UC Regents discuss fundraising, capital projects at meeting in San Francisco

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The UC Board of Regents discussed a new social media fundraising campaign, reviewed the Working Smarter cost-saving program and approved capital projects during the first day of its March meeting on Wednesday morning.

The social media project, Promise Platform, aims to raise money by encouraging students, faculty members and alumni to start their own UC fundraising campaigns by utilizing their social networks to generate funds and promote the UC system. The program is expected to launch by Oct. 1, 2013.

“A student could promise to dye their hair purple if their friends help them raise $1,000 to support scholarships,” said  Daniel Dooley, UC vice president of external relations. “Steve Wozniak could agree to use a PC instead of a Mac for a month if his friends help him raise $50,000 for the university.”

The regents also heard updates on the Working Smarter initiative, an administrative-efficiency program that has saved more than $200 million and raised more than $89 million in additional funds as of July 2012. The program is ahead of schedule to meet its $500 million goal by 2015.

Additionally, the regents voted to support two housing projects at UC Santa Barbara and an academic building for the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine as well as UC Merced’s design for a new long-term development plan.

Before returning to a closed session, the regents heard presentations from the UC fundraising campaign Onward California and UC Berkeley professor Catherine Cole, who spoke about the Fiat Lux Redux exhibit at UC Berkeley.

In the afternoon, the regents held closed sessions on collective bargaining matters, campus security and pending litigation.

They also discussed developments in appealed court decisions that either involved the UC system or had implications for UC policy. Cases included Felarca et al. v. Birgeneau, a case surrounding the arrest of students attending the Occupy Cal protests of Nov. 9 at UC Berkeley, and Baker et al. v. Katehi, a case relating to the use of high-concentration pepper spray on students by campus police at UC Davis.

The Special Committee to Consider the Selection of a President also met for the third time in a joint closed session with the rest of the regents. The committee discussed selection criteria for the next UC president and its “relationship to potential candidates.”

The Committee on Compliance and Audit met in the last session of the day. Committee members approved the external audit plan for the year ending June 30, 2013, and discussed restructuring of UC debt. On Tuesday, the UC finance office completed a bond repurchase that is expected to save $200 million in future costs.

Contact Alex Berryhill and Jacob Brown at [email protected].