This newsletter is available on the web at www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/newsletter/issue10.html.
Dear UC Colleague:
Two changes: First, I am expanding the scope of this newsletter. It will still include budget news, as I know that is a topic on everyone's minds. But it also will feature news on other topics of major interest throughout the UC system.
Second, I have unveiled a new section on my web site called Dynes' Desk, and this newsletter will be linked to it. Dynes' Desk, modeled on a similar initiative I began at UC San Diego, is a way for anyone inside or outside the UC community to email me a comment, idea, or perspective on any topic important to them. I'm not able to respond personally in most cases, but I do read all the emails – and in each edition of “Our University,” I will address subjects of broad University concern and answer a couple of frequently asked questions from the emails I receive.
Because I know that not all University employees have access to a computer, I would ask that managers and supervisors print out and post copies of this newsletter as appropriate.I know this is a time of uncertainty for many people in the UC community, given the continuing threat of state budget cuts. I am working hard to spread the word throughout the state – and at the state Capitol particularly – that the University of California's teaching, research, and public service have an extraordinary impact on the economy and quality of life in California, and that state support is absolutely vital to preserving that impact. Thank you for all you do to create that impact in the first place, and please keep up the terrific work.
Regents hear report on UC's impact
At their Nov. 19-20 meeting, the UC Regents heard a report on how broadly and deeply the University of California affects the economy and quality of life in California. The report highlighted the California jobs dependent on UC, the new companies and industries that have sprung from UC research and alumni, and the deep impact the University has on key economic sectors ranging from agriculture to biotechnology. The report also chronicles UC's many contributions to health care and to the culture of California. For a look at the full report, click here.
Dynes begins statewide inaugural tour
In lieu of a traditional inauguration ceremony, President Dynes is visiting the UC campuses – as well as regions of California without a UC campus – to talk with members and friends of the UC community face-to-face. Each visit includes interactions with students, faculty, staff, alumni, local businesspeople, elected representatives, the media, and other groups. Visits to UC Riverside, UCLA, and the UC Merced region have already occurred.
As part of the UCLA visit, President Dynes participated in a UC-sponsored forum on the state budget, bringing together leading thinkers from around the state to focus on the nature of the state's fiscal challenge and possible solutions. PowerPoint presentations from the budget forum are available here.
Laboratory management revamped
UC has strengthened its management of the Lawrence Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore, and Los Alamos national laboratories through a series of internal management changes as well as the establishment of a new governance board, the National Security Laboratories Board of Directors. Additional information about the strengthened management actions is available here and here.
Admissions study group begins work
President Dynes has asked a group of Regents, faculty, students, and administrators to review a series of eligibility and admissions issues facing the University in the coming years. In addition to UC facing unprecedented challenges brought on by budget cuts and a burgeoning student population, its admissions policies recently have been the subject of considerable analysis by Regents' Chairman John J. Moores.
President Dynes instructed the study group to keep in mind “the historic tradition of shared governance in which admissions is the prerogative of the faculty” and noted that comprehensive review – the system in which UC-eligible applicants are assessed for campus selection on a full range of academic and personal accomplishments – will remain the University's policy. More information about the study group is available here.
Clark Kerr, leader in American higher education, dies
President Emeritus Clark Kerr, a national leader in higher education and driving force behind the California Master Plan for Higher Education, died Dec. 1 at the age of 92. His impact on higher education can hardly be overstated. “Every student and every campus leader alive today owes Clark Kerr a great debt of gratitude – for it was his vision and his bold determination that helped create the modern university, and the idea that students from all walks of life should have access to college,” commented David Ward, president of the American Council on Education. Much more on Dr. Kerr's life is available here.
Schwarzenegger Administration proposes mid-year cuts
To begin coping with the State of California's budget gap, the Schwarzenegger Administration on Nov. 25 proposed a series of mid-year budget cuts, including several affecting UC. State legislators are not expected to act on the proposal until after the holidays. The proposed cuts for UC include:
These cuts come on top of major budget cuts at UC over the last three years. Those cuts have hit every area of University operations, resulting in service reductions, losses of employee positions, significant student fee increases, and an inability to pay employee cost-of-living increases. Since 2001-02, the University has sustained $424 million in base budget cuts, offset another $230 million in cuts with student fee increases, and failed to receive salary and other cost increase funding totaling $424 million.
President Dynes issued the following public statement about the proposed mid-year cuts:
“California is facing a major budget challenge, and as a result, pain and sacrifice will have to be spread widely across the state. We at the University of California recognize that we need to play a role in the state's solution to its budget gap.
“At the same time, it is important for all to recognize that every additional budget cut to the University of California is a painful cut. We already have taken deep cuts in previous budgets, leaving us with a 14% decrease in state funding while our enrollments have increased 18%. Our ability to preserve this institution's world-class quality and continue making a major contribution to California's economy will be compromised by these growing budget cuts.
“I am particularly concerned by the proposal to eliminate state funding for UC outreach programs to the public schools in California. Improving student achievement throughout the public schools remains a major challenge facing our state, and UC outreach programs are making an important contribution to the effort. Part of our mission as an educational leader in California is to help integrate educational efforts across the K-16 system, and our outreach programs have a proud legacy of doing so. I hope to have further discussions in Sacramento about this issue, and about the overall support we need to maintain quality programs for the people of California.”The University also remains very concerned about state funding for UC faculty and staff salaries. Even though a dramatic turnaround in state salary funding in the near future is very unlikely given the size of the state budget deficit, UC will continue to make clear to state leaders that people are the core of the University's success and that appropriate compensation is critical to preserving institutional quality.
Dynes' Desk is a way for anyone to email a comment, idea, or suggestion to President Dynes. While he is not able to respond personally in most instances, President Dynes does read each email submitted. In each edition of “Our University,” he will respond to a couple of Dynes' Desk emails addressing issues of broad interest to the UC community.
To submit an email to Dynes' Desk, visit www.universityofcalifornia.edu/president/desk.html. Below are President Dynes' responses to a couple of recent submissions.
Email: Severe cuts to UC outreach proposed by the governor pose grave risk to children, families, the UC system, the state economy, and society. Outreach is far more than simple recruitment, but utilizes high-quality UC research to bring greater diversity and equity to our K-16 public education in California. Please oppose the cuts!
Bob Dynes: I do. These are programs that help improve educational attainment in the public schools and that help bring the dream of college within reach of thousands of California students. I intend to work with the governor and his staff to clarify what these programs do and why they are important for California. I also think it's important for UC to continue its efforts to develop new, regionally focused outreach collaborations around the state. We can't do the work of outreach alone. We need to work together with other educational partners in a truly integrated way to ensure that outreach has broad-based support and is able to draw on all the resources available out there – particularly in these tough budget times. You may be interested to read a recent letter, available here, that I co-wrote with other California education leaders.
Email: The decision to not read applications for 1,500 California community college students this summer has somehow been misconstrued by the public that transfer is no longer a viable avenue to earn a UC degree. I have received several messages from high school parents regarding this. Please, when talking to groups about admissions, spread the word that transfer is not dead!
Bob Dynes: I agree! Transferring from the community colleges remains an excellent path to the University of California. In fact, closer cooperation among all three segments of public higher education in California – UC, CSU, and the community colleges – is going to be critical in this difficult budget period. I have begun discussions with the leaders of the other segments about how best we can work together to preserve the promise of accessibility for every California student seeking a college education. Transfer will remain an important part of that promise.
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