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Governor Brown Vetoes Staff Representation on CSU Board of Trustees

In Other News: Bill to Restrict "Supplanting" of State-Supported Courses with Self-Supported Courses Dies in Committee

10/02/2014

Earlier this week, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed Assembly Bill 2721, which would have added a non-faculty, non-management staff member to the CSU Board of Trustees.  Governor Brown´s veto message reads in its entirety:  

 

To the Members of the California State Assembly:

I am returning Assembly Bill 2721 without my signature.

This bill adds an additional member to the California State University Board of Trustees.

Since the Board of Trustees was established in 1960, there have only been 4 additions to the Board. The last of these was the addition of the non-voting student member in 1999. 

 I am not persuaded that increasing the membership of the Board beyond 25 is necessary. 

Sincerely,

Edmund G. Brown Jr.

 

Governor Brown missed the point and an opportunity.  AB 2721 would not simply have "increas[ed] the membership of the Board."  It would, for the first time, have given over 20,000 non-faculty, non-management employees, including the Unit 4 members represented by APC, a sorely needed voice on the Board.  

AB 2721 was sponsered by our sister-union CSUEU, whose President Patt Gantt stated after the veto:  

 

We´re profounfly dissapointed in Gov. Brown´s decision.  It should be self-evident that all stakeholders are represented on the CSU Board, with the conspicuous exception of staff.

 

We agree.  The CSU administration, which officially neither supported nor opposed the bill, nevertheless tried to water it down via an amendment that would have allowed the new trustee to be drawn also from the ranks of management employees, i.e., from the CSU administration itself.  Needless to say, the CSU administration already has plenty of representation on the Board, but we suspect it likes hearing its own voice . . . again and again and again.

In other news:  We previously reported on two rivaling bills, CFA-sponsored AB 2153 and CSU-sponsored AB 2610, that would have restricted the CSU administration´s ability to "supplant" affordable state-supported courses with more expensive self-supported courses.  Both bills have since "died in committee," meaning that neither even made it out of the legislature and on to the Governor´s desk.  As a result, the CSU administration will be allowed to continue business as usual.  We know that that´s bad news not only for students, but also for employees.