Monday Memo: news & views about working at UC
For the Week of March 14, 2016
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Although UC faculty have taken a stand against the pension reforms proposed by UC President Janet Napolitano (see last week’s Monday Memo), Remaking the University reports she has so far failed to respond to faculty and union analyses and will present her proposal to the UC Regents at their March 23–24 meeting at UCSF Mission Bay.

Blazing headlines about “mishandled” sexual harassment complaints and withering criticism of UC Berkeley officials has led to a UC Berkeley law school dean’s resignation, a new committee to “review and approve all proposed sanctions against senior leaders,” and other immediate actions by UC President Janet Napolitano. The Los Angeles Times quotes Napolitano as saying, “At a minimum, our employees are entitled to come to work without fear of sexual harassment or sexual violence.”

The Times reports that “Napolitano directed Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks to bar [Dean Sujit] Choudhry from campus for the rest of the term and institute disciplinary proceedings ...  through the Academic Senate, which could result in suspension or dismissal. Napolitano also told Dirks that UC does not intend to defend Choudhry ... in court.”

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that “Law students delivered a letter of rebuke to the chancellor’s office ... and announced a ‘vote of no confidence’ with the administration.” And Chronicle columnists Matier and Ross reveal that President Napolitano ordered the removal of  former UC Berkeley vice chancellor Graham Fleming from a job Chancellor Dirks gave him after being “forced from his job last year following a sex harassment scandal.”

In an editorial, the Contra Costa Times excoriated Chancellor Dirks and executive vice chancellor and provost Claude Steele, for their explanations of why they hadn’t removed Dean Choudhry from his position. “Until Dirks and Steele can admit” they made the wrong decision, the paper said, “their credibility is shot” – and if they “can't do better, they should step down, too.”

The ethics scandal involving UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi, covered last week, hasn’t gone away either. The Sacramento Bee reports that a second legislator has called for her resignation, the California Aggie says students and workers called for her resignation in a protest last week, and San Francisco Chronicle editors also say she must go due to conflicts of interest created by outside boards she sits on. However, while UC president Napolitano questioned Katehi’s DeVry University board seat, notes the Sacramento Bee, she defended Katehi’s seat on the John Wiley & Sons board and didn’t think “Katehi should have to resign over the controversy.”

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