I write to you to ask you to join me in urging the Governor to ensure that the Central Valley is represented on the University of California Board of Regents.
The University of California is the nation’s flagship public research university system. The UC system has helped remake our State by turning out world-class community-engaged scholars. That’s why I stood by so many of you and some of my own predecessors in the legislature to fight for a UC campus in our Valley.
Since then, UC Merced has transformed our community and has been responsible for a multi-billion dollar economic impact. However, the governing body of the eUniversity of California, the Board of Regents, is now without a single representative from the Central Valley.
The Valley accounts for about one-tenth of California’s population. Our region has unique needs, which can only be adequately represented by someone from here. The Board’s decisions are important to us even beyond the way in which they directly affect UC Merced: thousands of Valley natives are current students across the 10-campus system and we must fight to protect their interests as well.
Appointments to the UC Board of Regents are up to Govern Brown. Since, and even before the retirement of Fred Ruiz (the last Regent to hail from the Central Valley), I have advocated for strong Valley representation on this important board. In the past, we have had as many as two representatives on the 26-member board, eighteen of whom are appointed by the Governor. Along with other Valley leaders, I have supported a list of qualified representatives to be our voice as a Regent. Unfortunately, during this last appointment cycle, our voices fell on deaf ears.
We cannot be sure that there will be a Valley representative on the University of California Board of Regents unless we hold the Governor accountable and speak with one voice.
For that reason, I ask that you join me in signing our petition.
I am confident that our efforts will be successful, and I look forward to our partnership on this important issue.