At its Wednesday meeting, the UC Board of Regents voted to approve new revisions to its bylaws that would make significant changes to board meeting procedures and restructure standing committees.
The changes to the current board structure will reduce the number of standing committees from 10 to six and will also allow committee meetings to be held concurrently. At the beginning of the governance committee meeting, committee chair Regent Russell Gould said such changes would allow each committee to be more engaged and effective during meetings.
Gould and board chair Monica Lozano first proposed the changes during the May 2016 regents meetings, which were again discussed during the June regents meetings. The proposal will allow the current regents bylaws — adopted in 1969 — along with committee charters to be completely rescinded in favor of a new set of bylaws and charters, which were last amended at the regents’ June meeting.
“(I’m) optimistic that this will be a change for the better,” Gould said at the meeting. “I’m quite certain there will be things we will learn from embarking on this.”
The six standing committees consist of Academic and Student Affairs, Compliance and Audit, Finance and Capital Strategies, Governance and Compensation, Health Services and Public Engagement and Development. Each of these committees are newly named, apart from the Compliance and Audit and Health Services committees.
According to Lozano, the public engagement and development committee was created primarily as a response to the lack of a public affairs committee on the board.
During the meeting, Regent George Kieffer expressed concern about the delegation of more authority to committees on certain matters. Gould, however, said any delegation of plenary power to committees should be approved by the entire board.
Other changes to the current board procedures include enabling external advisers to serve on committees as nonvoting members when needed, as well as instituting term limits of four consecutive one-year terms for committee chairs and vice chairs.
According to Gould, this is the first time such a proposal has come into effect in almost 50 years. Gould further recommended that the board reconvene in no less than two years’ time to re-assess the effectiveness of the change.
“I think this will be a big and significant change,” said Regent Sherry Lansing. “It gives us opportunity to dig deeper into details and problems the University is facing.”
The board also heard an update from UCLA in the aftermath of the recent shooting on its campus and held a discussion of the University’s 2016-17 budget. Paul Monge, a law student at UC Berkeley, was confirmed as the board’s student regent-designate.
The new bylaws and committee structure will be implemented at the Board of Regents meeting on Sept. 14 and Sept. 15.