UC Blue Logo
What are you looking for?

From Janet

Share This Article


As the calendar year draws to a close, I hope that you share my enormous pride and gratitude for the remarkable milestones our university has reached in 2019. Our combined achievements are too numerous to capture in one message; however, I would like to share five areas in which our accomplishments have been personally meaningful.

We continued to make a UC education possible for all Californians.

In 2019, we visited high schools, like Inderkum in Sacramento, Dorsey in Los Angeles, and Morse in San Diego, spreading the word that a UC education is within reach for all California families. We shared college-preparation tools like our Transcript Evaluation Service and Achieve UC, and kept in-state tuition flat. We partnered with Michelle Obama and her Reach Higher post-secondary education initiative to celebrate college-bound students during College Signing Day at UCLA. Most importantly, we admitted the largest, and most diverse, group of freshmen and transfer students ever — and celebrated their diversity with an interactive graphic. When students arrived on campus, we helped them thrive by supporting food and housing security through the Global Food Initiative.

We drove innovation.

UC has always embraced, celebrated and propelled innovation, and in 2019, we continued this momentum. The third annual UC Entrepreneur Pitch Competition convened founders from all 10 campuses to awe corporate investors and peers with revolutionary ideas. We highlighted science and solutions at the fifth annual Grad Slam, where UC’s emerging scientists and scholars distilled their life’s work into compelling three-minute pitches that entertained and inspired an audience of media, business and academic leaders and peers. We expanded our partnership with the Blackstone Charitable Foundation to support even more UC entrepreneurs through the successful LaunchPad program. We fostered intercampus collaboration through the Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives Awards and UC Health’s UC Cancer Consortium. And, last month, we celebrated the induction of UC Santa Cruz into the elite Association of American Universities — the seventh UC campus to achieve this prestigious distinction.

We advocated for free speech and information.

Free speech has always been a hallmark of a University of California education, and this year, we advanced our efforts to enshrine it as a seminal value — UC is, after all, the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement! In March, we formally responded to President Trump’s executive order tying free speech protections to federal funding. Our UC National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement, which we founded in 2017, welcomed its inaugural advisory board and held its first #SpeechMatters conference. We terminated our long-term contract with academic publishing giant Elsevier, taking a bold stance on behalf of open-access publishing for scholarly journals that benefits scholars and the general public.

We took a stand on behalf of DACA recipients.

This November, our years’-long fight against the Trump administration’s controversial decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) reached a new milestone: We argued our case before the U.S. Supreme court on Nov. 12 and a ruling is anticipated before June of next year. As Regent Pérez and I emphasized in an op-ed, our country benefits from the contributions of DACA recipients and it is in our nation’s DNA to protect the most vulnerable. UC will always support and protect students as they advance their education and pursue their dreams. Our DACA advocacy galvanized the UC community, with the UC Advocacy Network taking a leading role. Please sign up today for crucial news, updates and opportunities to join us.

We advanced our fight against climate change.

While pursuing our Carbon Neutrality Agreement, we embraced green technologies, like trash-to-fuel biodigesters, partnered with CSU and Southern California Edison in a novel greenhouse gas-reduction program and saved more than 21,650,000 pounds of carbon dioxide through the 2019 Cool Campus Challenge. We launched more than 100 innovative projects to combat climate-related wildfires. We were recognized as the country’s top university for renewable electricity, and as a world-leading sustainable investor. We expanded the University Climate Change Coalition (UC3) to accelerate climate solutions throughout North America. And, this fall, we joined more than 7,000 colleges and universities worldwide in declaring a climate emergency and committing to urgent action.

And, I could go on.

As you consider these achievements, I hope you will feel, as I do, a sense of pride for your important role in each of them. It takes all of us — the people of UC — to bring the university’s successes to fruition. And your important contributions, like those of your colleagues’, are so very crucial. Thank you for being, building and championing UC.

I hope that you will enjoy your well-deserved break over the holiday season as you reconnect with your loved ones and reflect upon your personal 2019 accomplishments. I look forward to returning to UC with you in January — reenergized to begin a new decade of progress.

Yours very truly,


Keep Reading