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State Lawmaker Visits UCR

State Senator Jackie Speier Stops at UC Riverside to Talk About Doing More with Less

She said UC Riverside Committed to Serving Students, Despite Budget Difficulties

(January 26, 2005)

Chancellor Córdova and State Sen. Jackie SpeierEnlarge

Chancellor Córdova and State Sen. Jackie Speier

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( -- Democratic State Senator Jackie Speier visited UC Riverside Wednesday on a listening tour to find out whether the state budget cuts over the past five years have affected the teaching and research mission of the campus.

She met with Chancellor France A. Córdova, all campus deans, three vice chancellors, faculty leaders and a contingent of UCR students.

This is her fourth campus visit, with previous visits to UCLA, UC Irvine and UC San Diego.

“In the listening tour, this was the best visit I’ve had yet,” Speier said after it was over. “The administration and faculty are truly dedicated to the diverse community of students at UCR. They are hampered by a funding formula that has not taken into consideration the extraordinary growth that they have absorbed over the last few years.”

She said she will make it a goal to make sure that the funding system is fair even to the fastest-growing campuses. One of the results of that funding formula is that class sizes at UCR have crept up to an average ratio of 29 to 1, which is higher than at other UC campuses, she said. Also, more work is needed in hiring women on the faculty.

“I talked briefly with the Chancellor about that, and she is committed to making the changes,” Speier said.

UC Riverside is one of the campuses that is likely to play an important role as the state’s student population rises, Speier said. “We have a commitment to the Master Plan that we offer a spot at the UC to all qualified students,” she said. “UC Riverside is one of our great hopes.”

Speier is a member of the State Senate committees on Education, Appropriations, Transportation, Bay Area Transportation and Health Care for all Californians. She is chairwoman of the committees on Insurance and Government Oversight.

A San Francisco native, she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from UC Davis. Her law degree comes from Hastings College of Law. She was a legal aide to Congressman Leo Ryan from 1972 to 1978, when he was killed in an ambush at Jonestown. She was also injured.

In 1980, she won a seat on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. She served five terms in the state Assembly and won her Senate seat in 1998. She was reelected in 2002.

UC Riverside students have the chance to talk with State Sen. Jackie Speier. To her right is chief of staff Richard Steffen.Enlarge

UC Riverside students have the chance to talk with State Sen. Jackie Speier. To her right is chief of staff Richard Steffen.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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