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.
President Napolitano has launched a series of initiatives meant to reinforce this mission and our commitment to honoring UC's historic social contract.
Carbon Neutrality Initiative
The Carbon Neutrality Initiative (CNI) launched in 2013, committing UC to emit net zero greenhouse gases from its buildings and vehicle fleet by 2025. All 10 UC campuses, the UC Office of the President, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory participate in programs to improve energy efficiency, develop new sources of renewable energy and enact a range of strategies to cut carbon emissions. A Global Climate Leadership Council, comprised of external experts and UC scientists, administrators and students, provides guidance in seeking out best practices, policies and technology to achieve carbon neutrality and to advance teaching/research in climate change and sustainability. Funded projects include Student Fellowship Program, Faculty Curriculum Workshops, and the Climate Knowledge-Action Network in association with CSU.
Cuba Faculty Matching Funds
Cuba Faculty Matching Funds was funded by UCOP as a Multi-Campus Research Program for three years between 2006 and 2008. Normalization of US–Cuba diplomatic relations in 2015 prompted UC to explore how it might expand its relationship with Cuban scholars. UCOP now provides funding, matched by the host UC campus, for one visiting scholar from Cuba each year.
Global Food Initiative
The Global Food Initiative (GFI) launched in 2014 to address the issue of feeding a world population expected to reach 8 billion by 2025. GFI builds on existing efforts and creates new collaborations among UC’s 10 campuses, UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. A semi-annual competitive proposal process allocates funds to the campuses for GFI-related research and other activities such as food security on campuses, the Healthy Campus Network and projects designed and led by GFI faculty, staff and/or student fellows. GFI working groups also identify best practices and develop the toolkits to implement them. Once successfully deployed systemwide at UC, these can be offered to other educational institutions, related entities (such as PTA or DSS) and communities nationwide.
Public Service Law Fellowships
The Public Service Law Fellowships is an initiative that launched in April 2016, with an initial funding term of four years. Unique among the nation’s law schools, this initiative awards annual fellowships to promising law school students at the Berkeley, Davis, UCLA and Irvine campuses. The funding makes post-graduate work and summer positions more accessible for students who want to pursue public service legal careers but might otherwise — out of financial need — seek private sector jobs.
Smoke and Tobacco Free Student Fellowships
UC Smoke- and Tobacco-Free Student Fellowships support UC's commitment to a smoke- and tobacco-free environment and to developing research and policy solutions for the evolving "smoking" landscape. These awards help foster the next generation of leaders to reduce the harms and social costs from the use of tobacco products worldwide and enable UC to be a leader among university systems in maintaining smoke- and tobacco-free environments. This year, 19 applications were received and 10 were approved for funding. The supported students conducted a diverse set of projects aimed at advancing smoke- and tobacco-free policies throughout UC.
Student Public Service Fellowships
The Presidential Public Service Fellowship program is an initiative that 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 $2,500 in financial support to defray costs of enrollment at UCDC or UCCS. Fellows are selected based on financial need and a demonstrated commitment to civic engagement and service for the public good.
The UC–Mexico Initiative provides an overarching, strategic framework for UC's partnerships with Mexico, including academic exchange, education/outreach efforts and research collaboration in areas of critical interest to California and Mexico. It serves numerous stakeholders in such areas as education, health, energy, environment, immigration and the humanities and arts. Examples of impacts are:
- Students We Share, addressing issues related to the 500,000 students who annually criss-cross our border, has resulted in governmental action in both California and Mexico.
- The first-ever national (Mexican) database on diabetes provides a tool for prevention.
UC National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement
Launched in October 2017, the UC National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement will be housed at UCDC, the UC's Washington, D.C. location. The Center brings together people of different backgrounds, experiences and views from across the country to apply the best legal, social science, journalistic and other research, along with real world experience, to inform free speech and civic engagement policies on campuses, in state legislatures and in Washington D.C.
The Center's advisory board, co-chaired by Chancellor Howard Gillman and UC Berkeley School of Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, has announced its inaugural class of fellows — scholars, students and analysts who will spend a year researching timely, vital First Amendment issues. Each will reside for a week at one of the 10 UC campuses to engage with students, faculty, administrators and community members.
Undocumented Students Initiative
Launched in 2013, the Undocumented Students Initiative provides campuses with funding to address undocumented students’ unique needs through a range of support services, including academic and personal counseling, financial aid and legal advising. In 2016 the university made a multi-year commitment to expand the program in three key areas:
- The California DREAM Loan Program
- Establishment of student services staff coordinators, targeted undergraduate and graduate fellowships, and other financial support.
- Expansion of legal services through UC’s Undocumented Legal Services Center at the UC Davis School of Law.
This program serves students at eight UC campuses, providing free access to an attorney, consultation on legal rights and protections, and assistance filing for applicable state and federal programs.