The University of California Regents met Wednesday and are reconvening today at UC Riverside for their first of six yearly meetings.
Topics for discussion include the regents’ yearly diversity report and the amount of private fiscal support the UC system brought in last year, which totaled $1.6 billion, a $250 million increase from last year.
“A big topic we will be talking about is how the UC system fared in Gov. Brown’s budget proposal,” said UC Student Regent Alfredo Mireles.
A 26-member board comprises the UC Regents. Eighteen members are appointed by the governor for 12-year terms, one student regent is appointed by the sitting board members for a single-year term and seven are ex-officio members, which include UC President Mark Yudof.
The regents come from a variety of backgrounds. For example, Chair Sherry Lansing is the CEO of Paramount Pictures, Eddie Island is a retired attorney and Odessa Johnson is Dean Emerita of Community Education at Modesto Junior College.
Two UC faculty members sit as non-voting members as chair and vice-chair of the Academic Council.
“Each Regent serves on four out of the ten committees and their work is primarily in the context of the committees they’re in, with the chair of each committee naturally being the leader, who helps shape the direction of the work that the committee does,” Mireles said.
When it comes to UC budgetary issues, UC Davis Budget Director Chris Carter said in an e-mail interview that most budget-related issues that come before the board are university-wide issues.
“The Regents directly approve tuition and student services fee levels charged to all UC students. They also approve some additional fees charged across the UC system: e.g. Nonresident Supplemental Tuition and Supplemental Professional Degree Tuition,” said Carter.
“Campus-based student fees are generally handled at the campus level. As state support for the UC has declined in recent years and student fees have increased, the importance of student fees to the campus budget has increased. The current year marks the first at UC Davis in which student fee revenues exceed the state support coming to the campus,” Carter said.
Mireles said that the regents support individual campuses’ making many of their own day-to-day decisions.
“You won’t find the Regents telling, for example, UC Davis really specific things that should be handled by UC Davis administrators. We work on things that affect the entire UC community,” he said.
Only the President of the UC Regents, Gov. Jerry Brown, receives pay for being a member of the board. A student regent’s UC tuition and fees are waived during their time on the board.
“For a lot of Regents, it costs them money to serve,” Mireles said.
Spokeswoman for the University of California Dianne Klein said that the next meeting of the regents is set for Mar. 27 to 29 at UC San Francisco and is expected to have large UC student involvement.
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