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California Briefing / Sacramento

UC to close center in capital

September 03, 2009|Shane Goldmacher

The University of California has decided to close the doors on its center for students learning about California government in the capital city.

The program, which Associate Director A.G. Block estimated has served 600 to 700 students since 2004, will continue operating for those arriving this fall, run by a skeleton crew including Block, the executive director and an aide.

Other staff was informed of layoffs Monday, the same day several of this term's 18 students arrived, he said.

The university expects to save as much as $850,000 through the closure, said Peter King, a spokesman for the UC Office of the President.

Block called the move shortsighted, because "each one of our students is an ambassador for the university in the halls of power."

The center submitted a $635,000 budget this year, pared back from its nearly $1 million the previous year.

King said the university system still intends to have interns in Sacramento: "We're trying to do the same mission at the same level of quality at a lower cost, which is sort of the general marching order for the UC these days."

-- Shane Goldmacher

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