Gene Block, Jerry Kang weigh in on UC finance allocations, free speech
Chancellor Gene Block said he was unconcerned about the projected loss for the UCLA Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference Center because revenue from other UCLA properties would cover the loss. (Owen Emerson/Daily Bruin senior staff)
By Emi Nakahara
May 24, 2017 11:44 p.m.
Chancellor Gene Block meets with the Daily Bruin Editorial Board every quarter to discuss issues affecting the campus and to explain administrative policies. At their meeting Wednesday, Block, joined by Vice Chancellor of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Jerry Kang, addressed the list of demands by the Afrikan Student Union, the University of California cap on nonresident students and free speech on campus, among other topics.
- Block said he would meet with ASU on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the organization’s demands, such as mandatory competency and cultural sensitivity training for faculty and students. He added UCLA is sensitive to the underrepresentation of African-American students on campus. However, he said the organization’s demands for an endowment to address African-American underrepresentation would be challenging because it is based on race. He suggested the University invest in need-based financial support instead.
- After the UC Board of Regents’ vote to cap nonresident student enrollment, Block said he was grateful the board recognized the financial impact of reducing nonresident student enrollment. However, he also said he does not think there should be a difference in the proportion of nonresident students among UC campuses and said he would prefer not to have a cap. He added the average percentage of nonresident students in the UC system is still lower than those of other prominent universities.
- Block said he thinks inviting controversial speakers on campus can be challenging. Kang said he thinks students should engage in unpopular speech because it is the core of any university experience. He added he thinks UCLA tries to strike a balance between polarized politics.
- Block said divesting from companies associated with the Dakota Access pipeline is a very complicated situation and would be challenging. Kang said it is difficult for institutions to infuse political claims into economic decisions. However, Block said the UC has made political divestments in the past, such as a divestment from South Africa because of apartheid.
- Block said he does not have concerns about the UCLA Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference Center’s projected $3.7 million loss. He said people had not scheduled events before the conference center opened, so the estimate was based on an incomplete year. He added the amount that the conference center lost is covered by revenue from other properties, such as the UCLA Lake Arrowhead Conference Center.
- Block said he thinks UCLA’s most pressing problem is addressing long-term financial viability. He said state financial support has decreased from previous years, while salaries and expenses continue to increase. Block said he thinks the University needs to find additional funding in the future with only modest funding from the state.