My November newsletter

December 1, 2017

Dear colleagues and friends,

Few things make me more optimistic about our future than spending time with the smart and driven high school and community college students in our own state.

Over the past month, I visited with more than 400 students at Moreno Valley College, Cabrillo College, Santa Rosa Junior College and Windsor High School. The message: UC’s doors are wide open to California students.

We’re expanding access to the university and are on track to enroll an additional 10,000 Californians by 2018–2019. About 27 percent of UC students transfer to our campuses from a community college, a figure I’m committed to growing. These visits allow students to hear directly from UC leaders and students about the value of a UC education and what it’s like to be a student at one of our campuses.

We are also working hard to ensure UC remains accessible to graduate students, and that they have the support they deserve when they get here.

Federal tax proposals would devastate graduate students

A repeal of long-established, critical tax benefits — from tuition waivers to student loan debt relief — in the federal tax proposals moving through Congress threatens the affordability and accessibility of higher education for many graduate students and families in California and beyond. Graduate students are vital to the UC community and society at large: They further groundbreaking research that solves everyday problems, mentor the next generation of students and researchers and contribute to our economy. They need and deserve congressional support — not a tax hike. I invite you to join the UC Advocacy Network and lend your voice to our efforts to protect graduate students.

Opportunities to get involved

In addition to joining the UC Advocacy Network, there are other opportunities for students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of UC to get involved, including:

  • Our Presidential Public Service Fellowship Program offers UC students internship opportunities with lawmakers, think tanks and other organizations, giving them valuable skills and experience in the public sector.
  • UC’s new National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement is seeking legal scholars, journalists, social scientists and others for its one-year fellowship program.
  • UC students can apply for a seat on our new Student Advisory Board, which will advise the Systemwide Title IX Office and provide valuable input on our ongoing efforts to more effectively prevent and respond to sexual violence.
  • UC alumni are invited to submit videos to our “I am a UC Entrepreneur” campaign. Five alumni will receive coaching from a corporate mentor and pitch their startup to more than 600 business leaders and venture capitalists.

Fighting climate change in class

UC’s pioneering climate research has put us on the forefront of the fight against global warming. Now, there’s a new way for students to join the fight as well. Six UC campuses will soon offer a new course called “Bending the Curve: Climate Change Solutions” focusing on creating scalable solutions to climate change.

Holding ourselves accountable

You may have seen news reports about the Board of Regents’ fact-finding review of the survey process that was part of the State audit of the Office of the President’s budget. You can read the Regents’ review here and my response here, but the bottom line is this: I take full responsibility for how this matter was handled and I have already put measures in place to address the issues referenced in the report. UC is the greatest public research university in the world, and we are committed to supporting and advancing the State of California in any way we can. I am deeply honored to lead this institution, and I will do everything I can to make sure UC serves California well.

If you’d like to share an idea or comment, you can email me at janet@ucop.edu. Feel free to share this letter with friends and colleagues and invite them to sign up for future newsletters if they’d like.

Yours truly,

Janet Napolitano