Media Coverage 7/29/16

A very slow news week for the UC system. To offset the lull, I’ve included some links to reports on funding public higher education, as the topic was brought into the spotlight by Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton, who has pledged to make college tuition-free for students coming from families earning below $125,000 a year.

UC News

7/24 – Homeless and hungry in college: Not just a ‘ramen-noodle’ problem (SJMN): An in-depth look at how students struggle with paying for living expenses such as housing and food related to attending college.

7/25 – California Colleges To Post Sex Assault Policies (AP): A new law requires all universities in California to post their sexual assault policies online and provide copies to students and faculty. Assembly Member Susan Bonilla says she wrote the law in reaction to issues at UC Berkeley.

7/25 – Longtime UCLA medical school dean Sherman Mellinkoff dies at 96 (LATimes): Mellinkoff led the school for 25 years.

Public Higher Ed Finance

7/28 – Reining in Wall Street to Benefit All Americans (The Century Foundation): Dean Baker argues a financial transaction tax could generate $105 billion annually, money that could be used to support tuition-free public education. The author notes that if the cost of college keeps rising, the tax wouldn’t be enough moving forward. Skip to the end for the part on higher ed, as the beginning of the report explains why a FTT is a good idea.

7/28 – Do state subsidies for public universities favor the affluent? (Brookings): No, the report finds. By looking at both per-student spending by the states and what students of different incomes levels pay in tuition, the report concludes state funding may be slightly progressive.

Media Coverage 7/22/16

The regents voted to implement new rules governing service on corporate boards just after the Chronicle broke a story about a UCSF employee who has made millions from companies that have, in turn, made millions from UCSF. Also, the regents voted to change their own bylaws, a move that some see as intended to limit public scrutiny.

Regents & Outside Compensation

7/18 – UCSF Medical Center CEO profits from firms doing business with hospital (SFChronicle): Mark Laret, the CEO of UCSF Medical Center, sits on the corporate boards of two companies that do millions of dollars of business with the public hospital. Laret’s compensation from the two companies exceeds $5 million. UCSF maintains Laret’s service is above board and that the CEO is not involved in purchasing decisions. At the heart of the controversy is whether Laret’s role to minimize costs for UCSF conflicts with his job to maximize profits for the two companies.

7/21 – UC regents toughen moonlighting rules for top executives (SFChronicle): Senior UC execs must explain how service on a corporate board or consulting work would benefit the UC system under new rules the regents approved. The rule would not apply to those who have already received permission to work outside UC. In other news, 19 top executives including nine chancellors, received 3 percent raises. See the action item here. More from the SacBee.

7/21 – Editorial: Tighten rules for moonlighting UC officials (LATimes): The LA Times editorial board came out in favor of tougher rules on moonlighting, including forbidding UC executives from serving on boards that do business with UC. The new rules approved by the regents do not forbid that practice.

7/21 – UC chancellors get raises – some for second straight year (EBTimes): Chancellor Dirks’ salary has increased by $30,000 since June 2015.

7/20 – UC Regents take steps to streamline board operations, dig more deeply into crucial issues (LATimes): The regents agreed to reduce the number of committees  and to spend more time meeting as a full body. According to the article: “The proposal now affirms that all regents have the right to raise any issue at any time and that all open committee meetings will be videotaped and posted online. The board would retain the right to weigh in on all committee actions, rescind any decision delegating authority to UC administrators and maintain the right to investigate allegations of misconduct by a regent.”

7/15 – A Near Coup d’Etat at the University of California (AmericanThinker; NB this was written before the changes went into effect): Former Regent Velma Montoya characterizes the “streamlining” of the regents as a move to concentrate power in the hands of one committee and to limit public scrutiny.

 7/19 – UC Davis chancellor’s outside activities prompt UC regents to consider tightening moonlighting rules (LATimes): A preview of the changes the regents approved on moonlighting.

7/18 – Katehi scandal at UC Davis called ‘worse than pepper spray’ (SacBee): Emails reveal the strategizing of Katehi’s office as the Bee broke news of the chancellor’s service on two corporate boards that raised ethical questions.

This & That

7/18 – UC regent named as chancellor of community college system (SF Chronicle): Eloy Ortiz Oakley will remain a UC regent as he takes over the state’s community college system.

7/19 -State funding cuts during the recession still shortchanging Cal State students, officials say (LATimes): The nation’s largest university system receives state funding worth $7,858 per full-time student, compared with $9,686 in 2007-2008. The system has had to deny admission to qualified students and defer maintenance on numerous buildings. At the same time, the system’s graduation rate lags behind the national average.

