CCPHE-Education Fund Hosts Leaders Forum

Beverly Hills, May 13, 2015–UC President Janet Napolitano, CSU Chancellor Timothy White and Glendale Community College President David Vlar participated in a community roundtable to discuss funding needs for California public higher education and the need to sustain and grown all three branches of the California system.

Chancellor White emphasized the need to “build capacity for California’s future” and spotlighted the CSUU’s track record of graduating 100,000 students a year, including almost half the bachelor’s degrees awarded in California annually. He said that $5.43 is returned for every taxpayer dollar invested in CSU.

President Napolitano said that public higher education is “the one proven tactic for closing the mobility gap” and pointed out that 42% of the enrollment on UC campuses is composed of first-generation students. Increased State support for higher education is a way “to pay it forward,” she added.

President Vlar, who was representing State Community College Chancellor Brice Harris, emphasized the unprecedented level of cooperation and coordination among the three systems—UC, CSU and community colleges—established by the State’s Master Plan for Higher Education a half century ago. He also noted that the community colleges have a big stake in seeing UC and CSU adequately funded, since the community colleges prepare more and more students to transfer to four-year campuses.

Almost 100 community leaders, alumni, faculty and students attended the event. Former Congressman Mel Levine, who serves along with former State Senator Dick Ackerman as CCPHE Co-Chair, served as moderator. Education Fund Vice Chair Jeff Seymour also participated in the program. The forum was sponsored by the California Coalition for Higher Education—Education Fund, which is dedicated to increasing awareness of the vital role public higher education plays in the state’s economy and quality of life.