A&A: Closed college governing body meeting to endorse trustees candidate

Meeting in closed session to select a candidate

Q: I have what is probable a simple question for you. I am wondering if a student governing body at a college can meet in close session to discuss possibly endorsing a candidate for the board of trustees in an upcoming election? Would this violate the Brown Act?

A: Assuming that the student governing body of the college to which you are referring is subject to the Brown Act, it seems unlikely that the Act would authorize the body to consider the endorsement of a candidate for the Board of Trustees in a closed meeting. Although the Brown Act permits closed meetings “to consider the appointment, employment, evaluation of performance, discipline, or dismissal of a public employee,” Cal. Govt. Code Section 54957, this personnel exemption does not seem applicable to the situation you have described, where the governing body in question is simply considering the endorsement of an individual for a position on an unrelated board.