Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Four UC Regents Speedily Confirmed in August, ICYMI

As we consider confirmation processes this week, along with the UC Regents meetings...

At the UC Regents meeting this morning Pres Napolitano in her opening comments to the board mentioned that new regents Cohen, Estolano, Leib, Butler were appointed and confirmed on what she termed as 'rocket docket' time frame.

She's right:

The first week of August 2018 they were first announced:
http://www.dailycal.org/2018/08/06/gov-jerry-brown-appoints-4-new-members-uc-board-regents/

On August 22 and August 27 they were all confirmed.

These regents were appointed and confirmed during summer break and there was virtually no UC nor other news outlets coverage of the confirmation hearing...
In the comments made during the confirmation hearings there is mention repeatedly of the CA Senate rules committee members' private meetings with the appointees where they held questions and answers on various unknown issues- this may help explain why the confirmation hearings ran so short -almost fifty five minutes total for all four appointees to answer questions- where mostly the appointees made statements and mentioned they've got big ideas (including e.g. on tech for instruction) with not much deep questioning of any of it...

Whether popular or unpopular appointees- is this a good example of the appointee UC Regent confirmation process? Would it be an acceptable model for other confirmation hearings?

The confirmation hearing held on August 22nd confirmed UC Regents Cohen, Estolano, and Leib -it is viewable from the 40:00 minute mark thru the 1:26:00 time mark on that session.
http://calchannel.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=7&clip_id=5776

So about forty five minutes for the three appointees.
With only one public comment from one elected public official in support who gave extended public comment and was not cut off for time in the manner other UC folks like staff, students have been at other Sacto hearings on UC budget, Title IX etc
There were no UC students nor UC faculty nor UC staff who spoke in support or opposition to the appointees in public comment. The public comment runs til the 1:31:00 mark

A separate session was held to accommodate the schedule of appointee now regent Butler
That session ran 12 minutes total.
http://calchannel.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=7&clip_id=5794
Once again the committee mentioned their having already asked the appointee the questions they had in earlier private meetings with her in the morning.
The same type of public comment occurred
With public comment from one elected public official in support who gave extended public comment and was not cut off for time in the manner others have been at other hearings.
There were no UC students nor UC faculty nor UC staff who spoke in support in public comment.

Perhaps the support of the appointees came in some other form but the optics for this confirmation process in both hearings made it look like a rush job...

It appears there was no time to register opposition or general concerns and so the question remains unanwered - was there opposition, concern?

Chair Atkins recused from the vote for one of the appointees , Estolano, because of a long standing business relationship with that UC Regent appointee, so there's that...
She mentioned it at the beginning of the meeting.
In the May 2018 previous batch of UC Regents Atkins chaired to confirmation, Atkins expressed the view that generally she thinks the Gov should get a smooth and quick confirmation of his appointees...She scheduled that confirmation hearing for Anguiano, Guber, Tauscher,Park even in light of significant UC stakeholders opposition to or concern about some of those appointees. She did that shortly after she took over the senate pro tem role from De Leon... It was about one hour total of questions for a batch of four UC Regents then in May 2018 as well...

It's efficient, but is it a good look for UC?

Something else to consider is that then UC Regent appointee Cohen also was being appointed to CALPERS during the same time period- does that deserve discussion in the UC confirmation process?



August 22


August 27


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