Who helped create more than 2 million jobs in California in one decade? Some would be surprised to know that the answer is the University of California.
This week, the UC launched its campaign titled “UC the way forward,” which will let Californians know why the UC is beneficial to the state. Through various forms of media, including radio, Internet and university publications, this campaign will educate the public on efforts the UC has made to better the state. The UC teamed up with San Francisco-based marketing firm Citizen Group, which is responsible for making the website and video portion of the campaign.
“Californians widely appreciate the academic quality of the UC system, but the contributions the university makes to the daily lives of literally every Californian are not as well-known,” said Brad Hayward, executive director of Strategic Communications for the UC.
The UC is using $700,000 in private endowment funds for the campaign, which does not include any state or student fee funds. These funds will fund the campaign’s spread to major media markets including Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, San Diego and Fresno. The website, universityofcalifornia.edu/ucthewayforward, is available to anyone who wishes to access it.
“This effort aims to help Californians better understand that when they invest in the university, it’s not only students who benefit – it’s every Californian,” Hayward said in an e-mail interview.
The website, which can also be translated into Spanish, has different sections to explain an in-depth perspective on beneficial UC contributions. Sections include “economy and technology,” “health and medicine,” “energy and transportation,” “agriculture and the environment” and “culture and the community.” Each page features questions and answers about the related topics along with links to other pages for more specific information.
Davis professor of biological and agricultural engineeringRuihong Zhang’s research on turning garbage into useful fuel is featured under the energy and transportation section.
“It is important for us to report the accomplishments we have achieved and benefits that our new findings and technologies [provide],” Zhang said in an e-mail interview.
“Individual campuses do a good deal of this work on an ongoing basis, telling the story of how they contribute to the economy, health and quality of life of their individual regions,” Hayward said.
This is the first time that an effort this large in scale on a statewide level has been launched by the UC.
“It is important for a public institution to help the public understand what it is getting in return for its investment of tax dollars in that institution,” said Katherine Lapp, UC executive vice president for business operations.
The website’s video mentions many facts about the contributions of the UC, including that it trains 60 percent of medical students in California.
“UC has a great story to tell about its impact on the education, economy, health and quality of life of California. We need to tell that story so there is broader understanding of how every Californian benefits from UC, every day,” said Kapp in an e-mail interview.
ANGELA RUGGIERO can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.