Gov. Jerry Brown last Friday (June 2) announced four appointments to the UC Board of Regents, while one day earlier the UC Office of the President announced the next staff advisor-designate to the board — an assistant vice chancellor at UC Santa Cruz who happens to be a UC Davis graduate.
Brown’s appointees, subject to Senate confirmation, are:
- Maria Anguiano of Riverside, a former executive in the UC Office of the President and at UC Riverside, who went to work this year as chief financial officer for the Minerva Project Inc., a privately held service provider to the Minerva Schools at KGI, a for-profit college, founded in 2012, that does all of its teaching in small seminars held around the world.
- Howard “Peter” Guber of Los Angeles, chairman and chief executive officer at Mandalay Entertainment Group since 1995, and formerly an executive with Sony Pictures Entertainment and Columbia Pictures, co-owner of Guber Peters Entertainment Co. and co-founder of Casablanca Records and Filmworks.
- Lark Park of Sacramento, senior policy advisor in Gov. Brown’s office since 2015 and before that a deputy legislative affairs secretary in the governor’s office for four years. A UC Berkeley graduate, she served as a consultant, aide and press secretary in the Legislature from 2002 to 2011.
- Ellen Tauscher of San Francisco, a strategic advisor at the Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell and Berkowitz law firm since 2012; and former undersecretary of state for arms control and international security affairs, 2009-12, and member of the House of Representatives, 1997-2009.
They would replace the following regents (followed by the expiration date of their terms, in parentheses): Fred Ruiz (March 1, 2016), Paul Wachter (March 1, 2016), Russ Gould (March 1, 2017) and Eddie Island (March 1, 2017). Regents receive no compensation and their board terms normally last 12 years, although the newest appointees are likely to serve less than that, because they are taking the seats of regents whose terms had already expired.
Regents Chair Monica Lozano and UC President Janet Napolitano said they look forward to working closely with the newly appointed regents in the years ahead.
“I believe that based on their breadth of experience and diverse backgrounds, the governor’s four new appointees will provide valuable guidance and perspective that will greatly benefit this board,” Lozano said in a statement from UCOP. “I look forward to working with all of them on the important issues facing public higher education in California.”
Napolitano added, in the same statement: “As we continue to expand access and opportunity for Californians, I am delighted to welcome to the board four new appointees that bring unique expertise to the university. I look forward to learning more about their respective visions for higher education and to closely collaborating with them in the years ahead.”
Staff advisor to the Board of Regents
Staff advisors to the Board of Regents serve two-year terms, one year as staff advisor-designate and one year as the staff advisor. Jason Veldry, a director of technology at UC Irvine, moves up to staff advisor on July 1, succeeding LaWana Richmond, a senior business analyst at UC San Diego.
That same day, Sherry Main, assistant vice chancellor of Communications and Marketing at UC Santa Cruz, becomes staff advisor-designate — taking on a role that she advocated for a decade ago, when as vice chair of UC Irvine’s Staff Assembly, she joined in the systemwide effort to give staff members a voice in regents discussions.
“Staff had no direct, consistent way to interact with the regents,” she said. “We wanted to give staff a presence, an ability to voice their concerns, in a timely and continuous way.
“Having seen this program from its infancy and seen different staff advisors step into the role and have an impact, I wanted to apply. The time commitment is huge, but the opportunity to impact staff around the system is bigger.”
Main’s selection as staff advisor-designate concluded a process that began with a call for applications, which then underwent review by a committee of systemwide and campus leaders and current and past staff advisors. The committee prepared a list of finalists, and President Janet Napolitano made the final pick.
Main spent 14 years in communications roles at UC Irvine and joined UC Santa Cruz as an assistant vice chancellor in 2015. She earned her bachelor’s degree at UC Davis and her MBA at UC Irvine.
Through her experiences on multiple campuses, Main said she discovered that programs and services can vary from location to location. As a staff advisor, she wants to explore what different campuses offer, identify best practices, and find a way to share those across the system so staff at every campus can benefit from the best that UC has to offer.
Main listed among her top priorities her plan to advocate for increased professional development for staff members to help them succeed in their UC careers and to support work force retention. She pointed to a UC Irvine program that provides scholarships for staff to take classes and certificate programs, attend conferences and earn master’s degrees. Staff Assembly conducts fundraising for the program, and the chancellor and executive vice chancellor provide financial support.
“It’s a great opportunity for staff to advance their careers,” Main said. “I want to find out about other programs at other campuses, too, so we can learn from each other and pull together some best practices.”
Main said she also plans to advocate for enhanced wellness programs, as well as increased elder care and child care support. Many staff members are juggling their work while caring for children and aging parents, and that can take a toll, she said.
“The more ways we can invest in staff, we can create a better work environment and help staff grow in their UC careers,” she said.
Main said she wants to hear from staff about issues that concern them. She plans to spend her first year as staff advisor listening to staff, gathering ideas for solutions, and brainstorming with colleagues on possible improvements, she said.
“I want people to share their thoughts and concerns with me. I hope to hear from a diverse range of voices and perspectives,” Main said. “I like communications because it builds bridges. And I see the staff advisor role as building bridges between staff and the regents.”
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