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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Unsolicited Follow-Up for Our Unsolicited Traffic Stop Advice

Devoted blog readers will recall our unsolicited advice of last Wednesday to the folks in Murphy Hall.  We suggested that they spend their Thanksgiving weekend trying to figure out what happened when a UCLA police car stopped a motorist in Westwood for driving without a seatbelt buckled.  According to the Huffington Post, African-American Judge Superior Court Judge David Cunningham exited L.A. Fitness Gym around 10 am on Wednesday. ["Start" on the map above.]
Presumably, he pulled out of the garage you can see above in his Mercedes - beltless - and proceeded north on Gayley.  According to the press release issued by UCLA later in the day, he was stopped by UCLA police in front of 1050 Gayley. ["Stopped" on map.]
Although the press release does not identify that address, it happens to be the busy Whole Foods market shown above.  So it is likely that there are witnesses to what happened next.  [Hint to Murphy.  Better find out what they saw.  Judge Cunningham's lawyer probably will be doing just that.]

Huffington Post account is at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/26/ucla-police-superior-court-judge_n_4345185.html

UCLA press release is at http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/statement-249534.aspx

The map shows that the southern edge of the UCLA campus is not in the immediate vicinity of the Whole Foods market.  We noted in our previous post that although UCLA police may have the legal right to stop cars for minor traffic infractions, there is an interesting question of whether such efforts are a good use of campus resources.  Does a Mercedes traveling two or so blocks in Westwood without a buckled safety belt really involve a threat to the campus?

It appears that things got out of hand with the judge handcuffed for a time.  We can't imagine how that could happen:
Anyway, we look forward to a preliminary report by the end of this weekend for the sake of - you know - "campus climate."

Friday, November 29, 2013

Reviving Westwood

Westwood went into decline after a visitor was killed in a shooting between rival gang members in 1988.  Since that time, various efforts have been made at reviving the area which still features empty stores up and down Westwood Blvd. Warren Olney on KCRW’s “Which Way LA?” did a segment on “Will Westwood Every Be Hip Again?” on Nov. 26, 2013.  The program notes the empty stores and the decline of Westwood as a popular destination since the late 1980s.  Yours truly had trouble downloading or playing the segment so we provide an alternative link to it below.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Monday Visit

From the Daily Bruin:

University of California President Janet Napolitano and actress Eva Longoria will visit UCLA on Monday to discuss how to improve educational outcomes for Latinas. The speakers are expected to reveal new initiatives of their own to enhance Latinas’ educational opportunities, according to the UCLA Graduate School for Education and Information Studies, which is hosting the panel event...  Only those who RSVP’d can attend Monday’s panel. The event is currently full...

Full article at http://dailybruin.com/2013/11/27/napolitano-longoria-to-discuss-latina-education-at-ucla/

Unsolicited Advice for All UCLA and UC Faculty

Yesterday, we provided some unsolicited - and maybe unwelcome? - advice for the folks in Murphy Hall.  Today, we provide some advice for all UCLA and UC faculty.  Actually, it is a reminder of advice that we give from time to time.  We live in an age where the word "transparency" has taken on an aura of unmitigated goodness.  In practice, transparency - at public universities - can mean invasions of privacy when it comes to emails.  Emails at public universities are subject to public documents requests.  From time to time, groups that don't like what some faculty has said about some issue of the day go on fishing expeditions in his/her emails.

A colleague at another university sent yours truly the following item which can service as a reminder to regard what you say in emails and other records as potentially public:

A group of law professors at UNC-Chapel Hill is standing behind Gene Nichol, director of the school’s poverty center, after a conservative think tank requested the left-leaning professor’s emails, phone records and calendars.Thirty law professors signed a letter questioning the motives of the Raleigh-based Civitas Institute, which promotes limited government and implementation of conservative policies. On Oct. 25, the institute used the state’s public records law to seek six weeks’ worth of Nichol’s email correspondence, his calendar entries, phone logs, text messages and a list of electronic devices issued to Nichol by the university...

Full article at https://portside.org/2013-11-27/north-carolina-faculty-complain-after-conservative-group-seeks-liberal-professor%E2%80%99s-email

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Unsolicited Thanksgiving Advice for Murphy Hall

Dear Murphy: 

The Judge Cunningham affair is a real turkey for you.*  You might want to spend your Thanksgiving weekend finding out what happened.  A good place to start might be by asking why campus police would be bothering with a minor off-campus traffic infraction unrelated to UCLA.  

Katehi apologizing
It's not a question of having jurisdiction, so let's not get entangled with legalities of whether it was technically OK to stop the judge.  It's a question of priorities and common sense.  

Remember the Pepper Spray Cop affair at UC-Davis and how the chancellor there spent months apologizing, investigating, testifying, etc.?  You really don't want anything like that affair to develop.  Ask Davis Chancellor Katehi [see photo] about whether spending her time that way was something best to avoid.

Just a thought.  Enjoy your holiday.

