Liveblog: Jan Regents Meeting Day 2

9AM – Public Comment- Union members have come to argue about contracts, especially CUE, who are no allied with the TEAMSTERS to help them argue the contract.

Students have come to support Holistic Admissions, and thanks Regent Island for taking leadership on this issue.  Students have also come to argue against Budget Cuts – and to ask that those cuts don’t result in fee increases (keeping in mind the 32% increase last year and the continued 8% this year).

9:15AM – Regent Gould’s Comments: The deep issue with the budget is that 500m cuts is a best case senario, assuming that Brown’s ballot initiatives succeed in June.  That means if they fail, we may be looking at even deeper issues.  The Regents are going to do our first briefing on options for the UC to deal with the budget reduction, no decisions will be made today.  (Note: we will likely see VP of Budget Patrick Lenz give a laundry list of options to the Regents to deal, however, Regents will not be deciding on which ones we’ll be moving forward with).

Tweet Note: Superintendent Torlakson and Lt. Governor Newsom are in the building – it’s good to see elected officials!

9:15AM – President Yudof’s Comments: I believe the Gov. Brown’s cuts are serious, dead serious.  he’s not playing games and we have to deal the number of 500m.  Yudof is going to ask each campus for specific target reductions to make things happen.  He’s also predict and suggest that no further fee increase will be taken, although he did not take it off the table and did say “never say never”.  He also suggested he favors online learning, as long as the quality controls are there.

9:30AM – Lt. Gov. Newsom makes comments at the beginning of the Board of Regents.  He talks about fighting in the state government against the 500m cuts, and he talks about looking at efficiencies.  His website announces that he has “launches statewide discussion on California’s higher education system”

9:30AM – Superintendent Torlakson also makes public comments, apparently many of his children attend the UC system.

10AM: UCSD gives it’s campus presentation, telling the rest of us why they are the best and secret underground cavern where they control the weather to make it a perfect balmy 74 degrees in the middle of the winter.

Chancellor Fox also talks about campus climate pretty extensively.  The yield has gone up for students of color accepting and coming to UCSD.  60 more Black and African American students accepted and turned in their SIRs more than last year – that’s like a 33% jump up, which says a lot about how bad campus climate was before, and how far we have to go.  Native American students have also increased 24 students acceptance compared to last year, which is significant because they are also a population that has tended to get accepted to campus, but very often have said no to acceptance and gone other places.

10:15AM – Chancellor Fox answers a question from Regent Pattiz about what the impact of the budget cuts – the faculty who retire will not be replaced, staff will be let go.  from a student standpoint, one of htemost significant issues is that graduate students iwll not be able to be offered as quality recruitment packages, making it extremely difficult to attract quality graduate students – these people provide quality undergrad education, and quality research to the professors, and really hold a lot of the burden for the university.

10:30AM UC Regents are hearing the holistic admissions item – it’s a big deal.  Holistic admissions has shown to provide a more fair and equitable admissions process – ensuring that every student’s application gets one human read, and readers get 30 hours of training.  At UCLA, it’s shown to significantly increase the diversity of accepted students, and has been important to the African American student community. It’s also been in practice at UC Berkeley, UCI and UCSD are taking it up this year.  It’s more resource-intensive, because of the need to read every application, but the diversity standard is important.  Sue Wilbur, Director of Admissions is giving the presentation – she’s also retiring at the end of this month, after 8 years in her position and many years at UCI admissions before that.  She’s done really good work, and the UC loses a great person when she retires.  Much love.

11:30AM There was vigorous discussion in the Regents around holistic admissions, a number of Regents raised questions about why the resolution was brought to the Board and the number of resources it would use.  The vote was brought to the committee of education policy, it passed with only one no vote.  Since there were a number of Regents who raised questions, we’ll see how the vote goes down tomorrow as well.

11:30AM VP Budget of Patrick Lenz now talks about the budget:

what does 500m in cuts look like?  these are not actual options, but a sense of scale – it would be all UCLA gets from the state, or UCSF+UCSB+UCSC gets combined, or 1/3 of all faculty salaries, or 1/2 of UC financial aid funding, or a reduction of 80% of studdent services.  Every 6.25% increase in student fees only provide 100m.

Patrick Lenz strongly states that these are not actual options on the table – no one is giong to slash UCLA like that, or even talk about student fees right now – but this a sense of scale of what 500m would mean for the UC.  Drastic, drastic cuts.

Key principles going forward.  1. preservation of core mission.  2. balance among access, affordability, and quality. 3. maintaining status as a public institution.  Patrick Lenz states that we need to keep “all our options open”.

Regents have discussed multiple things.  The first few thoughts was to encourage UCOP to come back with multiple options, some of which do not include student fees and enrollment cuts.  Also, UCSA president encouraged Chancellors to include student consultation in their campus cuts.  There was talk about what taxes do we need to look at as potential revenue streams for the UC, and what public messaging do we need to send out to save the UC.  Pattiz talked strongly about the latter point – what public messaging do we need to send out to save the UC.


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