7/18 – Berkeley Student Killed in Terror Attack in Nice (IHE): The 20-year-old was one of 84 people killed in the attack. Three other Berkeley students, all in France on a study abroad program, were injured.

Public Higher Ed Finances

7/17 – Bonuses Push More Public-College Leaders Past $1 Million (Chronicle): Five public university leaders hit the $1 million compensation mark.

7/14 – Finances of City College’s President Are Under Federal Investigation (NYT): Feds are investigating whether CUNY President Lisa S. Coico misused research money to reimburse a private foundation that paid for the president’s personal expenses.

Media Coverage 7/15/16

A busy week for UC news, as Berkeley’s chancellor is under investigation by the university system for improperly accepting free athletic training from a university employee and misusing public funds for a trip to India. The investigation comes on the heels of a number of accusations that the chancellor has mishandled sexual harassment incidents and an investigation into a football coach suspected of inciting violence. Speaking of football, it’s possible a current coach at UCLA was privy to the serial sexual child abuse by Jerry Sandusky while the UCLA coach worked at Penn State. Additionally, a report found widespread hunger among UC Students and the national media paid attention to California’s fight over out-of-state enrollment. On a brighter note, UC earned more US patents in 2015 than any other university.

Dirks

7/12 – UC Berkeley chancellor under investigation for alleged misuse of public funds, personal use of campus athletic trainer (LATimes): Chancellor Dirks is being investigated for “misuse of public funds for travel and the personal use of a campus athletic trainer without payment.” Dirks says he will comment when the investigation is over.

7/13 – Chancellor Nicholas Dirks under investigation for alleged misuse of funds, athletic services (DailyCal):  Faculty claim this incident adds to a general sense of distrust toward Dirks.

& more from SFGate, including the detail that the whistler-blower, a former colleague of the trainer being investigated alongside Dirks, was fired for embezzlement.  The San Jose Mercury News puts the investigation into the context of recent campus controversies. Also, read the letter from UC COO Rachael Nava to Dirks.

Hunger

7/12 – 1 in 5 University of California students struggles with hunger, study finds (SJMN): A total of 42 percent of students are food insecure, based on a survey of 9,000 students.

& more coverage from the LA Times.

Football

7/11 – UC Berkeley renews controversial coach’s contract (SFGate): Damon Harrington’s $150,000 contract was renewed. While faculty ask for a new investigation into his role in an athlete’s beating and another athlete’s death, Cal football players have rallied behind the coach.

7/12 – Unsealed testimony claims Tom Bradley knew of Penn State abuse (DailyBruin): UCLA football defensive coordinator Tom Bradley knew of Jerry Sandusky’s serial sexual child abuse while working at Penn State, according to testimony recently unsealed by a Pennsylvania court. Bradley denies knowing about any abuse.

& a nice student op-ed on what is sacrificed by the desire to win on the field.

Out-of-State

7/8 – Editorial: University of California in denial over damage it did (SDUT): Short editorial questions UCOP’s dismissal of the state’s audit.

7/7 – Public Colleges Chase Out-of-State Students, and Tuition (NYT): While the political fight over UC’s out-of-state student population has drawn much attention, this article notes public universities across the country have turned en masse to out-of-state students for the money they bring. As schools let in more students from out-of-state capable of paying higher tuition, the enrollment of black, Hispanic and low-income students declines.

7/12 – After Outcry, University of California Increases In-State Admission Offers (NYT): A recap of the UC system’s increased in-state admission offers in light of political pressure.

7/11 – Flagships Must Create New Models to Preserve the Public Good (Chronicle): Dirks recounts the history of declining state support for higher education, noting the current course is unsustainable if schools like Berkeley wish to remain great. Take note:

For Berkeley, as for other public institutions, this will mean becoming ever more aggressive in developing new funding models, including innovative master’s programs and more executive education. It also means using our assets in more commercial ways. While we need to shore up and sustain traditional sources of support from state and federal governments, we must also turn to methods that have been successfully used by private universities, including modest though regular increases in tuition while raising the discount level for financial aid, and endowing need-based student aid through fund raising.

This & That

7/8 – CSU cries foul on research grants in San Onofre deal (SDUT): CSU claims UC was unfairly privileged in getting access to $25 million for greenhouse gas research tied to a settlement over the failure of a nuclear plant. A plan to distribute the money to five UC campuses was struck down by the Public Utilities Commission, which may reopen the entire settlement.

& the UCLA Faculty Association with a few comments.

7/13 – Report: UC system secures more US patents in 2015 than any other university (NAI): UC had 489, followed by MIT with 278.

