Another letter to Governor Brown about UC Regent vacancies

A similar letter was sent on the same day to Senator Darrell Steinberg, Chair of the Senate Rules Committee.

July 29, 2012

Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.
State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: (916) 558-3160

Re: University of California Regent Vacancies

Dear Governor Brown,

As you know, there are currently three vacancies on the UC Board of Regents, and there will be two more on March 1, 2013. With the relation between the University and the State at a crossroads, the Master Plan threatened, and the meaning of public higher education uncertain, these will be particularly important appointments. I encourage you to seek creative individuals with a deep understanding of and strong support for public higher education.

To facilitate the selection of outstanding Regents who are broadly representative of the people of California, the Constitution of the State of California stipulates the process to be used:

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.

I strongly urge you to reinvigorate this mandated process. 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. I 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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