A Statement of Principles for Choosing New University of California Chancellors


The recent resignations of University of California at Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks and UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi have focused concern among UC faculty members about the criteria and procedures for selecting campus leaders.  Yesterday the Council of University of California Faculty Associations (CUCFA), a partner organization of the AAUP representing tenured and tenure-track faculty at nine of the ten UC campuses, issued the following statement of principles, which has considerable relevance well beyond the University of California.  For more information on CUCFA go to their website.

A University of California Chancellor must be committed both to broad access to university education and to scholarly excellence, and have a proven record of support for the value of public education. A Chancellor must recognize that, despite increases in fundraising for specific projects, efforts at privatization have failed to sustain the University’s central mission of education, research, and service for the people of California. In addition to providing intellectual vision and integrity, the Chancellor should demonstrate accountability to the principles and the public mission of the university.

To be forthright and transparent in dealings with the UC community and the public, the Chancellor must show by example the values held by the UC system:

•    By focusing on education, research, and public service, not on peripheral capital projects not directly related to the university’s primary teaching and research missions that saddle the university with high levels of debt.

•    By respecting shared governance between administration and faculty as vital to insulating academic freedom from external political and financial influence.

•    By limiting the number of out-of-state undergraduate students to maximize opportunity for Californians.

•    By reducing the number of senior managers; senior management has grown by a factor of four or five over the last 20 years while the number of faculty has remained stagnant and the number of students increased by 20%.

•    By making the administrative leadership transparent and by opening the budget to meaningful faculty review and input.

•    By implementing a cap on the salary of the Chancellor and other senior administrators, limited to a given multiplier of the lowest paid workers on campus on the grounds that a corporate salary leads to corporate attitudes, whereas a more modest salary corresponds to public service and respects the financial needs of students, faculty, and the institution.

•    By pledging not to accept any paid external board service or paid consulting with for-profit entities.

•    By developing new community outreach programs, involving the teaching and research role of campus faculty and students and, more generally, elevating the contributions of UC to the people of California.

Accordingly, the process of choosing the Chancellor should be open to the university community:

•    The short list of candidates selected by the Search Committee and forwarded to the President should be publicly discussed. The Candidates should be invited to campus for public presentations and comments from the university community should be debated by the search committee.

•    The President and Regents should make their decision after consultation with the Academic Senate to ensure a candidate the whole campus supports.

Council of University of California Faculty Associations (September 29, 2016) info@cucfa.org

3 thoughts on “A Statement of Principles for Choosing New University of California Chancellors

  1. Pingback: UC Faculty Defend Public Education | ACADEME BLOG

  2. Pingback: Berkeley Students Call for Transparency in Chancellor Search | ACADEME BLOG

  3. Pingback: Reich: “Public Higher Education is Dying in the U.S.” | ACADEME BLOG

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