Town hall to discuss selection of a new chancellor scheduled for Wednesday

Barbara Sullinger/Staff

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UC Berkeley community members will discuss what they think a new selection process for the next chancellor should look like at a town hall meeting Wednesday evening.

The town hall, which will occur at 7 p.m. in 155 Barrows, was organized by Students for a Democratic University — a student political party composed of Occupy Cal protesters and other students — in order to “decide on how to democratically select the next chancellor of UC Berkeley,” according to the party’s website.

“In the past, the president of the university has been responsible for creating a selection committee to pick a new chancellor,” the Facebook event for the town hall reads. “The selection committee is usually made up of regents and administrators. There was hardly any input from students, faculty and staff … This year, we want to come up with a more democratic process to elect a chancellor.”

Under university policy, a search committee appointed by UC President Mark Yudof is tasked with finding a new chancellor, a process that UC spokesperson Steve Montiel said in an email “provides for broad representation” by including faculty members and a graduate student and undergraduate student from the campus.

“Under the policy for appointing chancellors, a committee advises the UC president, who is responsible for recommending his appointment to the Regents for consideration and approval,” Montiel said in an email. “All representatives are expressly encouraged to participate fully in discussion and debate at meetings of this advisory committee.”

The new chancellor will take the position after current chancellor Robert Birgeneau steps down at the end of the calendar year. Birgeneau announced his resignation last month in an email to the campus community.

“We demand that the campus community is not only given nominal representation in the selection process, but that the decision is fully democratic,” the party said in a statement on its website. “We invite all members of the UC Berkeley community to attend this forum to decide what the selection process, which will unfold over the next several months, should look like.”