Accountability Report 2015

Chapter 10:

UC's statewide impact

UC’s direct impact on the state of California extends well beyond its campuses and laboratories, and touches every community throughout the state. UC contributes significantly to the state’s growth and the well-being of its population through its public service mission, which has been a fundamental and defining feature of UC throughout its history.

The faculty, students and staff at the University of California are engaged in a wide variety of public service activities connecting them with children, youth and adult residents across every region of the state. This chapter highlights some key aspects of life in California where UC’s impact has been and continues to be profound: agriculture, environmental stewardship, health, education at all levels and the overall economy.


Since its founding in 1868, UC’s public service mission has been closely connected to its other two missions of teaching and research. The University’s origins can be traced to the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862, which enabled states to use federal lands to establish colleges “to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanical arts,” along with scientific and classical studies. UC was chartered as California’s only land-grant university. Subsequent federal legislation expanded the mission of the nation’s land-grant institutions to conduct research in agricultural experiment stations and to connect that research with local communities throughout each state.

In the early 1900s, the Division of Agricultural Extension was established in the College of Agriculture at UC Berkeley, and the Cooperative Extension system began developing as extension agents were posted in counties across California. Since then, their goal has been to advance California’s agriculture sector by promoting innovation and scientific discovery, and by diffusing research results and expertise throughout the state.

Agricultural extension and research

Today, agricultural research activities at UC are managed through the Agricultural Experiment Station (AES), a multi-campus organized research unit located on the Berkeley, Davis and Riverside campuses, and coordinated systemwide through the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. AES scientists are one of the driving forces behind California’s $46 billion agriculture sector. The AES also provides worldwide leadership in promoting agricultural and environmental sciences, nutrition and youth development.

UC’s statewide Cooperative Extension (CE) system continues its applied research and outreach activities, and has local offices working in nearly every county in California. CE encompasses a national, nonformal education system that links educational and research activities and resources of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the nation’s land-grant universities, and county administrative units. CE activities focus on identifying critical and emerging needs in agricultural, natural and human resources, and on working with campus partners to develop research-based approaches to local problems.

These two divisions, the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension, merged in 1975 under the leadership of the systemwide Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR). Using federal, state, county and nongovernmental funding, AES and CE implement close to 1,500 local partnership programs. In addition, ANR encompasses nine research and extension centers, and 57 offices throughout California, housing 700 academic researchers.

ANR serves as the bridge between local agricultural and environmental issues and the power of the University of California. ANR works hand in hand with communities and industry to enhance agricultural markets, address environmental concerns, protect plant health, offer hands-on science-based learning for youth, promote youth development and provide farmers with scientifically tested production techniques. In addition, ANR manages six statewide programs and other local programs designed to promote healthy families and communities, including programs focused on sustainable, safe and nutritious food production and delivery.

Environmental stewardship

UC’s public service mission has evolved well beyond its agricultural origins over the last century, and UC’s extensive portfolio of environmental stewardship activities is a natural outgrowth of this legacy. ANR manages a wide network of conservation and sustainability programs addressing critical issues of our time, such as climate change, drought and food insecurity. In addition, within ANR, two of the UC Research and Extension Centers contain over 10,000 acres of oak woodland/annual grassland dedicated to research and education in both managed and undisturbed environments.

The University of California directly manages natural reserve lands that represent most state ecosystems. The UC Natural Reserve System comprises 39 sites with more than 756,000 acres across California. These lands enhance the University’s mission of teaching and research by providing undisturbed environments for students and faculty members to conduct research and enhance students’ opportunities to engage in meaningful educational experiences. The Merced Vernal Pools and Grasslands reserve next to UC Merced is the latest addition to the system.


Promoting healthy outcomes for all Californians is an important element of UC’s public service mission. Managed through ANR, UC has nearly 1,100 community partnership programs focused on understanding obesity and healthy choices. Their activities include designing nutrition workshops to help limited-resource clients gain the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to choose sound diets and improve their well-being.

The intersection of UC’s research and training missions is key when it comes to addressing health needs. Chapter 9 describes how UC research activities, particularly clinical trials, help improve health outcomes of all Californians by understanding disease processes and finding effective treatments. Chapter 11 describes UC’s key role in training California’s health care workforce and providing direct care to residents in the state.

