Rady School student Lawrence Norman Le Blanc was recently selected as a Student Advocate to the Regents – a program that selects University of California students to attend the UC Board of Regents meetings. The select few students who are chosen advocate the student voice to the highest level executives of the UC system. “St.A.R.” students meet, interact, and build relationships with UC Regents and speak about top student priorities. This month, Le Blanc traveled to San Francisco to speak with the Regents about important issues while representing not just UC San Diego, but the Rady School as well.
Attending the annual July meeting of the UC Regents was a rare privilege and an honor. It was an amazing opportunity to be able to attend the event and participate in important discussions. The University of California Board of Regents meeting is perhaps the highest level discussion possible regarding the University of California public school system and all of its 10 state-wide campuses. We kicked off the meeting in attendance with the current UC Student Regent Marcela Ramirez (Ph.D – UCR); the President of the UC Student Association (UCSA) Kevin Sabo; UCLA Student Body President Mike Skyles, and other “St.A.R.” students who were selected to advocate to the Regents for the next two mornings.
During the exclusive Regent’s lunch banquet, I got to meet many high ranking university officials including UC President Janet Napolitano (Former Governor, state of Arizona), Regent Eloy Oritz-Oakley, recently elected as Chancellor of the Community College System of the State of California, and UC Student Regent Designate Paul Monge Rodriguez, J.D. – UC Davis, who was sworn into office at the meeting.
Day two of the meeting started with public comments from the Student Advocates to the Regents and I was able to present an overview of current issues impacting students on UC campuses. It was an amazing opportunity to demonstrate the kind of leadership and confidence that I have learned from the Rady School.
I found the Regents meeting to be extremely relevant to me as an MBA student. The finance committee was directly reflective of my recent Managerial Accounting class as all 10 UC campus chancellors had to report to the Regents on their statements of financial positions and income statements, as well as the financial outlook for their campus.
In addition, as I am currently taking MGT 421 Corporate Governance: CEO & Board of Directors, I could not help but notice the relevance of this class and how I directly observed the core concepts at play at the Regents meeting. The Regents vote in favor of Motions, and they shape university-wide policy based on their committees and actions. The UC System, even as a public university, is run exactly like a corporation, and the UC Board of Regents functions much like any other board of directors for any publicly traded company.
I came back to San Diego not only with a renewed sense of leadership and civic engagement, but also with the pride of knowing that during my short time in San Francisco, I personally demonstrated that the Rady School of Management at UCSD is a place where individuals grow, refine and emerge as part of today’s next generation of business leaders who have the personality traits and leadership skills necessary for today’s changing business environment.
Lawrence Norman Le Blanc, electrical engineer E.I.T. certified and MBA candidate, is a current graduate student at the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego. He is a staff member in the Graduate Admissions office as a student outreach coordinator and serves as board member of the RadyQ LGBT diversity club.