Letter to Governor Brown: When Nominating Regent Follow Article 9 Section 9e of California Constitution

December 27, 2011

Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-2841
Fax: (916) 558-3160

Dear Governor Brown,

I note that the one year anniversary of David Crane’s appointment to the UC Board of Regents approaches. Having failed to win confirmation of the Senate, Crane’s appointment will soon be voided, opening a seat on the Board. In nominating a replacement for David Crane, I would like to remind you of the requirements of Article 9, section 9e of the State Constitution:

“In the selection of the Regents, the Governor shall consult an advisory committee composed as follows: The Speaker of the Assembly and two public members appointed by the Speaker, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and two public members appointed by the Rules Committee of the Senate, two public members appointed by the Governor, the chairman of the regents of the university, an alumnus of the university chosen by the alumni association of the university, a student of the university chosen by the Council of Student Body Presidents, and a member of the faculty of the university chosen by the academic senate of the university. Public members shall serve for four years, except that one each of the initially appointed members selected by the Speaker of the Assembly, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and the Governor shall be appointed to serve for two years; student, alumni, and faculty members shall serve for one year and may not be regents of the university at the time of their service on the advisory committee.”

Your immediate predecessor and his predecessor before him both elected to interpret “consult” to be synonymous with “announce.” I certainly believe these concepts are not interchangeable. Rather than simply sending a letter to the committee members enumerated in the quoted paragraph above, I ask that you follow the procedure that existed prior to Gray Davis, wherein the Governor’s advisory committee held a public hearing at which they discussed the appropriateness of potential nominees.

Please note that the unrepresentativeness of the current Regents has been a central issue in the numerous protests on UC campuses this year. Many eyes will be watching how you handle this nomination process. We believe that there is ample justification to question the validity of nominations and appointments that do not conform to the letter and spirit of Article 9 section 9e.

Joe Kiskis
Vice President for External Relations, Council of UC Faculty Associations
and Professor of Physics, UC Davis

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