New UC Chief: Tuition Freeze, More Community College Transfers, Carbon-Neutral UC

Starting her tenure with an active agenda, new UC President Janet Napolitano told UC Regents Wednesday that she intends to keep the current freeze on undergrad tuition, increase community college transfers and cut UC's energy use to zero by 2025.

University of California President Janet Napolitano. Photo courtesy of the University of California
University of California President Janet Napolitano. Photo courtesy of the University of California
By Charles Burress

New UC President Janet Napolitano appears to be starting her administration at full steam.

Wednesday morning, in her first meeting with the University of California Regents, she proposed extending the undergraduate tuition freeze for a third year. She also pledged to increase community college transfers and to cut the university's net energy use to zero by 2025.

She also said she intends to accelerate the transfer of new technology and discoveries by university researchers into society's use.

She acknowledged that the goal of reducing UC's net energy usage to zero within 12 years is a "steep mountain."

“The good news is that research universities like UC are in the business of breaking through barriers,” according to a copy of her remarks provided by UC. “That’s why we call them breakthroughs. It is the essence of what research universities do.”

As part of a reassessment of its tuition policy, UC will keep the undergraduate tuition and fees at their current level for the 2014-15 academic year, Napolitano said.

Community Colleges Chancellor Brice Harris issued a statement lauding Napolitano's pledge on increasing student transfers.

“I applaud the initiative announced today by UC President Napolitano to work with California community colleges to enhance transfer between our colleges and the university," he said.

State Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) also issued a statement praising Napolitano's pledges on tuition and community college transfers.

"In this first presentation to the Regents, President Napolitano demonstrated leadership that parallels California’s commitment to ensuring that every Californian has a place in our higher education system,” Skinner said.

Napolitano had been serving as the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security until she was tapped to replace former UC president Mark Yudof, who announced earlier this year that he was stepping down after five years. She was appointed as the new UC chief by the Regents on July 18 and assumed office on Sept. 30.

Published Nov. 13, 2013, 2:54 p.m., updated 4:53 p.m.

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