Beyond these functions, UC’s five medical centers serve as the state’s fourth largest health care delivery system and engage in a wide range of activities to address the needs of specific populations. For example, UC’s five medical centers maintain long-term institutional partnerships with regional Veterans Affairs Health Care systems. In addition to conducting research on health issues of concern to veterans, such as traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, UC faculty and medical students provide quality care for several thousand veterans annually through the VA.

UC also expands its health outreach efforts through telemedicine. In this way, UC health care experts provide care for patients living in rural areas or in areas where specialty medical experts are not available. Telemedicine activities include real-time video and phone consultations between UC health care specialists and staff in clinics, hospitals, emergency rooms and intensive care units located throughout the state.

Education partnerships

For more than 40 years, the University of California’s Student Academic Preparation and Educational Partnership (SAPEP) programs have helped prepare California students for higher education and increase their access to post-secondary institutions. SAPEP programs such as the Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP); the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program; and the Puente project are designed to improve academic preparation for students in a variety of disciplines.

In addition to the activities UC undertakes to strengthen many K–12 students and community college students academically, UC plays an important role in preparing California’s teacher workforce. UC’s Teacher Education Programs prepare teacher candidates to engage students in rigorous, relevant and inquiry-based educational experiences. Located at eight UC campuses, Teacher Education Programs recruit, prepare and support pre-service educators who are committed to the principles of academic excellence, equity and integrity, and to cultivating the highest levels of achievement and opportunity for all students.

UC provides continued support to teachers already in the workforce through a variety of professional development programs. For example, the California Subject Matter Project (CSMP), a network of nine discipline-based statewide programs, provides professional development for teachers at about 5,000 schools and builds teacher leadership through about 120 teacher preparation programs across the state. CSMP also supports collaborative networks between K–12 educators and UC faculty.

UC’s economic impact

As California’s economy becomes increasingly dependent on highly educated workers, the role of the University of California in training the state’s future workforce becomes ever more vital. Industries relying on skilled workers in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) represent a major component of California’s economy. UC awards half of the state’s bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields.

UC’s operations also add significantly to the state’s economy, as it is one of California’s largest employers. With expenditures of about $26.7 billion, much of that in the form of salaries, wages and benefits, UC annually generates more than $46 billion in economic activity in California. UC contributes more than $32 billion to the gross state product and attracts over $8 billion in annual funding from outside the state.

True to its land-grant mission, the UC system touches most aspects of what matters to us as a society. The UC public service mission has evolved in tandem with the changing needs of our state and our local communities, and has developed innovative programs and partnerships that improve the lives of all Californians.


Interactive map application: includes Assembly districts and campus info

Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Natural Reserve System

MESA Programs

California Subject Matter Project

UC InfoCenter: UC’s role educating California’s workforce

UC InfoCenter: The STEM degree pipeline

UC InfoCenter: UC’s undergraduate alumni employment outcomes

UC InfoCenter: UC faculty and staff ’s faculty and staff

A snapshot of the programs and activities of UC’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources illustrates their impact throughout California.

10.1.1 UC agriculture, environment and natural resources programs, and UC natural reserve sites, Fall 2014


Source: UC Campuses

UC is California’s only land-grant institution, and its Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) assumes the responsibility of focusing on the agricultural needs of the state and its communities. ANR’s infrastructure includes 200 locally based Cooperative Extension advisers and specialists, 57 offices throughout California, 130 campus-based specialists, nine Research and Extension Centers, and 700 affiliated AES academic researchers.

ANR plays a key role in addressing pressing issues related to climate change and drought conditions. For example, ANR’s California Institute of Water Resources conducts research that informs public policy and provides advice to growers and residents on how to conserve the state’s water supply.

There are 1,498 partnership programs related to agriculture, environmental conservation and natural resource management. These include the 4-H Youth Development Programs, which serve more than 130,000 California youth, as well as programs run by the UC Santa Cruz Seymour Marine Discovery Center, the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, and the Master Gardener Program, among others. ANR’s 4-H programs provide research-based curriculum and staff training to community and youth-serving agencies, supporting education for children ages 5 to 19 in a variety of areas, including environmental, plant and animal sciences.

