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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Did I Miss Something?

In the latest issue of the Senate Source Henry Powell makes explicit what many of us already suspected--that while the UCOF process is ongoing, President Yudof has told the working groups that their participation will no longer be needed.  Admittedly, this announcement is no great surprise.  But it does raise at least one question.  At the first round of recommendations in March (back when we still pretended that the process was being driven by the labor of the working groups) the Working Group on Education and Curriculum noted that they had put off any firm recommendations about educational quality but indicated that these recommendations would be forthcoming. (49)  Now that promised discussion has been short-circuited. (Although as Anonymous points out below in comments that short-circuit is not the fault of the working-group which did deliver a fuller discussion.)

In other words, the UCOF process (purportedly discussing the future of the UC) has proceeded without any meaningful university wide discussion of the educational aims of the institution.  From one perspective that might seem a justifiable reluctance on the part of UCOP and the Regents to get involved in academic and intellectual decisions best left to faculty and staff.  But that would be more persuasive if it were not for this summer's actual UCOF recommendations: on the one hand taking the Academic Council's agreement to tentatively explore a pilot sample of online courses as if that granted the Administration authority to oversee the organization of an online UC structure (86) while on the other hand proposing new mechanisms for academic units to be judged by essentially economic standards.  (69, 75)

Once again, and despite all the lip-service about the importance of the faculty and the Academic Senate, faculty concerns have been cast aside by the Regents and the Administration.  Or did I miss something?


Anonymous said...

Yes, you missed something: Ed & Curr recommendation number 5, from the second round of recommendations.

The Commission hasn't yet discussed the second round recommendations that the working groups submitted in June, I believe because Senate consultation couldn't be done over the summer.

Michael Meranze said...


Where do you see that in the June recommendations I am not being difficult, I am really curious.

I also don't think that the Commission needs Senate consultation to discuss things. The only thing new in the second round were the administrative recs I think.

Anonymous said...

Top link in sidebar on the commission page: http://ucfuture.universityofcalifornia.edu/

Direct link to pdf:

This has S&S 6-8, E&C 5-6, A&A 7-9, and RS 1-6 (no second round recommendations from Funding Strategies). In general, the second round subcommittee reports were much more substantive than the first round.

Michael Meranze said...

Thanks for this. I am still curious whether it will lead to any larger discussion (or will just be shelved) and am concerned that implementation is being left to UCOP. But clearly the working group did provide more discussion.

Chris Newfield said...

Michael's point was that we haven't had "meaningful university wide discussion of the educational aims of the institution." There is a good basis for a set of discussions in the working group reports Anonymous references. But those discussions haven't taken place. Now that Harry Powell has seconded Mark Yudof's statement that the WGs are finished, and the Regents are scheduled to act on the next round of UCOF recs, the UC community has no reason to read the 84 pages of June docs plus the 114 pages of August 31 docs, much less set up forums and general assemblies to discuss or vote on them. The UCOF recs the Regents voted on in July were far from those supported by the Senate (http://utotherescue.blogspot.com/2010/07/july-regents-meeting-presidential.html) - hence Michael's sense that faculty concerns have been cast aside. (another example would be UCFW's comment about UCOF's failure to deal with the university's real fiscal crisis). There is no evidence that the process at the Regents' meeting will be any different, and that is I think what we the great UC Anonymous should be focusing on.

cloudminder said...

at Cal some of the faculty are serving on OE
i posted the list of the teams (faculty and staff) here: http://cloudminder.blogspot.com/2010/09/organizational-simplification-os-might.html

perhaps, they are working with that group of faculty first, as a test run or in place of work groups of UCOF?

anon_staff said...

Regarding your OE post, I was about to post a comment, but it doesn't seem possible to post one anonymously there. Here is what I would have said (sorry, Michael, for hijacking!):

It should be noted that virtually NONE of these people are front-line staff (though I know of several who have worked their way up from there. At a recent meeting for Student Assistants the Initiative Manager for Student Services was asked why there were almost no staff included on the committee from academic departments. She responded that this question had been brought up to Le Grande and Koshland (the "Sponsors") the day before and they had felt it wasn't necessary. When they are making statements about the inequalities between departments where one staff member advises 10 students vs. those where one staff member advises 1000, and indicating that some form of reorganization might even out that inequality, you would think they would want a significant amount of feedback from both large and small departments.

Sorry, I really don't feel brave enough to have the OE people know who I am; they have their sights drawn on my job as I work in a small department.

cloudminder said...

no worries
if you feel safer to comment here then you should do so- just glad for the comment
(many professors have the same fears - that is why many signed some petitions with a signature that read Professor XXX, UC during the March protest.)

my interest is in viewing WHERE they pull the staff and faculty from for OE and the nomination/appointment process.

