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UC Regents recap – Jan. 17-19

A University of California Board of Regents meeting is pictured. The regents met at UCLA this month to discuss the UC’s fiscal performance and the governor’s proposed state budget. (Daily Bruin file photo)

By Catherine Hamilton

Jan. 25, 2023 7:15 p.m.

This post was updated Jan. 26 at 11:10 p.m.

The University of California Board of Regents, the governing body of the system, gathered Jan. 17 to 19 for its bimonthly meetings at the Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference Center. In teleconference and in-person sessions, it discussed Gov. Gavin Newsom’s newly proposed 2023-2024 budget and the UC’s current fiscal performance. It also heard from student organizations calling them to action.

The community and stakeholders were given an opportunity to make public comments all three days. Many urged the University to better its climate policy, start hiring students without legal status and consider cost of living adjustments for academic student workers.

The Investments Committee met Tuesday to review the University’s performance in the first quarter of the 2022-2023 fiscal year, which began July 1, 2022. At the end of the 2021-2022 fiscal year, the UC had $152 billion in assets. As of Jan. 13, it has $157 billion, according to the Office of the Chief Investment Officer. In 2000, the UC had $61 billion in assets.

As of now, the UC has $114.7 billion of assets in retirement savings and pensions, $22.5 billion in endowments and $19.7 billion in operations of the UC. Some community members called for the UC to divest from Blackstone and CIM, companies they have accused of exacerbating housing prices.

Then, the committee discussed the housing crisis in California and the UC’s investment in the sector.

“The University must not only divest from Blackstone altogether, but it must reconsider its housing investment strategy entirely if that strategy is incompatible with protecting and expanding affordable residential units,” said Priya Lakireddy, staff advisor to the regents.

The Academic and Student Affairs Committee held a joint meeting Wednesday with the Finance and Capital Strategies Committee to discuss the compact between the UC and Newsom’s office. The compact proposes annual 5% budget increases for the University if it increases accessibility and affordability, with a focus on in-state populations.

The UC will make up for the loss of tuition dollars from out-of-state students with $30 million in additional funding from Newsom, said David Alcocer, associate vice president of budget analysis and planning for the UC Office of the President. This funding is part of the governor’s proposed January budget, which separately allocates $4.7 billion to the UC.

The Public Engagement and Development Committee then discussed the annual report on private support the University receives from outside donors. In the 2021-2022 fiscal year, the UC received $3.3 billion in private support through more than 400,000 donations, making it the fourth consecutive year of increasing support.

The National Laboratories Committee approved a request for $1.5 million to fund a daycare program at the Los Alamos Laboratory in New Mexico. It also allowed the UC to manage and operate the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research in Maryland.

Members of the Governance Committee approved the request to appoint a regents’ complaint resolution officer to review alleged misconduct from board members.

On Thursday, the board heard from multiple student organizations such as IGNITE at UCLA, a reproductive rights advocacy group, which asked the regents to increase accessibility to rape test kits on campus. The organization launched a petition – which has more than 3,500 signatures – in the fall to call on UCLA to add rape test kits to the resources at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

Multiple groups across the UC, including from UCLA, pushed back against the UC’s investment in the Thirty Meter Telescope in Mauna Kea, saying that it unethically violates sacred land.

The entire Board of Regents will meet again March 14-16 at UC San Francisco.

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Catherine Hamilton | National news and higher education editor
Hamilton is the 2022-2023 national news and higher education beat editor. She was previously a national news contributor. She is also a second-year English and political science student.
Hamilton is the 2022-2023 national news and higher education beat editor. She was previously a national news contributor. She is also a second-year English and political science student.
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