Goals The University of California's standing as the world's leading university system depends to a great extent on the excellence of its research. The California Master Plan for Higher Education designates the University of California as the primary state-supported academic agency for research. UC research contributes to the state and to the nation through discoveries that improve health, technology, welfare and the quality of life. The state's investment in UC helps make it one of the most competitive research enterprises in the nation, securing at least $5 in federal and private funding for every state research dollar and generating discoveries and new knowledge across many different fields. In 2008-09, for example, UC researchers expended nearly $4.9 billion in federal, state and private research dollars, which created thousands of jobs and helped support the graduate students who will be the state's next generation of scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs and leaders.
Measures Performance in achieving UC research goals may be measured in three ways: the academic quality and impact of UC research; economic and other societal benefits that flow directly from that research; and the quantity of research that is conducted. This section presents basic information on the quantity of research produced at UC (e.g., total research and development expenditures and number of faculty publications). Information on the academic quality of UC research-its impact as measured by citations to important papers, prestigious prizes won by faculty and their membership in highly regarded scholarly societies-can be found in the January 2010 Accountability Sub-Report on the Research Enterprise. UC's 2010 Budget for Current Operations (pdf) contains information on the contributions and impacts of UC's research enterprise on the California economy.
Looking Forward UC's research enterprise is the result of California's long-term planning and investment, dating back to the 1960 Master Plan. Currently it is quite robust, due largely to investments made by federal agencies. However, continuing state divestment from higher education and increasing competition for the best faculty and graduate students from national and international universities may emerge over the longer term as a threat, especially if faculty begin to leave the University and take their research funding with them.