Monday, May 20

UC Regent Bonnie Reiss named California secretary of education

University of California Regent Bonnie Reiss was appointed California secretary of education Tuesday by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

As Secretary of Education, Reiss will be the primary adviser to the governor on issues ranging from preschool to higher education, according to the Office of the Secretary of Education Web site.

Reiss has served on the UC Board of Regents since 2008 and currently serves as the vice chair of the Committee on Educational Policy.

As a regent, one of her major concerns is the restoration of full funding to both the UC and higher education in general, said Peter King, UC Office of the President spokesman. Full funding refers to the amount the state contributes to the education of each student from taxpayer dollars.

Reiss has held various positions relating to education throughout her career, including her involvement with the California State Board of Education from 2004 to 2006 and her role as a senior advisor to Schwarzenegger on policy and strategy issues, particularly those relating to the environment, education and economic development, according to the regents Web site.

In 2006, she also received the Advocate of the Year award from the UC Student Association.

“Bonnie Reiss is a dynamic and driven advocate for public education in California. She is a proven ally in upholding the academic standards that make our public university system the best in the world,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement. “I am confident that as Secretary of Education, Bonnie will fight to expand the educational opportunities available to all of our students and improve the accountability and efficiency of our public education system to ensure California’s students are able to achieve their fullest potential.”

Reiss currently serves as an operating adviser to Pegasus Capital Advisors, a private equity firm that develops and invests in scarce commodities, resources and sustainable companies, according to a statement from the governor’s office. She has held this position since 2007.

With reports from Kavitha Subramanian, Bruin contributor.

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