May 5th, 2014
On May 1, surrounded by students and recent graduates of the California State University (CSU) and University of California (UC) systems, Reps. Ami Bera (D-Elk Grove) and Jeff Denham (R-Hawthorne) announced the creation of the California Public Higher Education Caucus (CPHEC). Bera and Denham said CPHEC will advocate for the UC and CSU “schools and their students and support improvements to the quality, affordability, and accessibility of California’s public higher education system.” Tom Rivera, a 2013 SDSU graduate who currently works in Sen. Barbara Boxer’s office, represented CSU students at the event. The caucus currently has thirty members.
“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.”