There is a notion in some quarters that the Governor of
California is the chief executive of the state, and that his or her
power is only limited by re-election, recall, judicial review or
legislative override. That is true in theory, but in practice the
Governor has control of virtually no money. He or she can
appoint staff subject to some limitations. In contrast, the
President of Sudan can do whatever he wishes.
|Potential advantage: Sudan. Actual advantage in terms of producing graduates with
useful skills: California.
Anything besides gubernatorial staff has to be the result of negotiations with the legislature.
The Governor is a member of the Board of Regents of the University of California. There are
26 voting members. 18 are appointed by the Governor for 12 year terms. Of those, Odessa
Johnson and George Marcus have terms that expire in 2012. Monica Lozano and Leslie
Schilling have terms that expire in 2013. Seven members are ex officio and include: the
Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the Speaker of the Assembly and the Superintendent of
Public Instruction. Even if the other two partisan political leaders are sympathetic to the
Governor, prospects of coercing the University of California are slim.
Likewise, those same officials are also among 25 (24 voting) members of the Board of
Trustees of the California State University system. The Governor appoints a Faculty Trustee
and two student Trustees (one non-voting) and 16 other Trustees (subject to consent of the
State Senate). The terms of Herbert Carter and Raymond Holdsworth will expire in 2011,
and the terms of Carol Chandler and Melinda Guzman will expire in 2012. We would assert
that CSU will continue to be as independent of gubernatorial control as UC is.
The State Superintendent of Schools will be either Tom Torlakson or Larry Aceves as the
current Superintendent, Jack O'Connell, is not eligible for a third term. The California
Department of Education attempts to influence K-12 public schools. Those schools are also
somewhat influenced by their county Department of Education, but with the exception of
bargaining for how much money schools get, a Governor's ability to directly influence K-12
education is virtually zero.
In Sudan, all colleges are subject to the direct control of the government courtesy guns or
money. For the most part, the Sudanese government has chosen to focus its efforts
elsewhere. Virtually all Sudanese primary and secondary schools are under government
control, but curriculum and teacher quality have not been a priority thus far. Were a
Sudanese President so inclined, he or she could exert a powerful influence on the Sudanese
educational infrastructure - for good or for evil.