The Noose Tightens in California?
May 27, 2009
State Lawmakers Challenge Autonomy of U. of California's Regents
Oakland, Calif. — A bipartisan group of California lawmakers has proposed a state constitutional amendment that would subject the University of California to direct legislative oversight for the first time in its history.
The university system’s Board of Regents has long held constitutional autonomy from the Legislature, giving it the sole authority to make governance decisions. The proposed amendment, which was introduced on Tuesday in both houses of the Legislature, would remove that autonomy starting in 2011. The Legislature already has similar oversight of the California State University system.
Supporters of the proposal said they were fed up with high salaries for administrators and rising tuition at the University of California. Sen. Leland Yee, a Democrat and a longtime critic of the university, said the university’s leaders were not being held accountable to the public.
“Their arrogance and autocratic attitude has got to stop,” Mr. Yee said in comments quoted by the San Francisco Chronicle. “This is a public institution, it’s not a private club for anyone. We’re leaving it to the regents to run the UC, but it ought to be responsive to the people and the state Legislature.”