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Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Afterwords Game

President Trump on Sunday lashed out at the father of a UCLA basketball player who downplayed Trump’s importance in getting his son released from shoplifting charges in China.
“Now that the three basketball players are out of China and saved from years in jail, LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo, is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal. I should have left them in jail!” Trump tweeted...

UCLA History: Westwood '38

Westwood in 1938

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Listen to the Morning Regents Sessions of November 15, 2017

We continue here our process of catching up with the Regents. Below are the audio recordings of the morning session of November 15, 2017.

The session began with the full board, much of which was devoted to public comments. Comments include demands for removal of Regent Pattiz, possible cutbacks in retiree health care, concern about pay increases, mandatory overtime for nurses, past pension cuts, campus visits of regents, renewable energy, Pell grants, outsourcing of parking valets, provision of mental health care for students, status of DACA students, and fossil fuel divestment. Regent Pérez raised the issue of how items get on the agenda and expressed dissatisfaction. President Napolitano and faculty rep White made reports.

The Public Engagement and Development Committee discussed fundraising, advocacy, and political developments at the state and federal levels. It was noted that the current federal tax bill disadvantages higher ed in various ways.

At the Compliance and Audit Committee, the aftermath of the state audit was the major issue. Also discussed was UC's creation of a captive insurance company.

Governance and Compensation discussed adding responsibility to the Investment Subcommittee. An item was pulled from the agenda. Regent Pérez raised concerns about the process for pulling items off just as he had earlier raised concerns about the procedures for putting things on the agenda.

Link to Board:


Alternative Link to Board:
https://ia801500.us.archive.org/7/items/RegentsPublicEngagementAndDevelopmentCommittee111517edit/regentsBoard11-15-17edited.mp3

Compliance and Audit:
https://ia801500.us.archive.org/7/items/RegentsPublicEngagementAndDevelopmentCommittee111517edit/regentsComplianceAndAuditCommittee11-15-17edited.mp3

Governance and Compensation:
https://ia801500.us.archive.org/7/items/RegentsPublicEngagementAndDevelopmentCommittee111517edit/regentsGovernanceAndCompensation11-15-17edited.mp3

Public Engagement and Development:
https://ia801500.us.archive.org/7/items/RegentsPublicEngagementAndDevelopmentCommittee111517edit/regentsPublic%20Engagement%20and%20Development%20Committee%2011-15-17edit.mp3

Friday, November 17, 2017

Regents Require Apology from UC Prez on State Audit

We'll be catching up with the recent Regents meeting as time permits. The full audio for indefinite archiving has now been captured (it's trickier than you might think) and has to be edited to remove blank areas where there was no open session. Some of the editing has been done; other parts remain.

In the interim, you probably know that there has been an investigation into UCOP and UC prez interference with a state audit. At the meeting of November 16, 2017, the Regents implemented some new procedures and required the UC president to make an apology - which she did.

From the San Francisco ChronicleThe University of California regents took disciplinary action against President Janet Napolitano on Thursday, publicly admonishing her for authorizing actions that led to her staff’s interference with a state auditor’s investigation last year. The regents also ordered Napolitano to apologize for approving the scheme that resulted in her chief of staff and his deputy pressuring campuses to change their responses to a confidential state auditor survey to remove negative remarks and instead have them reflect positively on the president’s office.


“The president’s decision to approve a plan to coordinate the survey responses reflected poor judgment and set in motion a course of conduct that the Board of Regents finds unacceptable,” UC Regents Chair George Kieffer said during a UC regents meeting in San Francisco with Napolitano sitting beside him.

“I regret deeply that I did not show better judgment,” Napolitano said in her apology. “I made this decision. I made a serious error in judgment. I apologize.”

The regents’ action came after an hours-long closed-door session and as the board publicly released an independent fact-finding report by retired state Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno. The report found that Napolitano’s chief of staff, Seth Grossman, and his deputy, Bernie Jones, directed the interference and then tried to cover their tracks. Both executives resigned from their jobs last week and have denied wrongdoing. During a news conference after the meeting, Kieffer said Grossman and Jones would have faced “serious disciplinary actions” if they had not resigned...



Video of relevant Regents session with UC prez apology:

New Westwood Neighborhood Council?

Westwood in 1949
From the Bruin: Student leaders said at a town hall meeting Thursday they want to create a more representative and democratic council to represent Westwood.
Westwood Forward, a student-run coalition that is also comprised of local homeowners and business owners, held a town hall meeting in Ackerman Union to address more than 45 members of the public about plans to subdivide the Westwood Neighborhood Council. The proposed North Westwood Neighborhood Council will serve those who live, work or own property near UCLA, the North Village and Westwood Village.
The WWNC is the official adviser to the city on Westwood-related matters. The council provides recommendations to the Los Angeles City Council for housing projects, business permits and proposed infrastructure for Westwood.
Student leaders announced plans to create a new council at the Graduate Students Association forum Nov. 8. Chloe Pan, Undergraduate Students Association Council external vice president and a member of Westwood Forward, said at the event she and other student leaders want to create the new council because they believe the WWNC stifles business operations, opposes student interests and makes it difficult for students to vote...
Student organizers for Westwood Forward said the coalition plans to hold a larger town hall meeting in two weeks.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Not an anthem of praise for a major UC provider

The California Department of Managed Health Care announced Wednesday that it had leveled a $5 million fine against Anthem Blue Cross, saying the insurer demonstrated a systemic pattern and practice of failing to identify, process and resolve grievances for enrollees in its managed-care plans.

“The grievance process is fundamental to protecting consumers’ health-care rights and ensuring consumers receive the care they need,” said DMHC Director Shelley Rouillard. “Anthem Blue Cross’ failures to comply with the law surrounding grievance and appeals rights are longstanding, ongoing and unacceptable. The plan must correct the deficiencies in their grievance and appeals system and comply with the law.”

Including this latest enforcement action, DMHC leaders said, the agency has fined Anthem Blue Cross $11.66 million for grievance system violations since 2002. This figure far outstrips the $1.76 million in fines leveled against Blue Shield of California, the insurer with the next highest enforcement actions in this category.

In a statement emailed Wednesday, Anthem spokeswoman Suzanne Meraz said: “Anthem strongly disagrees with the DMHC’s findings and the assertion that these findings are systemic and ongoing. Unfortunately the DMHC has not fulfilled its obligations to clarify the regulatory standards and definitions being applied in the audits, despite multiple requests from Anthem to do so.”...

Full story at http://www.sacbee.com/news/business/article184877248.html

Coming soon to Westwood?

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

For decades, a Berkeley elementary school has carried the name of a prominent conservationist and co-founder of the Sierra Club.
But that 19th century geologist, Joseph LeConte, was also a slave owner and munitions supplier to the Confederacy during the Civil War, and parents want his name off their children’s school.
The Berkeley school board honored that request Wednesday evening, voting to strip the LeConte name off the school and launch a process to select a new moniker.
The decision follows similar ones across the state to remove the names of those with pasts stained by racism. Palo Alto last year rebranded two schools that were named after men who supported eugenics, the belief that selective breeding and sterilization can improve the human race.
The vote in Berkeley follows a months-long process initiated by community members to rename the south Berkeley school that included meetings, straw polls and conversations about LeConte’s record...
In 1892, when the school was named, LeConte was a renowned professor at UC Berkeley, joining the faculty after the Civil War...
LeConte still has a waterfall, canyon, glacier and mountain named after him in addition to schools and university buildings, including one at UC Berkeley...