photographs from Ithaca College displays the plight of adjunct faculty members.
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Media Coverage 10/14/16

The LA Times took a close look at Sujit Choudhry’s lawsuit against UC, and a few prominent labor lawyers think he may have a case. Elsewhere, UC’s $100 billion man departed and a firm accused of cheating the college admissions process was linked to UC.

UC News

10/11 – UC’s extraordinary legal battle with ex-Berkeley law school dean (LATimes):  Former Law Dean Sujit Choudhry is suing the UC system, arguing he is being treated more harshly than his white peers after he was forced to step down for sexual harassment. The suit claims Napolitano’s decision to increase his punishment was intended to “try to improve the university’s image, as well as her own.”

10/10 – Private Equity Chief at University of California Fund Departs (Bloomberg): Timothy Recker, who joined the system in 2007, was responsible for nearly $100 billion in assets. 

8/14 -How a Chinese company bought access to admissions officers at top U.S. colleges (Reuters): UC Berkeley admissions officials are noted for accepting plane tickets to attend a conference hosted by a Chinese firm accused of helping students cheat on college applications

10/13 – Campus Disabled Students’ Program has been noncompliant with state regulations for years (DailyCal): A program that helps students with disabilities adjust to college life will shut down at Berkeley after it was discovered the state-funded program was out of compliance with state rules.

10/13 – Online and Homegrown (IHE): California’s community college system is experimenting with a program whereby students can register for online classes hosted at other campuses should enrollment reach capacity at their home institution.

Elsewhere in higher ed

10/6 – University bureaucracies grew 15 percent during the recession, even as budgets were cut and tuition increased (Hechinger): A deep dive into the growing bureaucracies on college campuses and efforts to curtail the growth, often through consolidation under central services schemes.

Media Coverage 10/7/16

This week, Reich for UCB chancellor makes the news, Napolitano takes a stand for free speech and safe spaces in a Boston (?) newspaper, the Feds increase higher ed transparency, a strike at Harvard and Portland State University announces free tuition.

Robert Reich

10/4 – Robert Reich urged by faculty group as new UC Berkeley chancellor (SFC): The BFA supports Reich, but both the man himself and Napolitano remain mum. The new chancellor will be named in five months time.

10/4 – Op-Ed: Robert Reich would be superb leader for this campus (DailyCal): BFA argues Robert Reich is well-suited to address the university’s challenges.

Napolitano

10/2 – Op-Ed: It’s time to free speech on campus again (BostonGlobe): Napolitano notes that students shouldn’t be shielded from ideas they dislike, but notes the importance of safe spaces.

The University of California is the largest and best public research university in the country. In the 1960s, when the Free Speech Movement began, our student body was 55 percent male and overwhelmingly white. Today, 53 percent of UC students are women, 42 percent are the first in their families to attend college, and nearly 40 percent of this year’s entering class identified themselves as either black, Latino/Latina, or a member of another historically underrepresented ethnic or racial group. Moreover, sexual identity was hardly on the radar in the 1960s. Today, students self-identify in myriad ways.

Students, therefore, come from a much broader range of backgrounds, and they often benefit from gathering with others of similar backgrounds to share experiences and support one another. At UC we have many different types of student centers and student activities; some of our newest are for undocumented students. You can call these “safe spaces,” but I call them a good idea… 

…I’m not especially fond of the letter recently sent by the dean of students at the University of Chicago that seemed to support free speech Darwinism. As stated earlier, even free speech has its limits: time, place, and manner restrictions, for instance. Chalking an anti-immigrant pro-Trump slogan on a sidewalk is one thing; spray painting it on a building is another.

CSU

9/30 – ‘Finish in Four’ is new mantra for California State University (SacBee): CSU is adding more sections of popular classes, giving advisors tablets and setting them loose and asking students to sign pledges in an effort to increase the four-year graduation rate.  The project is estimated to cost $400 to $500 million and is intended to combat the state’s projected deficit of degree holders.

Elsewhere in higher ed

10/5 – Harvard Hit With Strike by Dining-Hall Workers (Chronicle): About 750 workers refused to arrive on a Tuesday after contract negotiations continued to stall. Frozen food was used to feed the hungry students.

NB: According to Politico: “The Education Department on Friday unveiled a database of the agreements that colleges have with banks and other providers of financial products on campus. Under new regulations finalized by the Obama administration last year, colleges were required to post online their contracts with banks and financial institutions.” No UC schools are listed, but a few CSU are.

NB: PSU is offering free tuition to students who meet the following criteria:

  • Current resident of Oregon
  • Graduate from an Oregon high school
  • Admissible to PSU as a first-year freshman for the fall 2017 term
  • Have a 3.4 cumulative unweighted high school GPA
  • Eligible to receive a federal Pell grant as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Enrolled full-time at PSU, 15 credits per term
  • Students must apply for federal loans