Friday, February 11, 2011

Stem Cell Directors Meet Next Thursday to Deal With Klein Replacement

A key group of directors of the $3 billion California stem cell agency meets in just four business days to consider one of the more important matters facing the unique research enterprise.

The Governance Subcommittee will take up the criteria that directors would like to see in the next chair of the agency – the person who would replace Robert Klein, the longstanding (since 2003 or so) presence behind CIRM. Klein has announced that he will retire as chair in June.

The directors' subcommittee is scheduled to convene next Thursday to act on a survey of board members concerning their preferences for a new chairman, preferences that would be in addition to the legal requirements. Directors are hamstrung by law in their choice of a new chair. They must pick from candidates nominated by four statewide officials: governor, treasurer, controller and lieutenant governor. That requirement is part of Prop. 71, which created the stem cell agency and which was written by Klein and a handful of his associates.

So far, the public is in the dark about the results of the survey of directors and other details that the subcommittee is scheduled to consider. The agenda says only that "criteria and parameters for chair of CIRM’s governing board and process and timeline for consideration of nominees for chair of CIRM’s governing board" are on the table. Also on the agenda is what may be a related matter, but its significance is masked by its cryptic language, which consists of only seven words: "Consideration of amendments to Internal Governance Policy."

CIRM directors are taking a fresh look at selection of a new chair in the wake of the unseemly affair last December that resulted in a spate of negative news stories when Klein attempted to hand pick his own successor.

At the time, state Controller John Chiang, head of the only state entity specifically charged with overseeing CIRM finances, said in a letter to the board that the chair selection process was "fundamentally flawed" and should be restarted in a way that is open to the public.

He wrote,
"The ICOC has a responsibility to the taxpayers of California to conduct its business in an open and transparent manner."
Next week's meeting of the subcommittee will be held at public sites in the following cities: Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco, Irvine and Calistoga. The specific addresses can be found on the agenda. Of course, written comments can be submitted to the board in advance of the meeting. Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Post a Comment