UC Regents recap — Sept. 20-22
The Board of Regents meeting in September is pictured. The board’s topics of discussion included a proposal to curtail universities’ authority over athletics decisions and University goals such as increasing the in-state student population. (Shengfeng Chien/Daily Bruin staff)
Oct. 9, 2022 11:02 p.m.
The Board of Regents, the governing body of the University of California, assembled Sept. 20 to 22 for their bimonthly meeting via teleconference and in person at UC San Diego. They discussed University goals, such as increasing the in-state student population and accessibility, and announced the recipients of the inaugural Regents Foster Youth Award and the annual President’s Award for Outstanding Student Leadership. The board also looked at a proposal that will limit university authority over athletic decisions that will negatively impact other UC schools after UCLA moved to the Big Ten athletic conference.
On Tuesday, the Special Committee on Innovation Transfer and Entrepreneurship began with 30 minutes for public comments on matters affecting UC community members. A majority addressed the UC’s lack of climate policy that supports its research on cutting emissions, worries regarding the Thirty Meter Telescope in Mauna Kea and its impacts on the local community, and calls for the UC San Francisco chancellor to end organ harvesting research on aborted fetuses.
Chair of the committee Regent Lark Park began the discussion on patents, the intellectual right to inventions, and the UC’s No. 1 ranking for most patents, granted by the National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association.
A new four-phase plan to update the Patent Tracking System – a tool used to track patents that are pending and finalized – was introduced to make each campus have more autonomy over implementing intellectual property rights.
The Investments Committee met after the Special Committee to review the UC’s investment performance for the 2021-2022 fiscal year and discuss future investment strategies in the United States and globally. Multiple regents brought up their desire to divest from other countries. They also discussed current inflation and predicted the possibility of the Federal Reserve continuing to raise interest rates for the foreseeable future.
During Wednesday’s board meeting, Regent Richard Leib, who serves as chair of the board, introduced four focus points for the UC over the course of this academic year: the expansion of University capacity to accommodate an additional 32,000 students through satellite campuses, increased accessibility for low-income and first-generation students, better climate policy work, and elevated focus on innovation and entrepreneurship.
Regent Eloy Ortiz Oakley’s resignation announcement was followed by the appointment of Elaine Batchlor, Carmen Chu, Ana Matosantos and Mark Robinson to the Board of Regents.
During the Public Engagement and Development Committee meeting, Chris Harrington, the UC’s associate vice president for federal governmental relations, discussed federal bills that may have impacts on the University, such as the student loan forgiveness plan and the state budget for fiscal year 2023-2024.
Kieran Flaherty, UC associate vice president and director for state governmental relations, then addressed statewide bills the UC has supported and sponsored, specifically relating to reproductive rights.
The committee also received input from California Assembly Member Christopher Ward on education policy and how the UC can work with members of the California Legislature to promote legislation that will positively affect University students, faculty and staff.
The National Laboratories Committee discussed UC President Michael Drake’s request to the regents to authorize the President to allocate $2 million from the Capital and Campus Opportunity Fund to create childcare for the Los Alamos National Laboratory community. CCOF is a fund that supports UC-affiliated National Laboratories.
The Academic and Student Affairs committee introduced and discussed two new programs, the UC Dual Admission pilot program and UC Irvine’s Leveraging Inspiring Futures Through Educational Degrees.
The Dual Admission program will allow freshmen unable to meet UC application requirements to apply to a California community college with conditional admission to a UC.
LIFTED is the UC’s first degree program for incarcerated people, allowing students to earn a degree in Sociology from UCI after receiving an associate degree from Southwestern College in San Diego.
The Finance and Capital Strategies committee approved funding for the construction of the 78,000-square-foot Academic Replacement Building at UC Berkeley, which will replace a previous building vulnerable to damage from earthquakes.
The committee also discussed the preliminary operating budget for the 2023-2024 fiscal year, which will be presented at the November regents meeting and will focus on ensuring affordability for students and increasing undergraduate enrollment of California residents.
President Drake announced Mary Tran, a first-year law student, and William Carter, a UCB doctoral geography student and Fulbright Scholar, as the first-ever recipients of the Regents Foster Youth Award during Thursday’s Board meeting. The award – approved by the Board of Regents in May 2021 in an effort to ensure visibility for foster youths in higher education – goes to a foster youth student attending the UC.
President Drake also announced the recipients of the President’s Award for Outstanding Student Leadership, Deniss Martinez, a doctoral student in ecology at UC Davis, and Karly Hampshire, a UCSF medical student. The award goes to nominated students who best represent the University’s effort to engage in public service and student activism.
The Board then discussed the UC’s delegation of campus authority after a special meeting held in August. They briefly touched on a proposal that will bar a UC campus from making an athletic transaction if another UC campus will experience an adverse financial impact.
The Board said that the proposal is not specifically aimed at addressing UCLA’s move to the Big Ten Conference, which was discussed in more detail during a closed session.
The next meetings will be held at UCSF in November.