California’s Higher Education Challenge

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UC Hastings College of the Law hosted University of California President Janet Napolitano, San Francisco State University President Dr. Leslie Wong, and California Community Colleges Chancellor Dr. Brice Harris for a provocative panel discussion on Thursday, February 4th regarding “California’s Higher Education Challenge.”

The event, presented by the California Coalition for Public Higher Education-Education Fund, engaged leaders in a frank discussion of issues which both provide challenge and potential opportunities for the California public higher education system. Topics included the Governor’s budget proposal, transfer and completion rates, financial aid, the ever-growing demand for a college education by an increasing number of applicants, student housing, and more. All of the academic leaders spoke to the benefits that increased State financial support would bring to public higher education.

“It’s not just about numbers,” noted University of California President Janet Napolitano, “it’s about excellence.” She noted that California wouldn’t be California without the University of California and pointed to agriculture, biotechnology, entertainment and high tech as industries that are closely linked to UC.

Chancellor Harris emphasized the unprecedented level of cooperation and collaboration among the three branches of California’s higher education system.

“California has the nation’s finest public higher education system,” agreed UC Hastings Board of Director’s Vice-President Carl W. “Chip” Robertson, who, along with UC Hastings Board of Directors member Sandi Thompson, helped sponsor the event. “The return on investment is enormous, and maintaining that level of excellence is a challenge we must all rally behind and meet together.”

The CCPHE-Education Fund is a non-profit 501c3 corporation dedicated to increasing public understanding and awareness of the State’s public higher education system and the benefits it provides to the people of California.