Lots of news from the academy last week.
Chancellor Gene Block told the UCLA community in a letter that the revised executive order severely restricting immigration and travel to the United States from six predominantly Muslim countries and temporarily banning refugees “clashed with universities’ core values.” He said he was forming an Immigration Advisory Council to analyze the impact of new policies on the school. … Across town, Willow Bay was named dean of USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, the first woman to hold the post in the school’s 45-year history. She will take over from dean Ernest Wilson III on July 1. … Leaving the South L.A. campus will be professor Raphael Bostic, who’s been named president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He becomes the first African-American to lead one of the 12 regional banks. He will take over on June 5. … Chris Sacca, interviewed at South by Southwest by Entrepreneur magazine, had this to say about the intersection of politics and young tech entrepreneurs: “American computer science grads often have very little exposure to the human condition. They’ve rarely had manual labor or service jobs. They grow up in a bubble of privilege lulled into thinking this country is a true meritocracy. A deep appreciation for politics comes from empathy for our fellow human beings and their diverse paths through life. Yet tech isn’t exactly teeming with empathy these days.” … Speaking of tech, Gil Elbaz, who sold his Applied Semantics to Google, just had another Google exit. He was a Series A funder of Kaggle, an Australian data science platform for running coding competitions, which is being sold to the search giant. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. … Independent Sports & Entertainment, a sports management agency formerly associated with Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity Media empire, has named former pro basketball player and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson vice chairman. Now an independent operation, ISE is backed by Ron Burkle. Johnson will stay in Sacramento and fill the role on a part-time basis. … Another former hoops great, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, was in Tallahassee last week, touting health care initiatives to Florida lawmakers on behalf of Simply Healthcare Plans Inc. Johnson is an investor in the business. … Smoothly segueing into more health care news, J. Mario Molina has been vocal in his opposition to the proposed American Health Care Act. Molina told Bloomberg the pending Trumpcare bill was a “poorly drafted piece of legislation” that few could get behind. “Doctors don’t like this bill. Hospitals don’t like this bill. Seniors don’t like this bill. Some Republicans don’t like this bill and Democrats don’t like this bill.” … Jack H. Harris, father of Wonderful Co. co-founder Lynda Resnick, died last week at 98 at his home in Beverly Hills. Harris produced 1958 film “The Blob.”
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