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.

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 – something no other major university system has done. This initiative advances the public service component of the University’s mission by helping both California and the world to curb the forces that are driving global warming. This initiative also furthers the University’s mission to provide instruction by giving undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to study issues and fund student-generated projects that support the UC system’s carbon neutrality goal through its Carbon Neutrality Student Fellowship Program. By bringing together a Global Climate Leadership Council to advance both teaching and research about climate change and sustainable business practices, this initiative also furthers the instruction and research components of the University’s mission.

Learn more about the Carbon Neutrality Initiative 

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.

Learn more about the Global Food Initiative

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.

Learn more about the Public Service Law Fellowships

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.