Not one of the 26 members of the University of California Board of Regents is from the San Joaquin Valley. The board governs the entire UC system, including UC Merced.
That’s why the Merced County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to urge Gov. Jerry Brown make Valley appointments to the board.
The tendency to favor coastal population centers is nothing new. Our region has long been at the back of the line when it comes to state investment and attention.
The UC Board of Regents recognized this disparity three decades ago when they sited the newest UC campus here in the Valley. UC Merced educates students from all over the state, but the educational and economic impact on the Valley is especially significant.
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Regents Fred Ruiz of Tulare County and Odessa Johnson of Stanislaus County were respected voices on the board and provided a Valley perspective for their colleagues. Following the expiration of their terms in 2016 and 2012, respectively, the Valley has been without a voice.
It is incumbent upon Gov. Brown to be sure the Valley has a seat at the table in the governance of the crown jewel of California’s higher education system.
Supervisor Lee Lor, District Two, Merced County Board of Supervisors