Blumenthal Talks UCSC’s Future

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Student Union Assembly (SUA) members gathered in the Terra Fresca dining room for a Q&A with Chancellor Blumenthal on Jan. 28.

During the meeting, Blumenthal touched on subjects pertinent to the student body. Among the topics discussed were tuition and fundraising.

When a member of the SUA asked about under-resourced students, however, Blumenthal did not give a specific answer and instead expressed his concerns about issues of retention as he reminded students that every program on campus faced cuts in the past year.

The UC collects more money from students in tuition than it collects from the state of California. Blumenthal said although this is the “political reality,” continuing to receive state support would be the right thing to do.

As Blumenthal addressed the room of students, he disclosed there would not be a tuition increase for the 2014-2015 school year, as decided at a regents meeting. He would be “completely shocked” if the decision happens to change.

Blumenthal also discussed his plans to reach out to other countries to “build UCSC’s global presence” and diversify the student body. He spoke of his latest two-week trip to India, which was a part of the campus’ international outreach effort.

UCSC’s comprehensive strategic planning process, dubbed “Envision UCSC: Strategic Planning for 2020,” was briefly mentioned and was described as having a draft plan that looks at projects affecting the campus in the long term.

According to an email sent out by Blumenthal, the university established goals focusing on increasing research activity, building graduate programs and increasing fundraising. Blumenthal said the committee focused on the “Envision” plan will work on raising money in an effort to realize those plans.

Blumenthal continued on to say only 2 percent of the money received can be attributed for any particular purpose, while the rest of the 98 percent is spent on projects strictly determined by donors. When asked where that 2 percent would be implemented, Blumenthal said a majority of it will go to programs, while the other will be used toward the reconstruction of the barn as well as the Quarry Amphitheater.