Saturday, December 31, 2011
Friday, December 30, 2011
Thursday, December 29, 2011
The preliminary summary from the San Francisco Chronicle seems to suggest that the redevelopment agencies are gone. I don't think that is quite so - as noted above, the legislature can still work out something: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/12/29/BA6R1MI73D.DTL
The LA Times version is similar to the Chronicle's: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/12/california-supreme-court-redevelopment-agency-ruling.html
The LA Business Journal's account refers to possible legislative action to save redevelopment agencies: http://labusinessjournal.com/news/2011/dec/29/court-upholds-brown-plan-dissolve-redevelopment-ag/
Maybe the lesson for all concerned in this case is sometimes its better to leave things alone:
The court proceeding should go off on schedule - but you never know:
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office charged Harran and the UC regents with three counts each of willfully violating occupational health and safety standards, resulting in Sangji's death. Harran and UCLA are accused of failing to correct unsafe work conditions in a timely manner, to require clothing appropriate for the work being done and to provide proper chemical safety training. An arrest warrant was issued for Harran, 42, who faces up to four and a half years in state prison, according to a district attorney's spokeswoman…
Official UCLA statement at http://www.newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/campus-statement-regarding-criminal-221248.aspx
Technical details on the 2008 accident with updates and links at http://www.chemistry-blog.com/2009/01/20/tert-butyllithium-claims-fellow-chemist-at-ucla/
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Across the nation, a historic collapse in state funding for higher education threatens to diminish the stature of premier public universities and erode their mission as engines of upward social mobility. At the University of Virginia, state support has dwindled in two decades from 26 percent of the operating budget to 7 percent. At the University of Michigan, it has declined from 48 percent to 17 percent. Not even the nation’s finest public university is immune. The University of California at Berkeley — birthplace of the free-speech movement, home to nine living Nobel laureates — subsists now in perpetual austerity. Star faculty take mandatory furloughs. Classes grow perceptibly larger each year. Roofs leak; e-mail crashes. One employee mows the entire campus. Wastebaskets are emptied once a week. Some professors lack telephones…
Full article: http://www.sacbee.com/2011/12/27/4146490/the-buzz-pension-reform-crusader.html
Monday, December 26, 2011
The excerpts include the formal statements of the two witnesses from UC plus a question and answer session which followed similar testimony by CSU witnesses. The main information to be found in these excerpts is that there is likely to be a UC-systemwide policy about police activity that comes out of the various reviews. March 1, 2012 was given as the probable date in which the findings/outcomes would be released. Note that there are occasional silent pauses due to interruptions in streaming. President Yudof indicated he found no conflict of interest involved in the choice of former LA Police Chief William Bratton to conduct an investigation. Some legislators expressed concern about what they perceived as a large number of independently-conducted investigations going on at UC. Links are below:
Alternative audio link of full excerpt (not divided into parts):
Note 1: The CSU portions were largely edited out although some elements remain since they were part of the general discussion.
Note 2: Full video of the hearings is available in three parts from CalChannel. The excerpts here are from parts 1 and 2. It is not known how long CalChannel will retain the hearings online. There are 3 links at:
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
Although the new wing of the UCLA-Santa Monica Hospital was dedicated some time ago, the Wilshire side remained surrounded by an ugly chain link fence until recently. Yours truly passed by yesterday and took this photo. The Wilshire gate is still locked, however, and a sign declares the front landscaped area to be a construction zone. It's unclear what is being constructed.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
The map shown above represents Westwood and UCLA in 1934. It is a component of a larger LA-area map available for manipulation at http://www.bigmapblog.com/2011/los-angeles-the-wonder-city-of-america-1934/
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
FAQs for Film and Photography Shoots at UCLA
Summary: Here are the answers to your most frequently asked questions.
How much notice can I give before scouting?
Please email or call the UCLA Events Office to schedule a scout. Depending
on the number of locations, we will need between two to five working days
to schedule a scout.
Where can I film?
Filming is allowed in most quads, some exteriors of buildings, some
classrooms, hallways, auditoriums, sidewalks and streets. Locations will
be approved on a case by case basis and is contingent on the Academic
Calendar and on availability of the specific location.
