In response to the budget crunch at the University of California, UC President Mark G. Yudof and the 10 campus chancellors believe they have developed a solution—or at least a start.
The UC Office of the President (UCOP) is calling it “Project You Can.” On Oct. 23, President Yudof announced the plan, which should expand money for student scholarships. He hopes to raise $1 billion in private funding over the next four years, more than double the amount they have raised over the past five.
But is it possible?
Media Relations Director Peter King thinks so. Otherwise, he says, the university chancellors and President Yudof would not have supported it. Yudof drew on his experience from his previous jobs as president of the University of Minnesota and of the University of Texas to make the call.
“Presient Yudof's experience is that in tough times, traditionally alumni and friends of the university don't retreat from it,” says King. “They rally to it, and that's what he's counting on.”
Many UC campuses, including UC Santa Cruz, have begun revamping their websites in conjunction with the Yudof's fundraising goals. The plan will test the promotional abilities of one of the largest public university systems in the country. Yudof is up for the challenge. Last September, he said in an interview with the New York Times that three of the “things he does very well” are smiling, shaking hands, and telling jokes.
King says President Yudof is “reaching out a lot of times and in a lot of ways to influential people and alumni groups. And there's a lot of communication with what you would call the general UC community and he mentions it and pushes it at every opportunity.”
Statistics on how much money has been raised will not be available until Fall 2010.
For more information on how to donate to UCSC, please visit http://www.ucsc.edu/youcan/
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