Tuesday, January 15, 2019

UC Regents Meeting January 15-17 Agenda items

See:
https://regents.universityofcalifornia.edu/meetings/agendas/jan19.html


https://regents.universityofcalifornia.edu/meetings/videos/jan2019/jan2019.html

Click links to see agenda for each committee listed below


--Unknown if the new Lt Gov or even the new Gov will attend this upcoming meeting.

--The item regarding the student adviser position -to discontinue it or extend it -discussion or action - was  briefly   is listed in the agenda  for this meeting *during Governance Committee* . It is item G10 in open session (listed on a badly formatted, unnecessary page 2).  Recall the chair of Governance Committee sent out letters in advance of taking up the item  resulting in a lot of negative feedback. Now unclear what is happening with that item but the item is titled "Extension of the student adviser", it is listed as an action item so there will be a vote...

January 15-17, 2019

Tuesday, January 15 
12:30 pm
Investments Subcommittee (open session - includes public comment session) (pdf) Location: Fisher Banquet Room

Agenda – Open Session
Action Approval of the Minutes of the Meeting of November 13, 2018

I-1 Discussion 2019 Economic Forecast

I-2 Discussion Update on Investment Products

I-3 Discussion Review of Asset Classes


3:30 pm
Special Committee on Basic Needs (open session) (pdf)Location: Fisher Banquet Room

Agenda – Open Session

S1 Discussion Review of University of California Basic Needs Efforts

S2 Discussion Consultation with Campus and Systemwide Basic Needs
Committee Leaders

S3 Discussion Special Committee Future Items and Priorities











Wednesday, January 16
8:30 am
Location: Robertson Auditorium

Agenda – Open Session
Public Comment Period2
Approval of the Minutes of the Meeting of November 14, 2018
Remarks of the Chair of the Board
Remarks of the President of the University
Remarks of the Chair of the Academic Senate
Concurrent Meetings
9:30 am
Public Engagement and Development Committee (open session) (pdf) Location: Fisher Banquet Roo
Agenda – Open Session
Action Approval of the Minutes of the Meeting of November 14, 2018

P1 Discussion Annual Report on Sustainable Practices

P2 Discussion Annual Report on University Private Support 2017-18

P3 Discussion Community Outreach and Impacts, Davis Campus

P4 Discussion Regents Engagement Plan

P5 Discussion Student Advocacy Efforts


9:30 am
Location: Robertson Auditorium

Agenda – Open Session
Action Approval of the Minutes of the Meeting of November 14, 2018

C1 Discussion Update on Implementation of Recommendations from State Audit
of University of California Office of the President Administrative
Expenditures

C2 Discussion Update on Implementation of Recommendations from State Audit
of Sexual Harassment Cases


Upon end of Audit open
Location: Robertson Auditorium

Over  25 items listed- #5 and #17 involve multiple faculty, students fyi

Concurrent Meetings
1:00 pm
Location: Fisher Banquet Room

Agenda – Open Session
Action Approval of the Minutes of the Meeting of November 14, 2018

A1 Action Approval of Professional Degree Supplemental Tuition for Two
Graduate Professional Degree Programs, Berkeley and Santa Cruz
Campuses

A2 Discussion Student Athletes at the University of California

A3 Discussion Update on UC Center Sacramento

Location: Fisher Banquet Room


Agenda – Open Session
Action Approval of the Minutes of the Meeting of November 14, 2018

N1 Discussion Annual Report on Fiscal Year 2018 National Laboratory Performance
Ratings

N2 Discussion Presentation on the State of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

1:00 pm
Location: Robertson Auditorium

Agenda – Open Session
Action Approval of the Minutes of the Meeting of November 14, 2018

F1 Action Consent Agenda: Approval of Preliminary Plans Funding,
Ambulatory Care Center Expansion with Eye Center,
Davis Health Campus

F2 Action Approval of Budget and External Financing, Franklin Antonio
Hall, San Diego Campus

F3 Discussion Pepper Canyon West Upper Division Undergraduate Student
Housing Project, San Diego Campus

