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Legislators successfully advocate for UC Riverside

By in Press Enterprise on June 17, 2017

By Kim A. Wilcox

Much attention has been paid to the recent state audit of the University of California Office of the President. Throughout those discussions, there has remained a broad consensus about the University of California’s value to the state. During the recent legislative hearings on the new state budget, Assembly Budget Chair Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, stated the UC is “one of the best things the state has ever done in our history.”

That sentiment also rings true for the Riverside campus and its relationship to Inland Southern California. Since 1990, UCR nearly tripled student enrollment to approximately 23,000 students today. Altogether, we’ve brought more than 100,000 students to the region, many of whom have chosen to stay and work in Riverside and the surrounding areas.

This past fall, we welcomed the largest and most diverse incoming class in the entire University of California system, with the Riverside campus enrolling the highest number of Latino students and the second highest number of African American students in the system.

Along with this growth, UCR students’ academic credentials continue to rise, along with our campus’ diversity. Our recent success with improving graduation rates — 11 percent increase in freshmen four-year graduation rates and 15 percent increase in transfer students’ two-year graduation rates, combined with parity in graduation rates across racial/ethnic and socioeconomic groups — has been recognized by the Association of Public Land-grant Universities and the Education Trust as a model not just for the state, but the entire nation.

Similarly, Riverside County is the sixth fastest-growing county and 11th largest county by population in the United States. The partnerships that exist between city and county officials, community leaders and the campus have been central to the growth of our university and the region.

These key relationships were particularly valuable during this year’s budget negotiations with the California Legislature […]    

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