Letters to the Editor: The UC system needs taxpayers to be more generous and reliable

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BERKELEY, CA - SEPTEMBER 09, 2019 - Sather Tower, also known as the Campanile, is seen against the backdrop of San Francisco from the UC Berkeley campus in Berkeley, California on Sept. 09, 2019. (Josh Edelson/For the Times)
Sather Tower at UC Berkeley is seen against the backdrop of San Francisco in 2019. (Josh Edelson / For The Times)

To the editor: As UC Board of Regents Chairwoman Cecilia Estolano said, the future of the state and nation depend on the University of California system expanding its capacity to educate the great leaders of the future.

Expanding UC capacity requires substantial and sustained state investments in facilities and faculty. But California's public universities don't have dedicated funding streams or constitutional protections. The state's current budget provided substantial increases in funding but cannot make up for all the losses over the past several years.

One-time investments are not enough. Sustained and reliable sources of funding are critical to recruiting the new faculty and adding and improving the facilities needed to expand our public university system's capacity and ensure a stronger future for our state and nation.

Mel Levine, Pacific Palisades, and Dick Ackerman, Fullerton

Ackerman is a former Republican leader of the California Senate; Levine is a former Democratic member of Congress. They co-chair the California Coalition for Public Higher Education.

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To the editor: State officials should use the UC capacity crisis to create smarter educational paths.

First, encourage UC-bound high school students to complete their lower division and general education courses at community colleges, where they receive more individualized attention from full-time instructors as opposed to teaching assistants.

Second, encourage high school graduates to enter two-year career programs that place them into high-paying jobs in construction and solar energy, medical technology and nursing, travel and culinary arts, accounting and programming, and avionics and robotics.

Let's stop pretending all students have to be UC freshman scholars to have fulfilling lives.

Gary Hoffman, Huntington Beach

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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