F4 Discussion Long Range Development Plan Amendment and Design, Student
Housing West Project, Santa Cruz Campus

F5 Discussion UCPath Update


Upon end of Finance open
Location: Robertson Auditorium

Agenda – Closed Session
Action Approval of the Minutes of the Meeting of November 14, 2018

F6(X) Discussion Ground Lease Business Terms and Financing of First Phase of
Student Housing West Project, Santa Cruz Campus

Closed Session Statute Citation: Acquisition or disposition of property
[Education Code §92032(b)(6)]

4:00 pm
Location: Robertson Auditorium

Agenda – Closed Session
Action Approval of the Minutes of the Meeting of November 14, 2018

G1(X) Discussion Incentive Compensation Using Non-State Funds for Fiscal Year
2017-18 for Chief Investment Officer and Vice President –
Investments, Office of the President
Closed Session Statute Citation: Personnel matters
[Education Code §92032(b)(7)]

G2(X) Action Appointment of Regents to the Health Services Committee
Closed Session Statute Citation: Nomination of officers and members
[Education Code §92032(e)]

G3(X) Action Appointment of Regents to the Investments Committee
Closed Session Statute Citation: Nomination of officers and members
[Education Code §92032(e)]


G4(X) Discussion Collective Bargaining Matters
Closed Session Statute Citation: Collective bargaining matters


Upon end of Governance closed
Location: Robertson Auditorium


Agenda – Open Session
Action Approval of the Minutes of the Meeting of November 14-15, 2018


G1 Action Approval of Incentive Compensation Using Non-State Funds for
Fiscal Year 2017-18 for Chief Investment Officer and Vice
President – Investments, Office of the President as Discussed in
Closed Session


G5 Discussion Review in Connection with the University of California 10
Campus Study


G6 Action Amendment of Regents Policy 7707 – Senior Management
Group Outside Professional Activities


G7 Action Establishment of a New Position in the Senior Management Group
of Chief Executive Officer, UC Riverside Health and the Market
Reference Zone for the Position, Riverside Campus


G8 Action Approval of Market Reference Zones for Senior Management Group
Positions in the Office of the Chief Investment Officer, Office of the
President

G9 Action Establishment of a New Position in the Senior Management Group of
Vice Chancellor for Community and Governmental Relations and the
Market Reference Zone for the Position, San Francisco Campus


G10 Action Extension of Student Advisor Pilot Program


Thursday, January 17
8:30 am
Location: Robertson Auditorium

Multiple rubber stamping see link above
Upon end of Board   closed
Location: Robertson Auditorium
More rubber stamping but also include these agenda items:

B1 Discussion Planning for a Multi-Year Framework

B2 Discussion Review of the Governor’s January Budget Proposal for 2019-20


Times indicated and order of business subject to change

And this meeting added in :

https://regents.universityofcalifornia.edu/meetings/agendas/jan1718.html

January 17 - Working Group on UC Office of the President Salary Ranges

January 17, 2019

Upon adjournment of the Board meetingWorking Group on UC Office of the President Salary Ranges (open session - includes public comment session)
Times indicated and order of business subject to change

Agenda – Open Session
Public Comment Period2 (20 minutes)
1 Discussion Discussion of Plan for Narrowing University of California Office of 
the President Non-Represented Staff Salary Ranges

____
Also see:





"That’s when this year’s student adviser — ... learned of an effort by the student regent and the UC Student Association to let the adviser role expire. Those students said the role had proven to be essentially a rogue position with little accountability, and often at odds with mainstream student representatives."

And:
... "Huang acknowledges there are bugs: UC doesn’t pay for the adviser to travel to the regents meetings or to other student leadership meetings, or for overnight accommodations if necessary. Nor does UC automatically provide the adviser with staff support, as it does for the student regent.
Also, “the student adviser position doesn’t have any formal affiliation (with other student groups),” Huang said, noting that until this weekend, he had attended only one meeting of the UC Student Association, the university’s most visible group of student representatives. That was in July.

