UC regents to discuss debt management, California ballot measures this week

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The UC Board of Regents will consider a new debt management policy and hear updates on the implementation of new restrictions regarding moonlighting for senior administrators at its meeting Wednesday.

The regents will also vote to approve the appointment and salary of UC Davis’ Interim Chancellor Ralph Hexter, hear an update on the UC investment portfolio and examine 2016 California ballot initiatives that could potentially impact the university.

The goal of the proposed debt policy would be to guide the use of the UC system’s debt partially through the management and sale of bonds to investors — to ensure ready access to capital for operations, as well as to fund large-scale projects such as increasing UC student housing. The university’s debt portfolio grew from $6.9 billion at the end of the 2008 fiscal year to $17.2 billion currently.

At their last meeting in July, the regents instituted rules that tightened review of UC campuses’ top executives’ outside jobs, including positions as consultants or members of corporate boards. The move came soon after former UC Davis chancellor Linda Katehi received widespread criticism for her positions on corporate boards that many perceived as potential conflicts of interest.

The board will hear a presentation on the progress of these new rules, as well as on the compensation that top executives received for moonlighting in 2015.

Ahead of the 17 state measures on the ballot for the November elections, the board will also share ideas on the potential impact of several initiatives on the UC system, including measures on a potential cigarette tax and the legalization of marijuana.

In the past 30 years, the board has publicly announced a formal position on only nine non-bond-related ballot measures.

During the meeting, the board will assess its success on a number of initiatives agreed upon as part of last year’s budget framework. Goals include increasing the presence of community college transfers, helping students graduate on time and better utilizing data to tackle issues such as academic difficulty.

The format of this week’s meeting will be the first to employ a new structure in the interest of efficiency that was approved by the regents in July. Multiple committees will meet concurrently over the course of Wednesday’s meeting.

The regents will meet Wednesday and Thursday at UCLA.

Contact Suhauna Hussain at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @suhaunah.