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August 24, 1998

UC president praises budget boost in high-tech fields

By Charles McFadden
UC Office of the President

UC President Richard C. Atkinson praised Gov. Pete Wilson and the legislature for taking an important step toward ensuring that California stays ahead in the world's increasingly technology-based economy.

The governor and legislature appropriated $6 million in the 1998-99 budget to increase the number of engineering and computer science faculty at UC. The university currently enrolls nearly 18,000 engineering and computer science students annually. The appropriation will allow UC to increase that figure by some 800 students, the first step in a plan to increase enrollment of these students 40 percent by 2005.

"While $6 million is a tiny part of an overall state budget of $76 billion, it is an important step, because the University of California's computer science and engineering programs have played a key role in moving our state to the forefront of high technology," Atkinson said.

"This appropriation will help keep California's increasingly high-tech economy moving forward--and that means jobs and paychecks," he added.

As an example of how the University of California acts as a catalyst in California's economy, Atkinson cited the fact that UC scientists and students were the driving force behind such major high-tech firms as Intel Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc., and Apple Computer Inc. In addition, technologies developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which is managed by UC, have helped create at least 30 spinoff companies, while some 80 companies can trace their roots directly to UC San Diego.

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