My December newsletter

December 17, 2014

Dear friends and colleagues,

This month marks the end of my first full calendar year as President of the University of California and I wanted to take some time to reflect on a busy 2014, and to look ahead to what I anticipate will be a successful and productive 2015.

From leading the U.S. delegation to the Sochi Winter Olympics to taking in the breathtaking view from the top of Yosemite’s Sentinel Dome, it’s been a year of new experiences. I’ve been fortunate to meet so many smart, enterprising and creative members of the UC community and to serve as this great public university’s No. 1 advocate around the state and the nation.

On my visits to UC’s campuses, its labs and other locations, I’ve marveled at the intelligence of our students, the commitment of our faculty and the dedication of our staff. I’ve been inspired by the continued engagement of so many of our alumni, retirees and emeriti faculty.

The allegiance of all these different people to UC is, for me, clear evidence of the vital bond between the University and the state. That bond, which is supported by UC’s dedication to its core missions of teaching, research and public service, is what makes the University such a powerful force for social mobility and economic growth in California and beyond. Working to strengthen that connection and to further the University’s missions is what makes my job so challenging and also so rewarding.

It’s been a year of exciting opportunities, too. We’ve launched several initiatives to further the University’s important work. The UC Global Food Initiative, which aims to put the world on a path to feed itself in sustainable and nutritious ways, the UC-Mexico Initiative, and our plan to make UC carbon neutral by 2025 are three. We’ve taken steps to support veterans and undocumented students across UC and we’ve made strides in creating a simpler and clearer path to UC for Community College students who want to transfer.

The UC Regents approved a five-year funding stability plan that includes, among other steps, modest and predictable tuition increases that will help preserve the University’s excellence and ensure affordability and access to the state’s growing and diverse student body. I believe that plan, along with other steps we are committed to such as finding cost savings and new sources of revenue, will put the University on a path to financial stability in the years ahead.

In short, it’s been a very busy year. We’ve accomplished a lot and, while there’s still a great deal of work to be done, I’m proud of the entire UC community for its hard work and achievements in 2014.

Looking ahead to 2015, I’ll remain focused on working with the Governor and other leaders in Sacramento on a plan for financial support for UC. It promises to be challenging, but I’m confident we’ll find a way forward. One thing I’ve learned since I took this job is that Californians love UC and want the best for it. California would not be the great state it is without public higher education, and generations of Californians have benefited from the opportunities our colleges and universities provide.

We’ll move forward with the initiatives we started in 2014 and keep doing everything we can to be sure transfer applicants from all 112 community colleges get the counseling and advice they need from the very start of their higher education.

In closing, I’d like to wish you and your loved ones a happy holiday season and a safe, successful and productive New Year.

Thanks for reading. I’ve really enjoyed our correspondence this year. 

Please feel free to send a comment or idea to me at janet@ucop.edu. If you know anyone who might find this newsletter interesting, please feel free to share it and encourage them to sign up for future newsletters.

Yours very truly,

Janet Napolitano
President