Archive for March, 2011
Before leaving office, Gov. Schwarzenegger nominated David Crane to be a UC Regent. Regents are supposed to be selected through consultation with an 11 member advisory committee and approved by the Legislature. Our Sacramento contacts told us the nomination was “dead in the water.” But then Crane was listed as a Regent on the UC Regents webage.
On February 27th, Crane wrote an op-ed in the SF Chronicle coming out against public unions, prompted by the Wisconsin and Ohio controversy. It was called “Should public employees have collective bargaining?”:
Senator Leland Yee of San Francisco held a rally to oppose Crane at UCSF on March 4th. Three distinguished faculty members of CUCFA attended the rally, and their speeches were featured in the excellent 20 min. video posted on You Tube:
CUCFA sent a letter to Diane M. Griffiths, the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the UC Regents, noting that Schwarzenegger’s nomination of Crane violated article 9, sections 9a and 9e of the California Constitution:
And that UCOP’s listing of Crane as a Regent was a violation of Regent’s bylaws 5.1.a and 5.1.e:
We also questioned Crane’s use of the UC Regent title in his op-ed, and asked UCOP if Crane was planning to attend the upcoming Regents’ meeting, and if so in what capacity. See CUCFA’s full letter at:
Then the San Francisco Chronicle wrote an editorial that appears to have been more about Yee’s candidacy in San Francisco’s upcoming mayoral race than Crane’s suitability as a Regent, but which ended with a call to confirm Crane:
CUCFA President Robert Meister wrote a response to the Chronicle that we hope they will publish as an op-ed (he also produced a shorter version for use as a letter to the editor):
On March 11th, CUCFA sent a letter to Governor Brown, asking him to withdraw Crane’s nomination to the Board of Regents, and urging him to instead nominate a state leader who both respects – and has the respect of – all of the university’s constituencies. We backed that letter up with the 1,275 UC faculty and staff signatures we had gathered to that point (see the gopetition link above). We sent a similar letter to Senator Steinberg and the other members of the Senate Rules Committee, asking them to hold a confirmation hearing at which they reject Crane.
CUCFA and the DFA will continue to follow this issue as we truly feel, for all the reasons outlined in Robert Meister’s letter linked to above, that the appointment of Crane as a UC Regent would be terrible for UC.
The following link is an action item. It asks Governor Brown not to appoint David Crane to the UC Regents and it supports Senator Leland Yee’s opposition to Crane’s confirmation as Regent. Appreciate that such appointments are for 12 years, i.e. until the end of 2022. It is easy to argue that David Crane is not the right person for this job. If you hold a similar opinion, the following link will allow you to join with the opposition by electronically signing a petition to be sent to Governor Jerry Brown and Senator Yee.
The focus on Wisconsin has prompted or accelerated a number of legislative actions directed at higher education around the country. The editorial pages and blogs are also ripe with oped pieces. A concern is the recent action taken by the Ohio State legislature (cf., summary and details in “Inside Higher Ed” and the Chronicle of Higher Education):
Closer to home is the response to an Op Ed piece by David Crane, whose confirmation as a UC regent is pending. As background, Crane was a partner in Babcock & Brown until 2003, a global investment and advisory firm that went into liquidation in 2008.
The following three links provide some useful background. CUCFA is opposing the confirmation of Crane. Robert Meister, Professor of Social and Political Thought at UCSC and President of the Council of UC Faculty Associations has said: “Crane would be yet another multi-millionaire Regent who made his fortune in investment banking — an industry that directly benefits when public employees are forced out of their existing plans and into the hands of Wall Street. The Crane appointment raises the stakes on this issue. Confirming him would bring the politics of Madison Wisconsin to California. However much he backpedals today, yesterday’s op-ed [attacking collective bargaining for public employees] was a red flag to the legislature that this Schwarzenegger appointment must be stopped. I applaud Senator Yee for getting the message and taking action.”
David Crane’s Op-Ed in the San Francisco Chronicle: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/02/27/IN5N1HUAMS.DTL
From the SF Bay Guardian – “Beware the billionaires behind pension reform” at: http://www.sfbg.com/politics/2011/03/01/beware-billionaires-behind-pension-reform
Senator Leland Yee’s (D-San Francisco)’s opposition to Crane is described in: http://www.sfbg.com/politics/2011/03/02/yee-plans-block-crane%E2%80%99s-uc-regents-confirmation