Monday, July 02, 2007

CIRM Takes Another Whack at Hiring President

In another attempt at hiring a new president for the California stem cell agency, directors of the $3 billion effort have scheduled their second unusual teleconference meeting in the last few weeks to consider compensation for the post and candidates for the position.

This one is for July 12. The last such meeting was held on June 26 and ended with no public action. The directors have sealed off any public comment after an embarrassing information leak earlier this year.

In order to act on candidates and compensation, state law requires that advance notice be given. Posting such a notice could just be a hopeful contingency measure in case a deal can be concluded by the meeting date. Nonetheless, a decision must be quite close.

One of the sticking points in the recruitment process has been the $400,000 salary for the position, which apparently has been too low for some. For more details on that see the "ticklish" item posted earlier.

Members of the Oversight Committee are calling in from 14 locations in California, according to the agenda, and one in Australia, where California stem cell Chairman Robert Klein is visiting. Members of the public can listen in at those locations during the public portions of the meeting and speak out as well. The June 26 meeting was almost entirely in executive session.

Twenty-nine persons sit on the Oversight Committee. Presumably more locations will be added as the meeting approaches. Otherwise, there may not be enough members on the teleconference to take legal action.

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