UC Davis will reach its turn to represent the UC system beginning July 1, when Rex Hime, a distinguished UC Davis alumnus, takes his post as an ex-officio member of the UC Board of Regents – the governing body of the University of California.
As an “ex-officio” member, Hime will work alongside an additional University of California alumnus, a student regent and 23 other voting members who represent state government and the University of California system to make major decisions on all financial and policy issues for the university.
“The alumni regent, during their voting year, will participate in all discussions of the regents and vote accordingly,” said Richard Engel, executive director of the Cal Aggie Alumni Association in an e-mail interview. “All of the issues that affect students – fees, academic curricula, teaching loads etc. – will be considered during these discussions. Therefore, the alumni regent needs to hear the voices of students in helping to make an informed decision.“
Hime, a former political science major and graduate of the UC Davis Law School, has a long track record of service for UC Davis dating back to the late 1960s when he was involved in student government and worked with KDVS and The California Aggie. Since then, he has served as both vice president and president of the Davis Alumni Association and in 2007 was honored with the Jerry W. Fielder Memorial Award on behalf of his extraordinary service to the California Aggie Alumni Association, the UC Davis Foundation and the university.
In his role as regent, Hime hopes to strengthen ties between the students and regents, and to foster “champions” in the state legislature who are willing to lobby on behalf of university interests.
“Developing continuing lines of communication between regents and the students is important so we can get their thoughts and opinions and incorporate them into our process,” Hime said. “Nowadays finding legislators that strongly support the university are few and far between – so it’s time for the regents in the UC system to find and develop champions within the legislature, so we have women and men who will stand up and say, ‘Hey, we want to do this for the university‘ and to really work together with us.“
Hime will serve as a voting member on the board for 2009 and 2010, and will be the only UC Davis alumnus to serve the regents until a new designate is chosen in 2014. This is part of the overall rotation system within the board of regents, which allows each school in the UC system to rotate in a representative every three to six years. While the original plan designated that Cal and UCLA receive a representative every three years and other schools every six, the system will soon be transitioning to a longer period of time between seats to accommodate UC Merced into the rotation.
“With the infrequency that we have a UC Davis representative on the board of regents, the honor of serving in this capacity has become very prestigious and sought after,” Engel said.
MICHELLE IMMEL can be reached at email@example.com.