Regents of the University of California

The Regents of the University of California is the governing board of the University of California, a public university system with over 280,000 students enrolled across ten campuses.[3] The board has 26 voting members.

Regents of the University of California
The University of California 1868.svg
Seal of the University of California
Governing board overview
FormedJune 18, 1868 (1868-06-18)[1][2]
TypeState university system governing board
JurisdictionUniversity of California
HeadquartersOakland, California, United States
Governing board executives
WebsiteRegents website

The current Board of Regents is a "policy board," as a result of reforms unanimously adopted from 1957 to 1960 at the instigation of UC President Clark Kerr.[4] The regents establish university policy; make decisions that determine student cost of attendance, admissions, employee compensation, and land management; and perform long-range planning for all UC campuses and locations.[5] The regents also control the investment of UC’s endowment, and they supervise the making of contracts between UC and private companies.[6]

Before Kerr's reforms, the regents operated as an "administrative board" (in Kerr's words) for almost a century. The regents met 12 times per year and its finance committee (with full authority to act on behalf of the board) met an additional 11 times, and the university budget was excruciatingly detailed. The result was that the board, through the university president, collectively supervised every aspect of university affairs—no matter how trivial or minor. One sign of the regents' unusually extreme level of micromanagement was that it was seen as a major milestone when acting UC President Martin Kellogg gained the power in 1891 to independently hire janitors (as long as he reported on what he had done at the next board meeting). At Kerr's encouragement, the Board of Regents cut down on the number of meetings, delegated powers and responsibilities to the university president, the campus chancellors, and the Academic Senate, simplified the UC budget, and greatly reduced the amount of detail that flowed upwards to the regents.[4]

The California Constitution grants broad institutional autonomy, with limited exceptions, to the Regents.[7][8] According to article IX, section 9, subsection (f), "[t]he university shall be entirely independent of all political or sectarian influence and kept free therefrom in the appointment of its regents and in the administration of its affairs."[9]

Administrative support is provided to the Regents by the Office of the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Regents of the University of California,[10] which shares an office building with the UC Office of the President in Oakland.[citation needed]

In May 2017, The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the Regents had been hosting costly dinner parties using university funds.[11] After extensive public outcry, university leadership released a statement saying the university would no longer fund these dinners.[12]


The majority of the board (18 Regents) is appointed via nomination by the Governor of California and confirmation by the California State Senate to 12-year terms. One student Regent is selected by the Board to represent the students for a one-year term through a hiring process that is conducted by the board.[13] The remaining 7 Regents are ex officio members. They are the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Speaker of the State Assembly, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, President and Vice President of the Alumni Associations of UC, and President of the University of California.[3]

The Board also has two non-voting faculty representatives and two non-voting Staff Advisors. The incoming student Regent serves as a non-voting Regent-designate from the date of selection (usually between July and October) until beginning their formal term the following July 1.

The vast majority of the Regents appointed by the Governor historically have consisted of lawyers, politicians and businessmen.[14] Over the past two decades, it has been common that UC Regents appointees have donated relatively large sums of money either directly to the Governor's election campaigns or indirectly to party election groups.[15][16]


Current membersEdit

Originally appointed by Gov. Gray Davis:

  • Sherry L. Lansing (appointed 1999; reappointed 2010; term expires March 1, 2022)[18]
  • Richard C. Blum (appointed 2002; reappointed in 2014 by Jerry Brown, reappointment confirmed on Aug. 22, 2014, term expires March 1, 2026)[19]

Originally appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger:

Originally appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown:

Originally appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom:

Student regent:

Ex officio regents:


Regents-designate are non-voting participants who are scheduled to transition to full board membership at later date.

  • Eric Mart (given alumni Regent-designate status 2019; designate status expires June 30, 2020)
  • Debby Stegura (given alumni Regent-designate status 2019; designate status expires June 30, 2020)
  • Jamaal Muwwakkil (given student Regent-designate status 2019; designate status expires June 30, 2020)

Faculty representativesEdit

Faculty Representatives to the Regents are non-voting participants who may be assigned as representatives to certain committees.

  • Kum-Kum Bhavnani (became a representative in 2018; representative status expires August 31, 2020)
  • Mary Gauvain (became a representative in 2019; representative status expires August 31, 2021)

Student advisorEdit

Non-voting participants who are assigned as representatives to Regents' committees.

  • Edward Greg Huang (July 1, 2018 — June 30, 2019)
  • Devon Graves (term expired June 30, 2019)

Staff advisorEdit

Non-voting participants who are assigned as representatives to Regents' committees.

