UC regents approve Los Alamos lab bid, review audit progress

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Rachael Garner/File

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The UC Board of Regents unanimously approved the submission of a bid to manage the Los Alamos National Laboratory, or LANL, and reviewed progress on meeting audit recommendations from April 2017 on Wednesday.

At the Wednesday meeting of the regents’ National Laboratories Subcommittee, UC Vice President for National Laboratories Kimberly Budil said the current management and operating contract for LANL will expire Sept. 30 of next year, and that the request for proposal, or RFP, required to submit a bid is due by Dec. 11 of this year.

Given the upcoming expiration of the contract with LANL, the National Nuclear Security Administration announced in June that it would conduct a competition for the new contract.

“NNSA is a tough, demanding customer,” said UC Regent Norman Pattiz, chair of the National Laboratories Subcommittee, during the meeting. “But the work to be done at Los Alamos is too important for the university to walk away from. I see nothing in this (request for proposal) that changes things so dramatically that we walk away from this.”

During the Compliance and Audit Committee meeting, UC Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Rachael Nava outlined the university’s progress toward meeting all requirements stated in the April 2017 state audit. According to Nava, who chairs the task force on audit implementation, all 33 recommendations — compiled into 10 workstreams — are on track to be completed by their respective deadlines, with four of the 10 already completed.

“(The Systemwide Initiatives and Budget Targets Committee) has actively been involved in pulling together materials related to the state budget that was passed, AB 97, which includes language that the UC will identify savings to put toward its share of up to $15 million to fund enrollment increases for the 2018-19 academic year,” Nava said at the meeting.

Sjoberg Evashenk Consulting chairman Kurt Sjoberg, who conducted an independent assessment of the audit report, said the firm had seen consistency among UCOP’s 10 workstream groups after observing the meeting management and dynamic of each one. Sjoberg stated that the consulting company will keep continued contact with the workstream groups to see the progress that they have made.

Sjoberg also noted that in taking measures to address the audit recommendations, UCOP would need to continue to consider such impacts on individual campuses.

“When UCOP makes a systemwide type of decision, they’re impacting more than the people in Oakland,” Sjoberg said at the meeting. “Clearly, we see that there are intentions to involve the campuses, but we’ll be looking to ensure that this is occurring.”

On the recommendation of UC President Janet Napolitano, the regents also endorsed at the meeting a comprehensive fundraising campaign for UCSF, which aims to raise $5 billion.

UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood said the goals of the campaign are to establish university priorities, elevate UCSF’s visibility and expand UCSF’s donor and volunteer base.

Planning for the campaign began in 2013, and according to UCSF Vice Chancellor of University Development and Alumni Relations John Ford, the team behind it has made “great progress,” gathering 183 ideas from more than 150 UCSF faculty members.

During the Public Engagement and Development Committee meeting, the UC Office of Institutional Advancement presented its report on donations, which stated that UC campuses received a total of $2.11 billion in private support over the past fiscal year, $191 million of which went toward scholarships and fellowships.

During a meeting on governance and compensation, the regents pulled an action item from the agenda. The amendment to Regents Policy 1203 on emeritus status, which clarifies criteria for conferring emerita ad emeritus status on former UC regents, senior leadership and staff, was not yet ready to be voted upon as of today’s meeting.

Developments with with UCPath, a centralized payroll and human resources system for all UC campuses, has been delayed again, as UCLA will not deploy the program at this time. According to UCLA Chancellor Gene Block, a key driver of the delay is that it increases the probability of success for other pilot locations. UCPath is expected to reach UC Berkeley during deployment phase two, the final stage of deployment.

The board will reconvene Nov. 16 at UCSF Mission Bay.

Contact Revati Thatte, Anjali Shrivastava and Mary Kelly Ford at [email protected].