Sunday, April 23, 2017

Erosion of the Master Plan

Erosion eventually undermines a once-solid structure
From time to time, this blog has pointed to the political erosion of the 1960 Master Plan. Dan Walters, in a column in the Sacramento Bee, points to two bills currently in the legislature which move in that direction.*

One (AB405) would allow community colleges to offer 4-year degrees in cybersecurity.** The pattern in the legislature has been to find some topic in which no formal 4-year degree is being offered by UC or CSU and then propose that community colleges should fill the gap.

The other bill (AB207) would authorize Fresno State U to open a medical school.***

Although Walters characterizes these two bills as "stalled," there will be more such bills in the future and some will be enacted. The Master Plan was developed because at the time such ad hoc developments were occurring as every higher ed institution sought to build its own empire. So maybe it's time to consider developing a new plan rather than have the legislature create an incoherent jumble of programs.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Uh Oh - Part 2

We have noted in prior posts the apparently upcoming Ann Coulter appearance at Berkeley. Earlier this year, there was the clash over the appearance of Milo Yiannopoulos that led to violence. Yiannopoulos - probably to take advantage of the publicity given the Coulter event - has announced a return to Berkeley. However, no specific date was announced:

Conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos announced that he was planning to launch a comeback tour after his abrupt resignation as editor from the far-right website Breitbart News earlier this year. The multi-day event, which he called "Milo's Free Speech Week," is scheduled be held in Berkeley, California — one of the cities known for its promotion of free speech since the 1960s — sometime later this year... "If UC Berkeley does not actively assist us in the planning and execution of this event, we will extend festivities to an entire month," he said...

Full story at

The Coulter matter, in particular, may come up at the next Regents meeting in May, especially if litigation arises from it* or if violence ensues.
"Students who invited right-wing pundit Ann Coulter to UC Berkeley next week gave campus administrators an ultimatum Friday: Let her speak on campus Thursday evening or they will sue the university in federal court on grounds UC is violating their constitutional right to free speech." Full story at:

Friday, April 21, 2017

Berkeley is getting it from all angles today
As they say:

Health Care Fraud

The University of California is alleging that it’s uncovered a scheme that targeted hundreds of students through its student healthcare plan and cost the UC almost $12 million.

In a complaint filed Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, the UC said the scheme used information from more than 500 students enrolled in its systemwide Student Health Insurance Plan that allowed doctors to write fraudulent medical prescriptions.

The UC is seeking a temporary restraining order hoping to halt the practice and the people behind it.

According to the UC, students were invited via social media to participate in fake clinical trials or recruited at campus job fairs. They were asked to divulge health insurance information, which the UC contends was used to forge prescriptions, court documents said. Payment for those prescriptions was made by the UC’s heath system...

Full story at

Berkeley's Call for May Day

UC Berkeley flip-flops on Ann Coulter, proposes May date

Jocelyn Gecker, Associated Press, 4-20, 17, Sacramento Bee

University of California, Berkeley officials said Thursday they have a "grave concern" of violence on campus if Ann Coulter follows through on her vow to speak next week at the university.

Chancellor Nicholas B. Dirks instead proposed an alternate May 2 date for the conservative author, reversing a decision from a day earlier when officials canceled the event.

Coulter took to Twitter to reject the offer, saying she will appear next Thursday as originally planned.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Proposal for Salvage Operation?

Bruin Editorial: UCLA should use Luskin Conference Center for hotel management program

The opening of the Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference Center came with a proclamation from Chancellor Gene Block: The center would “serve our Bruin Community with distinction.” Nine months and $3.7 million in losses later, the promised benefits for students are almost nonexistent.

This is the center’s first year in operation, so the monetary losses aren’t surprising. But they are troubling, especially considering the occupancy numbers for the past fiscal year revealed that barely any of the bookings for rooms came from students.

If UCLA really wants to serve the entire Bruin community, it should implement a hotel management program at the undergraduate or graduate level that would use Luskin’s existing facilities to provide a formal academic program for students interested in hospitality or hotel services as a career...

Full editorial at

The Purge

From the Bruin:

The director of a UCLA child care center was placed on an indefinite leave last week and replaced by an interim director.

Moises Roman, who was the director of the Krieger Center in the UCLA Early Care and Education program, will be replaced by Sue Ballentine, announced Brad Erickson, the executive director of Campus Service Enterprises. Erickson said he would not specify why Roman was put on leave because of confidentiality laws.

Ballentine, who has worked for the ECE for 18 years, will immediately take over Roman’s role as interim director, Erickson said in an email statement. She served as a Krieger Center director and was formerly a director at the Pacific Oaks Children’s School and the elementary school and preschool St. James’ Episcopal School.

Officials are searching for someone to permanently fill Roman’s position, Erickson said.

The management change comes a couple months after a task force completed its investigation of the ECE. The task force was commissioned by Scott Waugh, executive vice chancellor and provost, after parents said the center had a hostile environment for parents and teachers, as well as a high turnover rate. In February, the task force released its findings and made suggestions for improvements.

Shortly before the task force released its report, Jayanti Tambe, the ECE executive director, resigned to pursue a graduate degree. Several parents accused Tambe of being the catalyst for problems at the ECE.

The task force recommended that officials hire a new executive director and clarify the role of site directors. Before the investigation, some parents said they felt some site directors favored certain teachers and poorly managed the ECE sites.

The task force also recommended hiring a new administrative director who would deal with tasks unrelated to child care, including human resources, finance and Title IX compliance.

Gerardo Soto, who was a teacher and director for the Fernald Center, also resigned from his position Monday. Child care center officials have not yet announced Soto’s replacement.

Erickson said he is working with ECE staff, parents and UCLA officials to implement task force recommendations.