Students invite a UC Regent to campus

UC Regent Fred Ruiz met with UCSC students involved in our Engaging Education outreach program..
UC Regent Fred Ruiz, top, met with UCSC students involved in our Engaging Education outreach program. SUA Chair Shaz Umer, middle, and External Vice Chair Tony Milgram teamed up on a great event.

What's on the minds of our students? Tuition, access, affordability, programs, and the budget, if the questions I got during last week's "Appetizers with Administration" event is any indication.

Photo of UCSC student Shaz Umer.

And that's just what students asked me. My colleagues fielded questions about UC's new smoke-free policy, student leadership opportunities, the preparation of student residential assistants, and more.

I have to tip my hat to the SUA leaders who organized the get-together at University House. SUA Chair Shaz Umer brought up the idea to me, and External Vice Chair Tony Milgram took it up a notch by inviting UC Regent Fred Ruiz. Tony is the student observer to the Regents' Committee on Finance, which Ruiz chairs, so Tony showed great initiative inviting Ruiz, who hadn't been to UCSC in quite some time.

It was an impressive turnout, and students majoring in an incredible range of subjects showed up: politics, biochemistry, education, theater, feminist studies, Spanish literature, math, psychology, electrical engineering, neuroscience, global economics, sociology, film and digital media, computer science, and technology and information management. Thanks also to Campus Provost/EVC Alison Galloway, vice chancellors Sarah Latham of Business and Administrative Services, Scott Brandt of the Office of Research, and Richard Hughey of Undergraduate Education, as well as Jean Marie Scott of Risk and Safety Services and Linda Beaston of the EVC's office, for spending time – and sharing appetizers -- with our students. It was fun.

Photo of UCSC student Tony Milgram.The event capped a day-long visit for Ruiz, who met with students, campus diversity officers, and others. He was so impressed with our students, describing them as engaged, enthusiastic, and full of great ideas, especially about diversity. Ruiz cosponsored the Regents Study Group on Diversity, so he knows a lot about the topic. He was impressed by what we're doing at UCSC, which is saying a lot, because he's quite critical of UC's overall track record on faculty diversity. I always remind him that faculty diversity levels change slowly, but we at UCSC are poised to see the pace of change pick up in the next few years as a wave of retirements washes over the campus. Those openings will provide an opportunity for us to further diversify our faculty. That's a change that will be good for our students and the campus as a whole.

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