Regents committee recommends restructuring of UC Health’s governing body

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The UC Board of Regents’ Committee on Health and Governance met Wednesday to discuss the restructuring of the UC Health governing body, which could expand to include nonregent voting members.

The changes, which include the creation of a policy and proposed amendments to a bylaw and standing order, are aimed at providing increased oversight to UC Health’s governing process. In November, the board will decide whether to recommend that the Committee on Health Services, which exercises primary jurisdiction over UC Health clinical enterprise, be restructured to incorporate members with relevant expertise.

The committee, as the recommendation currently outlines, would be assigned new responsibilities and consist of 13 members total, including six regents, the executive vice president of UC Health, two chancellors whose campuses include medical centers and four nonvoting advisory members.

Regent William Pena — along with several other board members, including Regents John Perez and Bruce Varner — said at the meeting that while it is useful to have outside advisers, he does not think the nonregent members should have a vote, elaborating that it isn’t prudent to have nonregents vote in a position of delegated authority to spend significant amounts of money.

“I would be hard-pressed to support any proposal that waters down the regents’ ability to make decisions,” said Regent Eloy Ortiz Oakley at the meeting.

John Stobo, executive vice president of UC Health, who presented the policy, said at the meeting that the decision to restructure was made so that UC Health can effectively deal with crises.

“If we simply look at historical revenue lines … this year, one of our major medical centers will go into the red,” Stobo said. “There are tough times coming up.”

Student Regent-designate Marcela Ramirez and Student Regent Avi Oved said student voices, such as those of graduate students and those studying medicine, should be considered in UC Health’s governing decisions.

On Wednesday morning, the board also discussed financial risk management regarding the 2020 Project for the Merced campus and later heard an update on fiscal performance in the 2014-15 year from Chief Investment Officer Jagdeep Bachher.

Bachher, who also presented a report at last week’s Committee on Investments meeting, said at the meeting that he doesn’t expect UC assets will see as high a level of performance next year as compared with last year, considering the volatility of financial markets.

He said, however, that a “unified” set of core investment beliefs — referencing a new framework for sustainable investment, including the decision to sell holdings in coal and oil sands companies — will give the University of California a better chance at earning higher returns.

The Board of Regents will reconvene Thursday. Its next meeting will occur from Nov. 19-20 at the UCSF Mission Bay campus.

Suhauna Hussain is the lead higher education reporter. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @suhaunah.