Public commitment. It's what the University of California delivers each and every day via dedication to an idea: teach for California, research for the world.
The following provides a description of each UC Presidential Initiative including how it furthers the mission of the university.
Leading on Climate
University of California, a national leader in sustainability, pledged to become carbon neutral by 2025, becoming the first major university to do so.
Global climate disruption is impacting the planet in ways never experienced in human history. Warmer temperatures are contributing to changing weather patterns that cause more intense storms and heavier rainfall in some places, while elsewhere drought is parching the land. Glaciers are melting at an accelerated rate and oceans are rising.
The overwhelming scientific consensus is that climate change is being driven by the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, primarily from the burning of fossil fuels.
The University of California has responded to this growing environmental crisis with direct action aimed at ending its reliance on fossil fuels.
UC launched the Carbon Neutrality Initiative in 2013, which commits UC to emitting net zero greenhouse gases from its buildings and vehicle fleet by 2025, something no other major university system has done. UC is pursuing fossil-free operations by building upon UC’s pioneering work on climate and sustainability across its operations, research, education, investments, and public service.
Global Food Initiative
The Global Food Initiative (GFI) was launched in 2014 to address how to sustainably and nutritiously feed a world population expected to reach 8 billion by 2025. By working to increase food access and security among communities across the ten UC campuses, this initiative furthers the public service component of the University’s mission. This initiative also furthers the University’s mission to provide instruction by giving undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to study issues such as food security and food waste through the GFI Fellowship Program. A community garden project also enables this initiative to provide instruction to elementary school students about ecology and nutrition. Additionally, by conducting systemwide studies about UC student food access and security through the Healthy Campus Network, and by providing development-oriented graduate students from multiple UC campuses the opportunity to engage in planning and implementing projects related to international food systems and agriculture, this initiative furthers the research component of UC’s mission.
Presidential Public Service Fellowship
The Presidential Public Service Fellowship launched in FY15-16. This need-based fellowship annually supports up to three students per undergraduate campus, or 27 students in all, to participate in internships through the UC Washington Center (UCDC) and UC Center Sacramento (UCCS), gaining firsthand exposure to the American political process and attaining valuable work experience. Fellows receive $1,000 in financial support to defray costs (including incidental expenses such as travel and the cost of appropriate business attire) of enrollment at UCDC or UCCS. Fellows apply and are selected based on financial need and a demonstrated commitment to civic engagement and service for the public good. This initiative advances UC’s instruction and public service mission components.
Public Service Law Fellowships
The Public Service Law Fellowship launched in FY16-17 to support both summer and post-graduate fellowships at all four UC law schools for students pursuing opportunities in public service. Post-graduate fellowships provide up to $45,000 for graduates entering public service plus an additional $2,500 to help defray bar-related costs. Summer fellowships provide approximately $4,000 to subsidize summer public interest law jobs. The annual UC National Public Service Law Conference is held to showcase important legal scholarship and practice and contribute to the national conversation on public interest law. By making post-graduate work and summer positions accessible for students who want to pursue public service legal careers, this initiative furthers the instruction and public service components of UC’smission.
UC National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement
The UC system and the Free Speech Movement have long been synonymous. As an extension of this great legacy, President Napolitano launched the UC National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement in FY17-18 to further the public service mission of the University. The Center is housed at UC Irvine and at UCDC, the Washington D.C. location of the University of California. It serves as a national leader and resource on issues including how simultaneously to encourage robust inquiry and dialogue while safeguarding other institutional values such as equity and inclusivity. Through its programming, publications and preeminent fellows, the Center is blazing a trail to prominence as it researches how the fundamental democratic and academic principles of free speech and civic engagement enrich the discovery and transmission of knowledge in America’s colleges and universities.