UC Regents -- No Valley Representation

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Senators Cannella and Berryhill sent a letter to Governor Brown expressing their disappointment that the UC Board of Regents does not include a representative from the San Joaquin Valley (PDF Copy):

June 20th, 2017

Honorable Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
Governor of California
State Capitol, Room 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: Appointments to the University of California Board of Regents

Dear Governor Brown,

As members representing communities in the San Joaquin Valley and members of the Senate Rules Committee, we would like to express our deep disappointment that the appointments to the University of California Board of Regents do not include a representative of the San Joaquin Valley.

For the first time in decades, none of the 18 governor-appointed members on the UC Board of Regents are valley residents. The valley has unique issues and circumstances that warrant representation on the board. Our local economies continue to recover from a devastating drought that severely impacted our farm worker communities. Drinking water quality issues plague our schools and intervene with our pupils educational outcomes. A shortage of primary care physicians and dentists impacts the overall health of our residents. The UC has been a leader in finding innovative and collaborative solutions to these and other problems. The newest and fastest growing UC campus is located at the heart of the valley and provides much promise. Continued growth and support for that campus is vital for surrounding communities and students. Actions by the Regents that impact that campus and resident students must be balanced with a voice from a valley representative.

It is our understanding that former regent Fred Ruiz provided a list containing potential valley candidates. We find it troubling that no one from that list was appointed and that we were not asked to provide our input. We also find troubling that members of the selection advisory committee told the San Francisco Chronicle that “they are never consulted in the selection of regents and only told shortly before the announcement that choices have been made.”

The Regents own by-laws state that “Regents shall be able persons broadly reflective of the economic, cultural, and social diversity of the state, including ethnic minorities and women.” To lack representation in the UC Board of Regents is to lack a voice for millions of valley residents and their issues. We are happy to provide ourselves as a resource in the search for a candidate from the valley. Please do not hesitate to contact our offices if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Anthony Cannella
Senator, 12th District 

Tom Berryhill
Senator, 8th District

Copy of Letter (PDF)