Under Governor Brown, Vacancies on U. of California Board Go Unfilled

Gov. Jerry Brown of California has not named any new members to the University of California’s Board of Regents since his January 2011 inauguration, even though five seats on the 26-member board are vacant. Three have been empty for at least a year and a half. Some officials said they were surprised by the vacancies because Mr. Brown, a Democrat, has attended meetings of the board more frequently than his predecessors and has focused on several matters related to the university system.

Jim Evans, a spokesman for Brown, said the governor was mindful of the openings and has no philosophical reason for delays. “We’re certainly aware of the vacancies and will move as quickly as possible to fill them,” Evans said. “As is the case with all of our appointments, our focus is selecting the best possible candidates. That ultimately dictates our timing.”

Bruce Varner, the chairman of the regents, said he hoped to meet with Brown soon and, among other things, “encourage the governor to fill those vacancies as soon as possible.” The Riverside attorney said it would be helpful to have a full board to consider such important issues as the transition to the new president and changes in federal healthcare rules.

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