Monday Memo: news & views about working at UC
For the Week of July 1, 2013
UC Berkeley "is struggling to pay off debts stemming from its fancy new stadium and athletic center, which cost a whopping $445 million," according to the Daily Caller News Foundation. Although the university had planned to sell expensive lifetime seats, sales have been disappointing and, according to a February KQED report, "are well short of their goal….Though the Berkeley campus has pledged that Athletics will make its debt payments," KQED reports, "ultimately the Regents are on the hook for the bonds." Berkeley faculty have criticized athletic center and intercollegiate athletics funding at least since 2011. July 1 Action
UC Davis July 1 Action
After "nearly three years of debate over what critics alleged was an attempt to privatize part of a public university," reports the Los Angeles Times, UCLA's Anderson School of Management was allowed to turn its "MBA program into a self-supporting unit." Businessweek reports it is the sixth program at Anderson to become “self-sufficient.” An undergraduate minor and the doctoral program continue to receive state support.

The next hearing in the criminal case against UCLA chemistry professor Patrick Harran is set for August 26 according to The Safety Zone blog. Harran was originally charged with three felony state labor code violations stemming from the death of staff research associate Sheri Sangji after a fire in Harran’s lab on December 29, 2008. A fourth charge was added in May, "essentially [expanding] on the clothing and protective equipment charge." In August, “the judge will consider arguments on motions that Harran’s attorneys will file before the hearing" – including "a demurrer motion to dismiss the charges." In April, the judge had ruled "there was enough evidence to send Harran to trial."

“Controversial Murals of Rincon Center,” “Home Front Heroes And The Role of Black Workers,” “The ILWU and Asian Americans, and “The Great Migration and Motown” are only a few of the many presentations coming up at the San Francisco LaborFest, which starts Tuesday, July 2. Check out the schedule of events, and if you’re in the area, check out the festival!

Is further privatization of UC coming soon? In a little-noticed decision last month, the UC regents approved a corporate entity that will have control over university-based scientific discoveries. According to an article in the East Bay Express, "the entity, named Newco for the time being, also would block a substantial amount of UC research from being accessible to the public, and could reap big profits for corporations and investors that have ties to the well-connected businesspeople who will manage it."

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