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UC Merced Rises to No. 3 in Young University Rankings

By James Leonard, UC Merced

UC Merced moved up from No. 4 to No. 3 in the new Times Higher Ed Young University rankings.

UC Merced’s reputation as a world-class research university continues to grow, as the university rose to No. 3 among U.S. universities in the 2020 Times Higher Education Young University Rankings released this week.


The list ranks the best universities in the world that are 50 years old and younger. Of the 414 universities considered, UC Merced ranks No. 65 overall. The university debuted in the rankings last year, placing No. 4 among young U.S. universities. The ranking weighs teaching, research, citations, international outlook and industry income of qualifying universities.


“The heights that UC Merced has reached in such a short time are truly remarkable,” Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Gregg Camfield said. “To build a brand-new research university in the middle of the financial struggles we have faced, and to already be recognized as an up-and-coming, top-flight research institution, is nothing short of a miracle. We are proud of this recognition, and even more so, we are excited about the future of this already great university.”


Teaching, research and citations make up 90 percent of the criteria for the Young University Rankings. The teaching category focuses on the learning environment, including a reputation survey, staff-to-student ratio and doctorate-to-bachelor’s ratio.


Research considers the university’s reputation for research excellence among its peers, as well as the income and productivity of the research departments. Citations indicate the university’s role in spreading new knowledge and ideas through published works. UC Merced is the youngest university to ever earn Carnegie R2 research classification, which indicates high research activity, and is well on its way to eventual R1 classification.


Other criteria include international outlook, which deciphers the ability of the university to attract undergraduates, postgraduates and faculty from all over the world, and industry income, which weighs the university’s ability to help industry with innovations, inventions and consultancy.

State Budget Makes the Valley’s Dream of a UC Medical

School a Reality

(Sacramento) – Assemblymember Adam C. Gray (D-Merced) released the following statement in response to the passage of the 2020 State Budget:


“Earlier this year, I said that a UC medical school in the Valley should be the legacy of this pandemic, not one of its victims. Today, that legacy became a reality. The 2020 State Budget provides $15 million per year every year to support a medical school at UCSF-Fresno and UC Merced. This represents the culmination of decades of tireless work and advocacy that will radically change the health care landscape in the San Joaquin Valley.


“Just as UC Merced has redefined who can go to college by enrolling more first-generation college students than any other campus in the UC system, this medical school will redefine who can be a doctor. It makes medical school a more realistic option for the thousands of Valley students who are qualified to become doctors but who cannot afford to move to places like San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Orange County.


“We know the best way to address the Valley’s shortage of medical providers is to recruit local students, train them close to home, and match them with local residencies. If we check all three of those boxes, they are nearly guaranteed to stay and practice medicine in the Valley. That dream scenario is no longer just a good idea. It is now something that will actually happen.


“When I requested that $1 million be included in the 2015 State Budget to study how to establish a UC medical school in the Valley, I could not have predicted we would be as far along as we are today. By leveraging the incredible resources already available at UCSF-Fresno and UC Merced, we found a path to a medical school in years instead of decades and for millions instead of billions.


“The incredibly talented faculty working at UCSF-Fresno are already graduating hundreds of medical residents every year. Very soon, they and their UC Merced counterparts will begin training our first wave of medical students who will make the promise of health care for all a reality.”

Essential Workers May be Eligible for  Help Paying for Child Care

Families who are considered part of the essential workforce and are currently working during the stay-at-home order may be eligible to get help paying for child care. This includes essential service workers who work in the health care sector, such as public health and emergency services, service workers in food and agriculture sectors, teachers and educational staff, producers of early learning and care services, including kitchen and other support staff, state and local government workers, information technology, energy production, transportation and logistics, chemical production and hazardous materials, along with financial services.


Merced County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steve Tietjen said child care keeps our families working and helps our economy. “It is crucial that we provide child care and other services for the essential workers who are on the front lines every day,” he said. “MCOE continues to work with child care providers to help provide safe child care environments and is able to help offset costs for more essential workers.”


Christie Hendricks, assistant superintendent of the Early Education Department at the Merced County Office of Education, says her agency specializes in helping families pay for child care and providing child care referrals to families for their specific child care needs.


“We have been very busy in the last month, setting up the staff to work remotely and enrolling essential workers on this child care program. It has been a little crazy and we very happy to be able to help essential workers," she said. "There are 300 child care slots or openings for families of essential workers; they have already had 150 applications from families seeking the service."


Rosa Barragan, program manager with the MCOE Early Education Department, said these are additional child care slots due to the COVID-19 pandemic and encourages families to apply. Her office is working to get the word out to businesses and the 20 local school districts serving Merced County.


“These are new funds, for families meeting the eligibility criteria, to help pay for child care. MCOE Child Care Resource and Referral is updating child care supply at least twice a week. We also provide child care referrals to licensed child care providers; we are calling it an enhanced referral,” Hendricks said.


Barragan said there are 169 family child care providers and 11 centers open, ready to serve the children of essential workers. MCOE works with the California Department of Social Services, which handles community care licensing, and are all working closely with child care providers to ensure they are following the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and best practices put in place by CDSS to ensure the child care environments are safe and minimize the spread of COVID-19.


For more information, call MCOE at (209) 381-4585 or email childcare@mcoe.org

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