Media Coverage 6/26/17

A former Berkeley employee who worked closely with outgoing Chancellor Nicholas Dirks claims in a lawsuit she was forced to lie on tax forms. After reporting a series of personal jobs she completed for Dirks and his family on a form, including servicing the chancellor’s personal car and taking his child to the dentist, Alice McNeil alleges she was instructed by Dirk’s chief of staff to alter the form. In the lawsuit, McNeil says she complied to keep her job, but under a subsequent chief of staff, she again attempted to include personal work she performed on tax documents and again was told to alter the forms. She claims she was later forced out of her job under false pretenses. In a statement, Berkeley claims:

It is the case that questions were raised about the accuracy of personal services reports that Ms. McNeil submitted for herself and other University House staff after she failed to submit them in a timely fashion and then informed management that her reported numbers were based on rough estimates and not on any actual record-keeping. Because of the campus’s commitment to accuracy, the reports had to be corrected based on interviews with staff about their specific activities. Staff signed off on these corrected reports, and the Chancellor and his wife paid taxes based on them.

In other news, UC’s one-of-a-kind Immigrant Legal Services Center has seen its caseload swell under Trump’s administration. This week also offered a new wrinkle in the fallout from the state’s audit of UCOP. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, UC will spend up to $210,000 investigating whether UCOP interfered with the audit. During the week, Berkeley became a frequent target of the right. Amid a Senate Judiciary Hearing on free speech on campus, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, took aim at Berkeley’s handling of Ann Coulter’s planned appearance, though Sen. Dianne Feinstein defended UC’s response to the events. Meanwhile, Fox News published an article highlighting resentment by some that out-of-state students have an easier time getting in to UC campuses than in-state students.

6/20 – Former UC Berkeley employee told to lie on taxes, per lawsuit (SJMN): 

6/21 – UC paying top dollar to investigate Napolitano’s office (SFChronicle): The article notes costly investigations are fairly typical at UC, citing the $1 million investigation into Linda Katehi, the nearly $500,000 spent looking into the pepper-spraying of student demonstrators at UC Davis and the $57,000 spent on the Dirks investigation (which turned up misdeeds worth $5,000).

 

6/19 – Demand for UC immigrant student legal services soars as Trump policies sow uncertainty (LATimes): The number of students seeking help increased by almost 500 from the previous school year to reach over 800.

6/20 – Dianne Feinstein defends Janet Napolitano, Berkeley during Senate hearing on campus free speech (WashingtonExaminer): The conservative publication fairly represents Feinstein’s defense.

6/20 – Critics rip University of California for favoring illegal immigrants over out-of-state Americans (FoxNews): The report is not very balanced.

6/20 – Stanford, UC Berkeley named as two of the world’s most reputable universities for 2017 (SFGate): Berkeley is the top public university in the world, according to a reputation survey by Times Higher Education.

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 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.