(OAKLAND, CA) – With the University of California failing to offer any disciplinary measures against Regent Norman Pattiz for alleged sexual misconduct, AFSCME Local 3299 President Kathryn Lybarger called on California State Legislators to take action:

“We applaud the actions State Legislators have initiated to address sexual harassment in the State Capitol. Were it not for the passage of Proposition 50 in 2016 and Speaker Rendon’s public statements regarding his intent to use the power of expulsion, egregious sexual assaults probably wouldn’t have resulted in resignations by Members of the Assembly.

“However, it’s clear that the problem extends beyond the State Capitol and has infiltrated the governing body of our nation’s premier public institution for higher education: the University of California’s Board of Regents. Unfortunately, while California’s Constitution gives the Governor the power to appoint Regents to 12-year terms, there is no provision granting authority to remove Regents.

“In light of Regent Norman Pattiz’s inappropriate behavior and the inability of anyone to hold him accountable, inaction cannot be the solution. As UC’s largest employee union—representing over 24,000 workers that are mostly women of color—we’re deeply concerned about the effect that failing to hold UC leadership accountable for sexual misconduct may have both on our members and the hundreds of thousands of students we serve each day.

“Accordingly, we propose a Constitutional Amendment that grants the State Legislature expulsion authority over UC Regents be put before California voters in June 2018. The provisions of the Amendment mirror Proposition 50’s two-thirds vote threshold so that we can ensure the fair use of power while taking a necessary first step towards promoting real accountability at UC.