Monday Memo: news & views about working at UC

For the Week of July 24, 2017

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UC president Janet Napolitano issued a statement last week commending the Legislature’s recent bipartisan action to extend the cap-and-trade program to fight global warming.

Apparently, the March for Science in April was just the start: pro-science candidates are now running for office from coast to coast. Meet the lab-coat liberals from Politico describes candidates prompted to enter the field due to issues like climate change and research funding.

March for science
UPTE members at the March for Science

Under pressure from lawmakers about increasing numbers of international and non-California students, UC has pledged to up its admission rates of California residents – but it’s not happening yet. The San Jose Mercury reports that UCSC had the largest drop in California admissions, down 14 percent from last year. Admissions of international students increased by a third and out-of-state admissions by 12 percent over last year.

Meanwhile, a pilot program at UC Irvine to boost California student enrollment by offering reduced tuition filled only about 40 percent of its 500 spots for the incoming year.

In a new, systematic “study of harassment of graduate students by faculty members” reported by Inside Higher Ed, the authors conclude “that the problem is worse – both in level of offense and prevalence of repeat offenders – than many believe.”

Thanks to UCLA history professor Michael Meranze and the UCLA Faculty Association for spotting and publishing a report on “Berkeley's Regents-approved stadium folly,” which describes the project’s massive ballooning of debt and the tension it provoked between academics and athletics.

After a flurry of news reports last week that UC Berkeley was blocking conservative author Ben Shapiro from an event on September 14, UCB says it will do what is needed, including waiving event fees, to allow the event to happen. Chancellor Carol Christ also said the campus “fully supports student groups’ right to invite speakers of their choice to campus.” The College Republicans began accusing the campus of suppressing free speech after the group was not able to book a room of the size they wanted on the date they wanted.

In a lawsuit over whether Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory retirees can return to UC health plans, attorneys for each side asked an Oakland Superior Court Judge “to rule in their favor without going to trial.” At issue is whether retiree health care was an implied contract that UC had to maintain even after it lost a federal contract to operate the lab, according to Livermore’s Independent.

The Monday Memo is edited by UC administrative professionals working for union representation with UPTE-CWA.

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