In an election year when the University of California needs voter support more than ever, one would hope that it could count on its natural constituencies — faculty, students and staff. And yet, many of our faculty — those who have been here much longer than it takes to get tenure, who will continue to live in and enjoy what UC and California have to offer for a long time — are not registered to vote because they are not citizens. They are permanent residents.
If the regents and President Mark Yudof want members of the UC community to vote for initiatives that support the university, they should remind themselves that many of their prized faculty cannot vote. And while they are at it, they should consider that recruiting larger numbers of high-paying international students will create even more community members who cannot vote in support of the university.
I consider many of the non-citizen faculty and students my friends and have no wish to offend or embarrass them. But I would like to ask those who can do so to please become citizens. Your university and the state of California could use your educated votes.