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California Performance Review Experts

UC Riverside Experts on Aspects of the California Performance Review

Expertise Covers Public Policy Evaluation, Use of the Initiative Process, Environmental Issues, Special Education, Special Needs Children, and Educational Policy

(August 20, 2004)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — — The University of California, Riverside has experts in various aspects touched on by the California Performance Review, the wide-ranging review of the efficient organization and service provision of California State government.

Jan Blacher,
Professor of education, Graduate School of Education, Director of the UC Riverside Families Project
Blacher has extensive research knowledge — through her involvement in the UCR Families Project — of how children with developmental disabilities and special needs, and their families, cope with the stresses of obtaining resources from the state’s 21 Regional Centers. She can discuss issues related to the special education hearing and mediation process, which the report recommends be returned to the state Office of Administrative Hearings from the current contract with the McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento.
Telephone: (951) 827-3875

James Lents,
Chairman and Director, Center for Sustainable Suburban Development
Lents can discuss the importance of maintaining adequate oversight over regional air quality in California. He spent 27 years directing air quality improvement programs, including 12 years as executive officer of the South Coast Air Quality Management District. At the SCAQMD, Lents oversaw development of the first air quality management plan ever to be approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the Los Angeles area.
Telephone: (951) 827-7829

Joseph Norbeck, Director of the Center for Environmental Research and Technology, Professor of environmental engineering
His current research includes, the relationship between vehicle emissions and air quality, development of renewable fuels, and development of advanced vehicle technology. He has held a gubernatorial appointment as an air quality expert on the California Inspection/Maintenance Review Committee and is a member of other committees including the Cal/EPA Environmental Technology Partnership Task Force, the Executive Research Advisory Committee of the Society of Automotive Engineers, and Scientific Review Committee for the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
Telephone: (951) 781-5778

Max Neiman,
Professor of political science, Director of the Center for Social & Behavioral Science Research
He can talk about the policy implications of the proposed consolidation of infrastructure agencies, the elimination of regulatory bodies, and the shifting of many oversight functions under the banner of the governor's office. His primary research interests include public policy, urban political economy, and urban conflict over development. His 2000 book, Defending Government: Why Big Government Works, documents the ways in which government has played a positive role in American society.
Telephone: (951) 827-4693

Shaun Bowler,
Professor of political science
He can comment on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s use of public forums and the initiative process to push his governmental change agenda. Bowler's research interests include comparative electoral systems, the initiative process and voting behavior. The co-author of Demanding Choices: Opinions and Voting in Direct Democracy, Bowler has studied elections all over the world. Bowler is currently working on a paper titled “Recall Elections: The Politics of Spite?”
Telephone: (951) 827-5595

Douglas Mitchell,
Professor of education, Graduate School of Education, Director of the School Improvement Research Group
Mitchell can discuss the effects of the proposed elimination of county offices of education and the consolidation of State Superintendent of Public Instruction and Secretary of Education into a new Department of Education and Workforce Preparation under the Governor's Office. He studies how education policy is drafted and carried out, how school districts organize themselves and guide teachers and administrators.
Telephone: (951) 827-4547

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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