Honoring UC’s environmental stewardship role, the UC Natural Reserve System (NRS) manages a network of protected natural areas throughout California. Its 39 sites include more than 756,000 acres, making it the largest university-administered reserve system in the world.

UC promotes healthy outcomes across the state by leveraging partnerships with local communities.

10.1.2 UC nutrition and health programs, Fall 2014


 Source: UC campuses


ANR manages 1,082 nutrition and health services partnership programs focused on addressing economic, obesity and food insecurity challenges. ANR nutrition research and education programs annually receive awards of nearly $30 million from USDA and nonfederal sources. These programs include the Expanded Food and Nutrition Program (EFNEP), a federal extension program currently operating nationwide through land-grant universities, and the CalFresh program, providing nutrition education to 140,000 Californians.

Through these programs, UC nutrition educators present the main messages of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and share strategies for meal planning, food shopping, food preparation and food safety.

As part of UC’s efforts to improve nutrition in California and beyond, the University recently launched a Global Food Initiative, which seeks to address food insecurity issues and challenges associated with sustainably and nutritiously feeding our growing population. The initiative involves all ten campuses, UC’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

The Global Food Initiative illustrates the power of partnerships between UC and local communities in promoting healthy nutrition across California. These activities take place at many sites. To cite just a few examples:

  • The Ocean View Growing Grounds site in southeastern San Diego, a 20,000 square-foot garden where UC faculty and students work with local neighbors in cultivating community gardens and food forests.
  • UC Santa Barbara’s Sustainable Fisheries Group provides scientific expertise that helps to align economic incentives for fishermen with ocean stewardship principles, creating implementable changes to ensure the long-term health of coastal ecosystems.
  • UCLA’s Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy studies is a national think tank focused on developing legal and policy strategies, research and practical tools to foster a food system that benefits both consumers and the environment.


UC is involved in communities across California through a wide range of local-level service programs.

10.1.3 UC community and social services, cultural resources and arts, university extension, business and economic development, and public policy, Fall 2014


 Source: UC campuses


UC administers 1,548 programs providing community and social services throughout the state. These programs include internship and field study programs that connect students and alumni with their communities, and volunteer centers working on such issues as domestic violence, fair housing advocacy and employment training.

UC manages 465 arts education and outreach programs that teach art, dance, drama, music and digital arts in the community. These programs expose students and community members to art and culture through performing arts, theater, cultural events and other activities.

Additionally, UC’s public service mission incorporates a focus on local business and economic development. The University operates about 300 business-related programs statewide. These include internships offered in partnership with local companies, where students gain both UC credits and professional experience. Other programs focus on bringing local high-tech and green-tech companies together with motivated individuals to foster student participation in community economic development.

Serving about 420,000 course registrants, there are 443 UC University Extension programs encouraging lifelong learning for all Californians. Additionally, there are 254 public policy programs dedicated to engaging the community and raising awareness on public policy issues.

UC helps prepare and train students in STEM fields at every school level.

10.2.1 Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) partnership programs, Fall 2014



 Source: MESA programs


The UC Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) partnerships integrate UC’s core missions of teaching and public service by focusing on the academic preparation of students at K–12 schools, community colleges and four-year universities. Through its three core programs — the MESA Schools Program (MSP), the MESA Community College Program (MCCP) and the MESA Engineering Program (MEP) — MESA serves about 28,000 California students.

MESA Schools Program (MSP) centers are housed in 19 locations and serve about 400 K–12 schools. Centers offer classes before, during and after school, focused on activities that reinforce math and science content standards. MESA activities include workshops aimed at strengthening students’ study skills and monitoring students’ individual progress.

MESA manages 36 community college centers (MCCPs). These centers provide academic excellence workshops, orientation courses, academic advising and counseling activities dedicated to help community college students develop multiyear plans to transfer to a four-year university in a timely manner.

There are 13 MESA Engineering Programs (MEPs) located in public (UC and CSU) and private universities across the state. Centers assist college students in attaining four-year degrees in engineering and computer science by providing tutoring and academic skills workshops. In partnership with local industry leaders, MEP centers also provide career and professional development opportunities for students.