I also find it interesting that Frances Hellman Professor and Chair, Physics, College of Letters and Sciences is sitting in on this initiative for Procurement- when I saw that I immediately thought of the Hellman Commission/UCOF --and a few other appointments gave me a good chuckle given the stated objectives.

Happy Labor Day Weekend.

Bronwen Rowlands said...

Anon_staff and cloudminder:
Through dogged sleuthing and a strong stomach for excavating the impenetrable managementspeak of OE (consultants Bain & Co's evil "Operational Excellence"at UCB), I've determined that those faculty & staff focus groups are utterly meaningless. Mark Yudof himself (plus minions)is controlling this thing. By my estimation, the so-called Organizational Simplification arm will be active soon, maybe in October. Have you noticed that your dept office is being phased out? Look for it, and fight it. I questioned the OrgSimp manager--a real person--who referred me to the OE "Communications Lead"(but likely hitperson) Tet Salva--about its stated aims: "flattening" the admin structure of UCB apparently means reducing the number of admin layers. When I questioned Tet about the stated aim of combining units, the aim itself disappeared from the OE website. Poof! Look up Tet Salva (tsalva@berkeley.edu)in the UCB directory. Instead of a dept, there's a BFS processing unit code by her name. It's the OE Program Office in the Chancellor's Office, of course. Next Tet Salva's name will disappear from the directory, and Tet herself will appear at our office doors with a cardboard box and orders for us to leave by the end of the day. I can't believe it's happening, but it is.

cloudminder said...

Don't think Tet is not with UCOP as career staff
Tet Salva
Owner | President at Tala Consulting Group, LLC


* Founder / Change Management and Communications Consultant at Tala Consulting Group, LLC


* Change Management and Communications at PG&E
* Change Management and Communications Consultant at Chevron
* Change Management and Communications Consultant at Expressworks International

Tet Salva’s Summary

Dynamic, versatile and results-driven management and communication consultant with demonstrated expertise in designing and implementing change programs through stakeholder engagement and effective communications. Scope of work include: communication strategy and planning, training/workshop design and implementation, event management and executive coaching.
Tet Salva’s Specialties:

Design and implementation of training prpgrams
Communication planning and development
Change Management
Event Management
Project Management
Executive / Life Coach

--the consultant industry and change management specialists are alive and kicking at UCOP at top dollar no doubt!

anon_staff said...

Am I mistaken, or didn't the OE website once allow anonymous comments? Not any more, you must send them a direct e-mail from somewhere. Otherwise I would have a few pointed remarks to make about their choice of committee members.

Anonymous said...

I overheard an interesting conversation on Telegraph Ave at lunchtime a few months ago. Two staff members who had been working with Bain during the reorganization of Human Resources were commenting about how there was no real effort made to retrain individuals who were about to have their jobs taken away, even though they were valued employees who should have been kept on in some capacity or other. So all that happy talk about retraining people who get laid off is just that....happy talk to keep people feeling cooperative until the last minute.

Bronwen Rowlands said...

I think Anonymous 9/5's observation about keeping staff feeling cooperative until the last minute is key. This must be a Bain/OE layoff selling-point to UC, in fact. No muss, no fuss, keep your employees sweet until you boot them out the door.

OK all you UC Berkeley department staff people: listen up. There will be no staff meeting (like in the old days of, oh, two years ago) to announce job/personnel changes. You will be called into your manager's office alone, the better to intimidate you and deprive you of the fellow-feeling of your peers. Maybe Tet Salva will be there, maybe Tet Salva will have coached your supervisor on how to handle you. Union member? Use 'em if you got 'em. Insist that the meeting be re-scheduled with a union rep present (we are now, after all, Teamsters). Not a union member? Remember: bullies back down pretty easily if you stand up to them. You are, almost certainly, smarter than they are. You have the moral high ground, and you can form a coherent sentence. Blind them with clarity!

anon staff said...

You may have the moral high ground, but they, the Bain people and other "Change Management" types, completely believe in what they are doing, and that thinning out the staff population will be good for the university as a whole. They will justify it by saying that some of us are just more "efficient" than others, and they will pit staff against faculty and say that the university won't have enough money to continue to attract and keep top faculty if they have to spend it all on staff, and, well, sorry, but you know who will have to go. Nothing personal, you understand, just doing our job, collecting our bonus for reducing university expenses. Once the system breaks due to lack of staff they will be long gone; certainly by the time our unemployment runs out they will have moved on to the next "change" assignment.

Anonymous said...

it's pretty well established that there is serious administrative bloat at the UC, and nowhere more than at berkeley. UCOP has been thinned out brutally, but berkeley has never had to submit to any budget discipline.

Anonymous said...

You are, of course, talking about high level administrators and not referring to staff at the academic department level? I've got a pretty good idea of who will be leaving, and it's nobody whose job title starts with Vice..... and it's precious few of the people with the over $100,000 salaries.

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