An important message from President Napolitano about state funding for UC
I am writing to ask that you join me in our efforts to secure full State funding for UC.
As you know, we are engaged in a serious conversation with Gov. Brown and legislative leaders regarding full State support for UC, including discussions about what a modern UC should look like, how much it should cost, who should pay for it and who should be able to attend. This conversation is crucial to the future of UC and, thus, California.
As a UC employee, you know first-hand about the countless contributions that UC makes to the people of California every day, from educating students and treating patients to scientific and medical innovations that help address some of our most pressing challenges. And as a member of the UC community, you also know that we are doing our part and working hard to control costs, operate more efficiently and develop new sources of revenue. But UC cannot cut its way to continued excellence. The State must do its part, and reinvest in public higher education so UC can keep its promise to the people of California.
For almost 150 years, UC has played a central role in the economic and social vitality of this great state. Indeed, California would not be California if it weren’t for UC. We cannot lose sight of that fact, nor can we take our success for granted. We must continually protect and invest in those things that will ensure a healthy and prosperous future for us all. Full investment in UC is ultimately a full investment in the California dream.
Today UC is funded by the State, in constant dollars, at the same level as we were in 1999, even though we educate 83,000 more students and have one more campus. That’s like adding an additional UCLA and UC Berkeley — without receiving a dime more from the State.
The California economy is improving. The February 2015 state controller’s report found that the revenue estimates underlying the governor’s proposed 2015-16 budget actually have increased by more than $1 billion — 18.3 percent higher than the original projection. Given the increased revenues available, there is an opportunity for the governor and the Legislature to put the university budget on track to recover from the deep cuts that came amid the Great Recession, and set UC on a financial course that will allow it to serve future generations of Californians as well as it has those of the past.
We need to make sure our elected leaders fully understand the contributions UC has made to California and to its citizens, continues to make today, and must make to future generations.
To this end, I ask that you join me in this all-important effort and contact Gov. Brown and your legislative representatives to let them know that investing in UC must be a top priority for the State.
The stakes are high, and we need your energy to be felt and your voice to be heard.
Yours very truly,