Category Archives: Global Corporate U.

Jack Ohman: Infobusters. . .


From the editorial cartoonist of the Sacramento Bee, who is on a roll with his graphic takes on University of California, Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi [previously] and her corporatized take on running and profiting from a public trust:

BLOG Ohman

A new casualty in growing Berkeley sex scandal


At the University of California, Berkeley, the growing awareness that university administrators tolerated an atmosphere enabling predator faculty and staff to prey on students has claimed another casualty.

This time the departing official is merely an enabler, rather than an overt actor.

From the East Bay Times:

Amid a campus sexual harassment scandal, UC Berkeley Provost Claude Steele announced Friday he would step down from the position, citing family health reasons.

Steele has been sharply criticized for his role in the discipline of prominent faculty members accused of sexual harassment, including the initial decision to allow law school Dean Sujit Choudhry to remain in his job after a campus investigation found him to have violated the sexual harassment policy by giving his executive assistant unwanted hugs and kisses. After an outcry, Choudhry left the post.

 Steele was also criticized for what some called a conflict of interest: He was appointed to the law school faculty with the support of his subordinate, Choudhry, as the dean was being investigated. Last month, Steele resigned his law school appointment.

Headline of the day: No faculty involved


From the San Francisco Chronicle:

UC Berkeley to eliminate 500 staff jobs

Some staff members in at least one area, residential student services, were told by managers two weeks ago that they should prepare to be laid off in the near future, sources said. Other departments are bracing for similar news.

UC Berkeley sex harassment suits in preparation


The first announcement of a planned lawsuit in the unfolding sexual abuse scandal at the University of California, Berkeley, appears today on the website of the Guardian.

Attorneys for two graduate students told the newspaper they will file complaints Monday with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the first step toward filing lawsuits.

Target of the action is Blake Wentworth, an assistant professor in Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies specializing in Tamil literature [and note the photo on his webpage]:

Kathleen Gutierrez struggles to get out of bed each day. For the past year, the 28-year-old University of California at Berkeley graduate student has battled extreme fatigue, unexpected body aches and debilitating anxiety.

In October, records show, a university investigation concluded that Wentworth violated the college’s harassment policies and made “unwelcome sexual advances” toward her. But more than six months later, the professor has faced no discipline and remains employed at UC Berkeley – with an office two doors away from Gutierrez.

>snip<

At least six other students have given recent testimonials expressing concerns about Wentworth, and several have filed complaints, according to a recent letter sent by multiple faculty members to supervisors.

On Monday, Gutierrez and Erin Bennett, another graduate student who has accused Wentworth of harassment, intend to file formal complaints with the state against the professor and the University of California, alleging they have been subject to discrimination, sexual harassment and a hostile and intimidating work environment.

Read the rest.

Prominent Berkeley name in Panama Leaks files


Li Ka-Shing, one of the richest men in Asia, poses for a photo op with then UC Berkeley Chancellor Roberet "Grinnin' Bobby" Birgeanu on the occasion of the dedication of the Li Ka-Shing Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences and the bestowal on the first-time visitor of the Berkeley Medal, the campus's highest honor, given to those "whose work or contributions to society illustrate the ideals of the university."

Li Ka-Shing, one of the richest men in Asia, poses for a photo op with then UC Berkeley Chancellor Roberet “Grinnin’ Bobby” Birgeanu on the occasion of the dedication of the Li Ka-Shing Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences and the bestowal on the first-time visitor of the Berkeley Medal, the campus’s highest honor, given to those “whose work or contributions to society illustrate the ideals of the university.”

UPDATED: To correct value of donation [H/T to reader Judi Sierra!]

Back when we reported for the late print edition of the Berkeley Daily Planet, we wrote about the decision of the university to rename the building housing the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Public Health.

When the school tore down Earl Warren Hall, the building that rose in its place was named the The Li Ka-Shing Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences.

Warren was one of the university’s most famous graduates, and as chief justice of the United States Supreme Court, he presided over decisions Republicans are now trying to destroy, starting with Brown vs. Board of Education, and a wide range of rulings extending civil rights and ensuring that criminal defendants were fairly treated by law enforcement and local courts.

The building was named in Warren’s honor because as Governor of California he pushed through legislation mandating the creation of the first public health school West of the Mississippi and ensured its funding.

