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UC Regents recap – Nov. 17

By Hayley Kronthal

Nov. 17, 2016 5:29 p.m.

The University of California Regents, the governing body of the UC, met Thursday for its bimonthly board meeting at UC San Francisco. Regents presented reports from committees and voted on items approved in committee from Wednesday.

  • Ralph Washington Jr., president of the UC Student Association, shared his views on the short and long term financial health of the UC. He said he thinks the UC is an institution of opportunity, personal growth, social mobility and transformational education, but the cost to maintain these ideals is a growing problem. Washington said he thinks students should not have to choose between paying for books and paying for food.

  • About 80 students disrupted the meeting to protest potential tuition hikes. During the open session, students disrupted the meeting with chants of “Tuition hikes have got to go,” “Cut (chancellors’) paychecks” and “Whose university? Our university.” UC President Janet Napolitano gave the students two warnings before calling for recess and asking police to clear the room. Police made no arrests and students cleared the room after eight minutes.

  • The Health Services committee members said they think UC Santa Barbara employees had a positive experience receiving health care from UCLA. The committee opened discussion for the future about extending a similar program in which employees at UC campuses without medical centers receive health care at campuses with medical centers.

  • UC Health reported on the challenges facing the clinical enterprise. These include declining reimbursement from private, commercial and public payers and cost increases, which are outpacing revenue increases. The regents outlined strategic plans to solve for these problems. They suggested implementing the Leveraging Scale for Value initiative, in which the five UC medical centers would collaborate to leverage economies of scale and return dollars to higher-value activities. Regents also suggested partnering with faculty to prepare for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, and refining the organizational model to facilitate more efficient and integrated system-wide activities.

  • UC San Diego’s Jacobs Medical Center will open Nov. 20, after being in development for the past decade. The center will admit its first patients within a month of opening. The medical center will have a $117 million annual expense burden, which will depress financial margins for at least two to three years. However, regents said the five to seven year projection looks promising.

  • The board unanimously approved amendments to policies on expectations for regents and education for regents, as approved in the Governance and Compliance committee. The board can now sanction members for private actions that violate regents ethics and sexual harassment policy, and regents will have to attend sexual harassment training every other year.
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Hayley Kronthal
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