University of California president to retire

Mark Yudof, the president of the University of California system, announced Friday he will end his tenure on Aug. 31, 2013, the Huffington Post reports. After consulting with his family, Yudof said he plans to return to teaching law at the UC Berkeley campus.

“The prior 18 months brought a spate of taxing health issues,” Yudof said. “Though these challenges have been largely overcome, I feel it is time to make a change in my professional lifestyle.”

Yudof has held his position since June 2008, and his tenure was characterized by unprecedented budget cuts from the state legislature, driving up tuition and fueling many protests. However, several UC campuses continued to hold multiple spots as the best universities both nationally and globally…Read More

Universities could convert music, movie downloads into fundraising cash

Student downloads could raise money for colleges.

College students’ love of music, movies, video games, and books could be a supplement to college and university fundraising as campus decision makers prove more willing to experiment with technological ways to ask donors for cash.

A new website called Huzo is inviting colleges to join its entertainment service, and the site’s founder, Terrell Samuels, said that if enough students sign up and buy songs, games, and eBooks, institutions could bring in tens of thousands of dollars.

Huzo users earn back 2 percent of every purchase they make on the site, meaning they’d receive two cents when they purchase a $1 song. If a college or university persuaded its students, faculty, and alums to join Huzo, and each member spent $7 a month on the site, the campus would reap about $30,000 annually, Samuels said.…Read More

California cuts weigh heavily on its colleges

The doors to the state’s newest medical school are already open, technically. A gleaming building with new labs is ready to house researchers and students. But when the state budget was approved last week, the plans to open the medical school at the University of California’s campus here were shelved for at least another year, reports the New York Times. The compromise to close the state’s huge budget gap included cuts to state agencies of all kinds, but none were as deep as those to the state’s public colleges and universities…

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Judge: University illegally searched journalist’s camera

A judge has ruled that the University of California police illegally searched the camera of a photojournalist covering a protest outside the chancellor’s campus home, reports the Associated Press. Alameda County Superior Judge Yolanda Northridge on June 18 invalidated the search warrant used by UC Berkeley police to review photographs taken by David Morse at the Dec. 11 demonstration, according to the Oakland-based First Amendment Project, which represented him. The judge also ordered the university to return all copies of Morse’s photos, which campus police were using as part of their investigation into violence and vandalism the night of the protest. The First Amendment Project called the ruling a “huge and hard-fought victory for freedom of the press,” noting that the judge upheld a California law restricting police searches of journalists’ unpublished work. The UC Police Department has not had a chance to review the ruling, said Capt. Margo Bennett. But she said campus police wrote the affidavit for the search warrant in good faith, and a judge signed it. Morse was covering a demonstration outside Chancellor Robert Birgeneau’s campus residence, during which campus police arrested eight people after dozens of protesters broke windows, lights, and planters outside of Birgeneau’s home. The protesters were demonstrating against state funding cuts that have led to course cutbacks, faculty furloughs, and sharp fee increases…

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Palin dispute raises questions about university foundations

Palin’s fee and accommodations will be covered entirely by private donations, not state funds, an official said.
Palin’s fee and accommodations will be covered entirely by private donations, not state funds, an official said.

An escalating controversy involving a California State University foundation that hired Sarah Palin to give a speech has shed light on legal loopholes that allow such foundations to operate with little public oversight—and now some stakeholders are calling for greater accountability for these auxiliary organizations.

The state attorney general’s office announced April 13 that it would investigate California State University, Stanislaus, and its foundation for their handling of the contract for Palin’s speech. Meanwhile, a California group that advocates for open government filed a lawsuit April 16 against the university over its refusal to disclose documents related to the speech.

The state attorney general’s investigation has sparked a new round of calls for greater transparency and financial accountability for organizations embedded within California’s public universities, particularly given the size of their assets.…Read More

Universities save much-needed cash with the help of technology

UC officials said IBM analytics will help manage the university system.
UC officials said IBM analytics have helped save money for the university system, which has 228,000 students and 180,000 faculty.

An analytics system designed to manage risks and improve security has saved the University of California’s 10 campuses and five medical centers more than $160 million since 2006, officials announced March 25—helping the university system cut costs during an economic crisis that has crippled campus budgets.

The universities in the UC system have used IBM’s analytics software since 2006 to better aggregate massive amounts of data from the 228,000-student system and help administrators target wasteful spending and isolate dangerous areas on campus that result in injury or operation failure.

Using IBM’s Enterprise Risk Management System program, UC officials said decision makers at every campus and medical center have been able to mine the system’s database and spot trends, such as pushing and pulling injuries at medical centers.…Read More

Racial insensitivity roils University of California system

A series of racially charged events has rocked University of California campuses, causing many to wonder if racism is alive and well amoung the young and educated.
A series of racially charged events has rocked University of California campuses, causing many to wonder if racism is alive and well among the young and educated.

Swastikas, nooses, a KKK-style hood, and a student-run TV show featuring offensive racial epithets: An ugly spate of racially charged incidents has occurred across several University of California campuses over the past month, causing consternation, outcry, and fear that bigotry is alive and well among the young and educated.

Students have protested and administrators have condemned the actions, but the question remains: What lies behind the sudden parade of prejudice—a growing climate of insensitivity on campuses, or a bunch of immature kids yearning for peer acceptance and attention?

“My guess is some of all of those things,” said interim UC Provost Lawrence H. Pitts. “I’d like to believe it’s really an extreme minority. It does suggest there’s some underlying feeling of intolerance in our community.”…Read More

Cashing in on idle tech assets could help close campus budget gaps

Patents that originate from campus-based research should be used by university decision makers.
Patents that originate from campus-based research can generate significant revenue for universities.

Each day, universities conduct and invest in research that has an impact on science, medical, and technology industries. And while schools of higher education serve a larger purpose, patenting those research results and licensing those patents to industries can generate much-needed funds that benefit those universities.

Patents are assets, even if they are not immediately used. As such, campus assets borne from technology created by colleges and universities usually can be licensed, sometimes later in their useful lifetimes. Dormant patents represent potential revenue sources for colleges and universities who find that those patents are infringed upon.

A growing number of universities are hiring technology transfer managers who are responsible for generating revenue by licensing out university patents to industry.…Read More