 

 

Media Coverage 7/8/16

The UC system followed through on a deal with the state to admit more in-state students and, at the same time, increased its enrollment of students of color. At Berkeley, the chancellor agreed to hold a follow-up investigation on the football team, though it’s unclear how much of a focus there will be on a coach who was linked to a student’s death and the beating of a player.

Enrollment

7/6 – UCLA, UC Berkeley boost admissions of Californians, including blacks and Latinos (LATimes): Both UC flagship schools admitted 1,000 more Californians each, including a significant boost in the number of black and Latino students. System-wide, the number of Californians admitted increased by 15 percent, which the article speculates may help ease the concerns of legislators critical of the university following a state audit that alleged the system exercised preferential admission practices for out-of-state students.

7/6 – UC campuses admit more Californians after years of falling rates (SJMercury): Assemblyman McCarty, who has led the criticism of UC’s out-of-state admissions policies, called the news “a good start.”

Football

7/2 – UC Berkeley chancellor orders new probe of football program (SFGate): UC Berkeley chancellor orders a new investigation into the school’s football program following a student death and team-led beating. Faculty protested after a Chronicle investigation revealed a probe into a coach linked to both incidents was biased. The new investigation will not focus on the coach, but instead the overall program.

This & That

7/2 – Cal student among victims in Bangladesh attack (SFChronicle): Tarishi Jain, a native of India, was 18.

7/1 – UC Davis chancellor withholds $200,000 scholarship donation as inquiry continues (SacBee): Embattled UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi has withheld donating $200,000 to the university as she is investigated by UCOP. The money comes from her service on the board of an academic publisher, a position she has been criticized for taking.

7/3 – Katehi investigation proceeds, compromises made (DavisEnterprise): UC agrees with Katehi’s team regarding a third party handling the chancellor’s university-owned electronic devices.

6/30 – UCLA Professor Accused Of Sexually Harassing Grad Students Is Returning (HuffPo): Gabriel Piterberg was suspended without pay for the Spring 2015 term, at which point the history professor left for a European fellowship.

Media Coverage 7/1/16

It was a quiet week for UC in terms of media coverage. However, in the legislature, AB 1711 has appeared to falter. The bill, which is intended to cap out-of-state enrollment, has hit a roadblock and been significantly altered, according to the official website of the Legislature. First, the bill’s author, Kevin McCarty, amended the bill as it was being considered by the Senate Education Committee. Instead of setting a percentage cap on out-of-state enrollment, the bill now states out-of-state students must exceed the standards which in-state students are held to for admissions. The change is likely a response to the state audit’s finding that out-of-state students were being held to a lower standard than in-state students. However, the bill also failed to pass within the Senate Education Committee on June 29, though reconsideration was granted. See more here.

In other news, questions have arisen over Berkeley’s handling of an investigation into a football player’s death. Also, some have questioned whether UC attempted to stage a PR campaign to counter the impact of the state’s recent audit. Additionally, some UC Davis faculty members wrote a harsh editorial criticizing Napolitano over her handling of the Katehi affair.

Football

6/29 – Critics question Cal’s probe into football coach’s actions (SFChronicle): An inquiry that cleared Berkeley’s football coaching staff of dangerous practice techniques was conducted by those with personal ties to the coaching staff, thus raising questions about the legitimacy of the report.

6/30 – Faculty wants probe, asks UC Berkeley to suspend coach rehiring (SFGate): The BFA (meaning…Prof. Burawoy & co) have asked the university to not renew a contract with a Cal football coach until that coach’s role in a student’s death is properly investigated.

This & That

6/30 – Op Ed: Napolitano hurting UC system, action needed (EBTimes): Article accuses Napolitano of bungling the Katehi investigation, playing the press for political ends and failing to understand the role of the university in civic life.

6/27 – UC Berkeley spends big on chancellor’s campus fixer-upper (SFChronicle): University has spent $1 million sprucing up the chancellor’s official residence.

6/28 -UC spent $158,000 on campaign to counter critical state audit (SacBee): UCOP spent the money on a statewide campaign to boost its image, an effort at least partially intended to soften the blow from the state’s audit on out-of-state enrollment.

6/26 – Op Ed: How race-based affirmative action could return to UC (LATimes): A recent ruling by the Supreme Court that affirmed UT Austin’s consideration of race in admissions could open the doors for affirmative action at UC should voters overturn Prop. 209.

California Finances

6/30 – A Tale of Two Pension Funds (Medium): Stanford’s David Crane on how untimely reporting on California’s pension system makes it harder to manage.

Also, see the full California State Budget. Brown’s introductory budget message notes the importance of UC to the state very early on. Also, read the California Budget & Policy Center’s deep dive on the document.

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)

Katehi

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.

Elsewhere

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