EXTERNAL RELATIONS | Advocacy Update
January –February 2010
The Advocacy Update was created to inform the various UC constituencies of advocacy activities throughout the course of the universityŐs 2010 campaign. This report encompasses activities in Sacramento and on the UC campuses, as well as statewide, regional, and local events. These activities are opportunities to advocate on behalf of UC and elevate the conversation about the importance of making funding for public higher education a priority for the State of California. Following is a summary of January and February advocacy activities, as well as a look into the near future.
UC Office of the President
UC President Mark Yudof continues to provide executive leadership on many advocacy fronts – meeting with influential groups and people across the state, making multiple trips to Sacramento to meet with legislators and members of the administration on both fiscal and policy issues, and championing outreach through many media vehicles including Facebook, Twitter, and UCforCalifornia.org. Note that the University of California won an award for its selection as one of the top 50 social media innovators in higher education: http://www.collegesurfing.com/content/web-20-colleges/. In the presentation of the award President Yudof was complimented as being fun to follow:
UC Student Association will March on Sacramento on March 1st. A rally, press conference, and legislative visits are planned activities for the day. UC is partnering with the UC Student Association (UCSA) in joint advocacy visits with the governor and legislative leadership in the state Senate and Assembly, including the chairs and vice chairs of the budget committees in both houses. A delegation of chancellors and Regents will join President Yudof and UCSA representatives for these meetings. The shared message will stress the importance of the Master Plan for Higher Education and the need to reaffirm our commitment to its core principles, the critical need for the state to reinvest in public higher education, and the importance of full state funding for the Cal Grant program.
Intersegmental Advocacy Day scheduled for April 27th. UC, the California State University, and the community colleges will make joint legislative visits in Sacramento in an effort to continue educating legislators and the governor about the importance and value of public higher education and the need to fund it appropriately in order to maximize the stateŐs return on investment. This event will reinforce and build upon many of the messages shared during the March 1st event with UCSA. Look for more details in the next issue of the Advocacy Update.
See President Yudof video on advocacy activities http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuCfWAWPObk
State of the State
On January 6th, an advocacy message was sent to approximately 160,000 UC Advocates regarding Governor SchwarzeneggerŐs State-of-the-State address. In this address the governor proposed a constitutional amendment that elevates the debate about how public higher education is funded.
On January 8th, Governor SchwarzeneggerŐs state budget proposal for 2010-11 was released. While this budget allocates $370 million to UC for 2010-11, it falls far short of what is needed to sustain the university. President YudofŐs video message on the budget is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdXq3VqCeNk. There were more than 16,000 views of this video in three days.
An advocacy message outlining UC budget priorities was sent to UC Advocates on January 20th. The message also requested advocates to communicate support for the governorŐs budget proposal as a starting point, and to ask the legislature to provide the full $913 million requested by the university to meet its full funding needs.
On January 26th, the Legislative Analyst released its report on the proposed state constitutional amendment that would require reductions in spending on state corrections, with corresponding increases in spending for public universities. See ŇPrisons vs. Universities Proposal Would Unwisely Lock Up Budget Flexibility.Ó http://www.lao.ca.gov/laoapp/PubDetails.aspx?id=2186
The UC for California campaign on the state budget actually began back in November 2009. Our databases have grown to include almost 300,000 subscribers who can be reached through our e-advocacy system. Most campuses have added their full alumni databases to the system. Similarly Facebook and Twitter continue to be popular outlets for interacting with our constituencies about relevant issues facing the university. You can follow UC on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=6756592601) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/ucforca).
On January 20th, the ŇHelp Us Reach 10,000Ó campaign was launched. As of mid-February, almost 7,500 messages had been sent to decision makers in Sacramento telling them it's time to make public higher education a priority – just 2,500 more to reach our goal!
UCOP has also updated the UC for California homepage http://www.ucforcalifornia.org/uc4ca/home/ to make it more compelling and usable, with easily accessible tools and resources for UC advocates.
Campuses continue to visit legislators in their district offices sharing concerns about the decrease in state funding for public higher education and assessing the legislatorsŐ position on budget issues. They are also engaged in creating local advocacy teams that will serve as point on organizing local and regional events in the coming months. Meanwhile campuses continue the important work they have always done in reaching out to legislators and third-party advocates.
At UC Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau hosted a dinner with Senator Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto (a UC Berkeley alumnus), several alumni, and others. Dinner conversation encompassed the UC budget and higher education in general, the impact of budget cuts to the campus, and discussion about how advocacy is most valued when it is driven by UC campuses. UC Berkeley Government and Community Relations facilitated a campus expert serving as a panelist at Senator Mark DeSaulnierŐs, D-Antioch, town hall meeting on the budget crisis and potential reforms.
