Thursday, January 20, 2011

Behind Every Fee Increase... A Line of Private Security Guards?

Sometimes it's hard to decide which parts of a UC Regents' meeting to highlight. Everything about these meetings in general is just terrible, pretty much across the board. Right now, the regents are stoked about the state's budget cuts, looking for every opportunity to raise tuition (they're proposing another 6.25 percent hike), fire workers (now they're saying a thousand) and cut pensions -- the whole conflict over Dean Edley's astoundingly self-centered view of the crisis seems to offer UCOP and the regents an beautiful conjuncture in which they can slash worker pensions and come off looking like the good guys. Still, there's a couple of details we wanted to flag from this summary of yesterday's meeting. First, this is kind of amazing:
Yudof said the university has long operated on three "compass points" -- access, affordability and excellence.

"We are moving dangerously close to having to say: pick two of the three. That’s my view, and the excellence is nonnegotiable," he said. "We are going to have to look at access and affordability."
I think that speaks for itself. Also, this:
Relatively few members of the public -- including faculty, staff and students -- attended the meeting. In fact, uniformed and plainclothes UC police and yellow-jacketed private security guards outnumbered the public.
Behind every fee increase, a line of private security guards. The riot cops, of course, are right behind them.


  1. Following the paper trail…

    The following article was sent and posted around December 10th, 2010, encouraged by Yudof and sent by many UC higher-ups (including the Dean of Boalt Law, Vice Chancellors of UCSF school of Medicine, Investment managers, etc…) to the Regents, addressing an issue surrounding pension plan amounts promised and their subsequent delivery. Scan it if you have the chance, a quick glance into who is asking for what and how much. Pension limits of $245,000 (based on IRS limitations, see are deemed inadequate towards the bottom of the letter, legal suit is threatened on behalf of CEOs and CIOs across various UC departments. The complaint put forward is based upon the deserved compensation for continued service by these employees, competition with private institutions and recruitment/retainment issues. Is this evidence of the Regents attempting to cut from the top (hard to believe…but give it a read)? Are UC higher-ups unwilling to part with upwards of $250,000 pension plans on behalf of the university’s health? Meanwhile, Yudof’s supplemental retirement benefits are set to go through as an “exception to policy” while others are being cut. Ladies and gentlemen, the boat is a rockin’, this time at the top. Nervous higher-ups are finally feeling the heat that hundreds of workers, graduate students, undergraduates and faculty have felt in the past few years over pension cuts, layoffs, etc… and they are not happy. Lucky for these folks, they’ve got quite a cushion to fall back on, earning hundreds of thousands for the past 30 years. But they’ve re-directed their anger towards the Regents and Yudof himself, for misconduct and broken promises over their financial futures. The implications of this letter, published in December 2010 in the SFChronicle, have staggering consequences financially and politically within the battle for education funding. (see full SF chronicle letter at ). Have we been heard? Doubtful…Yudof still stands on $600,000 while firmly standing shoulder to shoulder with Regents Chairman Russ Gould in denying longtime UC employees their own pension plans (see the results of the letter in a later SF Chronicle article, published Jan. 5th, 2011, While this may be a small victory in shifting the beneficiaries and victims of education cuts, hypocrisy still stands strong in the house of Yudof.

  2. Article mentioned above can be found through