Sincerely,
Yours Truly

*www.latimes.com/local/la-me-judge-ucla-20131126,0,3286857.story


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Eviction

There have been worse landlord-tenant disputes
From the Daily Bruin:

A former UCLA employee reached an undisclosed settlement agreement with the UCLA Foundation Monday morning, the culmination of an eviction lawsuit brought forward by the university. In late October, the UCLA Foundation served Roselle Kipp with a lawsuit asking the court to evict Kipp from the boarding house that the UCLA Foundation owned, said Magda Madrigal, Kipp’s attorney. The UCLA Foundation assumed control over the property after the owner, Jorge Estrada, died in December of last year and bequeathed it to the foundation in a trust deed, Madrigal said.Estrada operated the property as a boarding house enabling tenants – namely UCLA students and employees – to stay there in exchange for performing chores and paying a subsidized rent fee...

Full story at http://dailybruin.com/2013/11/26/ucla-foundation-reaches-settlement-with-former-employee/ 

No room for her at the UCLA Grand Hotel?

Losing Our Edge

Probably a different Edge

Report: Calif. losing its edge in higher education

More attention must be paid to the California State University system and to the state's community colleges if California is going to produce the educated workers its economy needs, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom says in a report set to be issued Tuesday.  The report commissioned by Newsom argues that the state is losing its place as a national leader in higher education.  The report, prepared by the nonpartisan Committee for Economic Development based in Washington, D.C., finds that the percentage of young adults earning associate and bachelor's degrees in California already is below the U.S. average and predicts the trend will persist unless the system is overhauled to serve an increasingly diverse and low-income population...

Full story at http://www.sacbee.com/2013/11/25/5947219/report-calif-losing-its-edge-in.html

Reflections Shortly After the Kennedy Assassination

JFK at UCLA, Nov. 2, 1959
Yours truly will be traveling and out of town for about a week so less blogging than normal is likely.  But we did post on Nov. 22, the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, some Kennedy material.  (A phone call involving Kennedy, then-Governor Pat Brown, and young student Jerry Brown.)  Shortly after the assassination came the killing of Lee Harvey Oswald over the weekend.  On the Monday following that weekend, New York radio commentator and humorist Jean Shepherd deviated from the usual format of his broadcast to talk about the Kennedy assassination, the office of president, and the society at that time as he saw it.  [We posted Shepherd ribbing UCLA about some courses offered this past Sunday.]

You can hear that broadcast in three parts at the links below.
Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:

Monday, November 25, 2013

An Arresting Development

The story below is being picked up by various news sources.  From the LA Times website:

An African American judge who has accused UCLA police of excessive force ignored officers' orders to stay in his car, UCLA officials said Monday. David S. Cunningham III, a former Los Angeles Police Commission president, filed a complaint against the officers after they allegedly shoved him against his car, handcuffed him and locked him in the back seat of their police cruiser." During the course of the traffic stop, police officers instructed the driver to stay inside the vehicle and returned to their patrol car to run a routine license and registration check," UCLA said in a statement released late Monday afternoon. "Despite these instructions, the driver left the vehicle – an escalating behavior that can place officers at risk."Cunningham "stood in the roadway" and refused to get back in his car, the statement said. As a result, he was temporarily handcuffed. He was released at the scene shortly after being cited for failing to wear a seat belt. UCLA said it is conducting an internal investigation and reviewing video routinely filmed from the police car. According to Cunningham’s account, he was pulled over in his Mercedes about 10 a.m. Saturday as he was in the process of buckling his seat belt after paying a parking attendant near L.A. Fitness. He was dressed in a black gym shirt and shorts. Officer Kevin Dodd asked to see his driver's license. Cunningham handed them his wallet. Then the officers requested registration and insurance. When Cunningham reached for his glove box, an officer “yelled at me not to move,” he said in the complaint. “I became irritated and told him that I need to look for the paper.” A prescription pill bottle rolled out of the glove compartment, prompting the officer to ask if he was carrying drugs. The medicine was for high blood pressure, said Cunningham's attorney, Carl Douglas. Cunningham couldn't find the paperwork in the glove compartment and told officers he thought it might be in the trunk.“When I got out of the car to search my trunk, Officer Dodd shoved me against my car, told me I was under arrest for resisting and locked me in the back seat,” Cunningham wrote in the complaint...

Here is a local TV report [may include ad]:

405 Closure Tonight and Tomorrow Night

The northbound I-405 (all lanes) will be closed from Santa Monica Boulevard to Wilshire Boulevard from midnight until 5 am on the morning of Tuesday, November 26th.

Also, there will be another closure the following day, November 27th, Midnight until 5 am.

Sit-In at GSEIS

A complicated story of a sit-in at a class at GS&EIS is emerging.  There were earlier reports in the Daily Bruin [see links below] and elsewhere.  This one - excerpted below from Inside Higher Ed - gives the clearest description:

...(S)ome graduate students are weighing in on what they see as a climate of hostility toward minority students, both in the Graduate School of Education’s Information’s Social Science and Comparative Education division and at UCLA as a whole. But the grad students' interruption of a class session with a sit-in has other graduate students questioning their tactics -- and some say their accusations are unfair....

Regular coursework was suspended for about an hour because of the sit-in. “A hostile campus climate has been the norm for Students of Color in this class throughout the quarter as our epistemological and methodological commitments have been repeatedly questioned by our classmates and our instructor,” the group’s letter reads. The statement accuses “the professor” (it does not identify Rust by name) of correcting “perceived grammatical choices that in actuality reflect ideologies” and “repeatedly questioning the value of our work on social identity and the related dynamics of oppression, power and privilege.” The “barrage of questions by white colleagues and the grammar ‘lessons’ by the professor have contributed to a hostile class climate,” it continues.

