UC Regents Meeting Liveblog! November Version!

Hey!  The office of the Student Regent will be liveblogging here on the UC Regents meeting, from the UC Regents table!  Follow the UC Regents meeting here for the most up to date information about the meeting!  we’ll be talking about the blue and gold plan, midyear fee increase, project you can, the uc system, and more!  Check out the agenda for the UC Regents meeting here!  http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/regents/regmeet/nov09.html

12:46 – Currently outside there is a press conference about the fee increase vote.  Tonight is Crisisfest at UCLA.  To be clear!  The fee increase vote has not really passed the Board of Regents!  Tomorrow they will confirm the vote for the committee of finance, and that’s actually the final vote.  Fox60 may have accidentally reported that the Board of Regents have already passed this vote!  VP Dooley still tlkaing about the advocacy efforts of the Board of Regents – using the “grasstops” of influential people around California.  He also talked about the March on Sactown in March – working with UCSA, CSU, CCC, he also reported that President Yudof will lead this march, if the agenda’s align.

12:38 – VP Patrick Lenz talking about the UC budget situation – Capital projects budget – we’re asking for over 600m dollars in a General Obligation Bond measure from the state to be passed by voters.  The senate and house bills have been passed by policy committee, and is in policy committee, respectively.  VP Dan Dooley now talking about UC advocacy efforts to win the 913.1m from the state.  They are using facebook, twitter, all that new media thangg.  they’ve also updated their ucforcalifornia.org website to make it hipper and cooler, looking for eadvocates to contact the governor immediately to get the UC budget in on that governor’s budget.

12:30pm – Sorry everybody.  Things got really hot in the public area, Jesse Bernal and I tried to step in to make sure students could stay inside and were safe.  Students were escorted outside, I went with them.  Missed the fee increase vote.  But Bernal said it passed, he spoke out against it.  We’re now talking about the 10-11 Budget situation, give me a second to get back up to speed before liveblog again.  I understand there are a lot of students and police and everyone is agitated outside, everyone please be safe.  see you soon.

11:50PM – Regent Lansing – “The first thing that came through, was the lack of trust between both sides.  Ironically, we have the same goals.  Ironically, we seem to be fighting each other, instead of understanding each other.”  “That means we have to keep the best teachers, the best student/teacher ratio.”  “thsi is somethign that has been put on us by the legislature.”

11:40PM – Regent Island speaking – I much regret the uncivility this morning which lead to the removal of students.  I get the protest, I understand their passion and their difficulty and their angst.  I undertand their burden.  “no is not the answer.”  As we vote for the fee increase we’re going to depart from our core values today.  I believe the fee increase for now is necessary.  We cannot carry out our responsibilities, we will risk the well-being of our institution.  “We can’t make cheap political statements, it doesn’t solve the problem.  We need real solutions.”

11:30AM – Gould and Lozano restart the meeting – put in some points about the importance of getting the public to hear the blue and gold plan.  VP Lenz have finished their presentation on the blue and gold plan and the fee increase.  Victor Sanchez (president of University of California Student Association) and Calvin Sung (Chair of Council for Student Fees) are now presenting in front of the board of regents against the fee increase.  Calvin starts off by asking “what programs is this fee increase and which campuses is this fee increase going to protect?”  “is it truly worth our time to fill in 7% of the budget gap with the midyear fee increase?”  “Essentially, you’re asking to increase student fees to pay off less than a percent of the problem we have” (note: these opinions don’t represent the student regents, we’re just reporting what they’re saying).  Victor Sanchez: speaks against the increase in professional students – which have high amounts of increases.  These increases are “exceptions” to Regental Policy on professional students.  “we being to see the encroachment on not only academic integrity, but on what it really means to be an academic scholar.”  “These increase can be percieved as solution, but they can also be seen as obstacles to access and affordability, especially in regards our most vulnerable communities.”

11AM – students are back in public comment, and students can be heard outside of the building, but students inside hte public comment area are quiet.  Why we need fee increases argument from Patrick Lenz: Address current state underfunding and growing mandatory costs.  prospective students full information in making the college choice.  students have just started singing “we shall overcome” and raising their fists, stopping the presentation. Regent Lozano asks them to stop, so the information can be given out to the public and students and families can hear the information about hte fee increases and blue and gold plan.  Regent Lozano was good in saying that only students making noise be asked to leave the room. the rest of the public is allowed to stay.

10:45AM – The fee increases would put student fees would be over 10k by the end of next year.  they argue it would put back some classes, it would start faculty hiring, and put back some library hours…no details yet though.  They’re talking aobut how fee increases will be covered by financial aid.  Augmentations to Cal Grants/UC Grants.  Pell Grant expansion by 619, and tuition tax credit expansion for the federal level, raising income ceiling.  Introduction of Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan for 70k and under for 10-11.  for the midyear fee increase, only 60k and under will be covered.

