Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Listen to the Regents' President Search Committee Meeting of Jan. 14, 2020

Yesterday, there was a meeting at UCLA of the special presidential search committee set up by the Regents. There will be another such meeting at UC-Riverside tomorrow.

The meeting began with public comments. Most of the speakers in that segment were students. Topics included diversity, climate change, employee pay and contracting out, labor relations, sanctuary campus demands, the state audit, student food insecurity, mental health, and affordability. The segment was followed by a formal program of speakers from various organizations with educational interests. Topics included accessibility, and coordination with K-14 including transfers. There was some discussion of whether UC campuses should give admission preferences to applicants from their local regions.

Two things were noteworthy about what occurred. First, there was no formal consultation with faculty groups including the academic senate built into the program. Students took advantage of the public comment period, but faculty did not. (Perhaps at Riverside, there will be some faculty input.)

Second, the focus was on all the things the speakers at members of the search committee thought UC should be doing. There was little real focus on what qualities the new president should have as opposed to what the new president should do. Should the new president be an academic, for example, as had been the practice until the current appointee, Janet Napolitano, came along? When Napolitano - a political figure - was chosen by the Regents, the reason seemed to be that then-Gov. Brown was actively intervening in UC details and a politician was needed to deal with another politician. Do the Regents think the relationship with Gov. Newsom will be different, so that a political appointee won't be needed as president this time? Perhaps there was such discussion during the closed segments of the meeting, but there was none in public.

You can hear the public portion of the meeting at the link below:

or direct to:

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