With the November election looming, I am writing to encourage all members of the University of California community – students, faculty, staff and alumni – to exercise your right to vote. The decisions made on Tuesday, November 6, will be of great importance for all America, with the presidency and control of Congress on the line. But here in California, the election also could prove pivotal to the University of California and its immediate future.
I refer to Proposition 30, one of 11 statewide initiatives on the California ballot. This initiative, advanced by Governor Brown, would increase income and sales taxes on a temporary basis and thus avoid an assortment of prospective “trigger cuts” that were written into the current State budget, pending the election outcome.
As you probably recall, The Regents last summer took the extraordinary step of endorsing Proposition 30, noting that should it fail our budget will be reduced by $250 million. In addition, $125 million currently in the budget to ensure no increases in tuition through fiscal year 2012-13 will be forfeited.
Sadly, it’s not news that public higher education in California has been battered by declining State support. With an additional blow of this magnitude, The Regents’ resolution stated, “the ability of the University of California to ensure the high-quality education that Californians have come to expect will be jeopardized….”
Let me be clear that it is neither my official place, nor my personal predilection, to suggest how others should vote. You need to look at the facts and make your own informed decisions. In that vein, please allow me to point you to a good starting place: http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/28244.
The above link will take you to a variety of Proposition 30 informational and campaign materials from sources on all sides of the ballot issue. This includes material from those who oppose the measure, arguing that it will increase taxes unnecessarily and burden small businesses.
I also want to take this opportunity to invite all UC faculty and staff to a “web-chat” on Friday, November 2, from noon to 1 p.m. During that hour, I’ll be happy to take any questions on matters that concern the University, including those that relate to the coming election. The following link provides details about how to join in: http://link.ucop.edu/2012/10/23/dont-miss-live-web-chat-with-president-yudof-nov-2/.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
With best wishes, I am,
Mark G. Yudof
University of California