In the course of a March discussion in the State Capitol about the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry, which is exploring the development and use of safe chemicals as well as ways to impact public policy, State Senator Joe Simitian had some specific things to say about UC Berkeley’s immense value to California’s economy.
The backdrop to his remarks is the drop in state funding to the University of California over the last 20 years and the further cuts that are still pending. Simitian warns that this disinvestment puts California’s economic growth at risk, since, in addition to providing a high caliber education, campuses like UC Berkeley also drive the state’s economy through critical research and innovation, which promotes private sector investment.
Full disclosure: in addition to his (cum laude) B.A. from Colorado College and his M.A. from Stanford, Senator Simitian holds two Berkeley graduate degrees, a 1977 J.D. from the School of Law and a 1991 master of city planning.