UC owes $1.3 million to thousands of underpaid employees

The University of California has reached a $1.3 million settlement with the U.S. Department of Labor over a payroll issue that resulted in thousands of non-academic employees being routinely underpaid by small dollar amounts on each paycheck. UC asked the labor department to investigate in December 2015, after uncovering the problem during the switch to its troubled new payroll system. Incompatible timekeeping methods across its 10 campuses, the university said, led to regular failures in calculating overtime pay for hourly workers. The agreement, reached in May, covers operations from 2014 through 2016. More than 13,700 current and former employees who were underpaid by at least $20 will receive a total of about $746,000 in back wages and $616,000 in damages, an average of just under $100 per person. The repayments will begin next month.

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by Alexei Koseff, The Sacramento Bee.

Community college transfer degrees speed graduation at CSU

Of a group of nearly 1,100 students who transferred to California State University in fall 2013 with the Associate Degree for Transfer, 48 percent graduated within two years, data provided by CSU shows, compared to 31 percent of all undergraduate transfers. Within three years, 80 percent had completed their studies, 16 percentage points higher than transfer students overall… Since formally launching in the 2011-12 academic year, the transfer degrees have become an increasingly popular option. The California Community Colleges system awarded 30,868 in 2015-16, about a quarter of all the associate degrees it conferred. That’s an almost-50 percent increase from 2014-15 and up from just 722 in the first year. The chancellor’s office continues to ramp up outreach about the program, with plans for new digital and radio ads soon, including some in Spanish.

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by Alexei Koseff, The Sacramento Bee.

At Long Last, Signs That College Tuition Might Come Down

In a marked change from previous years, net tuition at college and graduate schools rose in line with inflation over the last 12 months. Doesn’t sound too encouraging? Well, consider that from 1990 through 2016, tuition grew at a rate more than double that of inflation, year after year. On top of that, public free tuition programs are proliferating, with New York state’s enormous system announcing the “Excelsior Scholarship” earlier this year. The Campaign for Free College Tuition says more than half the states have some kind of merit-based free tuition, free community college “promise” program or at least legislative action on this front. Rhode Island’s is the latest statewide program.

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by Anya Kamenetz, NPR .

Former chancellor Nicholas Dirks to be paid $434K by campus while on leave

Burawoy, who is also a campus sociology professor, added that campus faculty members with four years of full time employment would be eligible for only 44 percent of their salary during a sabbatical. Meanwhile, Dirks, who has a little more than four years of full-time employment with the campus, will be paid close to 82 percent of his full-time chancellor’s salary during his paid leave. “No doubt this is all laid out in (Dirks’) contract as Chancellor, but it does appear to be a reward for negligence, incompetence and petty corruption,” Burawoy said in an email. “It is an appalling commentary on the distribution of benefits at a time of supposed fiscal crisis and when many students can barely scrape together a living.”

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by Bobby Lee, The Daily Californian.

CA Continues To Abandon UC and CSU

Seven years ago the state provided $5.5 billion for UC and CSU and $6 billion for retirement costs. The new budget provides $7 billion for UC and CSU and $11 billion for retirement costs… The boost for UC and CSU is just 27 percent, a bit more than half the rate at which total expenditures grew while the boost in spending on retirement costs is 83 percent, nearly twice the rate at which total expenditures grew. The difference produces a dramatic shift in budget share… Unfunded retirement obligations are having a ruinous impact on education (see here for the impact on K-12). California’s dangerous trend of shortchanging education in order to finance retirement costs is growing and will not abate until elected officials attack retirement costs, as explained here.

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by David Crane, Medium.

May: UCD, city should be ‘good partners, good neighbors’

On only his second day on the job, May was making good on his promise to go on a “listening tour” to learn more about his new university and community. Spending about 45 minutes at The Enterprise offices, the soft-spoken chancellor discussed some of his plans as well as some challenges he knows are ahead. For starters, May expects that at least a third of his time will be devoted to fundraising — he describes his version as “friend-raising, not fundraising.” During the last fundraising campaign at Georgia Tech, where May was the dean of the College of Engineering, he said he helped raise $544 million for his college. This is the reality when UCD is receiving about 9 percent of its budget from the state of California, and another 10 percent or so from tuition, he said.

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by Tanya Perez, The Davis Enterprise.

Coding Boot Camps Won’t Save Us All

Coding boot camps were supposed to be the next big thing in higher education, promising a compressed, career-focused alternative to traditional graduate school. In the past five years, startups offering these programs have raised millions in investment and won praise from policymakers as an innovative way to prepare (or retrain) workers for the jobs of the digital future… Despite their high-tech subject matter and slick Silicon Valley messaging, most boot camps take a decidedly old-fashioned approach to instruction—focusing on in-person classrooms and high student-to-faculty ratios. But because they lack accreditation, their students aren’t eligible for federal financial aid… “The problem with education is that we keep coming back to this one-size-fits-all approach,” says Adam Enbar, CEO of Flatiron School, who insists that he’s seeing “more demand than ever” for his company’s programs.

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by Jeffrey R. Young, Slate.

UC Irvine to reinstate all 290 students whose admission offers were withdrawn for transcript problems

UC Irvine, under fire for rescinding nearly 500 admission offers two months before the start of fall term, announced Wednesday that it will reinstate all 290 students whose offers were withdrawn for failing to meet deadlines and other requirements for transcripts and test scores. Appeals from students whose acceptances were withdrawn because of poor senior grades will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, said Ria Carlson, associate chancellor of strategic communications and public affairs.

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by Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times.

Forget Linda Katehi’s salary. That’s not the real faculty pay outrage.

It’s easy to be outraged at Linda P.B. Katehi’s new salary. Having resigned amid high drama from her error-prone chancellorship at UC Davis, the tenured professor this fall will return to teaching – a single course per quarter at a substantial $318,200 a year… If Katehi’s CV weren’t so long, and if Acting Chancellor Ralph Hexter – succeeded Tuesday by Chancellor Gary May – hadn’t been constrained by her tenure and a requirement to adhere to an “academic process” in setting her return pay, we, too, might be furious at this week’s reports by The Bee’s Diana Lambert and Sam Stanton… Say what you will about her ability to manage a campus; Katehi is a star scholar, with membership in the exclusive National Academy of Engineering, a formidable body of research and 19 patents. The faculty would have revolted had her compensation been less than the department’s other two, male, NAE members.

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by The Editorial Board, The Sacramento Bee.

UC Davis chancellor who resigned after ethics probe to return as professor

Linda Katehi, the former UC Davis chancellor who resigned last year after an ethics probe into questionable moonlighting activities, will return to campus as a professor this fall for roughly the same rate of pay she received as an administrator, university officials said. Katehi will be paid $318,200 on a nine-month contract, said UC Davis spokeswoman Dana Topousis. As chancellor, she received a 12-month salary of $424,360. Katehi, who resigned as chancellor last August, received her full annual salary while on an administrative leave for a year. Part of Katehi’s agreement with the university when she resigned was that she would return to her faculty position… Katehi will teach one engineering course in the fall semester — a graduate seminar that meets for 50 minutes each Friday, according to the university registrar’s website.

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by Hailey Branson-Potts, Los Angeles Times.