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Friday, September 22, 2017

End of Title 9 Dear Colleague Letter (Kind of)

News reports indicate that Secretary of Education De Vos has scrapped the Title 9 "Dear Colleague" letter:

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos scrubbed Obama-era guidance for universities investigating sexual assaults on campus, replacing the program with temporary rules.

DeVos has called the existing rules unfair against those accused of an assault.

“Schools must continue to confront these horrific crimes and behaviors head-on,” she said in a statement Friday. “There will be no more sweeping them under the rug. But the process also must be fair and impartial, giving everyone more confidence in its outcomes.”

DeVos released a temporary Q&A to guide schools on investigating assaults under the Title IX law, which prevents sexual-based discrimination in higher education.

It will allow them to choose which set of standards they want to use when probing an assault.

Her move does away with a 2011 directive that became known as the “Dear Colleague Letter," on how to enforce the 45-year-old Title IX law...

Full story at http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/devos-obama-era-rules-title-ix-article-1.3513555

Note: Item from before the announcement:

...Under the guidance of the (Obama-era) letter, which was issued in 2011, colleges are mandated to adjudicate cases based on a "preponderance of evidence," a lower standard of proof that finds guilt in cases where an assault is more likely to have occurred than not. Ms. Napolitano said that the "preponderance" standard is appropriate in sexual-assault cases, adding that the University of California would continue to employ it regardless of whether the federal government dictated as much...

Source: http://www.chronicle.com/article/Napolitano-Riffs-on-DeVos/241251

Free Speech Website/Video at Berkeley

UC-Berkeley has created a free speech website* with a video by Chancellor Christ in preparation for the so-called "free speech week" that is supposed to occur next week. (But, if you have been following our blog posts, who knows if it will?)

The video is embedded in the website from an unlisted URL on YouTube. Such things can be taken down over time, particularly if things don't work out so well. So we have archived the video where it won't disappear.

You can see it at our alternative website at the link below:

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*http://freespeech.berkeley.edu/

Thursday, September 21, 2017

New 9 Director

UCLA officials announced the appointment of a new director for the campus Title IX office Tuesday.
Mohammed Cato will replace interim Title IX coordinator Jessica Price and will start in his new position Sept. 25. Price took over for Kathleen Salvaty after she became Title IX coordinator for the University of California system.
The Title IX Office operates under the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and is responsible for UCLA’s compliance with policies and procedures to prevent and respond to gender discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual violence...
Cato received his bachelor’s degree from UC Irvine and a law degree and master of urban planning degree from UCLA. He will transition to UCLA from his current role as the assistant director of the Equal Opportunity Office and deputy Title IX coordinator at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington.

What could possibly go wrong - Part 2

A $200 million gift promotes alternative therapies at a California medical school — and critics recoil

When billionaires Susan and Henry Samueli this week announced a $200 million donation to the University of California, Irvine to launch a new health program dedicated to integrative medicine, they drew a standing ovation and glowing coverage.

But for those who have been watching the steady creep of unproven therapies into mainstream medicine, the announcement didn’t go over quite as well.

“This is ultimately a very bad thing,” said Dr. Steven Novella, a neurologist at Yale University and longtime critic of alternative therapies.  “It’s putting emphasis and the imprimatur of a university on things that have been discarded as medical fraud for 50 years.”

University of Alberta health law professor Tim Caulfield, who has made his name debunking celebrity health fads, has raised red flags about the adoption of alternative therapies — from “energy healing” to homeopathic bee venom to intravenous mineral infusions — at top medical centers including Duke, Johns Hopkins, and UC San Francisco. The new school at UC Irvine “is more of the same, and I find it very frustrating,” he said. “I worry this legitimizes practices that aren’t valid.”

But two physicians at UC Irvine who will lead the new initiative — both with solid pedigrees in traditional medicine and years of experience conducting  research funded by the National Institutes of Health — pushed back against those depictions.

They argue that medical schools are too slow to adopt  new approaches, including alternative therapies that show clinical promise — and that UCI can do so in a way that is solidly grounded in science.

“We take patient safety as our highest calling and we will never deploy any approach — integrative or not — that put patients at risk,” said Dr. Howard Federoff, a board-certified internist and Ph.D who serves as CEO of UC Irvine’s health system and runs a lab working to develop a blood test for Alzheimer’s disease. “Any non-proven or non-evidence based approach? We will not deploy it.”...

