Bera, Denham announce creation of California Public Higher Education Caucus
Congressmen Ami Bera, M.D. (CA-7), and Jeff Denham (CA-10), announced earlier today the creation of the California Public Higher Education Caucus, a bipartisan group of Members of Congress who will advocate for the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) schools and their students and support improvements to the quality, affordability, and accessibility of California’s public higher education system. With the cost of higher education skyrocketing, the Caucus will work toward ensuring that prospective students are not priced out of the opportunity to realize their full potential.
“As an educator and alumnus of the University California system, I am proud to launch the bipartisan California Public Higher Education Caucus with Rep. Denham,” said Bera, a former dean of admissions and clinical professor at UC Davis. “I earned both by B.S. and M.D. from UC Irvine, and put myself through medical school working part-time and using federal student loans. I was able to graduate with less than $10,000 in debt and I am very grateful for our country’s investment in my education. We need to make that same investment in the next generation to ensure that no student is denied the chance to pursue the American Dream.”
“The California Public Higher Education Caucus will focus on how we can preserve the promise of higher education in California. As a proud alumnus of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, I know that our state has a network of universities and colleges that are among the best in the world and at the forefront of research and innovation that will improve our lives and the economy. We must work together to preserve key opportunities for the next generation of students, ensuring they have access to the kind of exemplary education that helps America produce some of the best and brightest people in the world.”
With more than 33 university campuses, extensions, and continuing education programs, the Universities of California and the California State Universities combined are the largest and most globally competitive university systems in the nation. Through teaching, research, and public service, California’s public universities not only drive the state’s economy but are also some of America and the world’s leading institutions of higher education. UC and CSU research has led to the establishment of the Internet, the first legal hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, and numerous software and biotechnology firms in California.
“The University of California is proud to support the California Public Higher Education Caucus and would like to thank Congressmen Ami Bera and Jeff Denham for their leadership in creating and co-chairing this important bipartisan congressional caucus,” said UC President Janet Napolitano. “I applaud our students for coming together and working with the congressional offices and the California State University to encourage the creation of this caucus with a focus on addressing higher education accessibility and affordability issues in California and across the country. As the nation’s largest public research university, UC looks forward to working with the caucus members, the California State University, and our students to advance higher education policies in Congress and to continue carrying on our missions of providing education, research, public service and health care to California, the nation and world.”
“The California State University greatly appreciates the efforts of Representatives Bera and Denham to create this caucus,” said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. “The CSU provides an outstanding return on federal investments in our students, faculty research, and institutions. Last year alone, 40,000 Pell Grant recipients earned bachelor’s degrees across our 23 campuses, well prepared to enter the workforce in high-demand fields ranging from information technology to agriculture. We look forward to working with all members of the caucus and our partners in California public higher education to continue to improve graduation rates, keep student debt low, and move California’s economy forward. On a personal note, California public higher education is in my DNA. I have benefited from all three segments of California's public institutions: Community College, two CSU campuses, and UC Berkeley. I've also been on the faculty and in senior administration in the UC and now the CSU. I am grateful for the caucus’s interest in making similar opportunities available to all Californians.”
Besides Bera and Denham, caucus members include: Adam Schiff (CA-28), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Anna Eshoo (CA-18), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Dave Loebsack (IA-02), Doris Matsui (CA-06), Eric Swalwell (CA-15), Henry Waxman (CA-33), Janice Hahn (CA-44), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Jim Costa (CA-16), John Garamendi (CA-03), Juan Vargas (CA-51), Judy Chu (CA-27), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Karen Bass (CA-37), Linda Sanchez (CA-38), Lois Capps (CA-24), Loretta Sanchez (CA-46), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Mark Takano (CA-41), Mike Honda (CA-17), Mike Thompson (CA-05), Paul Cook (CA-05), Raul Ruiz (CA-36), Sam Farr (CA-20), Scott Peters (CA-52), Susan Davis (CA-53), Tony Cardenas (CA-29), and Zoe Lofgren (CA-19).