July 1, 2009
I understand many people are feeling anxious since there is so much economic uncertainty and the University of California is proposing budget reductions. This is a difficult time on our campus, in the UC system, and for people all over the state, country and world. That’s why it’s more important than ever that we keep the lines of communication open.
UC Proposes Budget Reductions
I thank everyone who turned out for our campus Town Hall meetings to discuss the budget reduction proposals being weighed by the University of California to be presented the Board of Regents this month. I realize no one wants to take a pay cut and I understand this will create hardship for many. I want you to know that I hear your concerns, and I continue to read your emails and pass along your messages to the UC leadership. I also encourage you to visit our Budget Line Web site here to read more about UC’s budget reduction proposals, to view the recent Town Hall videos, and to learn more about how the economic challenges will affect the university and you.
I also want to thank our faculty, staff and students for being a part of this great university. I know that you are the reason UC San Diego is a world-class university, known for academic excellence. The quality of work, study and research that occurs on this campus is unparalleled, and we are determined to maintain our quality and uphold our mission of higher education, research and public service. I am grateful for your support, loyalty and patience as we deal with one of the worst financial crises in our history. As we’ve had to eliminate services and programs, and enact hiring freezes, many of you have taken on more work, and I appreciate that. It’s important that we work together to ensure that UC San Diego remains one of the world’s premier higher education institutions.
Public Higher Education and Students Need Support
While faculty and staff face potential furloughs and/or salary reductions, our newest graduates are also facing a tough and competitive job market. Last month, more than 6,000 UC San Diego students transitioned to alumni. At the All Campus Graduation Celebration, keynote speaker and alumnus Mike Judge advised graduates to follow their passion. He said tough economic times have inspired people to do great things, to be innovative. So he suggested that one way to success is to find out what people need or want or are willing to pay for, and pursue it. I think that’s good advice. And if your passion happens to be in casual game development, data mining, geriatric healthcare, or occupational health and safety, you’re in luck. These are among the top 10 hottest career options for college graduates in this recession, according to a study conducted by UCSD Extension. To read more about the top careers, click here.
In an effort to help our students and public higher education in general, I joined San Diego State University President Stephen Weber, California State University San Marcos President Karen Haynes and San Diego Community College District Chancellor Constance Carroll in writing an op-ed piece urging the governor and the Legislature to invest in our universities so we can help stimulate California’s economic recovery. Universities train tomorrow’s skilled leaders, and university innovation leads to new jobs, new industries and new products. In the op-ed, we emphasized that there has been a steady decline in state funding for years, and that is eroding our economic potential in the San Diego region. To read the op-ed piece in its entirety, click here.
New UC Regent Hails from Encinitas
We’re pleased that one of the newly appointed University of California Regents, Charlene Zettel, is a local from Encinitas. She is currently the only Regent from San Diego County. Regent Zettel has an impressive background as a political and community leader. She’s served on the Poway Unified School District Board, the California State Assembly, and she’s also been a candidate for the State Senate. In 2004, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Zettel as the Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs and to the San Diego Regional Airport Authority in 2007. As a governor-appointed UC Regent, Zettel will serve a 12-year term that expires March 1, 2021. Since her appointment, Regent Zettel has already participated in UC San Diego events and we look forward to her future visits to campus.
As I wrap up, let us remember, despite the dismal economic climate, UC San Diego is an amazing place to learn and work. We’re fortunate to have the best and brightest people here, where life-changing innovation and advancement occur daily, not to mention our campus has a stellar location in Southern California. I’ve heard it said that a bad day in San Diego is better than a good day in most other locales. Together, we will weather both the good and the bad days, and I thank you for your patience and hard work.
With warm regards,
Marye Anne Fox