|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 8, 2000
Trey Davis (510) 987-0056
UC PRESIDENT OUTLINES ROLE FOR HIGHER EDUCATION
IN SUSTAINING CALIFORNIAS PROSPERITY IN NEXT DECADE
Some 700,000 additional students will enroll at Californias colleges and
universities in the next decade, placing enormous demands on the institutions that have
helped fuel the states recent prosperity, University of California President Richard
C. Atkinson said today (March 8).
The California of the next decade simply will not work if these students dont
have the education they need to go wherever their talents and opportunities lead them,
Atkinson said in remarks prepared for delivery to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.
Atkinson said that Californias booming new economy owes much of its
success to the innovations that flow from research universities, and those institutions
will continue to occupy center stage in the years to come.
The California of the 21st century is headed for change. Its going to be
bigger, more diverse, and more dependent on the creation of knowledge to keep its economy
productive. The University of California is critical to our societys ability to
ensure that the forces of demographics, intellectual discovery and economic productivity
work in its favor and not against it, he said.
Student enrollment is growing as Californias diverse population and prosperous
In the 1950s and 1960s, an original Tidal Wave of students hit California as
the baby-boom generation entered the states colleges and universities. Tidal
Wave II is emerging as the children of those baby boomers are expected to attend
Californias university and college campuses within the next decade.
By 2010, the University of Californias general-campus enrollment will grow
approximately 40 percent to 210,000 students, matching UCs total enrollment growth
over the past 30 years. At the same time, the university must also hire 3,000 additional
To accommodate its share of the coming surge of students and to ensure a diverse student
body, Atkinson outlined a number of strategies, including:
-- The opening of UC Merced, the systems 10th campus.
-- Regular-session growth at established campuses.
-- Expanded summer sessions.
-- Expanded UC programs using off-campus centers, education abroad and distance learning.
-- Initiatives to improve K-12 education and encourage outstanding teaching, such as the
Reading and Algebra Institutes, the Principal Leadership Institutes, and Subject Matters
Projects, which Atkinson views as the guarantee of long-term progress in
increasing diversity on UC campuses.
Turning his attention to the role of intellectual discovery and its implications for
economic growth, Atkinson noted that UCs research in agriculture, biomedical
technologies, computer and information sciences, and other fields has played a major role
in Californias current record prosperity.
We have made a deliberate effort at UC to improve technology transfer and work more
closely with industry to transform basic research into useful products, Atkinson
As a measure of technology transfer, UC generates more patents than any other U.S.
university. Furthermore, UCs Industry-University Cooperative Research program has
invested more than $100 million in the past three years for new research, including the
BioSTAR project and the Digital Media Innovation Program, which will keep California at
the forefront of the highly competitive biotechnology and multimedia industries. These
efforts will be complemented by the governors proposed Institutes for Science and
Innovation and support for expanded science and engineering enrollments in the coming
These research partnerships are an appropriate and productive extension of our
land-grant mission, Atkinson said. At the same time, the University of
California offers one of the best educations, undergraduate and graduate, available
California is entering the new century with a booming economy. This gives us a
tremendous strategic advantage in dealing with the powerful demographic and economic
forces ahead of us, Atkinson concluded. We have the opportunity to make the
next decade one of the most productive ever, not just for higher education but for
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