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UC Regents meet in Riverside to talk protesters, professor firing and the budget

University of California President Mark Yudof.
University of California President Mark Yudof.
AP / Paul Sakuma

The UC Regents are meeting today and Thursday at UC Riverside and can be listened to via audio streaming here.

A couple items of note on the agenda (a lot of the interesting ones are in closed session):

There will be an update in closed session today on "pending or threatened litigation" coming out of the UC Davis and UC Berkeley student protests. In November, UC President Mark Yudof initiated a systemwide examination of police protocols and policies on all 10 UC campuses after police pepper sprayed peaceful protesters at UC Davis and at UC Berkeley beat them with batons. Images of both incidents were caught on video and went viral online, spurring protests and public outcry

Later that month, the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office and Sheriff’s Department called on California Attorney General Kamala Harris to investigate the police use of pepper spray on peaceful protesters at UC Davis.

Also in closed session, the Regents look at the proposed dismissal (without emeritus status) of a UC Riverside professor. Sarkis Joseph Khoury, 65, an international finance professor has had a history of court battles with the university over the last 15 years, reports the Los Angeles Times. According to the Times, UC alleges Khoury improperly received outside income during sabbaticals.

On Thursday, the Regents will discuss Gov. Jerry Brown's 2012 proposed budget and its impact on the public university system. UC was hit by $750 million in state funding cuts last year and faces the possibility of another $200 million in cuts again in 2012 if an initiative to raise taxes that the governor is trying to get on the November ballot is not approved by voters.

UC officials released application numbers last week that showed a record high of applicants, including a huge jump in those applying from out-of-state and abroad. But officials say its likely the end result will be an increase in "sad faces" and disappointment given the dire budget picture.

Tami Abdollah can be reached via email and on Twitter (@LATams).