Only after we mentioned the irony of the name change did Berkeley shift gears, first naming a small part of an existing building after the late chief justice, then finally giving his name to an IT building, though in truncated form as Warren Hall, which abandoned the specificity of the earlier name.

Li Ka-Shing, repeatedly named one of the richest men in Asia, had never visited Berkeley before he parted with $40 million to get his name on a building at the university attended by so many of his compatriots.

He did, however, show up for the groundbreaking.

So how does he accumulate all that extra cash?

Well, the Panama Papers reveal that he was one of the many clients using the services of Mossack Fonseca, the Panamanian law firm specializing in helping rich people hide their money and/or the actual ownership of their businesses.

Li’s dealings with the law firm are among the disclosures of this report from Four Corners, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s premiere investigative journalism program.

Via Journeyman Pictures:

The Panama Papers: Secrets Of The Super Rich

Program notes:

It’s the shadowy world of secret international finance and tax avoidance.

“What we’re looking at here is really a parallel universe.”

This Four Corners investigation will reveal how the rich and powerful exploit the system.

“What this really says is a lot about the system itself and how broke the system is and how crazy the whole thing is.”

Our reporter Marian Wilkinson follows the money trail and it’s worth trillions of dollars.

“I was on their immigration stop list. But we’ve gotten in.” Marian Wilkinson, Reporter

College sexual assaults linked to narcissism


That narcissism is a causal factor in sex abuse on America’s college campuses should come as no surprise.

We’ve seen that here in Berkeley, where three men in positions of power have left their posts after revelations of improper actions towards women, and allegations of rapes at fraternities and botched investigations of rape complaints by students have plagued the university.

But what is sobering is one American college man in five has been a perpetrator of sexual misconduct, and one out of 25 college men is a rapist.

From the University of Georgia:

Almost 20 percent of college men have committed some kind of sexual assault, and 4 percent have committed rape, according to a study published by University of Georgia researchers who were examining the link between different kinds of narcissism and the perpetration of sexual assaults.

The study found a strong connection between pathological narcissism and sexual assault perpetration through a survey of 234 male university students, mostly in their first and second years of college. Its findings related to perpetration rates were mostly consistent with previous studies, said the study’s lead author Emily Mouilso, a clinical assistant professor in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences’ psychology department.

People who demonstrate characteristics of pathological narcissism have difficulties when it comes to relating to others, Mouilso explained.

Non-pathological narcissism, on the other hand, can be somewhat beneficial because it manifests in high self-esteem and makes it easier for people to shake off failures, study co-author Karen Calhoun said, explaining that it’s what some researchers call the “healthy” form of narcissism.

“As we predicted, the aspects of narcissism that we thought would be related were (related)—the lack of empathy, the entitlement aspects of narcissism,” Mouilso said.

What surprised them was the link between vulnerable narcissism and rape perpetration.

Vulnerable narcissists express high levels of self-esteem but are actually very insecure, Mouilso said.

The study found that men with vulnerable narcissistic traits were more likely to use alcohol or other date-rape drugs to incapacitate their victims, a finding that is especially concerning on a college campus, Mouilso said.

“I think people don’t realize how prevalent drinking is” in colleges, said Calhoun, a professor emerita in the psychology department. “It’s not so much how much they drink total for women that makes them vulnerable; it’s how much they drink at a time, the binge drinking, the getting drunk and just not being alert and aware of their surroundings or the risks involved. That really puts women at risk.”

Mouilso and Calhoun explained their results in the context of the theory that there are two general pathways that frequently lead to perpetration.

There’s more, after the jump. . . Continue reading

Charts of the day: Costs & benefits in the UC


Three charts from The University of California: Its Admissions and Financial Decisions Have Disadvantaged California Resident Students [PDF], a report from the California State Auditor looking at how the University of California has been seeking high tuition out-of-state and foreign students to augment its austerity depleted budgets.

First, a look at how declining state funds have offloaded the cost burdens onto the backs of students, a move that drives them to the indetured servitude of student loans:

Second, a look at the university’s campuses and how they have benefited from the policy — and note that UC Berkeley and UCLA are the biggest beneficiaries:

Finally, a look at the ethnicities of those California students denied admission to the campuses of their choice, with those already underrepresented in campus enrollments suffering the most: