Monday Memo: news & views about working at UC

For the Week of June 27, 2016

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The Sacramento Bee reports that UC Davis chancellor Linda Katehi has refused to turn over her university-issued cell phone, laptop, and iPad to UC officials investigating her conduct. Katehi, who presided over the notorious pepper spray incident in 2011, was suspended in April for apparent conflicts of interest and for hiring family members in violation of university policy. She has hired a public relations outfit that has launched a media counterattack in her defense.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that UC Berkeley forced a vice chancellor to step down last year for sexually harassing an assistant but continued paying his executive salary for 11 months afterward. Quite different treatment than that which lower-ranking employees got for the same crimes, as recounted in the Guardian’s coverage of Berkeley’s recent sexual harassment scandal.

In other UCB news, the bill for renovations and a security fence around the chancellor’s house has reached $1 million, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Besides going over budget sprucing up the campus mansion, the chancellor is also under fire for his alleged use of a campus staffer to do personal errands. All this, while UCB struggles with a $150 million deficit.

The recent budget deal between Gov. Brown and legislative leaders would cap out-of-state student enrollments at 10%, which UC says will cost the system more than $500 million by 2022. The bill requires 5,000 more California students per year and a decrease of 1,700 out-of-state students per year. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports percentages of out-of-state students by campus. UCSD (21%), UCLA (23%), and UCB (24.5%) are at the top of the list.

The Legislature last week approved $5 million for the creation of a new UC research center on gun violence. The proposal asks UC to analyze the causes and consequences of gun violence and the effectiveness of existing laws. UC said the location and further funding of the research center have yet to be determined.

A study commissioned by the chancellor of the Cal State University system last year has found that about one in 10 of CSU’s 460,000 students is homeless and one in five doesn’t have steady access to enough food, the Los Angeles Times reported. “This is a gasp,” said Chancellor Timothy White, who pledged to address the issue across the CSU system.

The Supreme Court’s decision on Thursday to uphold the University of Texas’s affirmative action plan may open the door to a return of affirmative action to UC, according to former UC Davis Law School dean Vikram Amar.

The Labor Department's new overtime rule, which more than doubled (to $47,476) the salary threshold under which virtually all employees are guaranteed overtime, is coming under fire from higher education employers, who are “unhappy that the rule doesn't exempt post-doctoral fellows, or ‘post docs’” writes Politico. Some are also upset that the new rule may encourage the National Labor Relations Board to classify graduate student workers as employees with organizing rights.

Twenty-five thousand United Airlines flight attendants affiliated with UPTE’s national union, the Communications Workers of America, will likely vote soon on a new collective bargaining agreement bringing United and Continental workers under the same contract since the two companies merged, reports Reuters.

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