Monday Memo: news & views about working at UC

For the Week of June 05, 2017

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On the heels of a scathing state audit that uncovered $175 million in secret funds and added fuel to a legislative effort to take control of UC’s budget, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on lavish dinners and parties that the regents threw at UC expense – the last one coincided with a vote to increase tuition. Hours after the story broke, UC reversed the policy and decided the regents would pay for their own dinners.

An Associated Press article about UC Berkeley’s investigation into the chancellor’s misuse of $5,000 reverberated around the world on May 31 when the AP reported the probe “cost 10 times more than the misspending.”

Changes to UC’s disability insurance program are raising objections from UCLA employees, reports the Daily Bruin, after management changed the percentage of salary covered and waiting time for this year’s benefits.

A group of 13 former UCSF IT workers whose jobs were outsourced to an Indian contract firm filed suit against the UC regents on May 30, reports the Mercury News. Their attorney said workers were outraged after hearing the office of the president — a department not directly related to UCSF — had collected a large surplus.

Capital&Main has published a critical overview of how the university’s workers have fared since Janet Napolitano became UC president.

The EPA last month recognized UC as a national “green power” leader, and in the wake of Donald Trump’s action withdrawing the US from the Paris climate change agreement, Napolitano issued a statement reiterating a goal to make UC carbon neutral by 2025.  But when it comes to investing its funds in green enterprises, it’s a little more complicated, according to this article from Bloomberg news.

A demolition company is suing the University of California for $13 million in damages for misrepresenting a site above UC Berkeley, claiming it “was a veritable cesspool of radioactive and other contaminated waste,” according to Courthouse News Service.

Jurist reports that California’s Assembly has passed two bills meant to protect undocumented students, from kindergarten to college, from Trump administration actions. Both bills await Senate confirmation.

The chancellors of UCB, UCD, UCI, UCM, UCR and UCSD have signed on to a statement by mayors, governors and universities supporting the Paris Climate Agreement after Donald Trump pulled the US out. They pledge to continue its efforts to stop climate change. 

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