Saturday, February 28, 2009

Group vs. Geographic Selection

What are the possible compementarities and/or tradeoffs of selecting regents via established group institutions such as the Academic Senate, employee unions, or UC Student Association, vs. selecting them based on elections based on geographical divisions (say, by existing congressional districts, or open to the entire state)?

Might these two approaches be combined? If so, in which proportions, and which ways?

If groups are enabled to select Regents, which miminum standards should be required for their selection processes?

Term Lengths Thread

How long should people serve in the top offices running the UC?

Short-terms might help enable changing officers who aren't up to the task, but longer terms can help people develop the experience, contacts and knowledge to get things done.

The Regents were originally appointed to 16-year terms. In the reforms of 1970s, terms were reduced to 12 years.

Should we reduce terms to 4 years to coincide with election cycles? Or would 6-years (as in the US Senate) be better?

Add your comments on ideas and experiences below!!

Election Option Thread

In thinking about whether we want to elect people to some of the offices responsible for the UC, it may help to think about what might be some of the new, innovative more democratic electoral methods that might be used.

Add your experiences and/or thoughts and/or research in the comments thread below!

For example, San Francisco uses ranked choice voting (info). Here's a blog about ranked choice voting in Washington State.

Campaign Financing Thread

Let's discuss some of the many ways we could prevent money from corrupting a democratic process in governing the UC.

One mechanism might be to limit campaign contributions and/or to provide public financing.

Another option might be to mandate even amounts of air time on TV and radio. But how should candidates be narrowed down? Should even the smallest of candidates be given the same time as a very popular ones; if not, how do we ensure new voices can get into the game?

There are lots of innovative resources and experiences out there. Here's some from Vermont; and from West Virgina.

Add some to the thread here!

CRU 1993 Plan to Democratize the Regents

In 1993 the Committee for a Responsible University developed one version of a plan to Democratize the UC. It is based on a mixed format and campus councils.