(Kenjus Waston, a black Ph.D. candidate in the division and an organizing member of UCLA Call 2 Action: Graduate Students of Color), whose research focuses on black men and microagressions in higher education, said some within the division – he did not wish to name specific professors or peers – have questioned his research as “too subjective,” he said. In another case that best exemplifies the "grammar 'lessons'" referenced in group's letter, he said, another student who chose to capitalize the first letter in the word “Indigenous” in her research papers saw it changed to a lowercase throughout. Watson said that correction disregarded the writer's scholarly advocacy and had other "ideological implications." Rust also insisted on Chicago Manual of Style form in research papers, even though some in the group wanted to use American Psychological Association style, in line with their more social science-oriented research...

Some faculty members also have criticized the group. John Ellis, head of the California Association of Scholars and professor emeritus of German literature at the University of California at Santa Cruz, said it was a professor's job to correct grammatical errors, and that doing so did not constitute racism. Moreover, he said, "stealing time" from other students in the class during the sit-in merited punitive action by UCLA against the protesters. A UCLA spokesman declined to respond to a question about possible punishment for the students, citing Family and Educational Rights and Privacy Act regulations...

Full story at http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/11/25/ucla-grad-students-stage-sit-during-class-protest-what-they-see-racially-hostile

Earlier stories in the Daily Bruin are at:


The story has been picked up on the Internet, especially the grammar angle, e.g.:

http://www.westernjournalism.com/ucla-protesters-call-good-grammar-racist/

http://www.examiner.com/article/ucla-grad-students-charge-that-correcting-spelling-grammar-is-racist

Update on ObamaJam Today

Yesterday, we posted about a possible upcoming ObamaJam today due to a presidential visit.  Here is an update:

Not to worry
Drivers were warned Sunday to expect presidential motorcades across a broad swath of the Westside during Monday afternoon's rush hour, as Barack Obama plans to cross from Westwood to the Beverly Hills area. Los Angeles police warned that Air Force One will touch down at LAX between 4 and 5 p.m. Monday, possibly closing streets in the World Way West area, near Playa del Rey. Although exact plans were not released, the president will apparently follow past patterns and take a helicopter up the coast from LAX over Venice to Santa Monica, then turn northeast to a helipad at the Veterans Administration hospital in Westwood, off Wilshire Boulevard west of the San Diego (405) Freeway. Los Angeles police warned drivers to brace for a possible motorcade starting after 4:45 p.m. from the Westwood area, heading to the Beverly Hills or Beverly Center area. Delays are possible in the area bounded by the 405 on the west, Santa Monica Boulevard on the north, La Cienega Boulevard on the east, and Venice Boulevard on the south...

Full story at centurycity.patch.com/groups/around-town/p/police-warn-of-traffic-due-to-obama-visit

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Possible ObamaJam Monday

Various websites are indicating that President Obama will be landing at LAX and going to various Westside sites for fundraising on Monday afternoon.  The sites appear to be in Beverly Hills and Hancock Park, so not immediately in the UCLA vicinity.  However, to the extent there is travel at or near the 405...  Well, you know.

UCLA History: Poking Fun in 1963 at "Sensitivity Training" Courses at the Then-School of Business Administration

UCLA in the 1960s
UCLA offered various sensitivity training courses in the 1960s and 1970s, featuring T-Groups and the like.  Today, sensitivity training is typically aimed at particular issues such as racial or sex discrimination.  At the time, it was more generally aimed at self understanding, which was thought to make management executives more effective.  The technique, which could resemble group therapy, was controversial.  What was then the School of Business Administration - now the Anderson School - was a center for such course offerings and research.  

Because of the "touchy-feely" element, it was satirized by radio commentator and humorist Jean Shepherd on his broadcast of Nov. 18, 1963 on WOR, New York City.  You can hear his broadcast at the link below:



Saturday, November 23, 2013

Permanent? No Exit?

UCLA Facilities Management is circulating the message:

Traffic Notice Full Closure


Description

The Montana Avenue off-ramp from northbound I-405 will close permanently at 6 am on Monday, November 25th. The I-405 northbound off-ramp to Sunset Boulevard will be reopen at the same time.

When: Monday, November 25th at 6 am


Where: I-405 Northbound Off-ramp to Montana; I-405 Northbound Off-ramp to Sunset 


===
What is unclear is whether the closure on Montana is really permanent.  When yours truly went to the Facilities Management website from which this message is supposed to have derived, there was no mention of a permanent closure of the Montana off-ramp.  The website from Metro about the 405 project also had no mention, at least none I could find.

Well, perhaps there is some greater meaning in having no exit on Montana:

Friday, November 22, 2013

Union for Docs at Student Health Centers

From the Daily Bruin: On Thursday, the University of California formally recognized the Union of American Physicians and Dentists as the exclusive representative of doctors working at any of the student health centers. The campaign to unionize began with a few University doctors who reached out to the union in December 2012. Physicians voted in April to appeal to the UC to recognize the union. Doctors were motivated to join the union because they want more input and autonomy in running the UC student health centers, said Dr. Stuart Bussey, president of the Union of American Physicians and Dentists...

