The University of California's new President, Janet Napolitano, addressed the Commonwealth Club today at the Mark Hopkins - Intercontinental Hotel in San Francisco. Napolitano, just one month into her position as the leader of the vast University of California system, including its hospitals and agricultural and marine research facilities, was clear that her primary tasks are to listen and learn and build a base of institutional knowledge rather than make sweeping changes.
However, Napolitano has already made some of her priorities clear: to provide more support to undocumented students, post--doctoral students, and graduate students. Working through University budgets, she was able to find $15 million dollars in revenue from university reserves to provide $5 million for resources to help undocumented students with academic success and direct them toward grants to support their UC education, since federal aid is not available to non-US citizens. The $10 million for post-docs and graduate students will help in the recruitment and retention of California's future teachers and global leaders in research, she said.
Other goals Napolitano addressed were the need for UC to remain affordable and tuition-free for low-income students, to maintain its excellence in academics, and to strengthen the UC system as a partner with California state government.