Dear UC Davis Students,
I know from those of you I spoke with on Friday and Saturday, and from the many students who shared their poignant stories at last week's regents' meeting, how deeply concerned you are about the recently approved increases in student fees. I understand the anxiety that higher fees are causing and the uncertainty you are feeling about your own and your families' futures. And I share your worry about the state's steady disinvestment in public higher education — a disinvestment that provides UC half as much inflation-adjusted funding today as in 1990, that cut this year's budget by an unprecedented 30 percent just this past May, and that puts at risk the Master Plan's promise of high quality, accessible and affordable higher education to all Californians.
You have every right to be upset and angry. Our faculty and staff do, too; they've been subjected to furloughs and layoffs, and some of them are also paying higher fees for their UC-enrolled children. Cuts to academic programs and to student services are concerns to us all.
But what we do with our energy and emotion is critical to the university's future. For all the measures in place to mitigate the fees' impact — including expanded financial aid and a $1 billion scholarship campaign — we must, together, aggressively remind the state of its responsibilities. We must work together and make our voices heard in Sacramento.
As I was returning from the regents meeting last Friday, I was glad to hear that many of you attended a forum at the ARC to learn more about the budget and to share your concerns, which were relayed to me. I was glad to hear, as well, that those of you who marched and those of you who chose to be arrested in support of your convictions were orderly and respectful in your protest and cooperative with law officers. I hope that the Yolo County District Attorney, who has sole responsibility for determining whether to file charges, will take that behavior into consideration when making his decision.
It's important that we stay informed and that we stay united. On Wednesday, AGTV ( http://www.facebook.com/aggietvfan ) will provide me with an opportunity to discuss the budget crisis and the events of last week. And next Monday, November 30, the fall-quarter Student Dialogue with the Chancellor will take place at 5:30 p.m. in the ARC Ballroom. I hope you'll join me and Provost Enrique Lavernia then for continued constructive dialogue.
Most importantly, I urge you to join me and our faculty, staff, alumni and parents in directing your voices to Sacramento. I hope you will join the ranks of the nearly 200,000 advocates who already have lent their support to UC. Please sign up on the "UC for California" Web site ( http://www.ucforca.org ) and write the governor in support of the $900 million restoration we're seeking from the state. We need your help with all kinds of advocacy efforts — e-mail campaigns, legislative lobbying, perhaps a march on Sacramento. If we speak with one voice in support of UC, we can best help preserve the University of California as an accessible and affordable public university of the highest quality.
Linda P.B. Katehi
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2009-11-23 09:51:10 I love how the regents and the Chancellor are trying to turn the students against the state so they can ask for $900,000,000 from a state that does not have any money. California cannot even sell bonds because people consider it to be high risk. —hankim
2009-11-23 10:39:57 UCLA students, and UCLA faculty, have been getting the same type of letters for quite a while as well. Woo, UC. —EdWins