Napolitano lays out ambitious agenda for UC
03 November 2013
Image: Lea Suzuki/The Chronicle
New University of California President Janet Napolitano has announced early steps to increase support for undocumented students, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students in her first major speech as UC President, "Teach for California, Research for the World."
“I believe my selection was, in good measure, a result of my experience running large, complex institutions such as Homeland Security, the third-largest department of the federal government, and the state government of Arizona,” Napolitano said of her nontraditional background in law and public service.
Her first objective as president was to address the budget, “the most direct road map to what truly matters to an organization,” to find opportunity for new priorities or initiatives, Napolitano said. Napolitano instigated a top-to-bottom efficiency review of the UC Office of the President before setting out listen and learn by visiting UC campuses, including Merced, San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Cruz, Davis, Irvine, the Lawrence Berkeley lab and Riverside, with upcoming visits to San Francisco, Santa Barbara and Berkeley.
Napolitano has allocated $5 million in resources for undocumented students, including trained advisers, student service centers and financial aid, to allow the maximum number of qualified Californians access to higher education. Napolitano has testified before Congress in support of the Dream Act and comprehensive immigration reform, and instituted the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals plan when the Dream Act failed.
“Most of California's K-12 students are from diverse, underrepresented groups; many are the children of immigrants… They represent the future of UC, and of California,” Napolitano said. “They deserve the opportunity to thrive at UC.”
Napolitano plans to increase university support for postdoctoral fellows and graduate students, and has announced a $5 million increase in the President’s Fellowship Program for Postdoctoral Fellows. She has allocated an additional $5 million to recruit graduate students to UC campuses.
“To teach for California, and research for the world, UC must thrive as a public enterprise. California and the university that proudly shares its name can lead the way to a society that is more prosperous, more enlightened, different in many ways than what was in the past, but not in its essence,” Napolitano said.