Occupy Education Northern California

      Over the last few months I have been involved with a new group of teachers, students and citizens concerned about all levels of public education, from K-12 through Higher Ed, and even Pre-School and lifelong learning. It has been instructive to learn how deep and widespread is the impact of Privatization, and the emerging view of where that destructive force comes from. The following Mission Statement, developed through extensive discussions, was just recently approved by the group; and I thought it worthwhile to circulate this document, inviting your comments.     Charles Schwartz
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President Yudof’s Principles re Police Behavior

President Yudof’s Principles re Police Behavior

by Charles Schwartz, UC Berkeley

On November 23, 2011, I sent a request for information to the Public Records office at the University of California Office of the President (PRA@ucop.edu ). [PRA stands for California’s Public Records Act.]

This PRA request refers to the meeting with Chancellors convened by President Yudof on Monday, November 21, 2011, to discuss matters related to recent police behavior at campus protests. (I see a news report about that meeting listed at http://www.ucop.edu)

I request a copy of any and all minutes and notes of what transpired at that meeting.

I also request a copy of any recordings (audio and/or video) of that meeting.

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How to Contact the UC Regents by Email (Yeah!)

How to Contact the UC Regents by Email (Yeah!)

by Charles Schwartz, Professor Emeritus, UC Berkeley

On the official web site of the Regents of the University of California it says,
“If you would like to email the Regents, please address your comments to Regents Office (regentsoffice@ucop.edu )”

Alternatively, you can find that Marsha Kelman is the Secretary and Chief of Staff to The Regents and her email address is  marsha.kelman@ucop.edu .

Here is my recent experience with that channel of communication.
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Where does the violence come from?

WHERE DOES THE VIOLENCE COME FROM?

by Charles Schwartz at UC Berkeley

Trying to make sense of recent events here, I came up with the following.

– – – – – – – – – –

DRAFT#1  by C.S. 11/19/11

The past two weeks have seen an unprecedented outbreak of police violence against peaceful students on UC campuses at Berkeley and Davis.  And this comes amidst the continuing loud protests against the privatization of UC.  Are those two things connected?

I expect that the Regents would say, No: privatization is necessary because the state has failed to provide enough money; and police action is necessary because some students don’t behave the way they should.

It seems clear that the Regents approve of the police violence – since we have heard no words of condemnation, or even regret, from them after the fact. Furthermore, it is quite conceivable that they actually ordained this violence, telling their Chancellors to “be tough” in the face of protesters. In any case, The Regents, are the legally responsible authority.

From ARTICLE 9 SECTION 9 of the California Constitution:
(a) The University of California shall constitute a public trust, to be
administered by the existing corporation known as "The Regents of the
University of California," with full powers of organization and government,

But, again, what has this got to do with privatization?

Freedom of Speech is protected by the U.S. Constitution, but only in the public domain. Any private business may fire employees and exclude customers whose speech displeases the bosses.  Freedom of Assembly is also only in the public domain. Any private business may call in the police to remove anyone they dislike from their private property.

Therefore, we propose ……

– – – – – – – – –

For a reality check, I sent this draft to a well-respected colleagues, as follows.

X;
We have been on opposing sides of some arguments lately; so now I want to see if we might possibly collaborate on something.  Below is my first draft of a somewhat broader statement about what is happening at UC.  Please tell me what you think of this and whether there is some form in which we might promote these ideas in concert.
Charlie

He replied,

Charlie,
I’ll pass on this one.  I don’t believe anyone supports the violence – I think that far too many in our administration are well intentioned but incompetent.
On top of that, …
X

To which I replied,

X, thanks for your response.
I find your second sentence most thought-provoking: did that violence just fall, like rain, from the sky?
Charlie

– – – – – – – – – –

So, now I am posting this for wider commentary.

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Letter to The Regents

Department of Physics
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720
September 16, 2011

To The Regents of the University of California
Via the Office of their Secretary and Chief of Staff

Dear REGENTS;

I read in this morning’s newspaper that you want to see alternative plans for UC’s future budgeting. So, please read: “A BETTER PLAN for the Future of the University of California,” posted at http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~schwrtz/ToTheCommission.pdf .

This document was originally presented to the UC Commission on the Future in December 2009. I personally handed the papers to Vice President Taylor at a public meeting where he represented the President’s Office on the Commission. I have never received any substantive response to the analysis and proposals contained therein.

You will discover that the analysis of this paper directly contradicts the financial scheme presented to you yesterday by Vice Presidents Brostrom and Lenz. They rely on the bad old habit of hiding all the costs of faculty research under the misleading title of  “Average Expenditures for Education” (Display 3 in Item F8).

The central issue here is to acknowledge the Cost of Research and the Cost of Education as two essential and distinguishable parts of the University’s core budget. Then one can intelligently pursue the question, Who should pay for what?  To ignore (or to obfuscate) this issue is a fundamental fault, which I have tried to bring to President Yudof’s attention on several previous occasions. But he has chosen to ignore this challenge.

Therefore, I now invite you, The Regents, to dig into this basic problem yourselves. I hope it will lead you to ask more questions and promote more healthy debate.

Sincerely yours,
Charles Schwartz
Professor Emeritus
Schwartz@physics.berkeley.edu

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A Little Brain Twister

November 30, 2009
Mark Yudof, President
University of California
President@ucop.edu

Dear President Yudof;

I have just come upon what looks like a significant error in the University’s budgeting/accounting system and I ask that you look into this promptly. It concerns certain fees paid by UC students.
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New Data on Management Growth at UC

New Data on Management Growth at UC 1991-2010

by Charles Schwartz, UC Berkeley

This is a subject I have written about several times in the past, based upon analysis of statistical data published by the University. Official response has been pathetic. Now, some new data not only extends the time frame over which we can see enormous growth in management positions but also lets us identify the main sources of funds paying for this estimated $1 Billion per year in apparent waste.
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A $4 Billion Mystery is Solved!

