UC Regents have elected UC Santa Barbara alumnus George Kieffer chair of the board, and appointed UCLA undergraduate Rafael “Rafi” Sands as student advisor, a new position introduced this year.

Nexus File Photo

Regent Kieffer previously served as an alumni regent from 1978-1980, and was appointed to the Board of Regents in 2009. Members of the Board of Regents do not receive any compensation.

“By any and all measures, this is the finest public university system in the world and I’m honored to be a part of it,” Kieffer said in a statement. “All of us — the governor, legislators, faculty, staff, regents and the public — need to work together to keep it that way and provide today’s students and succeeding generations the same affordable and quality education provided by and for earlier generations of Californians.”

According to the statement, Kieffer hopes to expand access to more Californians and focus on the cost and quality of education. He also wants to promote the “uniqueness” of each campus.

He has served as chair of the UCSB Alumni Association and UCSB Foundation.

Kieffer currently works as a partner and  executive committee member of the law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP.

The Regents selected John A. Perez, the 68th California Assembly Speaker, as vice-chair for 2017-2018.

The board also approved the new position of student advisor, a non-voting position, last year to get more comprehensive input from students. Similar to a UC staff advisor, the student can attend open sessions and may serve an advisory role on committees.

Sands, a third-year business economics and political science major at UC Los Angeles, was selected out of a pool of 42 applicants from all of the UCs.

“My mission as a member of the Board of Regents will be to unite students with faculty, staff, alumni and other members of the UC community in pursuit of shared advocacy,” Sands said in a statement. “Only together can we take on some of the most important issues facing UC today.”

He has previously worked in the Office of the Student Regent and as external vice president of the Undergraduate Students Association.

A special committee also nominated Devon Graves to be the 2018-2019 student regent. Graves is a doctoral student in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA.

“As a first-generation college student and a higher education researcher, my passion for wanting to serve comes from my belief in the transformative power that higher education can have for Californians in an increasingly dynamic and competitive world,” Graves said in a statement. “I look forward to being an advocate on behalf of the 265,000 students of the University of California.”

He has experience as chair of the board of directors for the California State Student Association and is currently on the California Student Aid Commission.

The full board will vote on Graves’s appointment during their July meeting. If approved, he will serve as the student regent-designate and participate in all discussions for a year before he gains full voting rights when his term begins next July.

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