I write to share with you some good news from Sacramento. Governor Schwarzenegger today proposed a dramatic change in the way higher education is funded, a plan that if adopted could give UC a secure financial footing for the future.
The governor is proposing a constitutional amendment that would rebalance the state's priorities — increasing the state's investment in public higher education while reducing its expenditure on corrections without resorting to the early release of prisoners. This proposal would need to be approved by the legislature before being submitted to the voters for ratification.
This is a bold and visionary plan. I commend the governor for recognizing that UC, as the world's premier public university, is an investment in California and its people that more than pays for itself.
Since its inception, the university has powered the knowledge economy, incubating and nurturing new ideas, new enterprises, and new minds. It has been a catalyst for growth and social advancement, one that other states and countries have sought to emulate.
The governor's proposal would help UC continue in that vital role by establishing a baseline for state funding that we can count on from year to year.
There are many steps before the governor's proposal could be enacted. For my part, I look forward to working with the governor and the legislature to see that the proposal reaches the ballot so that the people of California may have a voice in their own future. You can learn more about the governor's proposal at www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/22616.
More urgently, we are once again at the beginning of the state budget cycle and the university faces critical funding shortfalls that cannot wait. Over the coming weeks and months, I promise to keep you informed on our efforts to ensure that the legislature restores funding to UC and to let you know how you can help in that effort.
In the meantime, please join me in applauding the governor for his decisive leadership in support of higher education.
With best wishes, I am,
Mark G. Yudof