Students, Senator Oppose Regent Appointed by Gov. Schwarzenegger

State Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) and the UC Student Association are calling for the UC Board of Regents to reject the appointment of prospective UC Regent David Crane.

Crane was appointed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in December 2010. If confirmed by the state senate, David Crane will hold his position as regent until March 1, 2012. Being a regent is an unpaid, volunteer position. According to the San Jose Mercury News, Crane’s confirmation hearing has not been scheduled.

Crane said he became interested in the position due to his interest in improving California higher education.

“It’s the most important thing someone can do if they want to improve the lives of Californians, to make sure we have the highest education available,” Crane said.

Since his appointment, Crane has faced disapproval from UCSA due to his political ties with the former governor — Crane was a special adviser for jobs and economic growth since 2004  — and statements he has made against collective bargaining.

UCSA and Yee — who is leading the charge to prevent Crane’s confirmation — have expressed concerns that Crane does not appreciate collective bargaining rights for university and public employees due to a Feb. 27 op-ed he wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle.

“Collective bargaining is a good thing when it’s needed to equalize power, but when public employees already have that equality because of civil service protections, collective bargaining in the public sector serves to reduce benefits for citizens and to raise costs for taxpayers,” Crane wrote.

According to a UCSA press release, the organization was not informed of Crane’s appointment.

“It is deeply troubling that we were not informed about this decision,” UC Santa Cruz student Nelson Cortez wrote in the press release.

According to Yee, writing on the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees website, hundreds of UC employees, community members, and other public employees protested against Crane on March 4 in San Francisco.

Crane said that many of the criticisms are unfounded.

“I graduated from UC Hastings [and] started working at $5 an hour 30 years ago,” he said. “I don’t see why a person that started at a UC, went through this, and was financially successful is a bad thing [for the Regents board]. I am saying that since the state is reducing funding to the UCs, we need to take steps to ensure the affordability and accessibility of higher education.”

Despite UCSA comments, Crane said he still believes students should be involved in the bureaucratic aspect of the UC system.

“Why is more of California’s money being spent on prison guards than for the UC system?” Crane said.

UCSA President and UC Santa Cruz junior Claudia Magaña could not be reached for comment.

UCSA Organizing and Communications Director Christine Byon refused to comment.

More to Discover
Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$200
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$200
$500
Contributed
Our Goal