Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Traffic headache this afternoon

Motorists in West Los Angeles could run into some delays (Wednesday) night and Thursday along a stretch of Sepulveda Boulevard as Southern California Gas Co. crews work around the clock to conduct pressure tests on a natural gas pipeline.

The Gas Co. has been conducting the tests, and replacing some pipeline sections, on the Sepulveda Boulevard line for weeks, but the work has been done only at night. But beginning at 5 p.m. Wednesday, crews will begin round-the- clock testing on the line, resulting in possible lane closures at Sepulveda's intersections with Wilshire and Pico boulevards through Thursday.

Motorists were advised to anticipate slower-than-usual traffic on Sepulveda. Digital signs and flaggers will be in place to direct motorists.

After the round-the-clock work ends, the project will return to nighttime-only work, according to the Gas Co.


UCLA History: 1984

Westwood during the 1984 Olympics

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Guys Do It, Too

We posted recently about the trend toward elaborate recruitment videos for sororities.* Blog readers may be wondering if the fad has spread to fraternities. The answer is "yes-but less." And somehow the frat videos seem to feature women:


Out they go

From Inside Higher Ed: Information technology staff members across the University of California system are holding their breath to see if the layoffs and outsourcing at the San Francisco campus represent an individual cost-cutting measure or the beginning of a trend.

The UCSF Medical Center told staffers this July that -- because of decreasing federal health care reimbursement and cost increases associated with the Affordable Care Act -- it would cut 97 IT jobs by Feb. 28. Some of the positions will be outsourced to the Indian IT services company HCL Technologies. The university has also contracted with Dell and FireEye for data center and cybersecurity services, respectively...

In interviews with Inside Higher Ed, staff members said they are coping with the decision with a combination of frustration and resignation. Some said they are searching for IT jobs at other campuses in the system. Others said they are considering leaving the industry altogether. They asked that their names not be published as they still have five months of employment left.

...Staff members bristled at the thought of training the workers who will replace them. To aid the outsourcing efforts, some staff members have had their organizational goals updated with a target of completing the transition plan by Feb. 14, with a stretch goal of Jan. 31. A staff member with about 20 years of experience at the university said he feels as though the university is rewarding employees for making themselves expendable as fast as they can.

“It’s pretty degrading,” the staff member said, adding, “I want to make sure that this cancer they’re going to introduce doesn’t spread across the UC system.”

Outsourcing IT jobs is much less common in higher education than in the private sector, said Russ Harrison, government relations director for IEEE-USA, a professional organization for technical professionals...

The other medical centers in the UC system gave varied responses to the question of whether they are considering outsourcing IT services. A spokesperson for UC San Diego Health in an email said, “No IT staffing changes being considered here. We are not outsourcing.”

At UC Irvine Health, a spokesperson said the center is “definitely facing some of the same financial pressures as UCSF,” but added that he was “not aware of plans to outsource IT staff” (though he had “not received confirmation one way or the other yet”).

A spokesperson for UCLA Health declined to comment, while UC Davis Health did not respond to a request for comment...

Full article at:

Things are tough:

Monday, September 26, 2016

We continue to do our part for UC's STEM efforts - Part 16

We continue in our efforts to support the UC Scout program that supports STEM education in K-12. Just click on the link below:

Sunday, September 25, 2016

And still more recruitment at UCLA

Lest you think that the sorority recruitment video we posted yesterday was an anomaly, it in fact seems to be more the norm:

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Listen to Regents Afternoon Session of Sept. 14, 2016

We are following our new practice - which was introduced when the Regents switched to YouTube temporary archiving - of first uploading the audio of meetings indefinitely and then providing some discussion.

We previously posted the audio of the afternoon of Sept. 14, which involved three simultaneous committee meetings.*

You have to be quite wonkish to enjoy the session of the Compliance and Audit Committee. However, the sessions of the Public Engagement & Development Committee and of the the Governance and Compensation Committee. The former dealt with fundraising (philanthropy) and UC lobbying. The latter primarily with the fallout of the Katehi affair and the question of chancellors and other key officials serving on outside boards. With regard to philanthropy, what you will hear is primarily descriptive - so many dollars targeted, shares from medical centers vs. the rest of campuses, capital vs. faculty (particularly endowed chairs) and students. If there is a grand strategy at either the campus or the UC-wide level, I didn't hear it. Most of what happens occurs at the campus level. The lobbying discussion focused primarily on Sacramento. There was some mention of federal efforts. Local lobbying was not mentioned, although campuses do have dealings with municipal officials. The lieutenant governor - who is openly campaigning to get rid of the world "lieutenant" in his title in 2018, has made legalization of marijuana and gun control part of his campaign - and is backing the related propositions on the November 2016 ballot. So when the discussion turned to the 17 state ballot propositions, he elaborated on both - although they have little to do directly with UC.

It became clear in the discussion of the new policy that top executives should only serve on two board maximum - that the Regents are not sure what policy they actually adopted. At issue essentially is whether the new policy - two instead of three - applies only to new hires or whether it applies to incumbents. There was a mix of views as to whether there were legal bars to changing the employment deals with incumbents and whether - legal issues or not - whether the limit of two applied only to new hires. If you go to the link in the footnote below, you can hear it all.