A $4 Billion Mystery is Solved!

by Charles Schwartz, UC Berkeley

This is Act III of the “$4 Billion Mystery at UCOP,” the earlier parts having been posted on February 10 and February 17 at http://UniversityProbe.org . A letter from Patrick Lenz, the University’s Vice-President for Budget and Capital Resources, received February 22, succeeds in solving the first Mystery of the missing money; and he has taught me something I didn’t know before about nomenclature in the UC budget and accounting systems. However, the second Mystery remains to be answered: Why is so much State money appropriated for the University’s Instructional program diverted to other uses, year after year?  In addition, VP Lenz confirms essential parts of my earlier analysis that led to alternative budget proposals in this time of a State budget crisis.
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$4 Billion Mystery at UCOP: Act II

$4 Billion Mystery at UCOP: Act II

by Charles Schwartz, UC Berkeley

While top officials at the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) remain silent in the face of the huge financial discrepancy previously reported (See my posting dated February 10, 2011), some new data analysis shows us which portion of the University’s State-funded budget has been the primary victim of this diversion: it is the Instructional program.
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$4 Billion Mystery at UCOP

What is the explanation for this apparent discrepancy?

$400 – $500 Million per year

by Charles Schwartz, UC Berkeley

General Funds = Unrestricted money from the State of California to the University of California (UC) for its operating budget.

Regents’ Budget = UC Budget for Current Operations; see table near the end, titled,  “Income and Funds Available”. FY 2010 data from budget for 2010-11, issued 11/2009.  These are budget numbers, originating from The Regents and eventually approved in Sacramento, which show how much of General Funds UC received each year. [Note: These are not the amounts requested by UC for the next fiscal year, they are the amounts for the current fiscal year that have been approved by the Legislature and the Governor.]

CFS = UC Campus Financial Schedules, Schedule 12-D.  These are accounting numbers, which show how much of General Funds has actually been spent each year as operating expenditures.

The gap between these two numbers is a mystery. How can it be that the amount of this money  actually paid by the State to The Regents for their annual budget should be so much larger than the amount of this same money actually spent by UC for its annual operating costs. Where did that difference go?  This is not just a one-time effect: over the ten year period described above the total discrepancy adds up to $4.8 Billion.

In a recent paper I looked at alternatives in the present budget crisis, focusing on the University’s Core Funds – General Funds plus Student Fees. Noted there was a discrepancy between budget data and expenditures data for General Funds in the last fiscal year 2009-10. The graph above shows that discrepancy occurring systematically each year over the last decade. What follows is the correspondence I have had with top officials at the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) seeking some explanation for this surprising situation.

———————————————————————————————–

On January 25, 2011, I sent this graph of General Funds data by email to Patrick Lenz, UC’s Vice President for Budget, with a copy to Peter Taylor, Executive Vice President for Finance.

Dear Patrick;
I wonder if you can explain to me the apparent discrepancies in data about General Funds at UC, which are shown in the attached document.

Thanks,
Charlie

—————————————————–

February 1, 2011
Dear Patrick and Peter;

It is now one week since I sent you my inquiry, asking for some explanation of the large discrepancies shown in the attached data concerning General Funds at UC.
When may I expect your response?

Charlie
cc: President Mark Yudof

——————————————————

February 1

Professor Schwartz – We’re working on your response and I’ll get you an
estimated time when I’m in Oakland tomorrow to meet with my staff.

Patrick
cc: President Yudof
——————————————————-

February 4
Dear Patrick and Peter;

While waiting for your response to my inquiry about apparent discrepancies in General Funds at UC, I have looked again at the data available to me and found one correction that reduces the discrepancies somewhat.  Taking account of the “Expense Capitalized” contribution to General Funds expenditures, as found in the Campus Financial Schedules, I now have the corrected data shown in the attached Table.

The Cumulative Discrepancy over the past 12 years now stands at just over $4 Billion. I look forward to your explanation of this matter.

Charlie
cc: President Yudof

General Funds at UC: Budgeted and Spent

Fiscal Year Budgeted * Spent ** Difference
$ Millions $ Millions $ Millions
1998-99 2,817 2,435 382
1999-00 3,050 2,717 333
2000-01 3,576 3,137 439
2001-02 3,786 3,422 364
2002-03 3,704 3,431 273
2003-04 3,442 3,094 348
2004-05 3,265 2,957 308
2005-06 3,399 3,081 318
2006-07 3,637 3,303 334
2007-08 3,851 3,539 312
2008-09 3,834 3,515 319
2009-10 3,263 2,891 372
2010-11 3,736
12 year Cumulative Discrepancy $4,102

* Budgeted figures from “UC Budget for Current Operations”, table of Income and Funds Available: State General Funds + UC General Funds + ARRA
** Spent figures from “UC Campus Financial Schedules”, Current Funds Expenditures: General Funds from Table 12-D or 12-H, including Expense Capitalized
—————————————————-

February 8, 2011
President Mark Yudof;

I have been waiting two weeks to hear UCOP’s explanation for this discrepancy in accounting for State Funds at UC.  Your silence suggests that there is something more than simple incompetence behind this. How much longer should I wait before making this information public?

Charlie
cc: Vice Presidents Lenz and Taylor

————————————————————————————————–

February 10: Continued silence from UCOP.

When Mark Yudof became President of the University of California he announced a new dedication to accountability and transparency. Something is very wrong up there.

——————–

This is a blog: that means that you, the reader, are invited to post your own comments:

What do you suggest I might do about this situation?

What do you suggest you might do about this situation?

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