Senate Rules Committee Should Reject Unconstitutionally Nominated Regents

On August 19, CUCFA sent the following letter to the members of the Senate Rules committee.

Senator Darrell Steinberg
State Capitol, Room 205
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: (916) 651-4906

Dear Senate Pro Tem Steinberg,

The Council of UC Faculty Associations requests that the Rules Committee reject the slate of four nominees proposed by the Governor to serve as Regents of the University of California.

You will recall that the Council of UC Faculty Association has previously communicated to your office our concern about the failure of Governors to respect the Constitution of the State of California in the process of nominating individuals to serve as Regents of the University of California. Unfortunately the process by which the Governor selected the current four nominees is no improvement on the flawed approach that has been followed by recent Governors.

Based on the information available to us, we have concluded that the present list of proposed nominees was publicly announced by the Governor prior to notification, much less consultation, with the advisory committee specified in Article 9 Sec. 9e of the Constitution. We have attempted to uncover evidence of subsequent consultation with the advisory committee but have been unable to do so. Any notification of the Governor’s already publicly announced proposed nominees sent to the advisory committee does not constitute consultation.

The purpose of the advisory committee is to further the goal stated in Article 9 Sec 9d that the Regents shall be “broadly reflective of the economic, cultural, and social diversity of the State, including ethnic minorities and women.” We are particularly concerned that the majority of the Regents and of this slate of proposed Regents are overly representative of an economic, cultural, and social elite. If the University of California, as a public institution, administered by the Regents as a public trust, is to further the aspirations of outstanding students from all populations in our state, then the Regents should, indeed, be more representative than they currently are of all Californians.

We conclude that it is the duty of the legislative branch in general and the Senate Rules Committee in particular to insist that the Governor respect the Constitution in its specifications of both process and goal.

We request that the Rules committee do so by rejecting this slate of proposed nominees.

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

cc: Senator Jean Fuller (Vice Chair)
Senator Holly Mitchell
Senator Steve Knight
Senator Ricardo Lara

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