On January 25th, UC Berkeley convened an internal working group on advocacy engagement where they took action on the launch of a speakerŐs bureau, approved redesign of the Cal Advocacy web site, preparation of student-led budget forums, and more. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UC Berkeley held a joint campus visit with Assembly Member Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, on January 29th. Assembly Member Anthony Portantino, D-Pasadena, was scheduled for a campus visit on February 11th. Assembly Members Paul Fong, D-Mountain View, and Sandr Swanson, D-Oakland, are slated for February campus visits as well. On February 6th, UC Berkeley and UCLA hosted a Sacramento television viewing of the UC Berkeley vs. UCLA menŐs basketball game. Capitol alumni, staff, and legislators were the invitees.
UC Davis On January 25th, Senator Lois Wolk, D-Linden, was hosted on campus for a discussion of California water issues and on January 26th, Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, Speaker-elect John Prez, D-Los Angeles, and the entire membership of the Assembly Democratic Caucus were on campus to conduct an offsite retreat. Prior to presenting a brief campus welcome to the group, Chancellor Katehi was able to visit individually with Speaker Bass, Speaker-elect Prez, and UC Davis delegation Assembly Members Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa, Mariko Yamada, D-Davis, Wesley Chesbro, D-Eureka, and Alyson Huber, D-Lodi. In addition, UC Davis Vice Chancellor for University Relations Babs Sandeen, Assistant Vice Chancellor Marj Dickinson and Director Jason Murphy participated in the Sacramento Metro ChamberŐs annual Legislative Summit lobby day in Sacramento on January 27th, which included legislative appointments with various members in support of the Metro ChamberŐs budget priorities (including a request to reprioritize investment in public higher education). Congratulations to UC Davis for loading all of its alumni into the UC for California advocacy database.
UC Irvine held a campus ŇWrite-InÓ where students, faculty, staff, alumni, and Chancellor Drake produced 152 handwritten letters to legislators requesting an increase in state funding for public higher education. The letters were delivered in person to the State Capitol. The Humanities Department at UC Irvine sponsored an event titled, ŇUC and Public Higher Education: A Teach-In with Student-Regent Designate Jesse Cheng, Professor George Lakoff, and state Senator Loni Hancock, D-Oakland.Ó Messaging focused on the need to eliminate the two-thirds majority vote to pass a state budget, to involve faculty in advocacy efforts, and to improve the perception of higher education as a public good. Approximately 120 people attended this event.
February 9-10, Chancellor Drake was in Sacramento for legislative visits with Assembly Member Mary Hayashi, D-Hayward, and Senator Roderick Wright, D-Los Angeles, Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, Assembly Member Jose Solorio, D-Santa Ana, Senator Tom Harman, R-Orange, and Assembly Member Anthony Portantino, D-Pasadena. Chancellor DrakeŐs message was focused on budget shortfalls and the impact on enrollment and students. UC Irvine also created an advocacy Facebook page to keep its community informed about the budget and advocacy events. http://www.facebook.com/#/group.php?gid=187760015973&ref=ts. Lastly, we are very pleased that UCI loaded its entire alumni list into the UC for California advocacy database.
UCLAŐs government relations staff attended several events in celebration of newly elected Assembly Member Steven Bradford, D-Inglewood, where they interfaced with a number of other state legislators and gathered information about their thoughts on UC and higher education. Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, participated in a UC student sponsored town hall event at UCLA on Saturday, January 23rd. UCLA Executive Vice Chancellor Scott Waugh was in Sacramento January 25-26 for a dinner and legislative visits. On Tuesday, February 9th, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block was in Sacramento for legislative visits. He met with Assembly Speaker-elect John Prez, D-Los Angeles, Senator Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, Senator Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, Senator Dean Florez, D-Shafter, Assembly Member Ed Hernandez, D-Baldwin Park, Assembly Member Curt Hagman, R-Diamond Bar, Assembly Member Felipe Fuentes, D-Los Angeles, Assembly Member Steven Bradford, D-Inglewood, Assembly Member Charles Calderon, D-Whittier, Assembly Member Julia Brownley, D-Santa Monica, Assembly Member Steve Knight, R-Lancaster, and Assembly Member Mike Eng, D-Monterey Park.
As noted earlier, UCLA and UC Berkeley held a joint event for Capitol alumni, staff, and legislators on February 6th. Congratulations to both campuses on a collaborative and creative approach to this relationship building event.