Student advisers are required to attend regents meetings. But “we aren’t required to show up (to meetings of other students), and we’re not required to work with them,” he said. “Sometimes we don’t agree on the same issues.

And that’s been the problem, said Caroline Siegel-Singh, president of the UC Student Association, which voted this weekend to support allowing the program to die. She and student regent Devon Graves are speaking with Napolitano and regents Chairman George Kieffer before this week’s regents meeting to try and get the proposed extension of the adviser program pulled from the agenda. They also are asking for other boosts ...
Huang said he supports those additions — just not letting the adviser position disappear. On Monday, he sent a letter to the regents asking them not to pull the agenda item, and noting that the regents’ rules require that the program be properly evaluated after two years, which hasn’t happened, he wrote.”

[* There also isn't a student adviser designate in the same way student regent designate exists, and staff adviser designate exists*]

See: "UC student leaders split over future of adviser-to-regents pilot position"
https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/UC-student-leaders-split-over-future-of-13533686.php


-Now the narrative is about a wedge between majority southern based student leadership against a sole northern CA based student representatives with a graduate student as student regent and the designate student regent also a graduate student. That is much different from the graduate student explanation coming out of UCLA that the plan to eliminate the student adviser pilot program - which Regent Sherman and Regent Kieffer wrote memorandum on - was a "regents deep misunderstanding, misinterpretation" of students' feelings, position on the students adviser pilot program.

The "student rift came into the open during the holiday break."

-- It is interesting that this rift appears to have been fomented at a time when UC Regents would be pretty well assured that funding for UC would increase under the new Governor and hence the need for a unified student representatives front in any lobbying in Sacramento would not be as critically important in this year. Who benefits from a students' representatives rift?

There also is the question of UCSA appointed students who 'interact' with Regents at meals etc- does that mean the gala/intercontinental/ palace type events or just meals during UC Regents meetings and how is any evaluation conducted to determine if those UCSA appointed observers programs are working for student representation, or not?


--- All of this makes clear the need for an additional UC REGENT slot so that both a graduate level student AND an Undergraduate level student are serving and representative at the regents board table concurrently.


There is a UC Regents meeting this week, starting today:
https://cloudminder.blogspot.com/2019/01/uc-regents-meeting-january-15-17-agenda.html

Monday, January 14, 2019

UC PATH Problems Persist , Need For Student Regents Representation, more

See:
This new article giving update on the situation as told to them by some affected employees and with some generalized response by UCOP staff-
Sacramento Bee
That was a nightmare.’ UC employees still reporting hardships from faulty payroll "
https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article224179865.html

The article includes this:

"A month later, many employees say they are still feeling the pain of not getting paid on time.

One of them, UCLA graduate student Laura Muñoz making $25,000 a year, penned a Medium essay detailing how she faced late fees and student loan penalties. She was forced to rely on her siblings for financial support after experiencing missed paychecks on Nov. 1, Nov. 14 and Dec. 1.

The university later gave her a pay card containing the money it owed her.

“As a worker, when I can’t meet my financial obligations, I am held accountable — and it shouldn’t be any different for UC,” she wrote.

Yunyi Li, a UCLA doctoral student and union leader, said “People are often just not sure if there’s a check coming in the mail.”

Li said she’s heard from other people who have been dropped from classes, or reported major late fees, as a result of payments not being properly deducted.

She said that she has been “OK comparatively,” but that she has routinely been getting paper paychecks, days after payday, despite being signed up for direct deposit.

“It’s just a huge pain when rent is due on the 5th,” Li said.

The UC system is adopting the new payroll system to replace a legacy, 35-year-old program. The project came in late and over budget, with its total cost rising to about $500 million. That’s about three times as much as the UC planned to spend, UC officials told The Sacramento Bee in 2017.

In an early December interview with McClatchy, UC Associate Vice President of Operations Mark Cianca acknowledged that the skipped payments are “a big deal” but that the university system is adequately staffed to address the concerns.

“I do want to make it really clear: Everybody gets paid,” he said.