Full story at http://dailybruin.com/2013/11/22/uc-recognizes-union-of-american-physicians-and-dentists/

JFK Talks with Pat Brown and Jerry Brown

JFK at UCLA: Nov. 2, 1959
Since today is the fiftieth anniversary of the JFK assassination, there is much in the news media about that event.  Rather than focus on that episode, we present a) the photo you see of Kennedy as a senator speaking at UCLA in 1959, and b) a Dictabelt recording of Kennedy talking on the phone as president to Governor Pat Brown and son Jerry Brown in 1962.

Some background: Various recording technologies were in use in the early 1960s.  Tape and wire recorders were introduced in the period after World War II.  (Germany had made advances in magnetic recording which were captured as part of the American invasion and then made available to U.S. manufacturers.)  But there were other needle-in-groove technologies used for dictation machines that co-existed for a time with magnetic recording.  Among them was the Dictaphone Dictabelt machine which recorded on rotating plastic cylinders and was an updated version of the older Edison Ediphone.  (Google "Ediphone" if you are unfamiliar with those machines.)  When the White House tapes were discovered as part of the Nixon Watergate affair, it was later revealed that there had been similar recording under Johnson and Kennedy.  Those earlier administration recordings are now available.
Some of the Kennedy recordings were made using Dictabelts rather than tape.  Because the recordings are needle-in-groove, there is a tendency for the needle to skip and repeat.  Such recordings were not intended for long-term archiving and could be easily damaged.  Below is a link to a conversation between Gov. Pat Brown and JFK shortly after Brown had defeated Nixon for governor of California in Nov. 1962.  After that contest, Nixon gave his famous speech in which he attacked the news media and said you won't have Nixon to kick around anymore.  At the time, it was assumed that Nixon's political career was over, thanks to his bitter speech.  On this Dictabelt recording, Pat Brown opines that Nixon is a paranoid and then puts young Jerry on the phone so he can talk with the president.  You have to listen carefully because of the needle skipping and resultant repeats.

Here is the link:

Maybe the Regents Finally Got the Attention of the Governor on the UC Pension Issue

We noted in a post yesterday that the LAO was forecasting rosy budget times ahead for the state but nonetheless seemed to want a budget freeze for UC.  Today, the news media are full of statements by Gov. Brown warning the legislature not to party and to behave frugally. 

We also noted in prior posts on the recent Regents meeting that the Regents were somewhat bolder with the governor.  After the usual thank-you-thank-yours for Prop 30, they passed a budget proposal with more money than the governor wanted and pointed especially to the imbalance whereby the state automatically funds the CSU and community college pensions via CalPERS, but not UC's pension.

Maybe, just maybe, the pension message is beginning to penetrate.  From the Sacramento Bee:

...Brown said he has a “lot of optimism about this state. I mean, I would have never thought we could go from financial instability to stability and surplus, and we can do that.”
But he said significant financial concerns remain. “We have deferred maintenance on our roads, that is serious, we have unfunded and growing liabilities in our pension and retiree health – state, university and local level,” Brown said. “That’s real.” ...

Full story at http://www.sacbee.com/2013/11/21/5935606/jerry-brown-says-lawmakers-should.html

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sunset Blvd. Near 405 to be Closed Tonight 10 pm

Somewhere on Sunset Blvd. in 1905
Yours truly, in driving back from UCLA last night on Sunset Blvd., noted a sign saying the area around the 405 would be closed 10 pm tonight until 6 am tomorrow.  (It also said the closing would happen last night but it is too late to warn about that event.)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Berkeley admits to serious student-athlete flaws

From the San Francisco Chronicle: UC Berkeley officials, responding to recent reports of lax admissions standards and poor graduation rates among student athletes, admitted this week that the university has a serious problem that is at times exacerbated by the desire to succeed on the field. "At a point, the pressure to win caused us to put more focus on the athletic piece and, as a result, we saw less performance on the academic side," said Cal Athletic Director Sandy Barbour...

"We have an issue. No doubt," said Barbour.... "It's a serious one. And we have taken several measures to correct it. We're not done." The acknowledgment comes in the wake of NCAA data that showed Cal's football and men's basketball teams have the lowest graduation rates among 72 major-conference schools, 44 and 38 percent respectively...

Full story at http://www.sfgate.com/collegesports/article/Cal-admits-to-serious-student-athlete-flaws-4995278.php

Letter from the Chair of the UCLA Faculty Assn.

Dear Colleagues,

The UCLA Faculty Association has a new Executive Board this year, and a full slate of complex issues to address. We appreciate your continued support, and encourage you to get involved in your FA.

As I'm sure you are aware, there have been significant changes to the health insurance offerings for University of California employees.  The Faculty Associations at UC Santa Barbara and UC Riverside have issued strongly-worded letters of protest about the lack of choices in the new plan offerings, and the lack of transparency in the process of choosing the options.

The UCLA Faculty Association also has been hearing from current and retired UCLA faculty with concerns about these changes.  If you have something to say about the health care benefits, please send us an email: <uclafacultyassociation@gmail.com>.

You can read the UCSB and UCR FA statements online:
http://utotherescue.blogspot.com/2013/11/ucsb-fa-open-letter-to-president.html
http://utotherescue.blogspot.com/2013/11/ucr-faculty-association-letter-to.html

Our own Dan Mitchell has been keeping track of health care developments on the UCLA FA blog:
http://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/search/label/health%20care

On behalf of the new Executive Board, I wish you a productive fall quarter.