UC Merced Assembly Members Tom Berryhill, R-Modesto, Cathleen Galgiani, D-Tracy, and Mike Villines, R-Clovis, met with Chancellor Kang and senior campus leadership in late January and early February. On January 29th, Senator Jeff Denham, R-Merced, visited campus and on February 12th, Chancellor Kang hosted a UC briefing for Anthony Canella, a UC Davis alum and candidate for the 12th senate district.
UC Riverside Assembly Member Bill Emmerson, R-Redlands, met with Chancellor White on campus February 5th. Vice Chancellor Gretchen Bolar met with Assembly Member Brian Nestande, R-Palm Desert, in Mr. NestandeŐs district office on the same day. Assembly Member Manuel Prez, D-Cathedral City, held his staff retreat at UCRŐs Palm Desert Grad Center February 11-13. Governor SchwarzeneggerŐs District office staff and UCRŐs Government and Community Relations staff met in Riverside on February 17th. On February 26th, UCR will meet with Assembly Member Nestande and Dean David Stewart in Mr. NestandeŐs Palm Desert office. UC Riverside is planning a UCR in Sacramento Day for April 6 -7.
UC San Diego On January 25th, Chancellor Marye Anne Fox and President Yudof made legislative visits in Sacramento, including visits with Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, and Senate Appropriations Chair Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego. An email advocacy campaign letter was sent to advocates on January 25th. An Advocacy, State, and Local Government Relations report was provided to campus vice chancellors and deans on January 27th, and Chancellor Fox held a budget and advocacy town hall for students the same day. On January 29th, UCSD held an advocacy training for internal and external supporters interested in better understanding current issues, learning about advocacy, and getting involved. Former state Senator Dede Alpert, former Assembly Member and UC Regent Charlene Zettel, and UC Vice President of Budget Patrick Lenz were featured speakers at the training.
UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry Yang is making district office visits to legislators in February. Kirsten Deshler has been selected as the new Director of Governmental Relations at UCSB and she started her new position on January 25th.
UC Santa Cruz held a legislative forum on the state budget on January 22nd. Former Assembly Member John Laird moderated the forum. Senator Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, and Assembly Members Ira Ruskin, D-Redwood City, and Bill Monning, D-Santa Cruz, participated in a panel discussion and open dialogue following presentations by Chancellor Blumenthal, Vice Chancellor for Planning and Budget Peggy Delaney, faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, and co-sponsors of the event, the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce and Santa Cruz Next Generation. An invitation-only event, about 50 people attended including faculty, administrators, students, alumni, community leaders, and trustees.
UC San Francisco Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellman and President Yudof were in Sacramento on January 12th to meet with Governor Schwarzenegger on both fiscal and policy matters and with legislative leadership, including Assembly Speaker-elect John Prez, D-Los Angeles, and members of the UCSF delegation.
UC in Washington, DC UC Federal Government Relations provides a UC presence in Washington, DC and on Capitol Hill. As the Regents noted during their January meeting, we will need to be especially engaged with Congress over the next year as many of the governorŐs proposed budget items are reliant on federal funding for California in order for his proposed spending plan to balance.
With that in mind, Senior Vice President Dan Dooley was in Washington, DC the first week of February for meetings on Capitol Hill and with administration officials. That same week, President Obama released his FY 2011 budget request, which includes approximately $35 billion for the Pell Grant program. This expansion would cover the current shortfall in the program and increase maximum awards by $160 annually over FY 2010 levels to $5,710 and assure future growth at the rate of inflation plus 1 percent. Approximately 1 million more students overall would benefit, including more than 45,000 California students.
AAUC UC alumni directors and alumni presidents met on January 13th via videoconference to discuss advocacy plans, outreach, and the mobilization of alumni on behalf of the universityŐs 2010 campaign. Vincent Stewart, Associate Director of Institutional Relations, presented several ways in which alumni can be of special assistance:
á Organize local advocacy teams
á Identify a cadre of grasstop advocates
á Identify alumni superstars
Geoff OŐNeill, Assistant Vice President of Institutional Advancement at UCOP, gave a presentation on Project You Can, a systemwide effort to focus ongoing fundraising at all 10 UC campuses on a united goal: raise $1 billion for student support over the next four years — double the amount raised over the past five years.
The Intersegmental Committee of the Academic Senates (ICAS) was in Sacramento February 3-4 for its regular meeting and legislative visits.
Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program directors held their regular meeting in Sacramento and made legislative visits on February 10th.