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News Brief

designed by Sara Bloomberg



1. UC to pay damages in Davis pepper-sprayingThe University of California will pay damages of $30,000 to each of the 21 UC Davis students and alumni who were pepper-sprayed by campus police during an otherwise peaceful protest 10 months ago, the university system announced on Sept. 26.

The agreement, which must still be approved in federal court, also calls for UC to pay a total of $250,000 to the plaintiffs’ attorneys and sets aside a maximum of $100,000 to pay up to $20,000 to any other individuals who join the class-action lawsuit by proving they were either arrested or directly pepper-sprayed, a university statement said.

An officer sprayed seated students directly in their faces at close range during a Nov. 18, 2011 Occupy rally.

A video of the incident was posted online and triggered national outrage. (Stephen Ceasar/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

PHOTOS (from MCT Photo Service, 202-383-6099): CMP-UC-PEPPERSPRAY

2. New state chancellor has ties to Student Success Task Force

A member of the now defunct Student Success Task Force was named Sept. 26 as the new chancellor of California’s 112 community colleges.

Brice Harris will take on his new role on Nov. 6 and replaces Jack Scott, who retired in September after three and a half years in the position.

The Task Force, which convened from January 2011 to December 2011, made sweeping changes to the community college system and is now known as the Student Success Act of 2012.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed the act into law on Sept. 27.

It prioritizes transfer students and students seeking degrees.

It will also prevent low-income students from receiving Board of Governors fee waivers if they don’t maintain their grades at a minimum level.

Originally, the task force recommended instituting unit caps to determine financial aid eligibility but the new law prevents this. In other words, if a student took too many courses, they would no longer receive BOG waivers.

Dozens of community colleges, students and faculty across the state, including The Guardsman, opposed the task force and its findings.

You can read the law here: (Sara Bloomberg/The Guardsman)

3. West Nile virus reported near Ocean campus

A bird infected with West Nile Virus was found near Ocean campus early in September.

According to other news reports, only one human case has been reported in San Francisco since then.

The virus is passed to humans by mosquitoes.

4. Board approves draft plan for ACCJC

The Board of Trustees approved Sept. 27 a draft plan that addresses the 14 problems laid out in the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior College’s evaluation released in July.

The plan includes a revised mission statement, a list of potential cuts—including closing the Castro and Park Presidio centers— and creating new administrator positions.

Staff and faculty unions have already agreed to further cuts, as well.

Department chairs could be eliminated, too, as recommended by a Sept. 14 report by the Fiscal Crisis Management and Assessment Team, an independent agency hired by the state chancellor’s office to evaluate City College’s finances.

In its report, the fiscal team acknowledges that faculty, staff and chair contracts are subject to collective bargaining agreements.

In July, the accrediting commission criticized the school for having too few experienced administrators.


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