UC Board of Regents to discuss Maunakea telescope, UCPD at July meetings

Regents Meeting
Sunny Shen/File
At its upcoming meetings, the UC Board of Regents will discuss and vote on several matters, including funding to make buildings more seismically secure and the university's involvement with the Thirty Meter Telescope project.

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The UC Board of Regents will meet Tuesday through Thursday to vote on several budget measures and to discuss topics related to current events, including financial aid, the Maunakea telescope, UCPD’s role in community safety and staff diversity.

The regents meetings will be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will include three public comment sessions. This will be UC President Janet Napolitano’s last public regents meeting before incoming president Michael Drake takes over Aug. 1.

Over the course of the three days, the regents’ subcommittees will approve various action items, which will then be considered at the full board meeting Thursday.

One such proposal expected to be discussed and voted on is the regents’ capital strategies budget, which will include funding to replace Evans Hall with a more seismically secure building.

The Finance and Capital Strategies Committee will also consider renewing UC Berkeley’s Life-Safety Fee of $46 per student during fall and spring semesters and $23 per student during summers to fund other seismic projects.

The fee, which would be authorized from fall 2020 to summer 2024 if passed, would fund seismic improvements in Dwinelle Annex, the Cesar E. Chavez Student Center and the Recreational Sports Facility.

The overall budget for fiscal year 2021 will also be considered and approved at this week’s meetings.

In addition to the action items, the regents will address several relevant discussion items, including the UC system’s role in the development of the Maunakea telescope, which has drawn public criticism.

The Compliance and Audit Committee will also discuss public safety in the UC system and its relationship with the UCPD force. There is expected to be a lot of public comment in support of defunding the police force at the meeting.

Meetings can be viewed via livestream on the Board of Regents website.

Kate Finman is the executive news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @KateFinman_DC.