Sincerely,

Toby Higbie (chair)

UCLA Faculty Association Executive Board, 2013-14
Toby Higbie, Chair
Dwight Read, Treasurer
Jean-Francois Blanchette
Christian Haesemeyer
Michael Meranze
Dan Mitchell
Malina Stefanovska
Roger Waldinger

LAO Puts Higher Ed in the Freezer

The Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) released its budget outlook for the coming year and the next few years.  Good cheer generally, except for higher ed.  Revenue is up more than projected.  (Recall the governor insisted on "conservative" forecasts last June.)  Spending is up, too, but the net points to a rising state reserve.  Indeed, the LAO simulated a mild recession and thinks we could pull through without another calamity.

However, when in comes to spending on higher ed, UC is frozen at $2.8 billion indefinitely.  No adjustments for inflation and enrollment growth (which LAO doesn't think will happen based on demographics).  The LAO mentions the possibility about the state taking some interest in the UC pension, but only mentions it.  It doesn't recommend it.  LAO does note that its freeze doesn't accord with the governor's multiyear plan for UC and CSU.  We reproduce the higher ed portion of the LA report below.  The full report is at:
http://lao.ca.gov/reports/2013/bud/fiscal-outlook/fiscal-outlook-112013.pdf

Higher Education

In addition to community colleges (which are part of the Proposition 98 forecast), the state’s higher education system includes CSU, UC, and California Student Aid Commission (CSAC). The CSU educates about 430,000 undergraduate and master’s students at 23 campuses. The UC is a comprehensive research university educating about 240,000 undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral students at ten campuses. Both universities receive support for their core instructional programs primarily from a combination of state funds and student tuition revenue. The CSAC is responsible for administering state financial aid programs—most notably, the Cal Grant program—with support from the state General Fund, federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds, and the Student Loan Operating Fund (SLOF).

Assumptions 

Forecast Sensitive to Underlying Assumptions. Unlike many other areas of the state budget that are constrained by constitutional or federal requirements, the Legislature has significant discretion over university and financial aid expenditures. At the same time, the universities have greater control over their total operating budget than most state agencies because they have the ability to raise additional revenue by increasing student tuition. These factors mean that expenditures on the universities and financial aid are very sensitive to future legislative actions and the systems’ future decisions on tuition levels.

Assumes No COLA or Enrollment Changes for Universities. Our forecast assumes the state does not provide COLAs for the universities, consistent with state law regarding no automatic COLAs for most state programs. In addition, we assume no enrollment changes at either CSU or UC. Changes in enrollment at CSU and UC typically are driven by changes in the college–age population and the universities’ eligibility policies. Our demographic projections show declines in the traditional college–age population in each year of the forecast period, with the number of 18–24 year olds 7 percent lower in 2020 compared to 2014. Regarding the universities’ eligibility targets, the state’s Master Plan for Higher Education calls for CSU and UC to draw from the top 33 percent and 12.5 percent of high school graduates in the state, respectively. Though the state no longer conducts eligibility studies, recent research from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) suggests that both universities are drawing from beyond their Master Plan eligibility pools. Both CSU and UC, however, report unmet enrollment demand. CSU reports more than 20,000 eligible students annually being denied admission in recent years, while UC reports an increase in the number of eligible students being denied admission to their preferred campus. The apparent conflict between the PPIC study and university admissions reports may result from different ways of measuring the eligible pool of students. Though a more refined study examining CSU and UC’s current eligibility, admission, and enrollment trends would offer the Legislature better guidance in making enrollment decisions, the totality of available data suggest CSU and UC enrollment pressures will be low over the forecast period.
Assumes No Participation or Award Changes for Cal Grants. Our forecast also assumes no changes in Cal Grant participation rates. Cal Grant participation historically has been driven primarily by the number of high school graduates in the state, though the number of students completing federal financial aid applications and the condition of the economy also can influence Cal Grant participation. The number of high school graduates is expected to decline somewhat over the forecast period. The number of aid applications, which has grown significantly in recent years, also appears to be leveling off. Though we assume flat Cal Grant participation over the period, significant improvement in the economy—especially in employment—could somewhat reduce future demand for financial aid. Our forecast also assumes no changes in Cal Grant award amounts. Cal Grant award amounts would increase automatically only if tuition at UC and CSU increased during the forecast period.
Assumes Continued General Fund Offsets. In recent years, the state has used two funding sources—TANF and SLOF—to offset some General Fund Cal Grant costs. Our forecast assumes the state continues to use $542 million in TANF funding annually throughout the forecast period for Cal Grants. We also assume the state continues to rely on SLOF contributions for the next two years. The SLOF, which is funded by proceeds from California’s federal student loan program, helped to support Cal Grant costs in some years prior to the loan program’s 2010 transfer to Educational Credit Management Corporation (ECMC)—a national loan servicing organization. As part of the transfer, ECMC agreed to continue sharing a portion of its proceeds for a few years. ECMC set a goal of $500 million in total contributions for Cal Grants, has paid $345 million since 2010, and has signaled its intention to make two additional contributions. Accordingly, our forecast includes $77 million SLOF support in each 2014–15 and 2015–16, followed by a General Fund backfill of this amount in 2016–17.

