President Napolitano on proposed federal budget — calling all advocates
While many voices have been raised against President Trump’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year, I would like to concentrate on what such drastic cuts in federal support would mean for the University of California and public higher education throughout the country.
As president of the nation’s largest public research university, I urge Congress to immediately begin work on a revised budget proposal that makes meaningful investments to help our students, protect our patients and keep America’s research enterprise preeminent.
The University of California currently receives more than $8 billion in federal support, including over $3 billion for our research enterprise, $1.6 billion in student financial aid and $3.1 billion in patient care support.
With the proposed budget’s drastic cuts to the National Institutes of Health, for example, UC researchers might never have accomplished such medical breakthroughs as the bioartificial kidney for the treatment of end-stage renal disease, or the drug XTANDI to treat prostate cancer. Likewise, proposed cuts to the National Science Foundation and energy science programs could slow vital UC research that mitigates the effects of climate change and helps solve many of the greatest scientific challenges that our country, and the world, confront.
More than 133,000 UC students benefit from federal financial support to pursue their education.
The proposed cuts to student financial aid programs would limit their access to higher education and increase student debt.
The proposal to slash more than $800 billion over 10 years from the Medicaid program would be devastating, not only to patients and hospitals in California, but to those throughout the nation. This cut would make it increasingly difficult for UC health centers to continue to treat the sickest patients and serve as vital safety nets to vulnerable populations.
The fight now moves to Congress where we must work with our elected representatives to make wise decisions and better investments to protect students, grow our research enterprise and expand healthcare services.
We need all of our supporters — students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and others —to let our elected representatives know how concerned we are about these proposed cuts, and to urge them to protect students, patients, and research that helps solve some of our biggest problems and improves lives.
If you’re not already involved, I invite you to join the UC Advocacy Network. Your voice makes a difference.