University announces members of chancellor search committee

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Zach Ryan/File

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The university announced Monday the members of the advisory committee created to select UC Berkeley’s next chancellor, prompting student representatives to advocate for greater student say in the selection process.

The committee of 17 members includes UC President Janet Napolitano, five UC regents, three campus faculty members and one student representative each from the undergraduate and graduate student bodies, among others. The committee’s first meeting will take place Oct. 6 with all committee members on campus.

The composition of the committee is determined by the UC Board of Regents’ policy, which specifies the number of representatives from various campus groups. ASUC President Will Morrow, who will represent students along with Iman Sylvain, president of the Graduate Assembly, said it was difficult to represent diverse student interests with their current number of student members.

“Iman and I are just two students on a committee of 17, but that does not mean we are going to stay quiet,” Morrow said. He added that they would do their best to “ensure accountability from the other committee members that they will take into consideration student values and concerns in their selection process.”

UC regents chair Monica Lozano, who is also a member of the search party, appointed five UC regents to the committee. Morrow said the selection was a missed opportunity to include more student voices, as the current UC student regent-designate is Paul Monge, a UC Berkeley School of Law student.

“That could have really added value to the conversation,” Morrow said.

An upcoming ASUC Senate bill to be submitted at the Wednesday senate meeting calls for the permanent inclusion of a UC student regent representative in future chancellor search committees.

Sylvain, who will represent graduate student interests, said an important factor for graduate students in choosing the next chancellor will be how they would approach the campus budget deficit and shift department funding.

“We’re really concerned with what the budget deficit means for academic reorganization, particularly those departments who are regularly underfunded like the arts and humanities,” Sylvain said.

Sylvain added that she would like to see a chancellor who can also address issues of campus climate regarding sexual harassment and equity.

According to Morrow, his and Sylvain’s offices will be sending out a survey to students to gain more of their input on what qualities to prioritize in the next chancellor. At its October meeting, the committee will consult with various campus groups, including the ASUC and the Graduate Assembly, as well as members from the LEAD Center.

The search committee will interview at least five candidates chosen by a faculty subcommittee that first reviews applications. Afterward, the search committee will send its final recommendations to Napolitano, who will choose a single candidate for approval before the UC regents.

According to a UC press release, the search committee’s final recommendation is tentatively scheduled for the spring semester.

Contact Vera Esail at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @vesaildc.