Monday Memo: news & views about working at UC
For the Week of February 11, 2013

An Alameda County judge has ruled that UC must disclose information about the performance of its investments in Silicon Valley venture capital firms, in order to comply with state transparency laws. More than $59 million of UCRS assets are invested in venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The San Jose Mercury News initially filed a joint lawsuit with the Coalition of University Employees in 2003 to force UC to disclose its investment figures, and then filed suit again last year to compel UC to comply with sunshine legislation that resulted from that earlier suit.
Statewide Unity Action at UCSCStatewide Unity Action at UCSC, 01/31/13
Photo by Bill Spencer

Meanwhile, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that UC has failed to provide the state controller’s office with the salary and benefits data it promised two years ago.

Outgoing UC president Mark Yudof said in an interview that UC may need to look to increased online courses for its survival in the coming years. “The days of building brick-and-mortar campuses may well be over,” he told a host of the NPR program, Marketplace. This follows a pledge by the regents in January to sharply expand online courses at UC, to as much as 10% of the average student’s courseload.

“Rebenching” is what UC is calling its effort to redistribute funding equally across the system for students in comparable programs. A 2011 audit found sometimes widely disparate levels of funding across campuses. The “System Rebenching Report” proposes to shift funding over the next six years to eliminate those disparities through such means as letting campuses retain more of their tuition revenue.

Endowment returns for UC Berkeley and other national universities have taken a sharp decline, reports the Daily Californian.

If you think email is responsible for the Postal Service’s current financial woes and the end of Saturday mail delivery, think again. Since 2007, USPS revenues have actually exceeded costs by $611 million. That’s right: the Post Office is turning a profit, even in this internet age. What’s killing the USPS is a mandate passed by the Republican-controlled Congress in 2006 requiring the Post Office to pre-fund future retiree pensions and benefits for the next 75 years, and to do it within a decade. No other private or public entity has to deal with such a huge burden. If you want to do something to stop the Republicans’ slow strangulation of this essential public service, sign this petition at the California Labor Federation’s website. _____________________________________________________________________________

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