UC Regent Norman Pattiz announced he will retire his post this February, claiming the move was motivated not by the fallout from a sexual harassment scandal but a desire to spend more time on other projects and with his family. In 2016, Pattiz, chairman of Courtside Entertainment Group, asked a woman taping a bra commercial if he could hold her breasts. He was also recently sued for allegedly brandishing a loaded gun at a former employee who resisted Pattiz’s orders to falsify data.
The LA Times quoted Pattiz as saying, “I have nothing to be ashamed of. My conscience is clear. I just want to take 16 years of great memories and move on.” You can read his resignation letter, which doesn’t mention the sexual harassment scandal, here.
Elsewhere, in an interview with the Mercury News, Chancellor Carol Christ specified that 54 percent of the Memorial Stadium debt would be transferred form the athletics budget to the campus’s general budget. Speaking of the decision, which had been previously announced with less detail, Christ said:
“The campus has, for decades, not dealt honestly with the budget. And it has not sought to reconcile how much money it takes to run a sports program and how much money we’ve allocated. The easy thing to do is to let athletics proceed with a budget that looks like there’s a minimal investment from the campus, run this continuing deficit, and then have a bailout at the end of the year — rather than ask questions about what we want from athletics, what it’s going to take to get there, and what is a realistic plan with all of the components of the budgets.”
Christ notes even with the campus assuming more than half of the stadium debt, athletics is still expected to run an annual deficit. According to a campus plan, the athletics budget must become balanced by 2020. Such a directive has raised the prospect of cuts to particular sports programs.
“So many people are focused on, ‘Are you going to cut sports?’”, Christ told the Mercury News. “That, to me, is a decision that comes at the end of the line. First, we need clarity about finances. We don’t have clarity. Then we need much more imaginative and detailed plan about revenue generation. Then we need much more of a philanthropic plan and a sense of philanthropic capacity.”
In other news, the UC system received more than 221,000 applications for admissions this cycle, breaking a record for the 13th consecutive year.
12/29 – UC Regent Norm Pattiz, accused of sexual harassment, announces resignation (SFGate): The article notes that after the 2016 incident, the board changed its policy to allow investigations into suspect behavior by regents concerning matters outside of UC.
12/28 – UC Regent Norman Pattiz, dogged by fallout over sexually inappropriate comments, to retire (LATimes): In reply to Pattiz’s letter, Board Chair George Kieffer wrote, “Few people understand the enormous responsibility we undertake in connection with our national labs, and for so many years you have been the university’s point person. After so many years you deserve a break.”
12/15 – Chancellor Carol Christ talks Cal athletics: Budget plans, stadium debt, the AD search and finding a sustainable model (SJMN): In reference to Edwards Stadium, Christ said, “My strong inclination is to dedicate that to other campus uses. It’s a historic structure but not the most attractive structure.”
12/14 – Record numbers apply to University of California campuses for 2018 (SJMN): UCLA received the most applications of any campus.