UC Davis leads in number of California graduates, Solano EDC told

February 01 2018

By Ryan McCarthy

FAIRFIELD — The University of California, Davis, graduates the most students from the nine campus-U.C. system, the chancellor says.

Gary S. May, named chancellor the Davis campus in August, noted the in-state graduation rate after he was asked about a trend to bring international and out-of-state students to University of California campuses to balance the budget.

Speaking at the Solano Economic Development Corporation meeting, May said nonresident enrollment at University of California campuses is capped at 18 percent. Such students pay more tuition and the enrollment was necessary during the recession, May said.

“It’s our mission to educate California residents,” he said.

Introduced by Robert Burris, the new president and chief executive officer of the Solano Economic Development Corporation, May noted part of the UC Davis south campus is in Solano County.

May said the university and the county have a long history, with many students and university staff living in Solano County.

Asked why higher education is so expensive, the chancellor said public funding has declined sharply over the past two decades.

He referred to a colleague in Michigan who spoke about the transition of universities from being state-funded, to state-supported to state-located.

May is a native of St. Louis who earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering at Georgia Tech in 1981 and a master’s and doctorate at the University of California, Berkeley.

The chancellor joked Wednesday during his talk about days in graduate school down the road at the campus in Berkeley.

Burris spoke at the 35th annual meeting of the Solano Economic Development Corporation about creating a research center within the corporation to establish a brain trust of regional economic data.

When recruiting companies to locate here, Burris said statistics have to back up talk about the quality of life and the workforce.

“I’m a numbers guy. I love numbers,” he said. “I speak English and Excel.”

He praised the Moving Solano Forward plan to promote the region and referred to his 23 years as a consultant on economic development. Some strategies he’s seen are dust collectors, but Moving Solano Forward is “one of quality,” Burris said.

“We need to get on the road,” he said of promoting the region. “We need to get out there.”

Burris called on members to be ambassadors for Solano County. He joked about starting a swear jar for people to contribute to if they refer to the region as a “corridor.”

That suggests a place to get through on your way to a destination, Burris said at the meeting at the Hilton Garden Inn in Fairfield.

“Everything is here,” he said. “It’s not that we’re near it all. It’s all here.”