10:40AM – Committee on Finance has moved towards the item including the blue and gold plan, the midyear fee increase, and the 10-11 fee increase.  15% midyear fee increase would be around 585/student, would generate around 66.6m for new ed fee revenue.  Graduate Academic student increase is only 2.6% overall, because their funds are just ones being taken out from the departments.   This still leaves a 464m campus cut after the fee increase to be distributed this year.  The state gap for 10-11 is going to be covered by just fee increaess, debt restructuring, and campus cuts.  After the fee increases, campuses will still take 792.3m in cuts, which must hurt so much.  We’re also aking from the state 913.1m restoration, but with the state’s recent budget deficit of 21b, this looks really ugly.  At the very least, they want to argue for a 305 m from the state for 10-11, so that the states will only have to take 487m in cuts instead of the entire 792.3m.  Still, it looks like a very difficult argument to make to the state!  We need state advocacy with students!

10:35AM – Dang, this budget is hurting really hard.  Campus foundations (fundraising) assets have dropped by 647m, retirement system has dropped by 11b.  This kind of hurt reflects the horrible financial state the budget cuts have left the university.  The retirement system drop has a direct connection to the state.  The accured liability for the retirement benefits trust has grown to 13billion from 1billion three years ago.  DANg.

10:35AM – Regent Kieffer: “We’re going into a house with no equity”.  our reserves have gone from 6b, to 3.5b, to 700m next year.  The change has happened over a couple years, it’s been very drastic.  House with no equity means that as the UC goes along, it’s value has been dropping (thanks to Alumni Regent-designate Hime for the explanation).

10:30AM – students are being let back into the meeting, public comment is looking back to be filled.  However, it’s being said that students are trying to find other ways from getting to the room, the police just moved out to go grab them!

10:30  The picture of students outside.

the picture of students outside the Regents meeting

10:17AM – Academic Senate Chair Powell just gave his comments.  They’re moving to hte committee on finance and the mid-year fee increase vote!  Right now we’re on item J1, which is UC financial reports.  there is a total 2.25b decrease in the UC’s budget.  Our net assets have lost by 2 billion.  Our funding status has declined, while our assets have grown, our liabilities have also grown substaintially.  Our debt has grown by 964m dollars.  Our unrestricted net assets (like the “reserves” that workers talk about) have dropped by 1.8b dollars, down to 3.5b dollars.

10:05AM – Updates!  Students have been cleared out of the building.  I don’t know if they’re allowed to come back.  Yudof is giving it’s comments now, talking about advocacy and the blue and gold plan.  Yudof talks about “fantasy economics”, the money is not there with the state.  But in talking about the state economy, Yudof pushes the CA for UC campaign (http://www.ucforcalifornia.org/uc4ca/home/), talks about the pins given out to students and the Regents that say “We’re UC and We Vote.”  This is the advocacy campaign towards the state government, which the LAO today projected will be 21b dollars underbudget for this year.

9:35AM – Mark Yudof is trying give his board report, but the crowd keeps interruppting and booing him.  the chant is “take a stand.” yudof: “regents have to act.  in the end of the day, it’s your job to blaance the budget.  the budget on the table is the only budget out there that will balance the budget.”  Yudof ends his speech early – asks the people that are distrubing the meeting to leave or be removed form the room.  police have just entered the room and are waiting for the protesters to remove themselves.  students please be safe!

9:20AM – Russ Gould is trying to conclude public comment, and start speaking about his comments, but the crowd wants four more speakers to speak.  they’re chanting so chair gould can’t continue his meeting.  chair Gould struck a deal with a crowd, he’ll let these four speakers speak, and then the meeting will continue.  gould works to look at the excellence of the UC while in the midst of this budget crisis.  Congratulates the two nobel prizes that were won by UC professors, definitely amazing work!  Also talks about the UC advocacy effort against the constituentional amendment that would take away UC’s autonomy in the state.  Congrats to Steve Juarez and Dan Dooley, who lead that effort!

Also gives an update to Commission on the Future.  Listening tour throughout the UC – 6 out of the 10 campuses have visited.  Also, speaks about the Public Policy Institutue for CA CEO who came to speak about the recent survey “Californians in Higher Education”.  There is a lot of public support for the UC – over 60% think that UC is doing a “good”/”Excellent” job.  They also don’t like fee increases, etc.etc.  However, they do not support a tax increase for higher education.  Sticky situtation.  “We must lead”.