Forecast

State Spending on Universities Projected to Be Flat Over Entire Forecast Period. Specifically, we project that state spending for CSU and UC will be $2.2 billion and $2.8 billion, respectively, each year from 2013–14 through 2019–20. (Consistent with current state policy, our forecast assumes that spending on debt service for state–supportable capital outlay projects at UC is paid from UC’s support budget, while CSU’s state–supportable debt–service costs are paid separately by the state and included in our statewide debt–service projections.)
State Spending on Cal Grants Also Flat. Following steady increases that have more than doubled Cal Grant expenditures since 2007–08, we expect costs to remain relatively level at $1.7 billion over the forecast period. This forecast reflects our baseline assumptions regarding enrollment and tuition, as well as cost increases and savings resulting from prior–year policy actions. The California Dream Act of 2010—Chapter 604, Statutes of 2010 (AB 131, Cedillo)—makes some nonresident students eligible to receive state financial aid beginning in 2013–14. Dream Act costs will increase as current recipients renew their awards and additional cohorts of high school graduates and community college transfer students qualify for new awards. We anticipate these costs will level off at about $85 million beginning in 2016–17. These cost increases are largely offset by savings resulting from two policy changes enacted in recent years: (1) reductions in Cal Grant maximum award amounts at private colleges and universities and (2) the phase out of loan assumption programs for teachers and nurses.
New Scholarship Program Drives Budget Growth. The 2013–14 budget package created the Middle Class Scholarship Program, a new financial aid program for certain CSU and UC students. Under the new program, students with family incomes up to $150,000 will qualify for scholarships that cover up to 40 percent of their tuition (when combined with all other public financial aid). The program is to be phased in over four years, beginning in 2014–15. Budget legislation provides $107 million for the program in 2014–15, $152 million in 2015–16, and $228 million in 2016–17, with funding for the program capped at $305 million beginning in 2017–18.

Other Budgeting Approaches

Governor’s Multiyear Funding Plan for the Universities Would Increase Costs Significantly. Though our forecast shows no increases in state spending on the universities over the coming six years, the Governor already has indicated an interest in augmenting the universities’ budgets. As part of his 2013–14 budget plan, the Governor proposed providing CSU and UC with an unallocated base increase of 5 percent in 2013–14 ($125 million for each segment) and 5 percent in 2014–15 ($142 million for each)—followed by 4 percent increases in 2015–16 ($120 million each) and 2016–17 ($124 million each). (The proposed increases are the same for each university because the Governor bases them both on UC’s budget.) The final budget package included only the base increase for 2013–14 without any commitment by the state for out–year funding. Nevertheless, our understanding is that the administration intends to maintain the multiyear plan in 2014–15. If the Legislature were to adopt the Governor’s plan, state expenditures on both universities combined would increase by $284 million above 2013–14 levels in 2014–15, growing to $772 million annually by 2016–17.
Legislature Could Take Alternative Approach and Consider Funding Universities’ Main Cost Drivers. During last year’s budget deliberations, we expressed various concerns with the Governor’s multiyear funding plan—such as the rationales for providing the specific base increases proposed for CSU and UC and for treating the two university systems identically. The Legislature could take a different, more traditional approach to building the universities’ budgets that focuses on major cost drivers, including deferred costs and inflationary pressures. One particularly notable deferred cost is UC’s unfunded liability in its pension plan. If the Legislature were to provide the full amount requested by UC to fund these liabilities, state costs for UC would increase by over $230 million annually.
Addressing Inflationary Pressures on University Budgets. One main cost driver for the universities is inflation. In 2014–15, inflation is estimated at 2.2 percent. (Throughout the remainder of the forecast period, inflation is projected to hover around 2.5 percent.) In the past, we have recommended that inflationary cost increases be shared by the state and students (in the form of tuition increases). This provides an incentive for students to hold universities accountable for cost increases. Augmenting state funding for the universities by 2.2 percent in 2014–15 would cost a total of $111 million whereas increasing student tuition at the universities by 2.2 percent would generate a total of $96 million in additional tuition revenue. (Higher tuition would indirectly increase Cal Grant awards for CSU and UC students. Of the $96 million, $26 million would come in the form of larger Cal Grant awards.) The universities could use this COLA–related funding to cover a number of cost increases, such as those related to health care premiums, utilities, and faculty and staff salaries. In addition, UC could use its funding to cover increased debt–service costs.
=====
Unfortunately, the LAO wants to leave us frozen in the cold, where really bad things can happen:

Broken Links to UCLA Grand Hotel project

It has been brought to the attention of yours truly that some of the links and embedding to earlier blog posts about the UCLA Grand Hotel (and other topics) no longer operate.  Facebook has been used for such broken links, particularly as we go back in time, and Facebook seems to be not-so-good at maintaining embedding on blog posts.  Rather than go back and try to repair each broken link, we provide a listing below of all Facebook links that relate to the Grand Hotel project.  [In the future, as time permits, we may do the same for other topics.]  Note that some of the broken links are simply music that accompanied a blog post of that date on the hotel.  Nonetheless, below are all hotel-related Facebook links I could find to date.  They don't disappear even if the links to the blog are broken.  The listing is in reverse chronological order of Facebook postings.

