Media Coverage 8/7/17

A New York Times article interviewed and named two Berkeley students who identify as members of Antifa and participated in last school year’s clashes. The article does not address an issue important to UC’s PR efforts, namely the degree to which Antifa’s composition is made up of students and non-students. After a violent protest last school year, then Chancellor Dirks in a statement characterized the violent Antifa protestors as distinct from students. The article featured a transgender student and Muslim student who both say they feel threatened on campus. The article’s author notes one intention of the piece is to to complicate the image of Antifa as a white male movement focused on making trouble. The article also quotes Nathan Damigo, a white nationalist activist from Cal State Stanislaus who was recorded punching a woman at a protest in Berkeley. Asked about plans to return to Berkeley, Damigo said, “We have some plans.”

In other news, UC Irvine continued to receive criticism for rescinding 500 admissions offers based on slumping senior year grades and missed deadlines, including from San Francisco Assemblyman Phil Ting, who asked the UC president to intervene. The move by Irvine was interpreted as a way to lesson the strain of higher than anticipated enrollment. On Wednesday, Irvine’s chancellor announced all students would be admitted, except those whose offers were revoked for academic reasons. However, those students will be offered an “expedited process” to review any extenuating circumstances. An op-ed in the New York Times praised the reversal and the chancellor’s mea culpa.

In other news, as the Trump administrations eyes changes to how the Justice Department views campus affirmative action, the history of Proposition 209’s impact on UC has received renewed attention. In a statement, UC President Napolitano stressed the importance of maintaining a diverse student body. Meanwhile, a decision to reduce the number of managed funds in the UC’s investment portfolio has helped to increase investment returns, with the endowment gaining 14 percent in 11 months.


8/4 – Behind Berkeley’s Semester of Hate (NYT): The article also notes that Milo Yiannopoulos plans to host a week-long “tent city” on Sproul this fall.

UC Irvine

8/2 – Press Release: Message from UCI Chancellor about current admission issues (UCI): Chancellor Howard Gillman wrote, “The stories of our students whose college dreams were crushed by our decision to withdraw admissions to hundreds of students are heartbreaking. And unacceptable.”

8/3 – Op-Ed: A College Admits a Big Mistake. Imagine That. (NYT):

7/31 – Ting rips UC for withdrawing admission to hundreds at Irvine (SFGate): In a statement, Ting said, “Instead of taking the initiative to effectively communicate with students making life changing decisions, Irvine played a high stakes gotcha game with students.”

Other News

8/4 – The impact of affirmative action at the University of California in one graphic (Guardian): The article notes that the share of black and hispanic students has declined.

8/1 – For many UC Berkeley students, affordable housing is elusive (Berkeleyside): The median rent for a two-bedroom in Berkeley is $2,800.

8/2 – Statement of UC President Janet Napolitano on public university admissions (UCOP): Napolitano: The full statement: “Over the years public universities have been the one tried and true tactic for addressing issues of inequality in our country. Thus, UC has been increasing its outreach efforts to historically underrepresented groups like Latinos and African Americans, while still bound to the strictures of Proposition 209, which bars consideration of race or ethnicity in granting admission. It would be tragic, to say the least, if these efforts somehow ran afoul of this reported misguided Justice Department initiative. ”

8/1 – Money-Manager Purge Boosts University of California’s Return (Bloomberg): The value of UC’s assets are just above $110 billion.


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.