UC spokeswoman Claire Doan said she is unaware of any payroll issues at UCLA with the most recent pay day, and that its payroll validation process has not flagged any problems.

“That said, it could take some time for an issue to make its way to us,” she said.

Missed paychecks aren’t the only problem employees have encountered as the university system changes over to UCPath.

In October, UCLA Extension Professor Benjamin Goldberg received a letter in the mail informing him that his health insurance was accidentally canceled.

“I was constantly emailing and calling and checking in,” he said. “That was a major nightmare. It took about two months to get corrected.”

Goldberg said he’s “a pretty forgiving guy,” but that he wants to see accountability for the cancellation, as well as missed or incorrect payments in October and January.

“Be proactive. Reach out. Don’t just wait for us to do all the contacting. We’re busy. We have jobs to do. This is their job,” he said. “Don’t make me have to chase you down a hundred times. Don’t make me have to tell my story a hundred times."


[The article still uses the old $500 million final total project costs line but the chair of the UC Regents Finance committee used the $750 million figure at the last UC Regents meeting, and the state auditor estimated that the total costs will be $900+ million,
https://cloudminder.blogspot.com/2018/11/troubled-uc-path-hits-750-million-and.html and the UC Regents will meet to discuss UC Path this week January 16th 1pm during Finance committee:
Finance and Capital Strategies Committee (open session) (pdf)

Location: Robertson Auditorium

Agenda – Open Session

F5 Discussion UCPath Update"]
________

"
Daily Bruin
Editorial: Regents should increase student representation, not create meaningless positions"
http://dailybruin.com/2019/01/13/editorial-regents-should-increase-student-representation-not-create-meaningless-positions/


"When it comes to student representation, quality always trumps quantity.

Especially when it comes to the University of California.

The UC Board of Regents will vote this week on whether to terminate the position of student adviser to the regents. The regents created the position in 2016 following a push for more undergraduate student representation. The position was meant to make recommendations to the board on relevant student issues, particularly in committees where the student regent and student regent-designate do not serve.

The catch: The position isn’t designated any voting power, and doesn’t have access to closed-session regents meetings.

The position was and still is a bad deal for students. A representative with no voting power in a body that makes decisions by vote is nothing but a lame duck. And for two years, regents have patted themselves on the back for having three student representatives – one student regent and two non-voting de facto advisers – on their 26-person board.

The student adviser position was little more than a symbolic dog bone. The regents should scrap the position and do what they should have done years ago: allocate resources to initiate the process of adding another student regent – a process that could involve passing a state ballot proposition.

Instating two voting student regents is the bare minimum the regents can do to truly increase shared governance of the University. Adding another seat at the table is the only way the board can demonstrate its commitment to student interests and representation.

Moreover, student representation is crucial for a body — affected by political, business and industry influence — that votes on our most critical issues, including tuition and healthcare. Figurehead positions do little, especially when it comes to the few voices students are already afforded on the Board of Regents.

We saw as much these past two years. Student advisers to the regents have made little difference on the board. Rafi Sands, a former UCLA undergraduate student and first-ever student adviser, could do little to convince regents to sway votes on tuition increases or capital projects. In fact, Sands received heavy criticism from students for not providing any comment about a tuition hike during a March 2018 open-session committee meeting – a frustratingly understandable consequence of having a student representative with no voting power.

The short, one-year term of the adviser is also to blame, since new members can’t be expected to shape the position’s relationship with the rest of the board each year. Add in that students have only one vote on the regents, and it’s no wonder student interests are minor considerations in the board’s discussions.

Certainly, the UC Student Association – a systemwide organization that advocates on behalf of student needs – has vied for having the student adviser position. After all, it was a way to get traction with an administration comprised of some of the most powerful figures in California.

But having a board that is privy to dialogue isn’t the same as having a board that acts on such dialogue. Sure, adding another voting student member to the board would require an expensive, full-fledged campaign for a ballot proposition, but a student adviser shouldn’t be the cop-out for more equitable shared governance.

