google-site-verification: googlea33552291e834fff.html Education: The More Things Change...

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The More Things Change...

Governor Brown announced the names of his first 4 nominations to the Board of Regents.  Two of his appointments (Richard Blum and Norman Pattiz) are already on the Board and one of the appointments Monica Lozano had served for the previous 12 years.  For his first truly new appointment the Governor chose Richard Sherman, who has been CEO at the David Geffen Company since 1992.  According to the LAT, Blum, Pattiz, and Sherman have all contributed to the Brown's recent political campaigns.  If all four are confirmed the Board will still have 3 other vacancies left.

To say that these appointments are disappointing would be a massive understatement.  The Governor has made a point to show up at Regents meetings and has insisted that he wants to have an open and thoughtful discussion of new ways to sustain the university.  Yet in his first effort to name Regents he chooses to return two of the leading architects of present university policy (one of whom was chair during 2007-2009), asked back someone who already served 12 years, and for his new appointment has reached out to the Hollywood business elite.

I'm not going to get into the various questions that concern the individual Regents.  The more important point, I think, is that this reinforces the sense that Governor is quite comfortable with the managerial and corporate status quo at the University.  To be sure, he is happy to encourage debatable initiatives that assume that courses can be treated as song downloads and pretend that they will be cheaper.  But when it comes to approaching the University as an academic and educational institution he seems uninterested.  Nor has he shown much interest in finding people from outside the established business and political elite.

He could do better.

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