Big Day w/ Big Discussions; UC Regents Mtg Day 1


10:30 – UCSC has increased private support and fundraising over 40% over the past 3 years.  They are also the number 2 public campus that sends students to the Peace Corp.  That’s a lot to be proud of.  They’re definitely holding their own in trying to stay financially solvent and service aware.  UCSC also has one of hte highest amounts of faculty diversity in the system: 36% are women (which shows the gender struggle in academia), and 23% are Under Represented Minorities.  Campus has made some steps in faculty hiring to get to that direction.

10:17AM – Strategic Plan Presentation, Banana Slug Campus.  Presented by Chancellor Blumenthal(sp?).  Talking about the academic excellence of UCSC – Marine Science Lab, Lick Observatory, Silicon Vallye Center.  The sierra club rates UCSC as one of the most eco-friendly Universities!  That’s pretty cool.  Santa Cruz says that our budget cuts now force UCSC to work on programs that are strong, and others that show promise.  UCSC has a lot of accolates and rankings directed towards research!  They’re doing really well!  Chancellor is talking about amazing faculty that are not only doing incredible research – but Professors like Nate Dominy who are amazing in teaching, and another professor (missed name) that is doing great work in service improving college graduate rates for Chicano/Latino youth in Salinas.

10:10AM – Academic Senate Chair Harry Powell is talking now.  I really like him, I’m just going to be real.  Great guy.  Says that the most important part of the Academic Senate this upcoming year is to inform the UC on the upcoming crisis and our options.  Faculty are greatly worried about furloughs, brain drain from privates, and want to prioritize the end of furloughs after this year.  Also big issue: UC Retirement Plan.

10:10AM – Yudof argues that if this budget (with fee increase) is approved, we’ll arrest the academic decline.  The budget will do away with the furloughs, which is a “morale buster”.  He also talks about financial aid protecting our students from the fee increase on the table – increased Pell Grant, the Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan. Does say we have a middle class problem, but he argues the fed government: 150k-180k families will be covered by tax credit.  “I do not want to privitaize the UC, I want to preserve our public character.”

10AM – Yudof speaks to his introduction.  A lot of good quotes here.  A lot of points, so I’ll try and balance both.  “The worst is not yet over today – the state is only going to get worse.  The dept. of finance director agrees with the state as an unreliable partner.” “I don’t like student fees, I’m angry about it too.  But this is the time we live.”  “The people of the state of CA are not bad or evil, we have champions there.  The system is broken.  The very system is broken”.  “The state has stopped building freeways to higher education, and has started building toll roads.”  “But we will get through this – we should know our greatest enemy is medicority(sp?)”

“There are no reserves in the UC system.  No real ones.  There are unrestricted funds” We can’t take money out of the medical centers, in some case they are illegal to take money out of the center.  Our free reserves are completely gone, but 1/3 of all reserves are now depleted.”

“This budget will not just be balanced on the backs of students, it will be balanced on the backs of a lot of people” – Yudof

9:40AM – Regent Riess gives a couple statements.  She hopes that people in the public comment stayed for the budget presentation, she wishes those people could be at the committee that cut UC budget in the state, and she wishes that people knew Mark Yudof personally.  Blum seconds that those people should march to Sacramento, which created the budget we are dealing with now.  Regent Johnson also gives praise to Yudof’s leadership, a difference in the 10 years she’s been on this board.  She also expresses her disagreement for the student fee increase on the table (not up for vote, discussion) today, but still her belief in Yudof’s leadership.

9:38AM – Russ Gould starts introductions – first, he gives praise and props to the UC Police force, who has done great work in Berkeley and Irvine this last month under really difficult and terrible cases.  He moves on to talk about the TaskForce for to build trust in the UC (they developed methods for transparency), Commission on the Future, and the Structural Deficit.  He also talks about the no confidence vote in President Yudof.  Regent Gould, Lansing, Staff Advisor Ed Abeyta,  and Chancellor White (Highlander, sounds like he’s talking for all hte Chancellors) give their support for President Yudof.

9:35AM – This just became a morning I wasn’t prepared for.  The meeting got so crazy, all the Regents were asked to leave the room.  Some Regents did stay in the room during the protest, but most of them left.  Sorry, it’s the first time I’ve been on the other side on the protest.  I’ve definitely a little shaken.

9 AM – A past AVC just spoke, he now lives in bayview/hunter’s point – it was touching, he recognized the difficulty of leadership and complexity of the chair. “I watered my roots by coming back”.

8:50 AM – I hope that the people here at public comment have an opportunity to stay for the discussions on fee increases and compensation.  I think it’s important for both sides to be there when that discussion happens.  San Francisco City Supervisor for District 11 (name please? sorry I didn’t catch that? John Avalo?) just spoke at public comment.

8:45AM – A lot of labor, unions, and students here to protest the Regent actions on furloughs and fee increases.  This is definitely the hardest part of any Regents meeting for a UC Student Regent.  Jesse Bernal and I definitely need some anxiety medication.  More than that, sometimes hearing these stories and struggles, but also knowing the difficulty the UC system is going through and difficult decisions of the Regents – it’s just hard to know what to say.

The September Board of Regents Meeting is today, in UCSF Mission Bay, starting at 8:30, and it’s big time! In like, a really unfortunate way. Because at this meeting, UC Regents will be asked to start discussing mid-year fee increase of 15% for both undergrads and grads, and also another 15% increase at the end of this academic year for undergrads and grads. They will also have a lengthy discussion on professional student fees, which seems are also rising dramatically this year. We’ll be liveblogging it right here, so please stay tuned!

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3 responses to “Big Day w/ Big Discussions; UC Regents Mtg Day 1

  1. Kirsten Silva Gruesz

    Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz in engineering

  2. Thank you!! I’ll go back to correct it. He seems like a really amazing faculty member.

  3. Kirsten Silva Gruesz

    Unfortunately, UCSC recently announced it will cut off faculty and staff access to child care, making it the only UC campus without some kind of on-site child care. This terrible decision will directly impact diversity; many studies have shown that the hiring, retention and successful promotion of women and minority faculty is linked to the availability of child care if they choose to have families.

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