Student representatives on chancellor search committee seek additional student perspectives

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The two student representatives on the chancellor search committee are seeking student opinions in their search for the next chancellor through a forum and online survey, ASUC President Will Morrow announced Wednesday.

Students can participate in a student-led forum Oct. 4 hosted by Morrow and Graduate Assembly president Iman Sylvain. Morrow and Sylvain will present information from the survey and forum during meetings of the committee to nominate candidates to succeed Chancellor Nicholas Dirks, Morrow said.

“We are fully aware that our lived experiences (and) our time in Berkeley are not reflective of everybody on this campus,” Morrow said. “We wanted to have a way of better communicating the opinions and thoughts of students we might not have been able to reach out to otherwise.”

The survey asks students to rate Dirks’ performance on a variety of metrics including transparency, accountability and his relationship with students. Students can share their priorities for the next chancellor to address, as well as offer further suggestions as part of an open response section.

These efforts come in the midst of concerns over the lack of student representation in the advisory committee to select the next chancellor. An ASUC Senate resolution passed Wednesday calls for the inclusion of a student regent or regent-designate among the five regents chosen for the current committee as well as future search committees.

Currently, the 17-person group includes just two student representatives — Morrow and Sylvain.

ASUC External Affairs Vice President André Luu, who sponsored the resolution, described the lack of student representation as “disturbing” in an email to The Daily Californian.

“Student representation is so crucial to selecting UC Berkeley’s next Chancellor because this decision will directly impact the experience of tens of thousands of current and future students,” Luu wrote.

For now, that student voice will come from the priorities and concerns that students indicate in the survey and forum. By presenting survey data to the search committee, Morrow intends to represent students’ viewpoints in a way that “can’t be dismissed” as his own personal opinion, he said.

The initial round of survey data will be presented at the first committee meeting Oct. 6. The survey will remain open and continue to be presented at meetings throughout the selection process, Morrow said, ending in March with the committee’s planned final recommendation.

Video of the student forum will be offered to committee members to present student perspectives, Morrow said, particularly those of students who “might not be a part of stakeholder groups or whose voices might not be heard otherwise.”

The student forum will be held Oct. 4 in East Pauley Ballroom.

Contact Lillian Holmes at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @LillianQHolmes.