The Senate Source

February 2013

BOARS Goes to Sacramento

In a first for a systemwide Senate standing committee, the Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools (BOARS) held its February meeting in Sacramento, with about a dozen staff from the legislature and the Governor’s office in attendance.

The joint meeting touched on current topics in freshman and transfer admissions, the effect of holistic review and the new eligibility criteria on admissions outcomes, nonresident admission, UC’s commitment to the transfer path, the Master Plan for Higher Education, and UC’s continuing capacity and ability to maintain the admissions guarantee. There was also an update on and discussion of the prospects for a new bill to develop accountability measures for the State’s higher education segments.

Joining the meeting were key aides from the Assembly Higher Education Committee, the Senate Education Committee, the Assembly Appropriations Committee, the Department of Finance, and the Governor’s office.

The meeting was the brainchild of Academic Senate Chair Powell, who wants to give faculty on BOARS and other systemwide Senate committees an opportunity to meet with policymakers and discuss issues and policies of common interest.

The issues and challenges around nonresident enrollment, the referral guarantee, and transfer admissions were of particular interest and concern to legislative staff, who urged BOARS and UC to work with the State to ensure that California’s universities serve California students. Staff and BOARS also discussed pending legislation that would identify goals and metrics for California higher education related to student access, progress, and success; expectations for the role of the segments in meeting the state’s workforce and economic needs; and the use of state resources.

“I thought both the faculty and our legislative guests benefited from the meeting and appreciated the opportunity to engage issues that are so visible and important to the California public,” said George Johnson, BOARS Chair and UC Berkeley Professor of Mechanical Engineering. “BOARS shares many of the same goals and has similar concerns as those expressed by staff at the meeting. We are working to find solutions to our admissions challenges that will maintain quality and access, while increasing the diversity of the UC student body.”

The University Committee on Research Policy will hold a meeting with legislative staff in Sacramento March 11 to discuss the importance of the University’s research mission and graduate education.

UC’s Office of State Governmental Relations—particularly its director, Steve Juarez—has been integral in helping to arrange the joint meetings.