University of California Board of Regents Chairman Russell S. Gould today (July 16) launched a commission that will shape a far-reaching vision to ensure excellence and access to UC in the future while addressing acute financial challenges resulting from the state's fiscal woes.
Gould and UC President Mark G. Yudof will co-chair the Commission on the Future of UC, created in conjunction with Board of Regents actions approving a plan to offset an anticipated $813 million reduction in support from the state general fund.
"We need to act now to ensure that, through the state's budget crisis and long-term pattern of disinvestment, we don't sacrifice one shred of quality of this university system," Gould said. "We can do this. We are the very same people who create knowledge and innovation, and we intend to apply the same ingenuity and determination to shaping the future of this university."
"A critical focus of the commission, in addition to preserving the excellence of UC while facing the economic realities, will be to find ways to maintain and even expand our substantial contributions to California's economy and cultural life. UC is the model upon which all other public university systems are built. It's worth fighting for, and this commission will help craft our battle plan."
The commission will use working groups to reach out to the entire UC community and an array of experts inside and outside the system - including California State University and the state's community colleges - to re-examine key questions, including:
• How can UC best meet the needs of California and at the same time maintain access, quality and affordability in a time of diminishing resources?
• What educational delivery models will both maintain quality and improve efficiency for the university's future?
• What is the appropriate size and shape of the university going forward?
• How can traditional and alternative revenue streams be maximized in support of UC's mission?
"We need to turn a focused eye on the way we deliver our services, on where we are and where we are going as a system," Yudof said. "We have delivered on our pledge to provide access, opportunity and affordability for 140 years. I refuse to renege on that pledge."
Among those appointed to serve on the commission are: UC Regents Jesse Bernal, Sherry Lansing, Monica Lozano and Yolanda Nunn Gorman; Student Regent-designate Jesse Cheng; UCLA Chancellor Gene Block; UC Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake; UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry Yang; UC Berkeley School of Law Dean Chris Edley; Academic Senate Chair Mary Croughan; Academic Senate Vice Chair Henry Powell; UC Regents staff advisor Edward Abeyta; Warren Hellman, an alumnus of UC Berkeley; California Chamber of Commerce President Allan Zaremberg; and Art Pulaski, executive secretary-treasurer of the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO. Ex officio members from the UC Office of the President are Provost Larry Pitts, Executive Vice President Katie Lapp and Executive Vice President Peter Taylor.
Chairman Gould has asked the commission to provide its recommendations early next year. Some recommendations may be developed earlier, with more complex issues being addressed later.
Read letter from Chairman Gould at www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/documents/commissiononthefuture.pdf
For updates on UC's budget challenges, visit www.universityofcalifornia.edu/budget
For more news and information about the University of California, please visit: www.universityofcalifornia.edu