My May newsletter

May 29, 2015

Dear friends and colleagues,

I am very pleased to begin this month’s newsletter with some good news regarding UC’s budget.

As you know, for the past several months Governor Brown and I have been engaged in a serious dialogue about the future of the University of California, and by extension the future of California. The conversations have been rigorous, and at times spirited. In the end, we reached an agreement on a funding framework that recognizes the State’s need to reinvest in UC as well as the imperative to provide students, their families, and the University with a reliable way to budget for the cost of a UC education.

The agreement provides UC with significant new revenue and stable funding that allows us to hold resident tuition at its current level for the next two years, with predictable tuition increases pegged generally to the rate of inflation beginning in 2017–18.

The Governor and I also agreed to expand a series of programmatic innovations already underway or under development on UC campuses to help campuses improve student success and use resources as efficiently as possible.

I want to thank those of you who have helped advocate for increased State funding for UC. Your voices have been instrumental in helping to bring about this historic agreement, and I sincerely appreciate your efforts.

However, our work is not done and we need your continued help.

While this agreement provides UC fiscal stability and much-needed revenue, it does not fund California student enrollment growth. UC must be able to grow our enrollment if we are to keep our promise to the thousands of deserving future California students who want to attend UC. Our plan is to increase enrollment by nearly 10,000 California students over the next four years, provided we get $50 million in additional, permanent state funding in 2015–16 and again in 2016–17.

The Governor’s budget proposal, including the UC framework agreement, now moves to the Legislature where legislative leaders will confer about it and finalize the State budget over the next several weeks. It is imperative they hear from as many people as possible about the importance of keeping UC accessible to future generations of students.

Thus, I once again ask that you contact the legislative leaders and members of the conference committee listed below and urge them to support additional funding for increased enrollment of California students at UC. Since we only have a few weeks before the budget is finalized, I ask that you act quickly. We encourage you to use your personal email account and address for greatest effect. Thank you in advance for your continued partnership.

On other fronts, I was honored to be invited by LinkedIn to publish a series of short articles, sharing with the LinkedIn community my perspectives on a variety of topics such as the value of public higher education, leadership, and workforce challenges. Other authors include Virgin Group Founder Richard Branson, Microsoft Co-Founder Bill Gates, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, author Deepak Chopra, and The Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin.

My first article focuses on the topic of women and leadership, and interested LinkedIn members can read my future posts by following me here. Take a look when you have a minute.

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