What areas are restricted?
Filming is not allowed at the following locations: The UCLA Medical Center,
medical offices, labs, dorm rooms, private offices, dining halls, Murphy Hall,
Chancellor’s Residence, full façade of Royce Hall, full façade of Powell
Library, full façade of Kerckhoff Hall, and the Bruin Bear.
Do I need script approval from the University?
A film permit can not be issued without script approval from the University.
A script or storyboard must be submitted in advance for consideration.
What if I have a parking citation while filming there?
All parking citations received during filming will not be rescinded by the
University. Please follow normal procedures to contest all parking citations.
The instructions on how to contest are written on the back of the citation.
Can I bring my own caterer?
The production company is allowed to bring in its own caterer to most
locations on campus.
I am making a low budget feature, is there a discount?
While we agree that your film project is important, UCLA is non-profit and
as such can not discount any rates.
Can I film stock footage of the campus?
Stock footage of the campus is prohibited.
Film Locations Management — UCLA Events Office
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: (310) 825-8989| Fax: (310) 825-1179
For a much less notable film done at UCLA, see:
Monday, December 19, 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Anyway, they said there will be another meeting:
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Friday, December 16, 2011
It’s been over a week since Faculty Association Executive Director Susan Gallick offered to come over and get the business plan for the proposed hotel/conference center. As readers of this blog will recall, the Faculty Association has submitted a Public Records Act request for the plan and so far received no plan or any related documents.
See her offer at http://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/2011/12/public-documents-request-on-hotel-we.html
Underneath any enterprise, there has to be a sound business plan. So can we peel back the pretty (but “conceptual”) drawings of the hotel and have the plan revealed? Perhaps this video will help set the mood:
Thursday, December 15, 2011
We earlier posted the bulk of the Regents meeting of Nov. 28 up to the point where demonstrations temporarily shut down the proceedings. The Nov. 28 meeting was the result of a postponement of the meeting originally scheduled for two weeks earlier. That meeting was cancelled due to concern over possible violent demonstrations.
We now have the audio for the brief portion of the meeting that resumed (about 17 minutes). Various capital projects were approved. There was a further disturbance at one point. Minutes of committees were approved. A change in compensation reporting practices was approved. Various executive compensation adjustments were approved with President Yudof arguing that they were necessary for retention and complaining about losses to Stanford which paid more. (One Regent voted “no” on the pay increases. Notably, Lt. Gov. Newsom voted “yes.”)
The audio for the part of the meeting before the interruption is at http://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/2011/11/listen-to-audio-from-regents-meeting-of.html
Audio of the concluding portion of the Nov. 28 meeting is below:
The UC Regents Committee on Compliance and Audit met on November 7, 2011 in advance of the full Regents meeting that was originally scheduled for the following week. The full Regents meeting was postponed due to concern about possible violent demonstrations. This blog has been making available audios of the Regents meetings. A link to the audio can be found at the bottom of this blog entry.
During the public comment section of the Committee meeting, the first speaker made a satirical speech for privatizing UC on behalf of the 1%, as opposed to the 99%, as per the Occupy movement. There was discussion at the Committee of funding of retirement benefits. The agenda is below:
COMMITTEE ON COMPLIANCE AND AUDIT
Committee membership: Regents Crane, Makarechian, Mireles, Pelliccioni, Ruiz, and Zettel (Chair); Ex officio members Brown, Gould, and Lansing; Advisory member Anderson; Staff Advisor Herbert
Date: November 7, 2011
Time: 2:30 p.m.
Locations: 1111 Franklin Street, Room 11326, Oakland ; West Coast Room, Covel Commons, Los Angeles Campus; 3104 Mosher Alumni House, Santa Barbara Campus
Agenda – Open Session (there was a closed session before this audio begins)
Public Comment Period
Action Approval of the Minutes of the Meeting of September 13, 2011
A5 Discussion Annual Report of External Auditors for the Year Ended June 30, 2011
UC Annual Financial Report,
UC Retirement Plan, including the PERS-VERIP,
UC Retirement Savings Program (Defined Contribution, 403b and 457b Plans),
UC Health and Welfare Program, including the retiree health benefit trust
Annual Financial Reports for each of the five UC Medical Centers.
