Governmental and Community Relations

Join us! Advocate for UCR

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Supporting UCR and Public Higher Education

Funding and policy challenges facing UCR and public higher education require development of a broad-based network of advocates to communicate with federal, state, and local officials. This network must include faculty, students, administrators, staff, alumni, and friends who share an interest in sustaining UCR's excellence for future generations. While specific goals and objectives will vary from year to year, the overall mission remains the same -- maintaining and, where possible, increasing community and legislative support for the instructional, research, and public service programs at UCR. The University needs advocates who will advance the interest and promote the welfare of the University of California to the legislature. UC needs advocates who will share their unique experience and perspective with legislators.

Mission of the UCR Advocacy Network

The mission of the UCR Advocacy Network is to enhance public understanding and support of the University of California and UC Riverside. Advocated help convey University-wide and campus-specific messages to ensure that the University's mission as well as its legislative and budgetary objective are given due consideration by governmental decision makers and the general public.

The volunteer network functions at the behest of the University's established advocacy efforts through its state and federal relations offices located in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., respectively, and through each campus' governmental relations offices.

The UCR Advocacy Network is composed of volunteer alumni and friends who actively support the University of California.

Thank you for giving your time and effort to support the University of California.

Why Volunteer Advocates Are Important:

Public support for UCR is crucial to retaining our distinguished faculty and maintaining state-of-the-art facilities necessary to support our internationally recognized instructional, research, and community service programs.

Why now?

Shifting budget priorities. Term limits. Competition for research dollars. Demand for services. These factors have altered the scope and structure of our efforts to nurture public support for UCR's educational, research, and community service missions. UCR once relied largely on faculty, administrators and staff as University advocates in Sacramento and Washington, D.C.. Today, UCR also depends on well-trained volunteers with an array of interest and talents to represent the needs, accomplishments, and goals of UCR. Some of the primary challenges we face are:

  • Term limits have fundamentally altered working relationships and public policy development in Sacramento. Under term limits, state senators are limited to two four-year terms in office. Assembly members are limited to three two-year terms. Consequently, legislators have little time to master complex public policy issues, and those within the University have little time to build long-term relationships with legislators. Volunteer advocates bring credibility to our mission and assist with maintaining a positive working relationship with our legislators.
  • Prop. 140 enacted term limits and also called for a 38 percent cut in the legislative operating budget, which has resulted in a high turnover in professional staff in the Capitol. Institutional memory is diminishing and there is a greater tendency for legislative staff, and the members they serve, to frame issues from a local rather than a statewide or historical perspective.
  • California State budget crisis of the early 1990s prompted legislators to cut deeply into funding for higher education. Over the years, state support for UCR has dropped from 50 percent of the University's budget in the 1970s to less than 21 percent today. A trend toward increased state spending on K-12 education and corrections programs threaten even deeper funding cuts for higher education. As state legislators sort out budget priorities, UCR is counting on volunteer advocates to carry the message that a financially sound higher education system is critical to the state's future.
  • Competition for research dollars has become more fierce. Government support for University-based research funding is expected to drop significantly as political pressure to balance the federal budget grows. The work of UCR volunteers in Washington, D.C. and in local congressional offices is vital to ensuring the UCR continues to receive strong federal support for research.
  • Demand for services grows as constituent demands increase. The University must remain responsive to elected officials and government agencies seeking information, research, or services. The UC Office of the President has asked UCR to take the lead in maintaining 21 state and federal legislators with districts in Southern California. UCR must also continue its work with local officials in the Inland Empire.

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Career OpportunitiesUCR Libraries
Campus StatusDirections to UCR

Department Information

Governmental and Community Relations
4148 Hinderaker Hall
Tel: (951) 827-5184
Fax: (951) 827-5485
E-mail: community@ucr.edu