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UC president calls for reinvestment in universities

By   /   Thursday, August 6th, 2009  /   Comments Off on UC president calls for reinvestment in universities

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Mark Yudof, president of the University of California system, sharply criticized state leaders Aug. 6 for what he called a 20-year pattern of cutting investment in the state’s human capital.

Yudof spoke before a crowd of more than 300 business leaders at the Pacific Coast Business Times’ Spirit of Small Business Awards luncheon at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort in Santa Barbara. He argued that California can’t expect to maintain a world-class university system of 10 campuses and three national labratories without upping its investment in it.

He pointed out that between 1990 and 2009, the state has cut its investment in each UC student by about 46 percent, from $14,000 to $7,600. This year, Yudof said, the UC system had to fill a budget hole of more than $800 million, and in the past two years the state has cut its support more than 20 percent. “It’s a crisis,” Yudof said.

As Yudof spoke, protesters had gathered across the street with signs reading “Chop from the Top.” At the start of his speech, Yudof reminded the crowd that he cut his own pay – along with that of UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry Yang, who introduced Yudof – by 10 percent. That is higher than the 4 percent cut forced on lower-paid employees.

“As the crowd outside shows, it’s not quite as lonely at the top as I had hoped,” Yudof said.

Yudof also said he expects state funding for the UC system to continue to decline in coming years. Student fees will keep increasing, Yudof said, and campuses will have to become nimbler in gathering private support.

Yudof gave keynote remarks at an event that celebrated the winners of this year’s Business Times’ Spirit of Small Business Awards. The luncheon accompanies a July 24 special report in the Business Times that profiled the winners. Those winners are:

•East Ventura County: Lumastones
•West Ventura County: Sheeler Moving & Storage
•South Santa Barbara County: Leonard Unander Associates
•Green Business: GreatWay Roofing
•North Santa Barbara County: Rizzoli’s Automotive
•San Luis Obispo County: Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab
•Minority-owned Business: Visual Concepts
•Woman-owned Business: Senior Planning Services

The Spirit of Small Business Awards are a collaboration between the Business Times and the Los Angeles District Office of the United States Small Business Administration.

•Check the Business Times’ Web site soon for videos of this year’s Spirit of Small Business Awards winners.

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