A6 Discussion Chief Financial Officer Division AIM Report: Actionable Information for Managers
A7 Discussion Annual Report on Internal Audit Activities, 2010-11
A8 Discussion Report on Ethics and Compliance Activities
The full agenda with attachments is at http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/regents/regmeet/nov11/audit.pdf
The text below in italics is from UC President Yudof’s Facebook page. As noted in a prior post on this blog, there are hints of a multiyear-tuition-increase/steady-budget-support-from-the-state being discussed behind closed doors with Brown administration officials. See the bold print below.
We are extremely disappointed that UC is faced with yet another significant State budget reduction: the $100 million “trigger cut” just announced. This additional cut will exacerbate the fiscal challenges the University faces in the current year and place additional stress on the quality of education provided to UC students. While the $650 million cut to UC enacted by the State last June resulted in additional tuition hikes for our students, let me assure you there are no 2011-12 mid-year tuition increases planned.
Over the past several years, cuts to higher education by the Governor and the Legislature have had a severe impact on students, their families, faculty and staff. The University has consistently objected to additional mid-year cuts, and while we certainly understand the ongoing fiscal challenges the State faces, we are requesting that this latest reduction be considered a one-time cut to UC’s budget and not made a permanent reduction. We will ask to have this funding restored to UC at the beginning of the next fiscal year (July 1, 2012).
In the current economic environment, marked by a huge State deficit and a limited revenue stream, we recognize that the Governor is in the eye of a “perfect storm.”
As we draw closer to the 2012-13 State budget release in January, however, we are asking the Governor to refrain from any additional cuts to higher education. Faculty and staff have sacrificed, and our students in particular have given more than their fair share.
Moreover, as we move forward, we will continue to work closely with State officials to develop a long-term revenue plan that will give the University much-needed financial stability.
This has been a challenging year for the University of California. I understand the concerns that many in the UC community have voiced over the recent incidents surrounding student protests on some of our campuses. I assure you that a thorough review of these incidents is in progress. I am making every effort possible to protect our long-held traditions of free speech and peaceful protests. During these difficult times, I ask you not to lose sight of our common goals—to make public higher education a priority and to keep a UC education accessible and affordable for Californians.
Thank you for your continued support for the University of California and best wishes for a happy holiday season.
Mark G. Yudof
University of California
One problem with this strategy is that a handshake deal between the UC president and the governor on a "compact" reached behind closed doors did not work out well under Schwarzenegger. The governor cannot appropriate funds; only the legislature can. To make such a deal work, there needs to be wider participation including the legislature, the Legislative Analyst, major interest groups, etc.
It would be nice to know what is going on behind the door:
Our earlier post on this subject is at http://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/2011/12/buried-lede-uc-reviving-multiyear.html
Below is the press release and a related video. Note that the aid is said to be financed by non-state sources including recycling revenue from out-of-state students.
UC Berkeley launches groundbreaking middle-class financial aid plan
By Public Affairs, UC Berkeley | December 14, 2011
University of California, Berkeley, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau announced today (Wednesday, Dec. 14) a new financial aid program to help middle-class families pay for the growing cost of an undergraduate degree.
For families whose gross income ranges from $80,000 to $140,000 annually, the new plan caps the contribution parents make toward the total annual cost of a UC Berkeley student’s education at 15 percent of their earnings. Total cost includes tuition, fees and expenses, such as room, board and books.
The initiative, named Berkeley MCAP (Middle Class Access Plan), is the first program in the nation at a public university to extend comprehensive financial aid to this category of middle-class families. The university is launching this initiative in recognition of California’s high cost of living, the challenges these families face and the significant tuition increases of recent years.