The student adviser position was an interesting experiment in student representation on the Board of Regents. The results are in, though: an adviser isn’t a regent.

The sooner the UC realizes that, the better."


--The application and numbers of applications and from which types of students  - undergrad, grad etc- have been used as talking points by the chair of the UC Regents in response to  advocacy for increased student representatives on the board. Currently:

2020-21 Student Regent application information

The application for the 2020-21 Student Regent is available. All students currently enrolled at a UC campus are encouraged to apply. The deadline to apply is March 31, 2019. Applicants must submit a completed and signed application, a current resume, and an essay as described on the application form. Materials should be emailed to Regents Analyst Clare Sheridan at clare.sheridan@ucop.edu AND also to the applicant's campus Student Regent coordinator (listed on the application form). The Student Regent will be appointed by the Regents at their July meeting.


____

There is a UC Regents meeting this week, starting tomorrow:
https://cloudminder.blogspot.com/2019/01/uc-regents-meeting-january-15-17-agenda.html


( The regents also met on January 11th regarding the selection of a new UCSC Chancellor)

Thursday, January 10, 2019

UC $393 million ( $200 m of that in ongoing) in Gov's Budget

Breaking, notes on Gov budget press conference:
$1.3 billion in higher education overall

CSU gets $562m with $222m as one time
An  8% increase

___
CA Community colleges
Complicated but $401m
Yr 1 and 2 free
And DACA legal support program similar to UC.
___
Newsom also mentioned changes to Cal grant grant progran to increase support for students who pay childcare - increase from $1648 To up to $6000.

__

UC 's $393m  with $200m of that in ongoing which is a 6.9% increase

Gov Newsom mentioned the drop out rate at UC he said the rate was troubling to him
And Newsom mentioned  that UC extension could help with it and stated $15 million as tied to that effort, to get degree completion for those folk who are shy a few credits.
Newsom also mentioned that a portion of prop 56 money is no longer being used for a portion of UC funding because there was complaint about that in prior budget.

____
Here is a reminder of the wish list from the three segments:
"California’s community college system is requesting $488 million in extra funding from the state for the 2019-2020 budget year, aimed in part to improve graduation and transfer rates. The CSU Board of Trustees wants an increase of $456 million in its 2019-20 budget, including funds to enroll 18,000 additional California residents. Similarly, UC regents are seeking a $376 million increase in state general revenue funding,"


____



The overall budget is $144 billion
.

https://abc7.com/politics/live-gov-gavin-newsom-releases-$144-billion-budget-proposal/5048267/

Or $209 billion according to LA Times:

"Newsom unveils a $209-billion budget to boost schools and healthcare and fight poverty" https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-gavin-newsom-california-budget-20190110-story.html

You can watch the governor's presentation on all of this at Cal Channel:
http://calchannel.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=18&event_id=4628

Or find it in Cal Channel archive here

Will post additional coverage on this item here in this post- as it relates to higher education. And a link to transcript, if available.


https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/press-room/statement-gov-newsom-s-budget-plan
"UC Board of Regents Chair George Kieffer and UC President Janet Napolitano today (Jan. 10) issued the following statement on Gov. Newsom’s budget plan:

The University of California appreciates the substantial investment in higher education within Gov. Newsom’s budget, which proposes a funding increase of $240 million in ongoing funds to our core educational budget along with one-time funding of $153 million for other pressing needs. We are pleased the governor has affirmed his commitment to not only the university, but also the students and families across California who rely on adequate state investment in the outstanding education at UC.

Gov. Newsom’s budget represents a welcome step and a solid down payment in addressing priorities of the university’s 2019-20 budget plan. These funds help further the academic mission of the university, from student success to classroom upgrades, financial aid to timely graduations. The governor has also proposed ongoing funding for UC’s important efforts in gun violence research and the provision of legal services for undocumented students, in addition to enhanced Cal Grant awards for students who are parents.

The university looks forward to working with the governor and the Legislature to address our priorities, including the ambitious goal of awarding 200,000 more degrees by 2030, and to maintain the academic and research excellence of UC."