Asking the Federal Government to take a stronger role  in higher education, and also talks about the advocacy efforts towards Sacramento.

Russ Gould “Today, fee increase is on the budget today (Crowd: Boo).  Nobody in this room wants to support fee increase.  Direct your anger and frustration and join us in Sacramento.”

8:30AM – public comment has been extended to 40 minutes, there are 57 speakers in the crowd.  Sarah Bana from UC Irvine submits 150 handwritten letters from UC Irvine students to the UC Regents about the midyear fee increase.  We also had three UCLA students – two undergrads, one law student is spekaing now about how the fee increase will impact diversity, etc.etc.   Another UCI student speaking now wiht 72 petitions about the midyear fee increase – haha i know this is bad, but i’m happy uc irvine students are very present here today.

QUICK BREAK: RT @pkrapp: CA faces budget shortfall of $21 billion – latimes.com: http://bit.ly/xpJgE+

UCLA student speaking for about the impacts with undocumented students at UC.  ASU Chair of UCLA speaks to the enrollment of black students at UCLA who are impacted by the fee increases.  Also a number of speakers speaking about the API community’s involvement with the UC system!  UCI students argue against the midyear fee increase, a woman finds no words to speak to express how she feels about the midyear fee increase.   it was a moment.

Workers now speaking against the midyear fee increase, weaving in language about the furloughs.  Workers are talking about last year them winning a contract and now getting a furlough.  The tone is definitely very much aggressive, for sure.

The word on the street is that more students are coming on Thursday – anywhere from 1000 to 5000 students.

UCLA Graduate student talks against the statewide standardized Graduate Student Health Insurance Plan, saying that it’ll drop the UCLA Grad Student health plans by raising students and drop their benefits.  Another a UCLA student talks about democratizing the university – the tone with the speakers have definitely just much more aggressive, it’s like whoa.  Another UCLA speaker speaks about AB540 students and undocumented students at the university.  A professor in communications and african american studies speaks today – speaks about the difficulty in recruiting and retaining african american students at the UC.

We’ve managed to get through all the speakers list in the 40 minutes!  we’re going back now to find other speakers!  we still have some time left for public comment, so if you’re in the crowd, please make sure you do speak!


5 responses to “UC Regents Meeting Liveblog! November Version!

  1. Pingback: Liveblog of the UC Regents meeting – Berkeleyside

  2. What was vote for/against?

  3. Nevermind, delete the comments.

  4. Has the Blue and Gold plan been approved?

  5. $3 Million Extravogant Spending by UC President Yudof for UCBerkeley Chancellor Birgeneau to Hire Consultants – When Work Can Be Done Internally
    These days, every dollar counts. Contact Senate (Ms. Romero 916.651.4105) & Assembly (Ms. Brownley 916.319.2044) Chairperson’s Education Committees or your representatives.
    Do the work internally at no additional costs with UCB Academic Senate Leadership (C. Kutz/F. Doyle), the world – class UCB faculty/ staff, & the UCB Chancellor’s bloated staff (G. Breslauer, N. Brostrom, F. Yeary, P. Hoffman, C. Holmes etc) & President Yudof.
    President Yudof’s UCB Chancellor should do the high paid work he is paid for instead of hiring expensive East Coast consults to do the work of his job. ‘World class’ smart executives like Chancellor Birgeneau need to do the hard work analysis, and make the tough-minded difficult, decisions to identify inefficiencies.
    Where do the $3,000,000 consultants get their recommendations?
    From interviewing the UCB senior management that hired them and approves their monthly consultant fees and expense reports. Remember the nationally known auditing firm who said the right things and submitted recommendations that senior management wanted to hear and fooled the public, state, federal agencies?
    $3 million impartial consultants never bite the hands (Birgeneau/Yeary) that feed them!
    Mr. Birgeneau’s accountabilities include “inspiring innovation, leading change.” This involves “defining outcomes, energizing others at all levels and ensuring continuing commitment.” Instead of deploying his leadership and setting a good example by doing the work of his Chancellor’s job, Mr. Birgeneau outsourced his work to the $3,000,000 consultants. Doesn’t he engage UC and UC Berkeley people at all levels to examine inefficiencies and recommend $150 million of trims? Hasn’t he talked to Cornell and the University of North Carolina – which also hired the consultants — about best practices and recommendations that will eliminate inefficiencies?
    No wonder the faculty, staff, students, Senate & Assembly are angry and suspicious.
    In today’s economy three million dollars is a irresponsible price to pay when a knowledgeable ‘world-class’ UCB Chancellor and his bloated staff do not do the work of their jobs.
    Together, we will make a difference.

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