Monday, April 6

Regents meeting covers endowed chairs funding, sexual violence policy

SAN FRANCISCO The University of California Board of Regents discussed the UC’s sexual violence policy and setting up funds for endowed chair positions, among other things, when it met at UC San Francisco’s Mission Bay campus for its meeting on Wednesday.

The board later confirmed Avi Oved as student regent-designate, despite much controversy, and discussed a long-term financial health plan for the UC. It also heard from UC Student Association President Kareem Aref on the association’s various campaigns for the past year.

Endowed chairs

UC President Janet Napolitano announced on Wednesday a new fund to help establish 100 endowed chairs across the UC system over the next five years.

The move comes at a time when the University has expressed repeatedly that insufficient state funding is threatening the quality of UC education, conventionally measured by student-faculty ratios and faculty salaries.

Endowed chairs support renowned faculty selected by campus administration through an endowment fund specifically created for that purpose, allowing the university to avoid using the campus’s operating budget.

Unlike other endowed chairs, which typically only support the chair-holder’s salary, these new endowments will support additional faculty salaries and graduate student fellowships on top of the chair’s salary, Napolitano said during the meeting.

The initiative will initially allot $4 million to each campus for the 2014-2015 academic year that will be funded by the Presidential Endowment Fund, a reserve of private donations that the president may use at her discretion. Then, the program will match the campus’s fundraising for the endowment for up to $500,000 per endowed chair, contingent on the respective campus’s ability to raise at least the same amount.

Napolitano said during the meeting on Wednesday that the program will help recruit first-rate, renowned faculty for the UC with an endowment at a time when state funding has fallen short.

Napolitano will allocate an additional $10 million to support endowed chairs in subject areas she deems especially important to California once the initial funding is used, said Carolyn McMillan, a UC Office of the President spokeswoman.

Responses to sexual assault

The systemwide task force on preventing and responding to sexual violence then discussed its ongoing efforts.

In late June, a state audit of four California universities, including UCLA and UC Berkeley, concluded that the universities did not sufficiently educate faculty and staff on how to handle incidents of sexual harassment and sexual violence.

The audit also found that nearly half of the students who sought campus resources after being sexually assaulted said they were discouraged by the universities from filing a report or received inconsistent messages from university administration while filing a complaint.

The task force will present a set of recommendations for the University to adopt in the upcoming September board meeting, said Sheryl Vacca, the University’s chief compliance and audit officer who is leading the group. The task force will also recommend different funding sources, such as private grants that will go toward providing prevention or resource programs.

The student representatives on the task force will be working to garner student input through surveys before putting together the recommendations, said Undergraduate Students Association Council Student Wellness Commissioner Savannah Badalich, who is a member of the task force.

The task force, created in June, comprises roughly 20 members, including UCLA’s Title IX Officer Pamela Thomason, UCLA Chief of Police James Herren and Sadia Saifuddin, the current UC student regent.

Compiled by Emily Suh, Bruin senior staff.

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