“Berkeley has an outstanding record of providing access through financial aid for students. As a result, our undergraduates leave college with among the lowest levels of student debt in the country,” said Birgeneau. “While our extraordinary commitment to financial aid has, in recent years, led to both an increasing number of lower income students on the Berkeley campus and a reduction in their net cost of attendance, we see early signs that middle-income families who cannot access existing assistance programs are straining to meet college costs. As a public institution we feel strongly that we need to sustain and expand access across the socio-economic spectrum. This plan is part of our commitment to ensuring that financial challenges do not prevent qualified students from attending one of the preeminent public universities in the nation.”
Financial aid awarded through the new program will be for the 2012-13 school year, which begins in August, and is for domestic undergraduate students, including incoming freshmen. Berkeley MCAP will augment the campus’s robust financial aid program that already provides grant aid to more than half of the campus’s 25,885 undergraduates and has lowered by 15 percent since 2005 the net cost of attendance for students from the most economically disadvantaged families. UC Berkeley distributes more than $600 million each year in grants, loans, work-study, fellowships and scholarships. Currently, approximately 40 percent of all undergraduates effectively pay no tuition.
Berkeley MCAP will assist all families within the $80-140,000 income range that have assets of less than $200,000, excluding the value of a home and retirement savings. Campus officials estimate that about 6,000 undergraduate students come from families in this income range. Residents of other states also will be eligible for assistance, although this program will not cover the cost of non-resident tuition. International students will not be eligible for Berkeley MCAP assistance. The parameters of the program will be reviewed on an annual basis.
“As state support for Berkeley has declined by more than half in just the past few years, tuition has increased dramatically, making up for only a portion of this disinvestment,” said Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Harry LeGrande. “Today, the total cost of attendance is at a level that can be easily accommodated only by affluent families. Even as we continue to advocate for increased state support, we feel the need to address the very real issues of our middle-class families.”
Campus budget officials estimate that Berkeley MCAP will require between $10 million and $12 million in funding over the course of the 2012-13 academic year. They said they will not use state funds to fund the program, but instead will redirect expanded financial aid resources, philanthropy and revenue from the increased number of UC Berkeley students paying non-resident tuition.
The current cost of attendance at UC Berkeley for California residents living on campus is estimated to average $32,634 per year for students living on campus, including $12,834 in tuition and fees. Non-residents pay an additional $22,878 per year. To reduce the cost of attendance, students from economically disadvantaged families receive substantial grant aid from sources that include Pell Grants, Cal Grants and direct aid from the University of California.
The Berkeley MCAP announcement is being made now to ensure that families of students applying for 2012-13 admission know about Berkeley MCAP assistance before the financial aid application process begins in early January. UC Berkeley’s acting director of financial aid, Rachelle Feldman, encouraged eligible families of both currently enrolled and prospective students to file the “Free Application for Federal Student Aid” (FAFSA) form if they wish to be eligible for Berkeley MCAP.
“For these families, it’s a three-way partnership: Parents, students, and financial aid all make a contribution toward the cost of attendance. The Berkeley MCAP program is designed to help families with costs above and beyond the amount we expect students themselves to contribute,” Feldman said. “All students receiving financial aid assume some responsibility for paying for their own education, usually through work-study or student loans. At the same time, we take great pride in the fact that our students have, on average, among the lowest student debt levels in the nation upon graduation: The 40 percent of our undergraduates who graduate with any loans have an average debt of $16,056, as opposed to the national average of $25,000 for two-thirds of graduating students.”
According to recent reports from the Public Policy Institute of California, approximately half of all families in the state are in the middle-income bracket, and the gap between the highest and lowest income families is the widest in 30 years. Chancellor Birgeneau noted that the institute found that, “The most important factor driving the gap between high- and low-income workers is education,” and said he supports the report’s request that the state find “innovative ways to promote opportunity through education, especially so that middle- and lower-income families are not left behind.”
“The Berkeley MCAP program is necessary and completely consistent with everything we stand for as an institution,” Birgeneau said. “Public universities are the gateway to the American Dream, and the engine of future economic growth. We will continue to do everything in our power to serve the greater good through steps to preserve the excellence and affordability of this university.”
Video of the announcement: