Monday, February 27, 2017

No happy returns

The Returns to Online Postsecondary Education

by Caroline M. Hoxby  -  National Bureau of Economic Research working paper #23193

AbstractThis study analyzes longitudinal data on nearly every person who engaged in postsecondary education that was wholly or substantially online between 1999 and 2014. It shows how much they and taxpayers paid for the education and how their earnings changed as a result. I compute both private returns-on-investment (ROIs) and social ROIs, which are relevant for governments--especially the federal government. The findings provide little support for optimistic prognostications about online education. It is not substantially less expensive than comparable in-person education. Students themselves pay more for online education than in-person education. Online enrollment usually does raise a person's earnings, but almost never by enough to cover the social cost of the education. There is scant evidence that online enrollment moves people toward jobs associated with higher labor productivity. Calculations indicate that federal taxpayers fund most of the cost of online postsecondary education and are extremely unlikely to recoup their investment in the form of higher future tax payments by former students. The evidence also suggests that many online students will struggle to repay their federal loans.


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Why are these folks smiling?

Date: March 3, 2017
Location: Luskin Conference Center, Centennial Hall, Salons C & D, Los Angeles Campus

12:30 pm - Closed Session

1:00 pm - Open Session

*Public Comment Period
*Action Approval of the Minutes of the Meeting of December 5, 2016
*H3 Discussion Remarks of the Executive Vice President – UC Health
*H4 Action Approval of Salary Adjustment Using Non-State Funds for President, UCLA Health System (John Mazziota - left) and Chief Executive Officer, UCLA Hospital System, Los Angeles Campus as Discussed in Closed Session (Johnese Spisso - right)

See and

Saturday, February 25, 2017


Sometimes, news stories are said to bury the lede, meaning that the real message is hidden in the text.

In the case below, one wonders if the lede is buried so deep that it cannot be found at all. Perhaps the real message is that adding to enrollments without sufficient additional funding is the cause of the shortage.

From the Bruin:

Some graduate students teach undergraduate courses outside of their departments because of a shortage in teaching assistants.
There has been a teaching assistant shortage in divisions like life sciences and physical sciences because the undergraduate student population has increased faster than the graduate student population over the past few years, said Victoria Sork, dean of the life sciences division.
She said that because of this deficit, some TAs from the engineering and public health departments, which have fewer undergraduate classes and subsequently fewer teaching positions, have begun instructing courses in the life sciences...

Friday, February 24, 2017

Listen to the Regents: Feb. 23, 2017

Our Masters' Voices
The UC Regents held a special session yesterday to confirm the appointment of Gary May as the new UC-Davis Chancellor. Apparently, they did not want to postpone the official ratification of the selection until the March meetings.

As usual, we preserve the audio of the meeting since the Regents insist on "preserving" their recording for only one year. No one knows why. Or if they do, no one will say why. So we persevere.

You can hear the meeting (under 14 minutes) at the link below:

More on the UC Prez and Immigration

The Atlantic magazine runs a long article on the UC prez and her stance on immigration:

Why Immigrant Students Are Changing Their Minds About Janet Napolitano

When Janet Napolitano was named president of the University of California over three years ago, her appointment provoked impassioned protests by students and others upset about her role as head of the Department of Homeland Security overseeing the deportation of more than 2.5 million undocumented immigrants...

Fast forward to today. Napolitano has emerged as one of the leading defenders of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which at least for now President Trump appears to have spared, despite vowing during the presidential campaign to rescind it. The program has provided temporary relief from deportation to three-quarters of 1 million undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children, including many attending the University of California.

Students who once opposed Napolitano now welcome her support. “I am happy and appreciative that the president of the university system is responding to the needs of undocumented students at this unique time in history,” said Flores, who directs the Dream Resource Center at UCLA’s Labor Center, offering a range of programs on behalf of immigrant students...

Full story at

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Westwood Regent Theater Will Close

Westwood Village, once the place where big films opened in Los Angeles, is about to be down to just two remaining movie houses. The owner of the Landmark Regent Theatre on Broxton Avenue has filed plans with the city to convert the auditorium space into two restaurants, Los Angeles Magazine reports.
The Regent opened in 1966 as a Laemmle theatre, in a 1946 building that originally housed retail stores — including the Oakley Barber Shop, a Westwood Village fixture now located on Gayley Avenue. Laemmle ran it until Mann Theaters took over in the 1970s. Landmark began operating the Regent in 2002...
Full story at:
A few years ago, the theater was said to have earthquake safety issues:

UC Prez Critiques Immigration Policy

University of California President Janet Napolitano blasted the Trump administration's immigration crackdown on Wednesday, calling it a step backward that would make communities less safe.

Napolitano, who served as U.S. Homeland Security secretary under President Obama, said the vast expansion of deportation priorities announced by the White House this week would not work in the long run.

"The new guidance essentially makes all undocumented immigrants in the United States priorities for enforcement," she said in a statement given to The Times. "When everyone is a priority, there are essentially no priorities — and my experience as secretary of Homeland Security and governor of Arizona showed clearly that the lack of priorities undermines effective immigrant enforcement and makes our communities less safe.

"I’m also deeply concerned that such broad, ill-defined parameters will stoke fear and anxiety in immigrant communities across the nation, making immigrants — whether here legally or undocumented — much less likely to work with local law enforcement to help keep our communities safe.

"This approach is a step backward from the progress the Obama administration made to establish a more just, humane immigration system and it also fails to comprehensively address the many areas of our immigration system that need to be addressed," she said.

The Trump administration did not say what it would do with so-called Dreamers — young people brought to the country illegally as children and given protection under Obama. Napolitano said UC would continue to protect and defend such students, who number about 3,700 on its campuses.