Lack of Representation on UC Board of Regents
In a recent piece in The Los Angeles Times, it came to our attention that there is only one member of the University of California Board of Regents who happens to be Asian American. Of the 18 board seats, five of which are currently vacant and await appointment by Governor Gavin Newsom, there is only one representative who shares the ethic background of 35% of undergraduates across all of the University of California campuses. That’s right, when a public university system’s undergraduate student body is 35% Asian American, you’d think there would be at least a few members of the Board of Regents who share their background.
As Teresa Watanabe writes for The Los Angeles Times in a piece entitled “Asian Americans are typecast as successful students, but new report finds troubling gaps,” she writes, “The lack of Asian American regents is regarded as a big problem — and top priority to fix — by the California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, according to Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco). The report recommends greater representation for Asian American and Pacific Islanders on public higher education governing boards and more robust efforts to recruit faculty from those groups. In addition, the report calls for changes to widen access, increase financial aid and close achievement gaps among subgroups.”
We echo the call of Assemblyman Phil Ting of San Francisco to improve this representation. In fact, our readers may remember back in March of 2021 when we analyzed the makeup of the admissions offices at not only the eight Ivy League schools but also the the other universities ranked within the top twenty-five by US News & World Report. At not a single top twenty-five institution was an Asian American charged with leading the admissions office. At not a single one! So, Governor Newsom, since you have five slots to appoint to the UC Board of Regents, we urge you to strongly consider appointing Asian Americans to better reflect the student bodies at the universities these Regents are charged with serving.
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