Full story at https://www.statnews.com/2017/09/20/uci-integrative-medicine-gift/

Sharing

The University of California will chip in at least $300,000 to help UC Berkeley pay security costs for controversial speakers, an unprecedented step as criticism mounts over the financial toll the events are taking on the campus.

“Free speech is not free, it turns out,” UC President Janet Napolitano told the Los Angeles Times’ Washington bureau on Wednesday. She said UC would underwrite security costs through “Free Speech Week” — which begins Sunday and will feature right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos and others — but that such support may not continue.

“The question, or the rock and the hard place that Berkeley is in, and other university campuses, is the value put on free speech and the safety and security issues that are implicated,” Napolitano said.

“Milo and his cast of speakers will be on Sproul Plaza, which is a public space … and we will underwrite the safety and security expenses associated with that. At a certain point, that position — i.e. that we will have these speakers and pay for the security costs associated with that — may not be sustainable.”

The mounting costs to the campus — which is struggling to reduce a crippling budget deficit from $150 million last year to $56 million by June — are sparking growing concern.

Berkeley has shelled out at least $1.4 million in security costs since February, when Yiannopoulos’ last appearance sparked violent protests. The campus spent $200,000 on security for that event, $600,000 for conservative commentator Ann Coulter — whose event ultimately was canceled by the sponsoring campus groups — and an estimated $600,000 for the talk last week by conservative writer Ben Shapiro, according to UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof...

Full story at http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-uc-berkeley-security-20170920-story.html

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Med School Assn. Opposes Latest Obamacare Repeal Effort

Note: UC's various medical schools are part of this organization.*

Medical Schools Oppose Plan to Kill Obamacare

By Andrew Kreighbaum, September 20, 2017, Inside Higher Ed

The Association of American Medical Colleges came out against the latest effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act in a letter to senators Tuesday. The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson bill has been gaining momentum as Republicans attempt to meet a Sept. 30 deadline to pass repeal legislation with a simple majority in the Senate through a process known as reconciliation. But AAMC's president and CEO, Darrell G. Kirch, told senators they should pursue a bipartisan health-care deal through the committee process. And he said the latest repeal legislation failed to meet key principles the group considers fundamental to a successful health-care system.

"These principles include offering high-quality, affordable health insurance to all; preserving and fortifying the safety net through Medicaid and other policies; and encouraging innovation in the delivery system, among others," Kirch wrote. "The GCHJ legislation does not meet these principles, as it repeals the individual and employer mandates, repeals Medicaid expansion, and caps traditional Medicaid funding. Under this legislation, the number of uninsured patients nationwide will increase dramatically and important existing patient protections will be at risk."

He added that the proposal should be scored by the Congressional Budget Office before further action. But the CBO will only have a partial analysis of the legislation available by the Sept. 30 deadline.

Source: https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2017/09/20/medical-schools-oppose-plan-kill-obamacare

Letter from AAMC:
https://www.aamc.org/download/482922/data/aamclettertosenateongraham-cassidyproposal.pdf
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*https://members.aamc.org/eweb/DynamicPage.aspx?webcode=AAMCOrgSearchResult&orgtype=Medical%20School

China Reported to Retaliate Against UC-San Diego

Beijing has a lesson for overseas universities: Don’t invite speakers who oppose the Communist Party to big events. A branch of the Chinese government has barred Chinese scholars from receiving state funding to study at the University of California, San Diego, according to people at the school. The freeze highlights how Beijing is steadily placing pressure on overseas universities to suppress viewpoints that run counter to Communist Party orthodoxy.

In June, UCSD hosted the Dalai Lama to speak at its school-wide commencement ceremony for the 2016-2017 academic year. The invitation generated controversy among some members of school’s Chinese student population. The Chinese government strictly controls information within its borders about the Dalai Lama, who it views as a separatist and a symbol of China’s feudal past. Many Chinese citizens hold these same views...

The application freeze does not bar undergraduates, graduate students, or other academics from attending UCSD—it merely prevents scholars from obtaining CSC funding to do so. As a result, these specific measures alone will likely do little to curb the school’s influx of Chinese students. In the fall of 2015, Chinese students made up 10.6% of UCSD’s student population and 55.7% of its international student population...

Full story at https://qz.com/1080962/china-is-retaliating-against-the-university-of-california-san-diego-for-inviting-the-dalai-lama-to-speak-at-commencement/