Gov. Jerry Brown announced the selection of Assembly Speaker Emeritus John A. Perez (D-Calif.) and Long Beach City College superintendent-president Eloy Ortiz Oakley to the UC Board of Regents. The appointments come less than two weeks after UC President Janet Napolitano announced her long-term stability plan to increase systemwide tuition.
“John and Eloy bring a wealth of experience and an extraordinary capacity to dig into the complexities of our great university system,” Gov. Brown said in a press release. “Their work has demonstrated a deep commitment to the students of California.”
Perez, 45, has served in the California State Assembly since 2008 and became the first openly gay man to be selected as Assembly Speaker in 2010. A longtime advocate of education, in 2013 Perez authored and helped pass the Middle Class Scholarship Act, which provides grants to undergraduates in UCs and CSUs with family incomes that are less than $150,000.
Oakley, 49, has been the superintendent and president of Long Beach City College for the past eight years, but has held various administrative positions in academic institutions such as: Long Beach City College, Oxnard College and the Coast Community College District for decades on. A UC Irvine alumnus, Oakley is also a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the National Council of La Raza.
The two appointments still need to be confirmed by the California State Senate within a one-year period and there is no compensation offered for either position. If Perez and Oakley are confirmed, the UC Board of Regents will consist of 18 appointed regents (including one UC student regent), seven ex-officios and one vacant seat.
UC Board of Regents Chairman Bruce D. Varner said in a statement that the board nominees will bring “very valuable perspectives and insights,” adding that this week’s discussion is expected to “shape the future of the (UC) for years to come.” UC officials have yet to confirm whether or not Perez and Oakley will be attending this week’s three-day regents meeting in Oakland Calif., where the UC delegation will vote on Napolitano’s proposed tuition plan.
“At a time when we are seeking to expand enrollment of California students and improve the process for students transferring from community colleges to UC, I’m very happy that we will benefit from the expertise and experiences of Speaker Perez and President Eloy Ortiz,” Napolitano said in a statement. “I look forward to working with them during the years ahead of us.”