Media Coverage 12/02/16

UC received national attention for announcing it intends to oppose any action the Trump administration may take to deport Dreamers or register Muslim citizens. Elsewhere, sexual misconduct by senior members of the UC community continued to be an issue with previously disgraced Regent Pattiz facing fallout over leaked audio. Elsewhere, Nancy Pelosi has weighed in on UCSF’s outsourcing scheme.

12/1 -UC won’t assist federal agents in immigration actions against students (LATimes): UC has announced it will not cooperate–sans a court order–with efforts to deport undocumented students or to create a registry of citizens based on religion or race. About 3,700 students have in-state tuition under a state law that allows undocumented students to be treated as California residents.

11/30 – Op-Ed: The Truth About Young Immigrants and DACA (NYT): UC President Janet Napolitano argues that DACA reflects a lawful use of prosecutorial discretion and should be left unchanged by the Trump administration. I’m honestly a bit puzzles by how little this op-ed says.

12/2 – The Fight for a Field (DailyCal): After being displaced from their field to accommodate a new football facility, Cal’s field hockey team has languished without a proper home field. Both federal and campus Title IX investigations are ongoing, while the relocation costs have topped $7.2 million and handle litigation.

12/2 – How top U.S. colleges hooked up with controversial Chinese companies (Reuters): UC Berkeley is among a number of elite schools that has had admissions counselors flown to China to meet with students who have paid for the help of an education consultant.

11/27 – Leaked audio reveals additional lewd comments from UC Regent Norman Pattiz (DailyCal): Leaked audio reveals Regent Norman Pattiz made additional lewd comments at his place of work.

11/30 – Editorial: UC Regent Norman Pattiz needs to resign from position (DailyBruin): The editorial is fairly straightforward:

If you want a porn connoisseur making decisions about our school’s academic, administrative and yes, sexual harassment policies, then by all means, Pattiz should remain a regent. But if he has any remaining respect for himself and the institution he works for, he must resign.

11/29 – Search begins for permanent lead on UC Berkeley sexual misconduct cases (DailyCal): Amid a number of sexual harassment scandals, UC is moving to hire its first (non-interim) lead on campus sexual violence and sexual harassment cases.

11/21 – Call for Due Process for Accused Berkeley Professor (IHE): A group of current and former students are asking the university to withhold judgment on Nezar AlSayyad, who has been accused of sexually harassing a student, until an investigation is complete. The names of the students involved in the petition are not being publicly released.

11/23 – Pelosi says UC IT workers are in ‘untenable position’ (ComputerWorld): House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has waded into a debate over UCSF’s plan to offshore some IT services asking the university to reverse course.

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Media Coverage 11/18/16

Another renowned member of UC Berkeley’s faculty has been found to have sexually harassed a student. Elsewhere, UC Regents are considering a tuition hike, though the political climate stemming from last summer’s audit may make it hard to pass.

Nezar AlSayyad

11/13 – Investigation: UC Berkeley professor sexually harassed student (SFChronicle): In this case, best to let the reporting speak for itself:

A renowned Middle East scholar and architecture professor at UC Berkeley spent months ingratiating himself with a graduate student before placing his hand on her upper thigh, proposing they become “close friends” and suggesting they go to Las Vegas, a campus investigation has found. / Nezar AlSayyad, an internationally recognized scholar and a frequent public voice on global issues, is the latest prominent faculty member at UC Berkeley found to have sexually harassed a student or colleague in violation of University of California rules, The Chronicle has learned. / A five-month investigation completed in October upheld nearly all of the student’s allegations. The 52-page report obtained by The Chronicle found that AlSayyad’s behavior became increasingly personal from 2012 to 2014, with frequent social invitations and hugs, as he sought to position himself as the student’s protector and make her beholden to him

11/15 – UC Berkeley students demand professor’s suspension (SFGate): Students have petitioned for AlSayyad’s firing.

See commentary 11/17 – Whom Does Secrecy Protect? (IHE)

Tuition

11/18 – UC tuition increase? Not after this year’s damning audit (SDUT): UC is making the case for its first tuition increase — on the scale of 2.5 to 3.1 percent — in six years, while CSU eyes a 5 percent hike. However, the articles questions whether the state’s audit of UC over the summer will make make it unlikely for the hike to be carried out.

11/18 – UC students disrupt regents’ meeting with protests against possible tuition hike (LATimes): As UC Regents met to discuss tuition hikes, about 80 student protestors demonstrated, momentarily derailing the meeting until police cleared the room.

Also see SJMN

Elsewhere in harassment news

11/17 – UC Regent’s Offensive Comments Lead To New Harassment Policy (AP): The UC Regents created new rules governing sexual harassment in response to comments Regent Norman Pattiz made to a woman at his place of work. Pattiz remains on the board. Under the new rules, all regents are required to take UC’s sexual harassment training.

