UC Commission on the Future Liveblog!

Preface: Okay, so while flying back to the OC for the first time in a Virgin America airline, I’ve discovered this wonderful thing where they provide you a free t-shirt before you get on the airplane!  How nice!  They also provide you free wifi!  Which is incredible.  So I’m using that right now, I’m filling in the rough draft of the liveblog from this morning’s Commission on the Future meeting in the Marriott in Oakland, CA.  For the record – netbooks are way easier to liveblog without being a huge distraction in a meeting.

9:25AM – Academic Senate Chair, President Yudof, and Chair Gould begin their statements to start off the day for the Commission on the Future!  Sorry if my updates are a little sparse,  I brought my really big loud laptop today, so it’s hard to type without disturbing the meeting!  Chair Gould gives two dates to especially look out for – they’re town hall dates for the Commission on the Future.  The first one is in Northern California, UCSF Mission Bay, on Dec. 8th; the second one is Southern California, UCSD, on Jan. 19th.  So please keep a close lookout for both of those dates and town halls, and please attend!  With the work of the Commission, one of the most important things is for the UC community to be keyed in, and this is one of those opportunities to do it!

President Yudof mentioned his two talking points of the month – federal spending on higher education, and Project You Can.  He mentioned a symposium on the federal role in higher education, and really changing that – but I don’t know if any serious policy proposals have come out of that.  He also again pushed Project You Can and the extended Blue and Gold Opportunity Program – Project You Can is a 1billion dollar fundraising effort he’s pushing through the current UC campus fundraising structure.  The extended Blue and Gold Opportunities Program means that if you made under 70k, then you would be able to go to the UC for no cost.  It’s supposed to cover around 40-50% of all undergraduate students.

Academic Senate Chair Powell talked extensively about how Academic Senate plans on communicating with the Commission on the Future working groups, which is really great to hear.  Faculty are being really proactive about their approach to the Commission.  He also restressed the importance of public state funding to the UC – mentioning it is a critical, not supplemental, part of UC funding.

9:30AM – Mark Baldassare, CEO of Public Policy Institute of CA speaking – starts talking aobut skills gap in the CA – by 2025 40% of all jobs will need a B.A. or B.S., but only 35% of CA people will have a high school diploma! problem.  The inability for the higher education systems to produce graduates rapidly is soemthing that is definitely going to hurt the CA economy going into the future.  He mentioned three proposals – increasing community college transfer rates, making sure that k-12 students come out college ready (to alleviate some of the remedial time they spend in college), and increasing the completion rate in college (CSU’s, for example, have a 50% attrition rate – half of their students never graduate).  He also talked a little about public opinion, which is something that his think tank does particularly well in the state.

10:16AM – Robert B. Reich, Econ Prof. at UCB and former Sect. of Labor – amazing thoughts on what is a public good model, how it is hard to quantify the benefits of the public goods model, and how to reclaim those benefits for revenues for the UC.  wow.  gotta expand on this later.

10:31AM – Preisdent Atkinson and President Garner speaking in front of the Commission – Atkinson is saying that he does not support differential fees (but does not go against campus-specific supplemental fees), he would like more out-of-state students as long as the master plan number is still met, would like more research partnerships with industry, and is proposing a really interesting high fee master degree program through internet teaching.   He’s also proposing stablizing our enrollments/programs…not opening any large new programs any time recent.  He also suggests looking at trimming/eliminating academic programs that “are not giving anything to their disiciplines”.  definitely really controversial statement.  A lot of people seem to support Community College Transfer rates to increase, and larger ‘cyber campus’ efforts  – president atkinson is no different.

10:42AM – President Garner, speaking to give “perspective of UC past, so we can understand our transitions to our future.”  Garner speaks on the 8 points he believes brought the UC to it’s peak and power.  speaks a lot about the infrastructure and governance of the UC – starting out with constitutional authority of the UC, and then the role of the president, academic senate, etc.etc.  It’s similar to a speech he gave at Uni of Illinois he gave four years ago – so I’ll put up the outline of that speech soon!

Okay – I don’t know if this is possible to continue at this point…I’m going to start taking handwritten notes and post them up later on the blog.  so it won’t be a LIVEblog…but it will be a blog.  i blame my old laptop, but you can blame me.  sorry folks, but check back in later today for the summaries!


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