This piece has been updated with comments from University of California Student Association University Affairs Committee Chair Amory Meltzer, Regents Student Adviser Rafael Sands and Devon Graves.
The UC Board of Regents announced the election of Regent George Kieffer as board chair for the 2017-18 year, according to a press release issued by the University of California Office of the President on Wednesday.
Kieffer — appointed to the board by then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2009 — is currently a partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, a national law firm. He has also previously served as president of the UC Santa Barbara Alumni Association and president of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges.
Kieffer’s goals as chair include “examining the costs of higher education, … continuing to expand access to more and diverse Californians” and promoting “the uniqueness of all 10 UC campuses,” according to the press release.
“By any and all measures, this is the finest public university system in the world and I’m honored to be a part of it,” Kieffer said in the release. “All of us … need to work together to keep it that way and provide today’s students and succeeding generations the same affordable and quality education provided by and for earlier generations of Californians.”
In the same release, the board also announced the election of Regent John A. Pérez, the former speaker of the California State Assembly, to serve as its vice chair.
“Regent Pérez has for years been one of the strongest supporters of students, and I am glad to see him continue and expand that role as Vice Chair,” said University of California Student Association University Affairs Committee Chair Amory Meltzer in an email.
Regents Student Adviser Rafael Sands said in an email that he looks forward to working with Regents Kieffer and Regent Perez in their new capacities. Devon Graves, who has been announced as a nominee to serve as the 2018-2019 student regent, added that it’s important for the work of the chair and vice chair to “keep students first.”