Schwarzenegger Taps Two Final CalSTRS Board Nominations

September 16, 2005 ( - California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has made two appointments to the board of the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS).

Named on Thursday were Kathleen Brugger and Elizabeth Rogers who join a board that has been enmeshed in political controversy in recent months, according to the Sacramento Bee.

The two women join a panel that has been without a full roster after Schwarzenegger ousted four of his five appointees in February for opposing his controversial proposal to replace the state’s traditional guaranteed pension plan with 401(k)-style private accounts. In political payback, Senate Democrats later rejected his fifth nominee, forcing the governor to scramble to find five replacements on a 12-member board that oversees a $133 billion investment portfolio for 755,000 retired and active teachers (See  Political Infighting Leaves CalSTRS Board with 7 Members ).

Brugger and Rogers, both Republicans, will have to face Senate confirmation. Brugger, 62, has spent the past 12 years on the board of Chaffey College, an 18,000-student community college serving western San Bernardino County. Rogers , 60, is managing partner of Pacific Earth Resources, a Southern California sod farm business.

In the coming months, CalSTRS trustees will start finding ways to close a $24.2 billion long-term shortfall (See  CalSTRS Board Kicks Off Shortfall Review ). Because investment returns aren’t expected to erase the shortfall entirely, officials will have to consider proposals that include raising pension contributions and cutting benefits for newly hired teachers, the Bee reported.