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UC Regents recap – Sept. 17

The University of California Board of Regents met at UCLA on Tuesday to discuss UCLA’s partnership with Mann UCLA Community School, the UC endowment’s divestment from fossil fuels and the UC’s use of the CalFresh program. (Daily Bruin file photo)

By Julia Shapero

Sept. 22, 2019 5:42 p.m.

The governing board of the University of California met for the first day of its September meeting at UCLA on Tuesday. The Board of Regents discussed UCLA’s partnership with Mann UCLA Community School, the UC endowment’s divestment from fossil fuels and the UC’s use of the CalFresh program.

Public Engagement and Development Committee

  • The committee met at the Mann UCLA Community School in the South Los Angeles Area. This was the first time the UC Regents or a committee had met in a public school, said Richard Leib, chair of the committee. Leib added that the committee has two other meetings planned for this year at a community college and UC Merced.
  • Austin Beutner, superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, said he looks forward to working with the UC, adding that it has a shared goal of ensuring college success with a focus on providing access and equity for students of color.
  • Beutner said he would like to work with the UC on an integrated data and information system to give a more complete picture of the K-12 journey and how students from LAUSD perform in higher education. He also said he would like to expand partnerships like the UCLA LAUSD collaboration, which creates opportunities for early academic outreach and admissions counseling.
  • Orlando Johnson, principal of Mann UCLA Community School, said they have focused on four primary areas at Mann – helping students to be self-motivated and directed, preparing students, helping students to be globally and culturally competent and encouraging students to be active participants in their communities. Johnson added that the biggest challenges they still face at Mann are trying to fill holes in English and math mastery, improving effectiveness of faculty and expanding horizons for students.
  • UCLA Vice Provost Youlonda Copeland-Morgan said UCLA has made tremendous progress since 2012 in the enrollment of minority students at UCLA. She said upon her arrival at UCLA, she noticed it needed to reinvigorate its admissions efforts using research and geodemographic data and to retrain admissions staff on the merits of holistic admissions to address their own biases. She added that it also worked to provide neighborhood contacts and demographic information training on test scores so it can put scores in the context of opportunities students had.
  • Marisa Dodd, project coordinator for the Academic Supports Program at UCLA, said the lack of diverse representation at the university is still a considerable impediment to the retention of black students. She said establishing funds for black students who have been dismissed to gain reacceptance would supplement retention and readmission efforts.
  • Justine Hicks, a UCLA alumna and current full-time project coordinator for Students Heightening Academic Performance through Education at UCLA, said the program aims to empower black students by bringing black UCLA students into communities of need to provide peer advising sessions. She said if it had the regents’ support in advocating for more state funding it could increase student staff, hold more trips and expose more black students to opportunities available to them in higher education.

Investments Committee

  • Jagdeep Singh Bachher, chief investment officer and vice president of investments, said investments rose by 33% from $94.9 billion to $126.1 billion between 2014 and 2019. He also said the endowment grew by 61% between 2014 and 2019 from $8.3 billion to $13.4 billion.
  • Bachher added that as a part of avoiding long term risk, the UC endowment is now free of investments in fossil fuels.

Special Committee on Basic Needs

  • Ruben Canedo, Systemwide Basic Needs Committee co-chair, said the UC campuses are working to improve the use of CalFresh, including increasing student and staff capacity, improving relationships and collaborations between campus financial aid and basic needs teams and establishing and improving relationships with county social services.
  • Brad Werdick, chief of staff to the chief financial officer, said the UC is on track to meet its goal to provide 14,000 more beds by fall 2020. He added that by Fall 2025, the UC would be housing between 45% and 50% of students across the system.
  • Charles Nies, UC Merced vice chancellor for student affairs, said the Total Cost of Attendance Working Group had eight recommendations for the UC, including promoting summer session and Cal Grants, creating multi-year financial aid plans, improving the estimation of how much a UC education costs and improving financial education.
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Julia Shapero | Assistant News editor
Shapero is a senior staff News reporter. She was previously an assistant News editor in the National News & Higher Education beat. Shapero is a fourth-year political science student who enjoys covering national and statewide news.
Shapero is a senior staff News reporter. She was previously an assistant News editor in the National News & Higher Education beat. Shapero is a fourth-year political science student who enjoys covering national and statewide news.
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