From March 3rd to the 19th, 2010 at UC Davis’s Memorial Union Art Lounge, AHI 401 will present Meet the Regents, an exhibit which focuses on the California Master Plan for Higher Education and the role of The Regents of the University of California in relation to the recent UC budget crisis.
Under Article IX, Section 9 of the California Constitution, The Regents are given “full powers of organization and governance” of all the UC campuses. The decisions to appoint Mark Yudof as UC President and to approve to increase student fees 32% were made by The Regents.
Who are The Regents? What is their role within this recent crisis and the entire UC system? Have they broken the promise of the California Master Plan for Higher Education, conceived by then UC President Clark Kerr, who in 1960 envisioned and intended to make an exceptional quality of higher public education accessible to anyone regardless of class, race, sexuality, and gender? The recent decisions and actions by The Regents signal a move towards privatization of higher education that jeopardizes the Master Plan’s “unique” commitment to have a “place ready for every high school graduate or person otherwise qualified.” Meet the Regents raises these questions by introducing some of The Regents board members, 18 out of the 26 of which are appointed by the governor for 12-year terms.
The multi-media exhibition will include photography, text, video, and a podcast.
Meet the Regents is co-curated by the students of AHI 401, a course on curatorial methods taught by Professor Susette Min: Alison Flory, Ruthye Cole, Kevin Frances, Jane Oh, Elizabeth Ottenheimer, Lucy Potter, Dayanita Ramesh, Stan Nghia Trinh, and Camille Wheat
For an extensive critique on the UC Regents, please see Will Parrish’s article in Counterpunch that investigates in particular, the privatization of the University of California and “alpha regent” Richard Blum. A condensed version of this article can be found also in an interview Parrish did recently with C.S. Soong on Against the Grain.