See also:
"New Governor, New Higher Ed Support?":
http://utotherescue.blogspot.com/2019/01/new-governor-new-higher-ed-support.html


"


"Newsom's higher education budget would boost aid, freeze tuition and repair campuses"
https://edsource.org/2019/newsoms-higher-education-budget-would-boost-aid-freeze-tuition-and-repair-campuses/606971


"Proposal in Sacramento would double enrollment at UC Riverside School of Medicine"
Press Enterprise
https://www.pe.com/2019/01/10/proposal-in-sacramento-would-double-enrollment-at-uc-riverside-school-of-medicine/

Unsure of Sures - More opposition to UC Regent appointed as Regents increase the confusion

Just as there are all sorts of differing conclusions over who may become the next UCLA basketball coach and whether or not it will require confirmation approval:

"UCLA Regents Wouldn't Approve Rick Pitino For Coaching Vacancy; Attorney Defends Pitino"
Forbes, BTW, there are no constitutionally  appointed 'UCLA Regents'

UCLA Hoops Vacancy Will Probably Not Require Approval by the UC Regents
Bruins Nation

____

So to with the latest UC Regents appointment itself.
Which regent is replacing which former Regent?!

Will the abbreviated term for Sures be so short that it will not go through the confirmation process?

Regents need to clarify and state when, why abbreviated terms for UC Regents  occur and who is replacing who at the time of appointment announcement and maintain that info on their pages.  For example, Estolano replaced who? Who replaced Lozano? Who replaced Pattiz?

See: https://gvwire.com/2019/01/08/browns-last-valley-snub-appoints-hollywood-agent-to-uc-board/


..."There has been no Valley representation since Ruiz’s term elapsed in 2016. He is best known as the founder of Dinuba-based Ruiz Foods.

Sures will fulfill the remaining year of Bonnie Reiss’s term through March 1, 2020. Reiss died of cancer on April 2, 2018."

...“The San Joaquin Valley has not had a Regent since 2016,” said Democratic Assemblyman Adam Gray of Merced. “The 26-member Board is already brimming with representatives from Los Angeles and the Bay Area, but despite nine different opportunities to correct this lapse, Governor Brown has failed to act.

“I have personally spoken to Governor Brown about what I hoped was his unintentional prejudice, but last week’s appointment of yet another Los Angeles regent tells me he was not listening. It’s downright offensive that despite hosting a UC campus in Merced, the governor refuses to allow a San Joaquin Valley resident on the Board.

“I am optimistic that Governor Newsom is committed to representing all of California and will provide the Valley a voice on the Board of Regents as soon as a vacancy makes that possible.”
...Board All Northern, Southern California

The UC board consists of 26 members, 18 whom are selected by the governor for 12-year terms.

Brown appointed or re-appointed 14 of those members. All but two are Democrats (Golden State Warriors owner Peter Guber and CalPERS CFO Michael Cohen are no party preference).

Of the 18, 13 are from the southern California and San Diego areas; five are from northern California (San Francisco, Sacramento).

Sures, co-president of United Talent Agency, will join others with Hollywood connections.

Regents Guber and Sherry Lansing also have backgrounds in the entertainment industry.

Other board members took more traditional routes to power: They are lawyers, financiers, or former elected officials.

Richard Blum, a billionaire financier, is also Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s husband. John Pérez is the former Assembly speaker.

Newsom Has Future Picks

Throughout his campaign, newly sworn-in Gov. Gavin Newsom indicated the Valley needs more representation on the UC and CSU college boards. However, in a post-election Fresno appearance, Newsom seemed to backtrack, saying many constituencies feel left out.

“There are probably two dozen other groups that also feel like they are not represented — the Asian community, African-American community, and geographic parts of the state — the Inland Empire, the northern part of the state that feel underrepresentation. So the challenge for me is, when you get one appointment over a two-year period, you can’t solve for all of that,” Newsom said on Dec. 7.

