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it wrong that other people who don't or can't afford to make campaign
contributions don't have as much access to legislators? It's the
reality of the game. It's all about helping the university be as
great as it can be and get the resources it deserves," he says.
"That state money means more than just an education for students.
UC does something the other segments of California public higher
education do not, and that's research. Research has a tremendous
impact on the economy, the creation of new businesses and new jobs.
Not to mention finding cures for life-threatening diseases and social
ills. It's a huge, monster research engine.
have to make the case that if UC and UCLA do not get those resources
and cannot pay the best professors competitive salaries, then that
professor and all he or she can produce is lost to us permanently.
They're gone. I make this case over and over and over again."
also knows that if he doesn't reach legislators with the message,
others representing special interests will. "Only a small portion
of the state budget is discretionary," he explained. "And UC's portion
comes out of that discretionary budget. By statute, approximately
40 percent of the state's general-fund budget goes to K-12 education
and the community colleges. When you ask, 'So what does that discretionary
money pay for?,' it's higher education, prisons and the pay-raise
increments that state employees receive - that's what UC is up against.
The reality of the game is that UC has been literally competing
for state funds with prisons for many years. Prisons have unions
that make big campaign contributions. State-employee unions are
fighting for bigger raises. Our voices have to be heard. Legislators
need to hear from university administrators who can speak to the
specifics of what is needed, but they also need to feel the passion
of alumni who can vote, who can write checks and do all of the things
the university as an institution cannot do for itself."