June 19, 2006
Campus provost reminds council of UCSC's
David Kliger, UCSC's campus provost and executive vice chancellor,
prepared the following remarks for a Santa Cruz City Council
public hearing last week. His statement underscored the benefits
that UCSC provides to our local community, and was made in the
context of a proposal by the City of Santa Cruz to place on
the November ballot an amendment to its charter and an ordinance
to limit UCSC's access to water and wastewater services on the
North Campus--services that the city committed to provide the
university in agreements dating from the 1960s.
Members of the City Council:
I'm here today on behalf of the University of California, Santa
Cruz, to ask you to consider rejecting these proposed ballot
measures. The proposed amendment to the charter and the proposed
ordinance do nothing to advance the ongoing need for the city
and university to work together to plan for our shared future.
In fact, they set up additional obstacles and may well be unconstitutional
and violate long-standing service contracts that brought the
university to Santa Cruz.
From the beginning of the Long-Range Development planning process
in 2003, the campus has involved, communicated with, and collaborated
with the city. We believe these discussions are not only fruitful,
but essential as both the city and university are engaged in
long-range planning. Regrettably, these ballot measures may
have the effect of working against those efforts.
When our LRDP process is completed later this year, we believe
that the City Council will conclude that UCSC not only listened
to the concerns expressed by council members and the public
they represent--but acted on those concerns.
Since these ballot proposals speak specifically to the issues
of water and wastewater, it's worth noting that, within the
campus, UCSC has always assumed full responsibility for the
costs associated with providing water or wastewater access to
its facilities. Even though state law indicates that educational
entities are not required to pay for water and wastewater improvements
that don't directly benefit their facilities, UCSC has voluntarily
agreed to pay recent rate increases that include such improvements.
These proposed ballot measures suggest we have not acted responsibly
in our relationship with the city. Please permit me to take
a minute more of your time to set the record straight. UCSC
contributes significantly to the community's well-being in too
many ways to list. Here are just a few of the positive financial
contributions UCSC has made, is making, and will continue to
make in this community:
UCSC provides the community--and its many businesses--with
a stable workforce with benefits. Attracting that kind of employer,
by the way, was listed among the priorities citizens identified
in a recent local poll.
UCSC generates nearly $1 billion in economic activity
in the area through spending by these workers, our students,
and our visitors. We also bring in state and federal money that
is then circulated in the community through the purchase of
goods and services.
Through the sales of goods, UCSC is a significant producer
of sales tax revenue for the city.
UCSC contributes more than $2 million annually toward
the city and region's mass transportation systems.
UCSC's contributions to the community are not limited to economic
UCSC's faculty, students, staff, and alumni are making
tremendous contributions to the quality of local K-12 education.
We conduct research to improve the quality of the classroom
experience, many of our alumni are teachers in these classrooms,
and our programs help the community train and retain these teachers.
UCSC's students fill many of the critical volunteer
positions that provide services to members of our community.
Our students volunteer literally hundreds of thousands of hours
each year providing health care support, assisting seniors,
or tutoring. And that's just a few of the activities in which
our students are filling a vital need.
Our research facilities--Long Marine Laboratory, for
example--vitalize our community by exposing young and old to
life's many wonders and mysteries. The educational program at
Seymour Marine Discovery Center by itself touches large numbers
of our schoolchildren each year.
UCSC's contributions to the richness of the community's
cultural life are manifest in such activities as Shakespeare
Santa Cruz, numerous other theater events, dance performances,
and musical offerings.
Thank you very much for your consideration of UC Santa Cruz's
position on these proposals.