In the next four years, six UC regent terms will expire, including four selections made by the state’s last Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Sures will be a short-timer. His term and that of retired real estate developer Hadi Makarechian expire next year. Two more follow in 2021 and 2022.
=============
Current UC Board of Regents




And:


"Gov. Brown Appoints New UC Regent, Sparks Concern About Diversity of Board | The Daily Nexus
http://dailynexus.com/2019-01-10/gov-brown-appoints-new-uc-regent-sparks-concern-about-diversity-of-board/

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

UC Regents Reverse Their Student Adviser Position Elimination Plans

Yet, they still knowingly leave the current UC Berkeley student adviser without the necessary infrastructure, support to do the job of student adviser throughout this current school year?! That just remains unaddressed?!
The less than deft backtrack, reversal excuses on this student adviser move by the regents don't add up, fishy.
This was a dumb ridiculous mistake of the regents. The students should use the opportunity to begin the long overdue negotiation to gain all leadership support for any  necessary constitutional change for creation of another student regent slot on the board so that one exists at all times for undergrad and grad. They should not settle for just an limited extension of the pilot.
 See this new turn of events:

https://dailybruin.com/2019/01/08/uc-board-of-regents-considers-eliminating-student-adviser-position/

"Sherman initially recommended that the position not be extended because he thinks positions such as student advocates to the Regents and student observers provided sufficient student representation in board meetings already, making the position unnecessary.
The recommendation not to extend the position was based on a misunderstanding between the Regents office and student leadership, said Michael Skiles, graduate chair of the UC Council of Student Body Presidents.
Skiles said that during discussions between the Regents office and the heads of the UC Students Association, the UC Graduate and Professional Council, and the UC Council of Student Body Presidents, the student leaders expressed concerns about the lack of student interest in and financial support for the position, which the Regents office misinterpreted as reasons to end the position.
“The feedback we gave the board was very misinterpreted,” Skiles said.
Student adviser Edward Huang, Student Regent Devon Graves, Student Regent-designate Hayley Weddle, Skiles, UCSA leaders, the Council of Student Body Presidents and the heads of a number of other student organizations held a meeting in December to discuss the issue, in which they drafted a letter to the board making the case for extending the position.
Sherman and George Kieffer, chair of the Regents, released a statement reversing course from their previous position in response to the students’ letter. They will now recommend the board continue the position for another year, Sherman and Kieffer said in the statement.
Skiles said he thinks the student adviser position lacked sufficient financial support to become an effective voice for undergraduate students.
“There is no fee remission or funding for a staff. (Huang) had to beg just to get an office to work in,” Skiles said. “It’s not equitable to expect low-income students to work for free like this.”
He added he thinks the position has encouraged discussion of student concerns rarely acknowledged in the Regents committees.
Huang said the position has already seen success in advocating for lower tuition costs last year in Sacramento during the tenure of former student adviser Rafi Sands.
The issues the position advocated for that were most pertinent to students included discussions about tuition cost and sexual assault and sexual harassment policies, Huang said. He added he thinks the position brought a unique student perspective on these topics.
Huang added he thinks the student adviser position is important to the UC undergraduate community because it provides the image of undergraduate student representation in addition to its tangible successes.
“I’m supposed to be representing student concerns not well represented otherwise in board discussions. I give my perspective, engage in debates and take stances on a couple of particular issues,” Huang said. “There’s implicit expectations with such a role.”
Graves said he was initially in favor of terminating the position because he felt it lacked sufficient support and recruitment interest, but later agreed to support the letter to the board arguing for its continuation.
“Students serving in leadership positions should have access to the support and resources needed to be effective in their roles,” Graves said in a statement released December. “In the case of the student advisor, this infrastructure is not present.”
Graves added he was happy to endorse the letter recommending the position be extended once the student leaders agreed to push for additional resources for the student advisor in 2019.
“There was a miscommunication in the fall when this was originally discussed,” Graves said. “I’m now grateful the Regents are extending the pilot program and allowing student leaders to improve this process.”
Graves said both Sherman and Kieffer will recommend the student advisor position be extended when they meet with the board in January. He added he expects the position to remain in place for the year."