UC Regents Launch Scholarship Campaign

The Board of Regents discussed fundraising and budget plans during last week’s meeting at UCSF

The UC Board of Regents met last week to discuss upcoming environmental and budgetary plans for the UC system, as well as launched a social media fundraising campaign for undergraduate scholarships. The meeting, which took take place Sept. 17 to Sept. 19, marked the first Regents conference of the 2013–14 year and the last before the arrival of UC President Janet Napolitano.

The meeting, held at UCSF Mission Bay Conference Center, began with an open discussion regarding health services, including an introduction of UCSD’s “Project Helix” to support expansion of outpatient care in the UCSD health system and construction of the Jacobs Medical Center next to the current Thornton Hospital.

UCSD Chancellor Khosla, Vice Chancellor for Health and Sciences David Brenner and CEO of the UCSD Health System Paul Viviano were present for the discussion.

“We are way underscaled for the outpatient services, particularly to be coordinated with and to support the inpatient Jacobs Medical Center in La Jolla,” Brenner said at the meeting.

UCSD’s A.S. Council’s Vice President of External Affairs Vanessa Garcia, who was in attendance, spoke during an open forum about holding Southern Californian Regents meetings, citing inaccessibility for students who wish to speak to the Regents.

Garcia also addressed the idea of increasing online education in the UC System.

“I think that online education can …only help to expand the accessibility of our system,” Garcia said. “The online education system that the UC should produce should be in a way to supplement but not replace the student to teacher or student to TA interactions that we’re having.”

The Regents Committee on Grounds and Buildings met to discuss infrastructure plans across five campuses, including an approval of $250,000 in preliminary plans to renovate the Blake House in Kensington, Calif. for possible residential use by the UC President.

President Yudof and Chairman on Grounds and Buildings Hadi Makarechian discussed amendments to Phase One and Phase Two of the UCSD University House rehabilitation. The Regents approved an increase in funding from $10,504,000 to $11,304,000 to renovate the seven-acre Chancellor’s estate, as well as approved plans to restore the house pool.

Committee members also approved preliminary designs to replace the Nimitz Marine Facility Berthing Wharf and Pier at UC San Diego’s Scripps Institute of Oceanography, needed to support an incoming $88 million “research vessel” to the SIO campus. The board previously approved the project’s $25,050,000 budget in July.

Regents also launched the “Promise for Education” fundraiser on the second day of their meeting; according to the UC Office of the President External Relations, the fundraiser hopes to raise more scholarship funds for undergraduate students in the UC System through “crowd-funding” and social media.

“It is an exciting day, because we’re about to embark on something that has really literally never been done before,” former Chairman of the Board Sherry Lansing said. “Whereas [California’s November 2012 Proposition 30] has taken a lot of the strain off of all of us, we also know that it has not been a magic bullet, and we still are struggling with how to have more resources available for financial aid to students. And that’s what the ‘I Promise’ campaign is all about.”

In discussing the 2013–14 fiscal year, Regents announced that the UC system’s state-funded budget would amount to $2.844 billion, an increase from last year’s budget of $2.377 billion. Within this year’s budget, $256.4 million is allocated for unrestricted operating budget use, and much of the remaining amount will be used for debt services.

Lastly, the board met in an open session to discuss actions and approvals taken throughout the year, including the approval of various programs and the appointment and compensation for Margaret Leinen as UCSD’s new Vice Chancellor of Marine Sciences, Dean of the School of Marine Sciences, and Director of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Leinen’s annual base salary of $310,000 was also approved.