The University of California Center, Sacramento will host a reception to officially announce the University’s newest ex-officio Regents today at 6 p.m.

Every year, several top state officials including the governor are appointed to the UC Board of Regents by virtue of their position. Today’s ceremony formally welcomes Governor Jerry Brown, Lieutenant Gov. Gavin Newsom and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, along with returning Assembly Speaker John Pérez into the ranks of the Regents for the duration of their time in office. The event also formally honors the Sacramento Center’s re-opening after an almost year-long hiatus.

UCOP Media Director Peter King said ex-officio Regents can play a critical role on the board.

Former California Lieutenant Gov. John Garamendi — now serving in the House of Representatives — was particularly well-known for his support of students and affordable education as an ex-officio regent.

King said current Lt. Gov. Newsom intends to stay closely involved in University affairs.

Francisco Castillo, the Lt. Gov’s director for communications, said Newsom is currently hosting statewide ‘listening tours’ to gain a better understanding of the UC system.
“He already launched his ‘listening tour’ and he’s also launched an online campaign that encourages the virtual community to join a statewide conversation about education,” Castillo said.

UCCS was closed in Dec. 2009 and revived last September when its headquarters moved to UC Davis. The center originally opened its doors in 2004 and has since provided public policy and public affairs journalism internships to over 600 students from the UC’s nine undergraduate campuses.

In order to save the program, UCCS Associate Director A.G. Block said its headquarters had to be transferred from the UC Office of the President in Oakland to UCD.
“It’s been cost-saving,” Block said. “A campus like Davis is already set up to run academic programs, but the Office of the President isn’t — it doesn’t teach students. Students of the Sacramento program are enrolled at UC Davis, earning 14 units during the quarter.”

UCD Newsroom Director Claudia Morain said the center’s new location didn’t compromise its convenient setting.

“Our chancellor lobbied to save the program and said our proximity to the capital would make it an ideal location,” Morain said.

The center admitted 13 scholar-interns for Winter Quarter from UC Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Davis, Riverside, Los Angeles and San Diego combined.