Brown appoints 2 individuals to UC Board of Regents


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Update 11/18/14: This post was updated to reflect further information regarding the appointed individuals. 

Gov. Jerry Brown announced two appointments to the UC Board of Regents on Monday.

Brown appointed California State Assembly Speaker Emeritus John A. Perez and Eloy Ortiz Oakley, the superintendent-president of Long Beach City College, to the board, both of whom await confirmation from the California State Senate. Both individuals have experience in higher education issues: Perez has written legislation addressing the affordability of higher education, while Oakley has worked a number of years as an administrator at California community colleges.

oakleymug“John and Eloy bring a wealth of experience and an extraordinary capacity to dig into the complexities of our great university system,” Brown said in a statement. “Their work has demonstrated a deep commitment to the students of California.”

Brown’s announcements came the day before the UC regents are set to convene for their November board meeting, beginning Tuesday. As the state Legislature is not in session, it may be a number of months before either individual is confirmed by the Senate.

Nominated individuals, however, can serve one year on the board pending their confirmation. Perez and Oakley are expected to appear at the board meeting Wednesday and Thursday.

Brown and UC President Janet Napolitano have clashed in recent weeks after the announcement of a tuition increase policy that would link tuition to levels of state funding, which will be discussed Wednesday.

If Perez and Oakley vote against the policy, their decisions will add to the dissent but will likely not be enough to vote down the policy, which is expected to be passed by a mostly supportive board.

Some have lauded the individuals’ backgrounds in higher education, distinct from a board comprised of many with backgrounds in finance and business.

Kevin Sabo, a UC Berkeley student who is the board chair of the University of California Student Association, said he thinks Brown’s appointment is a message to the board and a signal of his priorities when it comes to the university in terms of addressing access as well as transfer rates.

“It’s no coincidence,” Sabo said. “He’s sending a strong message to the regents that he’s aware of the vacancies, but if they want to continue having resource-allocation priorities, then he’s not going to support that with likeminded individuals on the board. It’s a shift, which is nice, but I wish he did this earlier.”

Perez, who attended UC Berkeley, was elected to the state Assembly in 2008, later becoming the speaker of the Assembly in 2010. He authored the Middle Class Scholarship Act, which grants financial awards to eligible students whose families make up to $150,000 per year and who may not qualify for institutional aid offered by the University of California or California State University.

Oakley has been the superintendent-president of Long Beach City College since 2007. He was previously the executive vice president of administrative services. Oakley has also worked at Golden West College and for the Coast Community College District and is an alumnus of UC Irvine.

“At a time when we are seeking to expand enrollment of California students and improve the process for students transferring from community colleges to UC, I’m very happy that we will benefit from the expertise and experiences of Speaker Pérez and President Eloy Ortiz,” Napolitano said in a statement.

Sabo said he was pleased in particular with the appointment of Perez to the board of regents, noting his reputation of working to address higher education issues such as access and affordability. But Sabo raised issue with the appointment of Oakley, whom he said was a driving force behind AB 955, which authorized some community colleges to charge more for certain classes during summer and winter sessions.

The UC Board of Regents meeting will be held Tuesday through Thursday at the UCSF Mission Bay campus.

Sophie Ho is the executive news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @sophanho.

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  • Looks like CalSERVE has one of their drones on the Regents now. Watch out California! ““He’s sending a strong message to the regents that he’s aware of the vacancies”. Good thing he can count to 3!

    Also, is anyone bothered by Kevin Sabo’s constant presence in the papers? The last three articles I read have him in it. I thought we elected Caitlin Quinn ASUC external affairs queen, not him?

    • Kevin Sabo


    • Kevin Sabo


      • I <3 you too Kevin Sabo! You're shady as f*ck, but you werk it all over the Daily Cal.

        Sabo for ASUC Queen (or King, whichever your prefer) 2015!

        • Kevin Sabo

          Aww. I’m sorry to hear you think I’m shady. Just a working class students trying to make sure the system stays the greatest economic equalizer in our state’s history. Not sure what else I could do to address your concerns, considering they’re not very constructively-articulated or made in a way I feel I could do anything about.

          Unfortunately, there’s no ASUC King OR Queen in the Constitution, and I’m not much for monarchical systems anyway!

          • We can amend the Constitution and you can take the high throne! “Kevin of House Sabo, First of His Name, King/Queen of the ASUC” has a nice ring to it. No? Not much of a monarchist… I’ve heard otherwise about a certain obsession with a certain monarch of 16 certain realms.

            I guess my main issue is the ASUC being shady in general. I’m assuming you’re not an exception. I’m mostly disappointed with your arms-length involvement with CalSERVE (I’m not singling them out though, Student Action is just as bad). Your rise to “power” has taken an interesting course.

            Your work on the issues that actually matter (like tuition) seem pretty level headed and quite frankly better executed than the other ASUC clowns, but I hate when you start sh*ting the party line on the symbolic BS.

            Also, sorry for provoking you, but you haven’t given me any love in a while!

          • Kevin Sabo

            Ehh. Monarchies work for some societies (eg: Western Europe), but I don’t know that it works in any American sense, including (and most especially) Berkeley’s undergraduate student government. I appreciate the offer though. :) I wouldn’t say I have an obsession with the Queen of England, but I’m glad my appreciation of her role in British politics is well-known.

            ASUC certainly has its issues. We’ve had many conversations internally about what we can do to make it more effective and responsive to the needs of a very unique population. As you can imagine, gauging the needs of a constituency as diverse as the student body can be challenging so we’re not always going to succeed. ASUC has a pretty difficult workload, and we struggle with balancing internal examinations of efficiencies and how to address to barrage of issues with which we’re bombarded (see: the recent tuition plan). I come from the community college system where we didn’t have parties; differences we had were typically issue-specific, and “alliances” were much more temporary and tended to re-form differently as new matters arose. I’m still trying to navigate our campus political party system, but I’ve clearly had my bumps along the way. I’m not sure what you mean by my rise being interesting, but I’d like to hear more if you wouldn’t mind expounding.

            If you could also elaborate on the party line part too that’d help me understand how best to articulate my position.

            And I’d give you more love if I felt it was constructive and conducive to my mental health! You’re anonymous so it’s easier to be shielded from the effects of harsh criticism of your work, but everyone can see comments made towards me, and I have to deal with how best to internalize (or not internalize) the commentary. It’s a heavy toll when I’m staying up literally days at a time to try and look out for our well-being to go online and read remarks that seem to come from a place of misunderstanding.

            Just a few thoughts.

          • Kevin sabo is a much worse asuc attourney general than the previous ones like Hinh Tran. At least they only came out for election season then went back in their holes after that.