California Steps Toward Better Coordination in Higher Education

Governor Newsom Forms New Council to Strengthen Higher Education

Comprising 11 statewide education and workforce leaders, the Governor’s Council for Post-Secondary Education will consult with the Governor on higher education priorities, as well as set and work toward statewide higher education goals. The Council will tackle issues such as institutional capacity, enrollment planning, community college transfers, general education, and coordination on a regional and state level. The Council is charged with increasing communication across segments. Additionally, Governor Newsom is periodically convening higher education advocates and other stakeholders to advise on equity, access, affordability, and completion.

Members of the Governor’s Council for Post-Secondary Education

  • Lande Ajose, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of the Governor*
  • Keely Bosler, Director, California Department of Finance
  • Linda Darling-Hammond, President, California State Board of Education
  • Lenny Mendonca, Governor’s Chief Economic and Business Advisor*
  • Janet Napolitano, President, University of California
  • Eloy Ortiz Oakley, Chancellor, California Community Colleges
  • Art Pulaski, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, California Labor Federation
  • Kristen Soares, President, Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities
  • Tony Thurmond, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Timothy White, Chancellor, California State University
  • Allan Zaremberg, President and Chief Executive Officer, CalChamber

*Former California Competes leadership

California Competes has long supported greater oversight and coordination in higher education. Higher education affordability, access, and success are fundamentally systemic problems that transcend any one institution or segment, and they require systemic solutions. This formalized forum for communication is a crucial initial effort to identify solutions to the state’s core higher education challenges.

Simultaneously, the California State Legislature continues its efforts to strengthen coordination across segments. Assemblymembers Low and Eggman and Senator Allen have combined efforts to refine AB 130: a policy proposal that would establish a Higher Education Performance, Accountability and Coordination Commission. The activities of the Commission that would be established by AB 130 complement those of the Governor’s Council. AB 130’s Commission would, among other things, develop an independent annual report on the condition of higher education and review budget proposals from the public postsecondary segments. One key distinction between the Governor’s Council and the Commission proposed in AB 130 is the role of the higher education segments. While the Governor’s Council includes segment leaders as members, the AB 130 Commission would be an independent body, with higher education segment leaders as advisors, rather than members.

We at California Competes recognize these developments as significant progress toward improved communication and coordination across the state’s public colleges and universities. We look forward to continuing to work with state leaders to promote a stronger and more equitable higher education system that will benefit all those who want to learn, contribute, and succeed.

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