Tackling the long-standing and upcoming vacancies on the University of California regents board, Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday reappointed two veterans and brought back another whose term expired last year.
In addition, the governor proposed adding Richard Sherman, a Hollywood financial expert who heads investments for David Geffen, the entertainment mogul and major UC donor.
The regents board has five vacancies and two more 12-year terms that will expire soon. Some UC administrators have expressed concerns that the unusual number of empty seats, one dating to 2011, was beginning to affect operations of the board that oversees the 10 UC campuses.
At full capacity, the regents include 18 members appointed by the governor, plus the governor and seven others who can vote.
On Friday, Brown reappointed Richard C. Blum, 78, an investment banker and philanthropist who has been a regent since 2002 and is the husband of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). Brown also reappointed Norman Pattiz, 70, a radio and Internet industry leader who has been on the board since 2001 and has headed the regents committee over the energy and weapons laboratories UC runs for the federal government. Their current terms were to expire in March.
Monica Lozano, 57, who is an executive in the ImpreMedia communications company that owns the Spanish-language La Opinion newspaper, had served as regent for 12 years until last year. Brown wants to bring her back.
Sherman, 61, has been chief executive of the investment-oriented David Geffen Co. since 1992 and had served as a director of Dreamworks SKG Inc., the movie firm Geffen helped establish. Geffen was a UC regent in the 1980s, appointed by Brown during his previous term as chief executive.
According to state records, Sherman has donated $7,500 to Brown's election campaigns for attorney general and governor since 2009. Blum donated $51,800 to Brown's campaigns since 2009 and Pattiz donated $15,000, those state records show.
Although the positions are unpaid, the regents' seats are among the most prestigious and lengthy that a governor can offer political supporters and others. All four appointees announced Friday were listed as Democrats.
If the state Senate confirms these four, Brown still has three more UC slots to fill.
"I am very happy that Gov. Brown has appointed three individuals with so much regental experience and another who will bring additional expertise to the University of California Board of Regents," board Chairman Bruce Varner said in a statement. "It will be great to have Monica Lozano back on the board, and Richard Blum and Norman Pattiz continuing their service as regents. We look forward to welcoming Richard Sherman, whose financial and investment experience will be an invaluable asset."