University of California President Janet Napolitano issued a statement today (Feb. 21) following her invitation to UC’s Graduate and Professional Council to meet and discuss graduate academic and professional students’ concerns:

The University of California values the important work of our graduate students, who are essential to UC’s tripartite teaching, research and public service mission as a world-renowned university. UC’s graduate students are at the heart of the university community and yet face distinctive challenges that we can only solve by working collaboratively.

In the interest of pursuing a productive, meaningful dialogue about our shared concerns, I have invited leaders of the UC Graduate and Professional Council to join me for a meeting to discuss issues of importance and impact to graduate students, including cost of living, housing, mental health, training and mentoring, career placement, and childcare, among others.

UC believes progress on complex problems can only be achieved when we work together and engage in thoughtful discussion followed by a concerted plan of action. To that end, I look forward to listening to perspectives from the UCGPC, working to find solutions and moving forward toward the shared aims of ensuring the continued well-being and success of our graduate students systemwide.