Is free speech really free outside of a democratic system? The unelected Board of Regents governing the University of California is plutocracy at its worst. Appointed and unaccountable they are free to utilize this vast public system to promote their own agendas. Despite multiple protests from students and faculty they continue to raise tuition and fees. They have allowed corporate entities to become intertwined with our public university system. They have ignored public outcry and have appointed Janet Napolitano as UC president despite her utter lack of credentials and her record of human rights violations and complicity in the expansion of the surveillance state. This year, as the administration prepares to pay lip service to their sanitized and prepackaged version of the free speech movement, students need to think critically. What is the point of free speech is if nobody is listening? It is time to democratize the Regents. The University of California is a public asset and should be managed by elected officials who are accountable to the public.
The University of California shall constitute a public trust, to be administered by the existing corporation known as “The Regents of the University of California,” with full powers of organization and government, … Said corporation shall be in the form of a board composed of seven ex officio members, … and 18 appointive members appointed by the Governor and approved by the Senate… The terms of the members appointed for terms commencing on and after March 1, 1976, shall be 12 years.
The university shall be entirely independent of all political or sectarian
influence and kept free therefrom in the appointment of its regents and in the administration of its affairs …
– from Article IX, Section 9 of the Constitution of the State of California
If The University Were A Business, It Would Likely Be The Largest
Corporation In California
-Statement from UC Regents meeting July 15 2010
Richard C. Blum
- Appointed March 12, 2002 to a term expiring March 1, 2014 (by Davis); re-appointed in 2014 (by Brown) to a term expiring March 1, 2026.
- Chairman and President of Blum Capital
- Co-Chairman of Newbridge Capital, LLC
- Member of a Board of CB Richard Ellis, worlds largest commercial real estate services firm
- Blum benefited from many contracts awarded by UC Regents to URS, a construction company of which he was a board member until divesting from the firm in 2005
- $150 million dollars reconstruction of Santa Monica Hospital (2001)
- $125 million dollars design and reconstruction of UC Los Alamos lab
- Project management services for for the development of a $200 million Southeast
- Campus Integrated Project, including a seismic retrofit of Memorial Stadium and a substantial expansion of the Haas School of Business
- Since Blum’s appointment in 2002, $745 million of UC money was invested in seven private equity deals involving either Blum or his firm, Blum Capital Partner (as of 2010)
- Appointed September 13, 2005 to a term expiring March 1, 2017 (by Schwarzenegger); Partner, California Strategies LLC
- Senior Vice President at Wachovia
- Was a Senior Vice President for Finance and Investments at The J. Paul Getty Trust
- Was receiving a salary from Wachovia/Wells Fargo from 1996 to 2009 while also being the chair of the finance committee from 2008 to 2009
- Appointed March 2001 to a term expiring March 1, 2013 (by Davis); re-appointed in 2014 (by Brown) to a term expiring March 1, 2022.
- Chief Executive Officer and Chair of the Board of Impremedia, LLC.
- Director of Walt Disney Company since 2000
- Director of Bank of America Corporation since 2006
- Member of The Rockefeller Foundation board of trustees
Norman J. Pattiz
- Appointed September 21, 2001 to a term expired March 1, 2004 (by Davis); appointed September 4, 2003 to a term expired March 1, 2014 (by Davis); re-appointed in 2014 (by Brown) to a term expiring March 1, 2026.
- Founder and former Chairman of the Board of Westwood One, America’s largest radio network and one of the world’s leading media companies.
Sherry L. Lansing
- Appointed March 11, 1999 to a term expiring March 1, 2010 (by Davis); re-appointed in 2010 (by Schwarzenegger) to a term expiring March 1, 2022.
- Founder of the Sherry Lansing Foundation
- Former Chair and CEO of Paramount Pictures’ Motion Picture Group
- Since Sept. 2006, Regent Sherry Lansing has been a member of Qualcomm’s board of directors
- She received $132,000 in director’s fees from Qualcomm in 2013, stock option awards valued at $200,036, and additional compensation of $50,000 for a total of $382,036.
- According to her UC Regents economic disclosure statement, Ms. Lansing owns “more than $1 million” in Qualcomm stock options (no upper limit is specified), but she has a less than 1 percent interest in the company. (as of 2010)
- Documents released by the treasurer show that, through its external investment managers, UC has quadrupled its investment in Qualcomm by putting $397 million into stock of the information technology firm since Ms. Lansing joined its board (while she also served as a regent)
- Appointed October 24, 2008 to term expiring March 1, 2020 (by Schwarzenegger);
- Founder and chairman of Capital Pacific Holdings, which develops residential real estate in California and other Western states.
- National campaign finance co-chair for Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign
- Appointed March 27, 2008 to a term expiring March 1, 2020 (by Schwarzenegger);
- Global Director of the Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy at the University of Southern California
The rest of the appointed Regents not covered in detail:
William De La Peña, M.D., Eddie Island, George Kieffer, Fred Ruiz, Richard Sherman, Bruce D. Varner, Paul Wachter, Charlene Zettel