UCLA Hotel-Conference Center Groundbreaking 9-10-2013 [posted Sept. 11, 2013]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151934916831522&l=2374221136962797309

Video clip on scheduled Sept. 10 groundbreaking for UCLA Grand Hotel [posted Aug. 14, 2013 - music related to blog]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151874671671522&l=8527090903912782882

Why Rush the UCLA Grand Hotel? [posted July 26, 2013 - music related to blog]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151833931201522&l=414081409713632425

Regents Building & Grounds Committee Approval of UCLA Hotel Proposal 9-11-12 - Part 2 [posted Sept. 11, 2012]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151234104676522&l=4454238166400722117

Regents Building & Grounds Committee Approval of UCLA Hotel Proposal 9-11-12 - Part 1 [posted Sept. 11, 2012]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151234084146522&l=8985273820031540467

Regents on UCLA Hotel: Part 1 - Lawyer statement [posted July 18, 2012]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151120489086522&l=7975963167603842094

Regents on UCLA Hotel: Part 2 [posted July 18, 2012]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151120479961522&l=5354456585279327490

Regents on UCLA Hotel: Part 3 [posted July 18, 2012]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151120469561522&l=5689962321603778182Regents on UCLA Hotel: Part 4 [posted July 18, 2012]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151120457086522&l=943740499235199060

Regents on UCLA Hotel: Part 5 [posted July 18, 2012]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151120449321522&l=6084014943947463888Regents on UCLA Hotel: Part 6 [posted July 18, 2012]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151120443016522&l=5896104740648474890

Regents on UCLA Hotel: Part 7 [posted July 18, 2012]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151120437481522&l=1402403819857665315

University of California President Mark Yudof on capital projects during a period of UC budget crisis. He says that if donors absolutely insist on a particular building, UC will go along. But that is not what happened on the proposed UCLA hotel/conference center. Audio excerpt for UCLA Faculty Association blogsite: 7-16-2012. Interview dated 7/13/2012 on KNBC-TV, Conan Nolan interviewer. [posted July 16, 2012]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151114744756522&l=6208244037156614590

Presentation of May 2, 2012 to UCLA Emeriti Board on proposed UCLA hotel/conference center: Part 3 (end) — at UCLA
[posted May 2, 2012]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150876150571522&l=5962521177299063210

Presentation of May 2, 2012 to UCLA Emeriti Board on proposed UCLA hotel/conference center: Part 2 — at UCLA.
[posted May 2, 2012]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150875668116522&l=4035754916323045655

Presentation of May 2, 2012 to UCLA Emeriti Board on proposed UCLA hotel/conference center: Part 1 — at UCLA
[posted May 2, 2012]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150875523741522&l=7687669506506310484

UC Regents Committee on Building and Grounds on UCLA Hotel/Conference Center Project: Part 5 [posted April 10, 2012]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150806014366522&l=2223767044872007885

UC Regents Committee on Building and Grounds on UCLA Hotel/Conference Center Project: Part 4 [posted April 10, 2012]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150805997536522&l=4233067798468680401

UC Regents Committee on Building and Grounds on UCLA Hotel/Conference Center Project: Part 3 [posted April 10, 2012]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150805975601522&l=4955275971600221930

UC Regents Committee on Building and Grounds on UCLA Hotel/Conference Center Project: Part 2 [posted April 10, 2012]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150805917366522&l=8282673758787356791

UC Regents Committee on Building and Grounds on UCLA Hotel/Conference Center Project: Part 1 [posted April 10, 2012]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150805902516522&l=236752817885683369

Testimony on Proposed UCLA Hotel/Conference Center During Public Comment Period at UC Regents Meeting of March 28, 2012. [posted April 10, 2012]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150805874096522&l=130834643568763222

The UCLA Faculty Association submitted a request to the university for the business plan for the proposed hotel/conference center. So far, nothing has been revealed. This might help set the mood. [posted Dec. 16, 2011 - music related to blog]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150538892821522&l=2872120724613062457

Scoping hearing on proposed UCLA hotel/conference center, Nov. 14, 2011, Part 3 of 3 [posted Nov. 14, 2012]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150468907131522&l=4326349743891754311

Scoping hearing on proposed UCLA hotel/conference center, Nov. 14, 2011, Part 2 of 3 [posted Nov. 14, 2012]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150468903431522&l=8876928442930641376

Scoping hearing on proposed UCLA hotel/conference center, Nov. 14, 2011, Part 1 of 3 [posted Nov. 14, 2012]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150468898416522&l=7242133516696801154

UCLA's construction empire's plan to build a Grand Hotel/Conference Center and demolish the Faculty Center inspires this modest musical contribution. [posted Sept. 21, 2011 - music related to blog]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150390794701522&l=5962273749601013847

A polling agency, ostensibly on behalf of UCLA, has been polling residents near campus about their attitude toward the controversial university proposal to demolish the Faculty Center and replace it with a large hotel/conference center. This is a recording made by a resident of the poll with permission of the pollster. Final questions of a personal nature have been omitted at the request of the person called. None of the omitted questions dealt with the hotel/conference center.
[posted July 18, 2011]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150324731831522&l=7624382189941277342

Forum on Faculty Center replacement by hotel/conference center 4-6-11 Part 6 of 6 [posted April 7, 2011]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150217892451522&l=4057545145937947175

