Regional Vitality

Other contributions to the community
Keeping the Santa Cruz area a step ahead—the campus draws talented individuals who make intellectual, educational, research, cultural, and service contributions to the local region


UCSC received more than $100 million in research contracts and grants in 2004-05, a 10% increase over the previous year and a 64% cumulative increase over five years. The Federal government, the largest funding agency, supplied 82% of the total with NASA as the largest source, followed by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

Because the University encourages practical applications of research to benefit society plus the timely transfer of research findings to the commercial sector, UCSC research translates into new knowledge and new jobs.

  • Support to agriculture. Working with farmers, UCSC researchers have been at the forefront of sustainable agriculture for years, developing alternatives to costly synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
  • Health and safety. Researchers at UCSC are working with investigators from across the state and nation to tackle subjects ranging from the mystery of earthquakes to the secrets of life at the molecular level.
  • Monterey Bay research. UCSC's marine sciences campus, home to one of the premier marine-science research groups in the country, is a hub of activity for research focused on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
  • Information technology. UCSC faculty, students, and staff are applying advanced technology to the area's business and research interests—ranging from the complex data-handling and computer-graphics tools needed to better understand the flood of data in science and engineering to advanced research and production in animation, rendering, and music composition in support of the arts.

Additional examples can be found at

Cultural and educational

Through the arts, sports, education, and community service—UCSC keeps the Santa Cruz community involved, brings world-renowned attractions to the region and is a contributor to the cultural richness and the quality of life prized by local residents.

  • Arts and culture. UCSC contributes to the cultural life of Santa Cruz through performances, exhibitions, films, and lectures by UCSC faculty, visiting lecturers, students, and others. Theater, art, music, and dance programs are offered to the public throughout the school year, and the Arts & Lectures series presents top national and international entertainers.
  • Partners in education. With dozens of collaborative projects with public schools, UCSC is a leader in the effort to improve K-12 education by reaching out and forming partnerships with local and regional schools. UCSC's Educational Partnership Center coordinates activities with public schools in the Silicon Valley and Monterey Bay Area in an effort to increase the number of underrepresented students attending four-year colleges and universities. The highly regarded New Teacher Center is a leading national resource addressing the need for high-quality professional development programs for teachers.

Additional examples can be found at

Community service

The Santa Cruz community is enriched in many ways not only through University programs but as a result of the volunteer activities of its students, faculty, and staff. The June 2005 survey results showed:

  • Students. Twenty-nine percent of students volunteer or complete an unpaid internship—for charities, public schools, and other non-profits in Santa Cruz County—contributing over 550,000 hours to the community. During 2004-05, students were matched with local agencies by the student-run Student Volunteer Connection, including Beach Flats After-School Tutors and Community Center, Big Brothers/ Sisters, Boys and Girls Club, Familia Center, Salvation Army, Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation, and Santa Cruz Libraries. In addition, UCSC community service project grants are available to students and student groups who are interested in direct-service projects that address community needs or problems within the County and surrounding local communities.
  • Faculty and staff. Fifty-four percent of faculty and staff volunteer locally—for non-profits, charities, public schools, and religious organizations—contributing over 270,000 hours annually. In fact, 15% of faculty and staff reported that they held a leadership position in a local community group during 2004-05.
  • Alumni. Even as UCSC students graduate and leave the local community, they bring with them a culture of service. The campus was ranked seventh among mid-sized institutions for the number of alumni in the Peace Corps during 2005. Since that program began in 1961, 576 alumni have served around the world.