UC Student Association criticizes Brown’s recent regents appointees

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The University of California Student Association urged Gov. Jerry Brown to “disrupt the status quo” of the UC Board of Regents on Wednesday, claiming that Brown’s recent appointees to the board are lacking academic resumes that will give students meaningful representation among the university’s top decision-makers.

Brown announced four appointments to the UC Board of Regents last week, naming Richard Blum, Monica Lozano, Norman Pattiz and Richard Sherman to serve as members of the board. Blum and Pattiz will be continuing their service after their current terms end March 1, and Lozano will be returning to the board, having previously served from 2001 to 2013. All four candidates await confirmation by the California State Senate.

Brown’s appointments come after months of concern that the board was functioning with five vacant seats — and had been since March 2013. Brown left three seats vacant for more than a year. Still, his announcement of four nominations left the UCSA unsatisfied.

“The University of California Student Association firmly believes that the Board of Regents is significantly absent of leaders who have experience in managing a higher education system and the necessary interests in the success of California’s students,” a release from the UCSA states. “UCSA would like the Senate to carefully consider the new appointees and their fit on the UC Board of Regents, and hopes to see a change in the fulfillment of the additional vacancies on the Board.”

The organization did not suggest that Brown revoke his nominations but instead urged him to alter his “regent selection criteria,” emphasizing that all four nominees come from backgrounds outside higher education. It specifically singled out Sherman, CEO of the David Geffen Company, an entertainment organization, saying he lacked necessary experience in higher education.

Regents appointed by the governor serve 12-year terms. Pending Senate confirmation of the appointees, three spots should remain empty on the board come March.

Libby Rainey is the lead higher education reporter. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @rainey_l.