Dynes Emphasizes UC's Role in State Economic Health at Commonwealth Club

April 04, 2005

Robert Dynes

A strong University of California is essential to the state's economic future, UC President Robert C. Dynes told the Commonwealth Club of California in a March 30 speech in San Francisco. The speech will be broadcast on the air and online Tuesday, April 5, at 1 p.m. by Bay Area public radio station KALW-FM, 91.7. Streaming audio will be available here. Addressing one of the state's premier venues for public affairs discussions, Dynes said California's competitiveness in the global economy will depend upon the research innovation, student education, and idea generation provided by UC campuses. "A lot of us originally came to California because it is the most innovative, creative, risk-taking, diverse society on the planet," Dynes said. "To stay competitive, we must retain that climate. And much of it comes from our universities." Dynes said that far from stereotypical notions of what goes on in the "ivory tower," UC campuses today are playing a fundamental role in aiding the society around them. "To me, it's really about what I call 'R, D, and D' - research, development, and delivery to the broader world," Dynes said. "We're here to help solve problems facing our economy and our society, through all the facets of our mission and through all of the technologies, products, medical cures, and agricultural breakthroughs we help create." Today, as other nations work to enhance their economic infrastructures and California remains challenged by a K-12 school system marked by vast disparities in opportunity, the University of California must intensify its work in support of the state's economic health, Dynes said. He said UC must preserve quality, access, and affordability; improve salaries for faculty and staff; boost graduate enrollments that for many years have been roughly flat; expand efforts to improve the teaching of math and science in the public schools; develop a coordinated strategy for the University's international activities; and preserve academic preparation programs that boost the college preparation of students in educationally disadvantaged K-12 schools. "The future success of California's economy is dependent on the preparation of all students, from all backgrounds and all parts of California, to be active participants in a knowledge-based economy," Dynes said. Source: UC Office of the President

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Prepared text of Dynes' remarks