  • Kate Klimow (July 1, 2019 — June 30, 2020)
  • Ann Jeffery (Staff advisor-designate, July 1, 2019 — June 30, 2020; Staff Advisor, July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021)

Notable past RegentsEdit

Honorary RegentsEdit

In its early years, UC had thirteen Honorary Regents, with ten appointed in 1868.[26] "Honorary Regents" were full board members, with the word "Honorary" simply denoting their manner of selection (that is, they were elected to serve on the board by the other board members, instead of being appointed by the governor). Some were then appointed to another term, following their term as Honorary Regent, by the governor. One (Tompkins) was re-elected.[28]

Notable legal casesEdit


  1. ^ Certificate of Incorporation of The Regents of the University of California.
  2. ^ Incorporation date, as shown in the records of the California Secretary of State.
  3. ^ a b Hollender, Allison (2016-09-29). "Rundown on the Regents". City on a Hill Press. Retrieved 2017-05-10.
  4. ^ a b Kerr, Clark (2001). The Gold and the Blue: A Personal Memoir of the University of California, 1949–1967, Volume 1. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 191–205. ISBN 9780520223677.
  5. ^ Akkaraju, Maya (2020-05-25). "'Mysterious body of people': A look into the UC governing board". The Daily Californian. Retrieved 2020-06-21.
  6. ^ "'Regents Policies, The University of California". Retrieved 2020-06-21.
  7. ^ Grodin, Joseph R.; Shanske, Darien; Salerno, Michael B. (2016). The California State Constitution (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 243. ISBN 9780199988648. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  8. ^ Myers, John (2017-04-30). "Political Road Map: So why can the UC regents thumb their noses at the Legislature?". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  9. ^ Cal. Const., art. ix, § 9(f).
  10. ^ Bylaw 23.5(a) of the Bylaws of the Regents of the University of California.
  11. ^ Gutierrez, Melody; Asimov, Nanette (2017-05-28). "Regents throw parties at UC's expense". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  12. ^ Asimov, Nanette; Gutierrez, Melody (2017-05-29). "UC reverses policy, won't pick up tab for regents' parties". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  13. ^ "Application for 2021-22 Student Regent, University of California". Retrieved 2020-06-21.
  14. ^ Brian Pusser; Imanol Ordorika (2001). "Bringing political theory to university governance" (PDF). Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Retrieved 2015-06-06.
  15. ^ "Regents Fact Sheet | #OccupyUCDavis". Archived from the original on November 19, 2013. Retrieved 2015-06-06.
  16. ^ "Welcome -". Archived from the original on 2009-06-29. Retrieved 2015-06-06.
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Regent Sherry L. Lansing". 2011-11-10. Archived from the original on 2012-04-14. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
  19. ^ a b Koseff, Alexei (2014-08-22). "UC regents reconfirmed over criticisms of out-of-state recruiting | The Sacramento Bee". Retrieved 2015-06-06.
  20. ^ "Regent Richard Sherman". University of California. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  21. ^ "Regent Michael Cohen". University of California. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  22. ^ Sumers, Brian (May 30, 2014). "Ben Allen, Santa Monica school board member, seeks state Senate seat". Daily Breeze. Retrieved September 26, 2014.
  23. ^ Kalem, Stefanie. "Parsky's Party". Retrieved 2015-06-06.
  24. ^ "U. of California Regent Resigns Abruptly – Graduate Students – The Chronicle of Higher Education". 2007-11-13. Retrieved 2015-06-06.
  25. ^ Greg Lucas (1997-08-29). "UC Regent Rejected By State Senate / Democrats say del Junco too partisan". Retrieved 2015-06-06.
  26. ^ a b "The Regents of the University of California Through the Years". Days of Cal. The Bancroft Library. 1997. Retrieved September 5, 2009.
  27. ^ "University of California History Digital Archives: Regents' Biographies – N". John Douglass, Sally Thomas. Retrieved 2017-11-08.CS1 maint: others (link)
  28. ^ "University of California History Digital Archives". Retrieved 2015-06-06.
  29. ^ Schaechtele, Molly Shoemaker. "Frederick Low". The Governors of California and their Portraits (excerpt). California State Capitol Museum Volunteer Association. Archived from the original on September 17, 2009. Retrieved September 6, 2009.
  30. ^ "California State Normal School History, 1862–1889". Historical Sketch of the State Normal School at San Jose, California. State Printing Office. 1889. Retrieved 2012-01-24.

External linksEdit