In remarks opening the regents' two-day meeting at UC Riverside, Lansing said the regents will meet in Sacramento May 16 and 17. She said the rally at the state Capitol is intended to spotlight the adverse effects that cuts in state funding have had on the university and to build public support for re-investment in higher education.
"The truth is, this university was founded by and for the people of California. Unless our elected representatives start funding us at a realistic level, UC's ability to serve the state and its citizens will be at serious risk," Lansing said. "UC is the best investment in California's economic future that our state leaders can make. It's up to all of us to remind them of that."
The May event is just one of numerous advocacy actions that regents, senior leaders and the university's supporters have taken to remind the public and lawmakers about all the ways that UC benefits California, its people and the state's long-term economic health.
State lawmakers slashed UC's budget by $750 million this year, a cut of roughly 25 percent from the previous year. In response, UC made significant program cuts, raised student fees, enacted administrative efficiencies and launched efforts to find new revenue sources.
UC's budget crisis, however, cannot be solved without a return to predictable, stable state support, university leaders say.
Lansing, who has been meeting with students at UC campuses, hopes to secure their participation in the Sacramento event. Since December, she has met with student groups at UCLA and UC San Diego, and is meeting this week with students at UC Riverside. UC Berkeley is next, and she expects eventually to meet with students at every UC location.
"One thing I'm convinced of is that we all want the same things for UC, whether you're a student, a parent, a faculty or staff member, an alumnus or a regent. We all want high-quality and accessible academic programs; modern libraries and research facilities; safe and inviting campuses; good student services — and affordable tuition."