Campus, community visits show UC’s impact
From the food we eat to the life-saving healthcare we receive, to the technologies that make life easier, UC makes a difference in Californians’ daily lives in ways that many may not even realize.
As part of an ongoing effort to educate the public, a mobile exhibit is visiting campuses and communities around the state to spotlight the many ways UC affects everyday life and drives California forward.
“UC touches the lives of all Californians, even though many people may not be aware of how the university’s work directly affects them,” said Dan Dooley, UC senior vice president for External Relations. “This tour brings the university to Californians in their own communities and gives them the opportunity to engage with UC in a new and unexpected way. We hope that building understanding of how UC contributes to the daily lives of all Californians will further strengthen public appreciation and support for the mission of public higher education in our state.”
Visits to all 10 UC campuses and community events, such as the Kern County Fair, Santa Monica Pier and Davis Community Farmer’s Market, began Sept. 14 and continue through Oct. 25. A mobile truck features educational displays that tell the story of UC’s impact and allow participants to learn about the university in a fun, interactive way. Participants have an opportunity to share personal stories about how the university has touched their lives.
The mobile exhibit is supported by private funds that are not intended for academic uses.
Earlier this year, UC President Mark G. Yudof spoke to civic groups, business associations and local leaders around California about the difference the university makes, even in places without a campus or medical center.
Educating Californians about the value of UC has become increasingly important amid the state’s continued disinvestment in higher education. State funding has dropped significantly; within the last four years alone, UC has lost nearly $1 billion to state budget cuts.
UC now operates with the same level of state funding as it did in 1997-98, despite serving 73,000 more students than before.
UC is a driving force in California that generates roughly $46.3 billion in economic activity. It’s a public enterprise that educates the future, provides high-quality healthcare, uncovers scientific breakthroughs, invents new technologies and fuels the state economy.
The university leverages state funding to bring in $8.5 billion in federal and private dollars every year. And every $1 the California taxpayer invests in UC and its students results in $9.80 in gross state product and $13.80 in overall economic output.
As the state’s third largest employer, UC carries about 190,000 on its payroll. Its campuses educate some 235,000 students every year, and its medical schools train about half the medical residents and medical students in the state.
Its groundbreaking research gave birth to leading industries including biotechnology, digital media, telecommunications computers and semiconductors, and environmental technologies. UC holds more patents than any other American university. More than 500 start-ups have been formed with UC inventions.