Community Leader’s View: Now is the time to get involved

By Marye Anne Fox

Chancellor, UCSD

You can help create a better future for California. Yes, you. One of the best ways you can help is to support our students and their education.

At UC San Diego, we are proud to have some of the nation’s best and brightest minds on our campus. They are motivated and eager to tackle difficult global challenges, and we are committed to giving them the top-quality education and skills that they deserve and need to become the future leaders of our state. However, we face many challenges due to the state’s dwindling commitment to, and investment in, public higher education. This year, the University of California’s state budget was slashed by more than 20 percent, and this was on top of previous significant cuts and more are anticipated mid-year. The campus faces tough choices to address the budget gap and this is where you can help.

The future of our public research universities lies in our ability to rely less on state funding and more on creative funding solutions. This includes engagement in partnerships and collaborations, which will bring in revenue and allow us to combine our knowledge and resources to meet community needs. It includes engagement in advocacy efforts to let our state legislators know that higher education cannot withstand further cuts and still provide world-class opportunities for our students and faculty. It includes further engagement in philanthropic relationships to support student scholarship and fellowships and faculty research, which has the potential to save lives and improve our world. And it includes engagement in personal, mentoring relationships, to provide guidance and support and wisdom of experience.

I urge you to get involved—as a mentor, a partner or an advocate. Write to your legislators and let them know of your support for higher education. Talk with young children about the importance of education and going to college. Contribute to a scholarship fund. Join with UC San Diego and become a partner in the future of our campus and the state of California. By supporting our students and our world-class university, you can help shape a brighter future for us all.