UC prepares California’s teacher workforce and strengthens the skills of teachers throughout their career.

10.2.2 UC’s teacher professional development and teacher preparation programs, Fall 2014


 Source: UC Campuses

The University of California plays an important role in preparing teachers and providing teacher professional development. UC manages nearly 4,500 teacher professional development programs and about 300 teacher preparation programs.

The California Subject Matter Project, for example, works to create sustainable teacher learning communities throughout California. Its network of nine discipline-based statewide projects supports quality professional development to improve instructional practices and student achievement across a variety of academic disciplines.

Teacher professional development activities include teacher workshops in areas related to Common Core State Standards, writing, mathematics and in-service teacher training.

Teacher preparation programs include CalTeach, a component of the Science and Mathematics Initiative (SMI). Through this program, UC recruits and prepares students majoring in mathematics and science for teaching careers, and provides special coursework and field experiences in K–12 schools. Since its inception in 2005, CalTeach has prepared close to 8,000 students to become teachers.

UC programs improve academic skills of K–12 and community college students across California.

Indicator 10.2.3 UC’s K–12 and community college student services, Fall 2014


 Source: UC Campuses

UC engages with K–12 and community college students in California through Student Academic Preparation and Educational Partnership (SAPEP) programs. Activities are centered on providing student academic preparation, community college articulation support, school and community partnerships, and online and technology-assisted services.

The goal of these programs is to promote student achievement by supporting academic preparation and college readiness activities. Programs include the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program; the Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP); the P-20 partnerships; the Puente Project, focusing on college-preparatory English skills; and the community college transfer programs (Transfer Prep), among others.

Collectively, SAPEP programs serve 960 K–12 public schools and over 77,000 students. Students who participate in SAPEP programs are more likely to complete their “a–g” course requirements (a pre-requisite for admission to UC and CSU) (77 percent of SAPEP participants vs. 39 percent of California high school graduates) and attend California public 2- and 4- year universities than those who do not participate (67 percent of SAPEP participants vs. 41 percent of California high school graduates).

UC produces nearly a third of all bachelor’s degrees awarded in California each year.

10.2.4 UC’s share of degrees awarded in California, by discipline, Universitywide, 2012–13


 Source: UC Campuses

As California’s economy becomes increasingly dependent on technology-dependent industries, the University of California plays an important role in educating the state’s highly skilled workforce. UC contributes significantly to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) degrees, awarding 60 percent of the state’s Life Sciences and more than 55 percent of the Physical Sciences bachelor’s degrees.

In addition, UC awards more than 60 percent of statewide graduate medical professional practice degrees. Within public higher education, UC has exclusive jurisdiction for doctoral degrees (with the exceptions of CSU’s doctorates of education and physical therapy, and joint doctorates with UC and independent institutions).

Of UC’s more than 1.6 million living alumni, many reside within California.

10.3.1 Home residence of UC alumni, Fall 2014

10-3-1 Source: UC Campuses

As California’s economy becomes increasingly dependent on technology-dependent industries, the University of California plays an important role in educating the state’s highly skilled workforce. UC contributes significantly to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) degrees, awarding 60 percent of the state’s Life Sciences and more than 55 percent of the Physical Sciences bachelor’s degrees.

UC alumni are an integral part of the state’s workforce after graduation. Of the most recent graduating cohort, more than 70 percent of in-state students, about half of domestic nonresidents and one-fourth of international students were found working in California after two years.1

1 These data are based on CA Employment Development Department data and exclude federal employees and those who are self-employed.

UC is one of California’s largest employers, with close to 200,000 employees.

10.3.2 Faculty, academics and staff employees, 2013–14


 Source: UC Information Center Data Warehouse

The University of California employs approximately 200,000 faculty, academics and staff, making it one of the largest employers in California. With its employees residing throughout the state, UC’s economic impact goes well beyond its ten campus locations. Members of its workforce purchase goods and contribute to local economies across the state.

All told, the ripple effect of UC’s operations generates more than $46 billion in economic activity statewide. In addition to the current employees shown on this map, 40,000 of UC’s retirees continue to reside in California.