My April newsletter

April 30, 2015

Dear friends and colleagues — happy spring! I hope you’re enjoying all the gorgeous blooms and longer days.

I want to begin this month’s newsletter by talking about our ongoing budget negotiations with the State, and how you can help us secure full funding for UC.

As you’ve probably read, 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.

Given the increased revenues available, the Governor and the Legislature have an opportunity 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.

The additional support we are seeking would allow us to keep tuition flat for the next year and admit thousands more California undergraduates. It would allow us to continue our robust financial aid programs, which are key to keeping UC accessible. And it would allow us to invest in our faculty — the beating heart of any quality university. That means increased course selection, faster times to graduation for our undergraduates, and better support for graduate education. In a state with a $113 billion budget and improving revenues, it is difficult to believe that more funding is not available for UC.

For our part, we are working hard to reduce and control costs. Through systemwide efficiency programs we recouped more than $650 million in savings and efficiencies. We consolidated and streamlined our operations. We proposed to keep staffing levels flat for the next five years. And we’re still at it. My pledge is that every dollar that can be saved must be saved — and will be saved. But as I’ve said in previous newsletters, UC cannot cut its way to continued excellence. The State must do its part, and reinvest in public higher education.

Next month Gov. Brown will release his revised proposed budget for the coming fiscal year. It is imperative we make sure our elected leaders fully understand the contributions UC has made to California and 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.

I also want to tell you about a couple of new publications that I think you may be interested in.

The first is Fiat Lux, a new weekly digest of top news and discoveries from across the UC system. I don't have to tell you that UC is an amazing place. Our research has spawned countless industries and propelled California’s economic and intellectual vitality, our medical science and patient care is renowned the world over, and every year we graduate students who represent the next generation of leaders. Arguably, no single institution does so much for so many. It can be hard to keep up with it all, but Fiat Lux makes it easy. You can sign up to have it delivered to your inbox each week by going to universityofcalifornia.edu/subscribe.

We’ve also launched the UC Food Observer, a new blog that offers a daily selection of news on food policy, nutrition, agriculture and more as part of our UC Global Food Initiative. The Food Observer highlights important issues and discussions on how to sustainably and nutritiously feed the world. It also features original UC content, including essays and a signature Q&A series with thought leaders in food and agriculture.

I’m excited about both of these new e-publications and I invite you to check them out.

Thanks for reading. If you’d like to share an idea or comment, feel free to email me at janet@ucop.edu. And please pass this note on to friends and colleagues you think might be interested. If they like it, encourage them to sign up for future newsletters.

Yours very truly,

Janet Napolitano
President