Also see 11/9 – “UC regent’s breast comments prompt proposal for tighter rules on sexual harassment” (LATimes)

11/17 – Ex-UC dean accused of harassment drops suit against university (SFGate): Former UC Berkeley Law Dean Sujit Choudhry has dropped his lawsuit claiming racial bias against the university. The academic senate is set to hold a hearing to consider his job status.

Labor

11/16 – University of California workers strike for higher wages (KQED): Skilled trade workers at UC San Diego and UCLA were set to strike for higher wages.

11/16 – UCSF workers claim discrimination in IT outsourcing (SJMN): Ten UCSF employees fired as part of an outsourcing move are alleging they were fired due to their age and nationality (American).

Less Controversial

11/18 – UCD presents its housing plans to UC regents (DavisEnt): UC Davis aims to increase the portion of students living on campus from 35 to 40 percent as town-gown relationships begin to strain.

Media Coverage 11/04/16

UC news this past week was dominated by reports of disgusting behavior by Regent Norman Pattiz, chairman of the Courtside Entertainment Group.

UC News

11/2 – UC regent apologizes for ‘inappropriate’ comments about women’s breasts (LATimes): Pattiz apologized for asking to hold the breasts of a  woman taping a bra commercial at Pattiz’s company. UC did not issue a statement. The Times dug up other accusations of inappropriate workplace harassment from Pattiz.

More: DailyCal | SFGate

11/3 – After pink slips, UCSF tech workers train their foreign replacements (SJMN): A $50 million outsourcing deal with an Indian company has resulted in 80 tech workers losing their jobs. UCSF says it will save $30 million over five years. U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren asked Napolitano to reverse the plan and questioned the legality of using H-1B visas to bring in some Indian workers on-site. Questions about patient data privacy have also been raised.

10/31- Op-Ed: The University Of California’s Censor In Sheep’s Clothing (Forbes): A not very thoughtful critique of Napolitano’s recent op-ed in the Boston Globe. Essentially, the author worries trigger warnings and safe spaces harm free speech. He dismisses concerns about inclusion.

10/30 – Faculty, staff voice expectations for next UC Berkeley chancellor at listening sessions (DailyCal): A very nice photograph is attached to this story about a recent “listening session.” The article notes the back-and-forth between those who wish for a shortlist to be made public and those who feel such a move would harm the process.

11/2 – Anti-immigrant graffiti found at UC San Diego (SDUT): The election is Tuesday.

Elsewhere

11/2 – Virginia colleges told to brace for 7.5 percent cuts (RichmondTD): Virginia, home to two of the nation’s great public universities, has told its higher ed system to prepare for cuts. 

11/4 – Historic Fine for Penn State (IHE): The US Dept. of Education will fine PSU $2.4 million for failing to disclose crimes relating to its infamous child molestation scandal.

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.

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

Media Coverage 9/30/16

Soon-to-be-former UC Berkeley Chancellor Dirks told an audience Clinton’s plan for free tuition “won’t happen.” To offset a mostly quiet week on the UC news front, I’ve included some recent reports on free tuition and the state of American higher education. Also this week, Blake Wentworth, a faculty member accused of sexually harassing students, filed defamation suits against three of his accusers.

Free Tuition

9/27 – Berkeley chancellor: Clinton free college plan ‘won’t happen’ (THE): Speaking at summit, Dirks said he would “love” to see Clinton’s plan happen, but that political realities will likely get in the way. He also noted free tuition may lead to greater government control of research institutions, which could be a problem. He may having in mind the federal ban on firearms research, an area where the UC system is actively picking up the slack.

9/29 – US Dept. of Ed report: Reaching the Limit (link): While college costs are rising, students have begun taking out more federal loans. However, a rising amount turn to the private market (with its higher fees and interest) before they’ve maxed out their federal options.

9/29 – Campaign for Free College Tuition report: How expensive is free college for states (link): Report calculates the cost per state of free tuition, but notes these large sums may be offset by returns from a more educated workforce.

9/29 – APLU report: Public University Values (link): The APLU has launched a campaign to improve the public image of large research universities. The campaign emphasizes decreased state funding.

Other UC News

9/30 – Low Returns, High Pressure (IHE): The return on UC’s endowment is a very poor -3.4 percent. Trump has suggested he would cut federal tax breaks for university endowments should they not lower costs sufficiently.

9/29 – Berkeley professor at center of sexual harassment scandal sues his accusers (Guardian): Blake Wentworth has sued three students who accused him of sexual harassment. The assistant professor of south and south-east Asian studies claims the accusations are false and intended to derail his career.

More DailyCal | SFGate

Elsewhere in higher ed

9/28 – Small Agency, Big Impact (IHE): The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has stepped into the world of private student loans and for-profit universities

9/29 – Mizzou Incident Rekindles Anger Over Treatment of Black Students (Chronicle): Mizzou is back in the spotlight after an ugly incident where slurs were shouted at students of color