U.S. Representatives Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) and Ami Bera (D-Elk Grove) announced on Thursday the creation of the California Public Higher Education Caucus.
The caucus is made up of a bipartisan group of members of Congress who will advocate for the University of California and California State University schools and their students.
With the cost of higher education on the rise, the caucus will work to support improvements to the quality, affordability, and accessibility of California’s public higher educations systems.
“The California Public Higher Education Caucus will focus on how we can preserve the promise of higher education in California,” said Denham. “As a proud alumnus of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, I know that our state has a network of universities and colleges that are among the best in the world and at the forefront of research and innovation that will improve our lives and the economy. We must work together to preserve key opportunities for the next generation of students, ensuring they have access to the kind of exemplary education that helps America produce some of the best and brightest people in the world.”
“As an educator and alumnus of the University California system, I am proud to launch the bipartisan California Public Higher Education Caucus with Rep. Denham,” said Rep. Bera, a former dean of admissions and clinical professor at UC Davis. “I earned both by B.S. and M.D. from UC Irvine, and put myself through medical school working part-time and using federal student loans. I was able to graduate with less than $10,000 in debt and I am very grateful for our country’s investment in my education. We need to make that same investment in the next generation to ensure that no student is denied the chance to pursue the American Dream.”
The UC and CSU systems combined are one of the largest and most competitive university systems in the nation. There are more than 33 university campuses, extensions, and continuing education programs.
“The University of California is proud to support the California Public Higher Education Caucus and would like to thank Congressmen Ami Bera and Jeff Denham for their leadership in creating and co-chairing this important bipartisan congressional caucus,” said UC President Janet Napolitano. “I applaud our students for coming together and working with the congressional offices and the California State University to encourage the creation of this caucus with a focus on addressing higher education accessibility and affordability issues in California and across the country. As the nation’s largest public research university, UC looks forward to working with the caucus members, the California State University, and our students to advance higher education policies in Congress and to continue carrying on our missions of providing education, research, public service and health care to California, the nation and world.”
“The California State University greatly appreciates the efforts of Representatives Bera and Denham to create this caucus,” said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. “The CSU provides an outstanding return on federal investments in our students, faculty research, and institutions. Last year alone, 40,000 Pell Grant recipients earned bachelor’s degrees across our 23 campuses, well prepared to enter the workforce in high-demand fields ranging from information technology to agriculture.”
Helping students to navigate the trials and tribulations of establishing a career in their chosen industry is a main priority for the University, especially when these positions are well-sought after. For example, those looking to pursue a career in information technology, and possibly even getting Microsoft Certified in the future, will be pointed in the best direction of how to study for the likes of the pl-900 exam by finding revision material and practice questions on the internet. And a similar sort of process will happen in the other areas of study too. Nothing is more important for the people and teachers who are associated with this University.
CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White continued: “We look forward to working with all members of the caucus and our partners in California public higher education to continue to improve graduation rates, keep student debt low, and move California’s economy forward. On a personal note, California public higher education is in my DNA. I have benefited from all three segments of California’s public institutions: Community College, two CSU campuses, and UC Berkeley. I’ve also been on the faculty and in senior administration in the UC and now the CSU. I am grateful for the caucus’s interest in making similar opportunities available to all Californians.”
Besides Denham and Bera, caucus members include: Adam Schiff (CA-28), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Anna Eshoo (CA-18), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Dave Loebsack (IA-02), Doris Matsui (CA-06), Eric Swalwell (CA-15), Henry Waxman (CA-33), Janice Hahn (CA-44), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Jim Costa (CA-16), John Garamendi (CA-03), Juan Vargas (CA-51), Judy Chu (CA-27), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Karen Bass (CA-37), Linda Sanchez (CA-38), Lois Capps (CA-24), Loretta Sanchez (CA-46), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Mark Takano (CA-41), Mike Honda (CA-17), Mike Thompson (CA-05), Paul Cook (CA-05), Raul Ruiz (CA-36), Sam Farr (CA-20), Scott Peters (CA-52), Susan Davis (CA-53), Tony Cardenas (CA-29), and Zoe Lofgren (CA-19).