A holiday message from President Yudof

To: UCSC Staff and Faculty

From: Mark G. Yudof, President University of California

With the year coming to a close, I want to take this opportunity to wish you happy holidays and to thank each of you for your hard work and unwavering dedication to the University of California.

Without you, none of what we do every day at our campuses and medical centers would be possible.

Every year, we educate 230,000 students at our campuses, nurturing some of the brightest young minds in our state. Our medical centers heal thousands and serve as a vital safety net for the uninsured and underinsured. Our researchers drive innovation, from developing new treatments for brain cancer to building a smarter, greener electric grid to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

That kind of commitment to the public good and pioneering ingenuity is something we can all be proud of.

To be sure, we had some significant challenges this year. We continued to grapple with how to preserve UC’s access, affordability and excellence against a backdrop of constrained state funding and rising health care and other costs. Demand for a UC education continued to climb — both a testament to UC’s quality and value and a challenge to our commitment to serve California.

In one of the bright spots this year, Californians demonstrated the value they place on public higher education and their faith in this University by approving Proposition 30, helping to avert a $250 million mid-year state budget cut that would have meant double-digit tuition increases. At the same time, we know Prop. 30 is both a partial and temporary solution. We must continue to explore other ideas to protect the quality and financial future of the University, and I remain committed to doing just that.

Already one of our newer initiatives, Project You Can, has raised $501 million for student scholarships and fellowships and is on track to hit its $1 billion target by 2014. And the Working Smarter initiative has produced more than $289 million in administrative efficiencies in its first two years, as part of a goal to achieve a positive fiscal impact of $500 million over five years.

Despite the difficult economic backdrop, you, our faculty and staff, continue to do tremendous work and make life-changing discoveries. Your commitment to improving our communities inspires me every day and makes me proud to work beside you.

Thank you for all you do for the University, and best wishes for a happy holiday season.

With best wishes I am, sincerely yours,

Mark G. Yudof
University of California