Kenneth W. Kizer, a distinguished professor and director of the UC Davis Institute for Population Health Improvement and national expert on veterans’ issues, has been asked to serve on University of California President Janet Napolitano’s Advisory Council on Student Veterans.
The council will advise Napolitano on how best to support student veterans at UC, from creating a welcoming environment to helping ensure successful academic careers. It will monitor outreach efforts to students interested in attending UC, oversee the planning of a UC Summit on student veterans and apprise Napolitano on the UC student veteran experience. The council had its inaugural meeting at the UCOP offices in Oakland on Aug. 15, 2014.
The UC currently enrolls over 1,600 military veterans, including approximately 1,300 undergraduate and 300 graduate students, as well some 100 active duty military personnel. Nearly one quarter (23 percent) of UC’s veterans are enrolled at UC San Diego, with between 12 percent to 15 percent of students each at Davis, Berkeley, Irvine and Los Angeles. Less than 10 percent are enrolled at each of the remaining campuses. About 70 percent of UC’s undergraduate student veterans are transfer students from California community colleges. UC veteran enrollment grew by 47 percent between 2009 and 2012, and it is expected to increase further as the wars in southwest Asia wind down.
Kizer is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and served as the under secretary for health in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for President Clinton from 1994 through 1999, during which time he engineered the internationally acclaimed transformation of the VA health care system. He currently serves on several Institute of Medicine (IOM) committees addressing veterans’ issues and previously served on numerous other IOM, as well as National Academy of Public Administration, committees dealing with military and veterans concerns. He has been a member of the Defense Health Board, an independent body that advises the Department of Defense on health matters, and a member of various other commissions and boards concerned with military and veteran health matters.