Why are we going back in time to last January? The Regents had been live-streaming audio of their meetings prior to January 2013 but not archiving the audio files. So we would request the files and – once they were received on CDs sent by postal mail – archive them. Of course, this process took some time to accomplish so the files were not immediately available after the meetings. Unless you listened live, you had to wait, even with our eventual archiving.
Finally, the Regents – who keep pushing for high techy online ed – were embarrassed by their own primitive IT service and the fact that someone else was doing their archiving. So they moved to both an audio and video live streaming of their meetings and archived the video. That is all well and good except that current regental policy is to preserve the “archive” only for one year. When we requested the audio files so that an indefinite archiving could occur, we were told that since the files were now online, they wouldn’t be provided (even though they will disappear after a year).
If that sounds improper to you, it probably is – and we will pursue it. In the meantime, we will painfully record the meetings from the “archives” before they disappear and archive them indefinitely. You can’t download the actual files; only record them. So a four-hour session takes four hours to record. You might note the contrast between the Regents and the Calchannel [http://www.calchannel.com/] which archives legislative hearings and other Sacramento official activities. If you go to the Calchannel website, you have the option of downloading files or streaming them. And there is no one year evaporation. The Regents could use Calchannel or at least mimic its policy. But right now, they don’t for whatever reason.
If you follow California politics, you know that quite recently there was a big brouhaha in Sacramento when legislation was proposed as part of the state budget that would have ended the mandate that local governments make public documents available. (The state must reimburse local governments for costs of mandates so dropping the requirement saved some budget money.) When the dropping of the mandate became known, a firestorm erupted and the mandate was continued. That episode should make the Regents and UC sensitive to the public documents issue.
University of California Regents Meeting Jan. 15, 2013 (Compliance and Audit): Agenda
Public Comment Period