Press Release: Students Oppose Schwarzenegger's Multi-Millionaire Regent Appointee

From Claudia Magaña, UCSA President, 3rd year student at UC Santa Cruz, and Christine Byon, UCSA Organizing and Communications Director
Wednesday May 11, 2011 - 05:31:00 PM

At the end of his term, former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed a new member of the UC Board of Regents. Governor Schwarzenegger appointed David Crane, a multi-millionaire investor and former advisor with deep political and business connections to the former Governor. The UC Student Association is opposed to the appointment of David Crane. 

The University of California system is in the middle of a terrible budgetary crisis. Tuition has risen dramatically in recent years and in-state enrollment is being cut severely. Now more than ever, the UC Regents are in need of appointees that have demonstrated a deep commitment and understanding of the UC system and the critical need to protect affordability and access for UC students. 

Unfortunately, the appointment of David Crane is very much in the mold of many of the more recent appointees, where individuals have been chosen because of their connections to the Governor rather than their policy background or demonstrated commitment to the UC system. 

UC students are deeply disappointed that students were not consulted about Mr. Crane’s appointment beforehand. It is unfathomable that the Governor would not consult students before making an appointment to the UC governing body. Despite being the official collective voice of UC students, UCSA was not consulted or notified before the appointment was made. Further, since his appointment to the UC Regents over four months ago, Mr. Crane has not reached out to the UC Student Association or, as far as we know, met with UC students in any formal capacity to hear about their concerns and experiences. 

Finally, students also are deeply concerned by Mr. Crane’s recent comments questioning the value of collective bargaining for public employees. Students believe strongly in the critical importance of collective bargaining rights to secure fair wages and benefits for UC employees and other public employees. Particularly at a time when collective bargaining rights are under attack around the country, students find it disturbing that Mr. Crane would choose this time to raise questions about this fundamental and essential right for public employees. 

“It is deeply troubling that students were not informed before this decision. The needs and views of students and workers must be prioritized in the appointment of UC Regents. That clearly was not done with Regent Crane’s appointment, and therefore UC students are opposed to his confirmation,” said Nelson Cortez, a student at UC Santa Cruz and member of the UCSA Board of Directors. 


Above all, UC students take issue with a process that continues to lead to the appointment of well-connected millionaires, rather than policy experts with a demonstrated commitment to the values of the University, including access and affordability for students and fair wages and benefits for workers. Students believe that the UC system, as the crown jewel of our education system, deserves better than that. Students do not believe that Mr. Crane meets that standard at this point, and for that reason we oppose his nomination to the UC Regents. 

The University of California Student Association is the official voice of over 200,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students from the eleven UC campuses. It is our mission to advocate on behalf of current and future students for the accessibility, affordability, and quality of the University of California system.