Gov. Jerry Brown has yet to fill three vacant positions on the UC Board of Regents — nearly five months after the positions first became vacant — and is currently reviewing an undisclosed number of candidates.
The selection process is in progress, and a deadline has not been announced, according to Evan Westrup, a spokesperson for Brown’s office.
“Our focus is selecting the best possible candidates,” Westrup said in an email. “That dictates our timing.”
The vacant positions were held by former UC Regents George Marcus and Odessa Johnson — whose terms expired at the end of February this year — and David Crane, whose appointment was not approved by the California State Senate after a year on the board.
Crane was appointed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger during his final days in office, but was plagued by controversy surrounding his position on collective bargaining for public employees and was ultimately not confirmed by the Senate.
Brown had until March 1 to choose whether to reappoint Marcus and Johnson, who were both appointed to their full terms in 2000. Former Gov. Gray Davis, a Democrat, appointed Johnson in 1999 to fill the remaining year of a 12-year term and then reappointed her in 2000.
According to Westrup, the governor is reviewing “a broad and diverse pool of candidates” and does not have a set deadline for the decision. The positions remained unfilled following the regents’ last meeting in May, and there is no word on whether a decision will be announced at the next meeting on July 17 and 18.
For UC Student Regent Jonathan Stein, the ideal appointees will be “steadfastly committed to the public higher education,” as well as to maintaining the public nature of the UC system.
“I’d also like any new Regents to be committed to access for underrepresented students and students of color,” Stein said in an email. “We are a rapidly changing state, but the UC is not yet an institution that educates the new California.”
The ability to identify students’ needs is also an important criteria for the UC Student Association, according to its president Claudia Magana.
“We’re looking for somebody that has an education background, who can help the board (of regents) with the diversity of our state,” Magana said, adding that the future appointees should be especially dedicated to affordability and equality within the UC system.
The board is composed of 18 regents appointed by the governor, one student regent and seven ex officio members, including the governor and lieutenant governor. Each of the appointed regents serve 12-year terms.
The next board meeting will be held July 17 and 18 at the UCSF Mission Bay campus.
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