Sunday, October 21

UC regents grading system developed in hopes of creating accountability

News, UC

The UC Student Association announced grading criteria for its UC Regents Report Card at the Board of Regents meeting last week. (Daily Bruin file photo)

The UC Student Association announced grading criteria for its UC Regents Report Card at the Board of Regents meeting last week. (Daily Bruin file photo)

University of California student leaders have finalized a grading system to evaluate UC Regents.

The UC Student Association announced at the UC Board of Regents meeting Thursday they will grade regents on how accessible they are to students and the items they vote on. Regents will be graded on how often they visit campuses, interact with UCSA, host forums open to students and participate as board members. UCSA will also grade regents on their voting records on tuition and affordability, police oversight, labor protection and diversity and inclusion, or whether they have initiated conversations at regents meetings regarding those topics.

The report card aims to communicate and track student priorities to the regents, said UCSA President Judith Gutierrez at the regents meeting Thursday.

“We will tell you in advance what votes we are prioritizing,” she said. “Finally, we will share results publicly so students know which regents are champions for well-being.”

Sarah Abdeshahian, communications director for UC Student Regent Paul Monge and a second-year UC Berkeley political science student, said before each regents meeting, UCSA will outline voting items that affect students and notify regents about the votes they will be tracking. They will then release a public progress report of the regents after each meeting and give regents an annual grade after the May regents meeting, she said.

Parshan Khosravi, UCSA treasurer and Graduate Students Association vice president of external affairs, said he thinks the report card system will hold regents accountable to students by identifying which regents support student concerns.

“Ever since I was an undergraduate (and) way before me, people have wanted to reform the regents,” he said. “We constantly need to put (regents) in check.”

Khosravi added he hopes the report card will encourage more regents to visit UC campuses.

Abdeshahian said many voting criteria are specific to issues students are concerned with at the moment.

For example, grading criteria regarding labor protections and unions relate to the treatment of valet workers at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, and the criteria on voting to discipline regent misconduct have to do with allegations that Regent Norman Pattiz sexually harassed an employee and brandished a gun at another employee.

“(Regents) never had a way to discipline another regent in the past,” she said. “We just want them to figure out how to discipline regents in the future – Pattiz isn’t going to be the end of it.”

She added the grading updates will be available online on the UCSA website.

Monge said UCSA may change the voting criteria each school year based on the issues most important to students.

“Some of the criteria are very issue-specific (and) will change according to what pressing needs students have over time,” he said. “On (an) annual basis, we will solicit input from students to develop a set of criteria.”

Monge said his office worked with UCSA to collect information on issues important to students through a survey that received about 30 responses from undergraduate and graduate students at multiple UC campuses.

Regent John Pérez said he thinks the student report cards will hold regents accountable to the public and help them better represent students.

“I think the notion of (a) regent report card is a really positive notion,” he said. “The regents have multiple sets of responsibilities (and) one of the key ones is being accessible to students.”

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Zhen is an assistant news editor for the national and higher education beat. She was previously a contributor for the campus politics beat and an online contributor.

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