Students looking into? applying to next year’s academic programs at the University of California Center Sacramento (UCCS) may have to look elsewhere.
UCCS‘ two academic programs – the public policy program and public affairs journalism program – will experience a suspension due to recent California budget cuts. These programs, made available to any UC student, are the only academic programs offered through the UC Office of the President.
UCCS students develop an understanding of public policy and journalism aspects through classes, workshops and guest speakers – all while completing internships around the capitol.
On Aug. 20, President Mark Yudof visited UCCS students and said he was looking to reorganize.
“I’m very enthusiastic about the program that you are in now, ” said Yudof to UCCS students. “Having said that, we are in very tough budget cut times so we are going to have to reorganize. But my intention is to continue the internship part of the program and maybe some other elements of the program.”
The Aug. 20 was the first time that Yudof visited the UC Center in Sacramento’s academic program. UCCS programs have existed since 2004 and have had about 600 student participants representing every UC campus, said Gary Dymski, director and principal faculty instructor.
Peter King, director of media relations for the UC Office of the President, said that the suspension is necessary.
“We look at every program we have,” said King, “and we determine that there may be a better way to carry out the deliverance of the center with a new model.“
King said he hopes the new and improved model will also save the UC money – $850,000, according to a Los Angeles Times article.
“Many programs are being evaluated, and yes, a few of the faculty have been cut … The program isn’t disappearing; it will be back,” King said.
Dymski has hope for the future of the program.
“What we created was something really well-valued by the students and the community. So the efforts are to keep it going, but in a way that will be more financially stable on a short term basis,” Dymski said.
Diane Vickroy recently completed this summer’s public policy program and has continued her internship at the communications office for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“I liked the breadth of topics covered, and the open discussions. The program gave me good work-environment experience, because I’d never worked in an office before prior to that. It’s a very professional kind of adjustment,” said Vickroy, a junior international relations major. “I feel grateful that it’s just a suspension and not a permanent cut.“
Vickroy said that the program also helped her to realize how much she enjoyed public policy, and that it established a good track for her graduate school plans.
Yesenia Hernandez, a senior political science major from UC Merced, also completed the summer journalism program and has just begun the fall public policy program. She says the sudden changes in the UCCS program have been striking.
“The summer programs had roughly sixty students and the current fall program will have eighteen students. What’s worse is the drastic cut in staff from nine to three,” Hernandez said, who interned at New America Media. “Seeing the change from summer and fall is truly heartbreaking.“
It will still be some time before any final updates are confirmed about the UCCS academic programs during this time of cutbacks with the UC.
“We would hope to have the new plan before December,” said King. One possible idea is to have the center be connected to a UC campus, possibly Davis.
His recommendation for students who are interested is to keep checking the website, keep asking questions, and to keep in touch with the staff.
More information about the UCCS academic programs can be found at http://uccs.universityofcalifornia.edu/.
VANNA LE can be reached at email@example.com. ANGELA RUGGIERO contributed to this article.