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November 10, 1997

Regents elect new chairman

By Rick Malaspina
UC Office of the President

For the third time in the past six years, Meredith J. Khachigian has been chosen by her colleagues to chair the University of California Board of Regents.

The Regents elected Khachigian by a unanimous vote in a special meeting conducted by teleconference at the end of last month. Her appointment as chairman of the 26-member governing board is effective immediately and continues through June 1998.

Khachigian's election marks the fourth time the Regents have named a woman as their chairman in UC's 129-year history and the third time a Regent has returned to the chairmanship after having served two consecutive terms. Khachigian chaired the board in 1991 and 1992.

"I am honored by the opportunity to be of further service in this position," Khachigian said of her appointment.

"My main priority is to work toward maintaining the excellence and access that distinguish the University of California," she added. "Working together--Regents, administrators, students, faculty and staff--I am confident we can achieve continued success."

As chairman, Khachigian fills a vacancy created by the departure from the board of Tirso del Junco, whose reappointment as a Regent was rejected by the state Senate.

Khachigian, 52, is a UC Santa Barbara graduate who consults on community and public affairs and has a long record of service related to education in California.

In 1984, then Gov. George Deukmejian appointed her to a select commission to review the state's Master Plan for Higher Education. Three years later, Deukmejian appointed her to a vacant position on the UC Board of Regents and reappointed her in 1989 to a full 12-year term. Since then, in addition to her two terms as board chairman, Khachigian has served on several of the board's standing committees and twice has been vice chairman of the board.

A resident of San Clemente in Orange County, Khachigian has long been active in civic and educational organizations, including the UC Santa Barbara Alumni Association and the UC Irvine Foundation. She is a native of the San Joaquin Valley community of Visalia.

Today's action pertained only to the Regents' chairmanship. Vice Chairman Velma Montoya will continue in that post through next June.

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