Monday, January 25, 2010

Peter Donohue on UC's Hidden Wealth: Another Look

Donohue points to UC's unrestricted assets at CUE event at UCI in 2009. Photo © Daniel C. Tsang 2009.

UPDATED with audio link: To listen to the show, click here: .
Irvine -- It sure sounds like the University of California is in financial crisis, with layoffs, paycuts/furloughs, massive student fee increases and campus protests. But economist Peter Donohue still thinks otherwise, in another interview on KUCI's Subversity show.

Looking further at the UC's own financial statements, Donohue will let us know if he still finds that the UC has billions hidden away in its unrestricted reserves. The UC would say these funds are already committed, but Donohue says these are not legally restricted. They could be freed up to offset the massive loss of state funding. But unlike the CSU system, UC funding is only 13% -18% dependent on state sources. We'll talk to Donohue again about why the UC is pleading poverty.

The entire show airs Monday 25 January 2010 from 9-10 a.m. on KUCI, 88.9 FM in Orange County, California, and is simulcast via Donohue appears on the first part of the show.

Peter Donohue is an economist and head of San Francisco’s PBI Associates. Since 1982, he has assisted union, nonprofit, community and business groups with research, financial analysis, bargaining, arbitration and government relations. He advises clients in transport, construction, semiconductor, utility, printing, health care, retail, design, engineering, hospitality, transit, insurance, education and government. Donohue has taught at Portland State University, San Francisco State University, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Texas at Austin and University of Missouri-Columbia.

He has compiled, for CUE (Coalition of University Employees), an updated analysis of the UC budget, which will be released shortly; we get a preview on this show. See, however, his earlier 1992 study: UC's Hidden Wealth: An Analysis of 10 Years of UC's Financial Reports.

See also Prof. Emeritus Charlie Schwartz's web site that tracks UC budget issues:

In out second part of the show, we air a dispatch from Making Contact.

To listen to our earlier 28 September 2009 show with Peter Donohue, click here: .

Monday, January 18, 2010

UCI Chancellor Drake Grilled by Students

Chancellor Drake listens as the spouse of an outsourced worker asks in Spanish to be treated with dignity, captivating the audience. Photo © Daniel C. Tsang 2010

UPDATED with audio link: To listen to the show, click here: .

Irvine -- UCI Chancellor Michael Drake, for the first time since a critical UCI Faculty Senate blasted him for (initially) firing founding Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky in 2007, faced Wednesday 13 January 2010 another hostile audience at a public forum organized by student protesters who gave what OC Register's Gary Robbins called a "verbal drubbing" -- with all but one student criticizing his leadership of the campus. It was a P.R. disaster for Drake.

Unlike previous "town hall" meetings where Drake managed to be in control, students criticized him for deferring to aides and not answering the questions "man to man". Asked pointedly if he would still continue to stay at UCI should his pay be further cut, he never answered the question, nor did he made a commitment to remaining at UCI.

While Drake and UCI police chief Paul Henisey declined to comment on the police abuse at UCLA protests (saying they were not there to see what happened) -- after the public forum, Subversity managed to ask the police chief if he would drop charges against sociology graduate student John Bruning, who had been arrested at a protest late last fall. Chief Henisey said it was up to the Orange County District Attorney.

At the forum, students laughed when Drake declared that UCI's commitment to free speech was nationally known. The chief then denied his cops were ripping down protesters' posters on campus. Both Drake and Henisey said they knew nothing about that. See photos of a UCI police officer ripping down posters on the Occupy UCI! blog.

Subversity has also learned that in another sign of intimidation by campus police, protesters who have been chalking on campus recently -- writing statements such as "UCI is Racist" on walls and the ground -- have been confronted by campus police who take down their name and threaten to charge them with "defacing" university property should the chalk not be able to be removed. This week's rains are likely, however, to wipe away the chalk.

The only time Drake seemed moved and did not act like a CEO of a corporation was after the wife of an outsourced worker who has worked at UCI for 20 years pleaded with him to provide benefits to the workers. Drake responded that he was committed to "quality experience" for everyone at UCI and said he had been working to help the disadvantaged and dispossessed in his career.

A day after the forum, dozens of outsourced workers demonstrated on campus and a smaller group of workers and student supporters gave Ramona Agrela, an associate to Drake, posters of workers who had been laid off.

Subversity, a KUCI public affairs program, airs today (18 January 2010) at 9-10 a.m. audio from the public forum as a public service. The program airs on KUCI, 88.9 FM in Orange County, California, and is simulcast via