Forum on Faculty Center replacement by hotel/conference center 4-6-11 Part 5 of 6 [posted April 7, 2011]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150217886596522&l=4804853688483329125

Forum on Faculty Center replacement by hotel/conference center 4-6-11 Part 4 of 6 [posted April 7, 2011]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150217879191522&l=6001535003385119300

Forum on Faculty Center replacement by hotel/conference center 4-6-11 Part 3 of 6 [posted April 7, 2011]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150217873951522&l=8373806850060509514

Forum on Faculty Center replacement by hotel/conference center 4-6-11 Part 2 of 6 [posted April 7, 2011]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150217867776522&l=6431795129207803232

Forum on Faculty Center replacement by hotel/conference center 4-6-11 Part 1 of 6 [posted April 7, 2011]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150217862031522&l=8186444691034416355

Short excerpt related to Faculty Center. LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on the Luskin gift to UCLA, ceremony of 3-18-11. Note that he itemizes the gift as going to the School of Public Affairs and the Faculty Center, not the hotel/conference center project that has caused much controversy. [posted April 6, 2011]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150217291151522&l=5376879969622957988

LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on the Luskin gift to UCLA, ceremony of 3-18-11. Note that he itemizes the gift as going to the School of Public Affairs and the Faculty Center, not the hotel/conference center project that has caused much controversy. [posted April 6, 2011]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150217286346522&l=5273310220893848946

Plan for Faculty Club 10-20-10 Part 4 (download date 11-29-10) [posted Dec. 19, 2010]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150111996151522&l=6983797056903406994

Plan for Faculty Club 10-20-10 Part 3 (download date 11-29-10) [posted Dec. 19, 2010]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150111991071522&l=1387240232864713370

Plan for Faculty Club 10-20-10 Part 2 (download date 11-29-10) [posted Dec. 19, 2010]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150111986991522&l=5232100941425668135

Plan for Faculty Club 10-20-10 Part 1 (download date 11-29-10) [posted Dec. 19, 2010]
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150111981596522&l=8218331861986929082

Limited Order Bars Only About 50 Workers from UC One-Day Strike Today

Westwood demonstration during prior 2-day strike
We noted yesterday that UC sought an order through PERB barring certain critical workers from the one-day strike today.

According to the State Worker blog of the Sacramento Bee:

...A judge has banned a relative handful of employees who provide patient care at University of California medical facilities from participating in a statewide strike set for Wednesday.  Sacramento County Superior Court Judge David I. Brown said that a strike by about 50 AFSCME-covered employees, mostly respiratory theratpists, would “create a substantial and imminent threat to the health and safety of the public and patients of the five UC Medical Centers.” Brown issued a temporary restraining order barring that group from a work stoppage...

Full story at http://www.sacbee.com/2013/11/19/5927408/judge-bans-some-university-of.html

The CapitolAlert blog of the Bee reported:

...Lawmakers will join striking University of California workers at picket lines across the state today, backing union members who allege that management cracked down after a previous strike with a campaign of intimidation. Rallying legislators are expected to include Sen. Leland Yee in San Francisco, Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner in Berkeley, Assemblyman Mark Stone in Santa Cruz, Assemblyman Richard Pan in Davis, Sen. Alex Padilla in Los Angeles and Assemblywomen Lorena Gonzalez and Shirley Weber in San Diego...

Source: http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2013/11/am-alert-lao-forecasts-californias-post-prop-30-financial-future.html


Read more here: http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/11/19/5927408/judge-bans-some-university-of.html#storylink=cpy

Short Day at the Grand Hotel

Yours truly went by the site of the Grand Hotel yesterday around 4 pm.  Seemed like everyone but one guy had gone home by then (and he seemed to be leaving).

Guess everyone was pooped:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Listen to Regents Meeting of Nov. 14, 2013

The November 14 meeting of the Regents opened with public comments.  These included concerns over staffing and safety at UC hospitals, a Berkeley city councilman who called for pension caps on high-paid UC executives, students advocating fossil fuel divestment, concerns about student costs and debt, and spending on “amenities” for students at UC.

The Committee on Finance approved budgets for operations and capital after extensive discussion and back-and-forth with Governor Brown who said that UC was asking for $120 million more than it was going to get.  There was a bit more push back from Regents and administrators with regard to Brown’s remarks than had characterized prior meetings.  In particular, the fact that the state paid for CSU and community college retirement (to CalPERS) but resisted payments to the UC pension was referenced.  There was concern about rising debts of UC as a result of state budgetary pressures.  The Committee also endorsed changes in the UC mortgage program to comply with new federal rules.

UC’s pension was reported to have a market funding ratio of 79%.  The issue of the sequester-related nonpayment by the federal government (Dept. of Energy) of $80 million for UC retirement expenses related to the labs was raised (as it had been at earlier meetings last week).  There was discussion of what was said to be a $700 million liability reduction over 30 years for the 4,000 out-of-state retirees who are being moved off UC health plans, given a flat dollar contribution, and referred to an external contractor for counseling about what they could buy from local exchanges.  [Yesterday, we posted the audio just for that segment.]  

The Committee on Compensation approved pay levels for some administrators prompting an observation by Gov. Brown that the rest of the state paid less for similar employees.  President Napolitano reported on faculty honors.

You can hear the entire session at the link below:
You can hear just the governor’s remarks at: