SAN FRANCISCO – Despite calls from students, staff and a few state senators for his resignation, the Regents of the University of California supported the continued leadership of President Robert C. Dynes over the UC system at yesterday’s Regents’ meeting.
Meanwhile, about 30 protesters from various UC campuses staged a disruptive protest during a presentation about nuclear laboratories managed by the UC.
During the meeting yesterday at UC San Francisco’s Laurel Heights campus, Regents Chair Gerald Parsky made a statement in which he informed the audience and media that the Regents had met with Dynes and had determined that his continued leadership would be accepted.
While Parsky said that there was no formal vote in deciding to support Dynes, he said the Regents had reached a consensus over their support for him.
“The Regents hold President Dynes accountable for the University’s compensation problems, and he has acknowledged his responsibility,” Parsky said. “However, we are convinced that he understands the dimensions of the problem and context in which these problems occur, and the institutional barriers that must be overcome to ensure lasting reform.”
Parsky enumerated three steps that the Regents have taken in order to rectify the compensation improprieties, and said that compliance will be mandatory. The three steps include the restructuring of the Office of the President, the establishment of a Compensation Committee to provide oversight and the creation of a Compliance Office that reports directly to the Regents.
In his statement, Parsky further underscored that Dynes was made to understand the failings.
“We had a frank discussion with President Dynes on his understanding of how the violations of policy have occurred both historically and on his watch, and the importance of assuring that the University be transparent, accountable and fair in compensation matters,” Parsky said.
Dynes also acknowledged his role in the compensation issues facing the University, and asserted he would work to right the situation.
“I made mistakes, and that’s a hard thing for anyone to own up to, but I did,” Dynes said.
Afterward, the Regents received a presentation on the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, a UC-funded research facility that is involved in the development of nuclear weapons. The presentation noted that the Livermore Lab, as well as the Los Alamos National Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, have created jobs, aided the evolution of national nuclear emergency support and “spectroscopic chemical and radiation plume detection.”
The laboratories have also helped develop a biological emergency support team, a national emergency response team and an Iraq Survey Group. The facilities have also helped monitor the spread of avian flu throughout the U.S. and explored “vaccine isolation options” for the epidemic.
During the discussion, students from UCSB, UC Santa Cruz and UC Berkeley staged a makeshift “meeting” by standing in the audience section of the conference room and shouting their opinions among themselves loud enough for the Regents and media to hear. The Regents moved to suspend their meeting until the room was cleared of the protesters, and then exited the conference room.
About 20 UCPD officers entered the auditorium and formed a barricade to bar access to the Regents’ meeting table. The protestors continued their shouts of “UC Nuclear Free” and their disapproval of the Regents’ conduct in not suspending the production of nuclear weapons. Police asked all members of the audience to leave the room until the protest was contained.
A UCPD officer used a megaphone to tell protestors they were conducting an “unlawful assembly” and would be subject to arrest for failure to disperse if they did not leave the building grounds. The protestors continued their “meeting” until the police issued a second warning, but did not exit the room until they had received a formal motion, second to the motion and aye/nay vote among their members to leave. The protestors were followed by UCPD out of the building and continued to protest near the campus’ rear parking lot.
The Regents are scheduled to meet again in July at the main campus of UC San Francisco.