UCSC Retirees Continue UC's Public Service Mission


A recent survey of 4,478 University of California retirees, including 168 from the Santa Cruz campus, suggests that many retirees remain curious, vibrant, and productive, with a commitment to civic engagement and public service, for many years after their retirement. The report, UC Retirees: Advocates, Ambassadors, Assets, highlights the activities and accomplishments of  retired UC staff and non-Senate academics who responded to a survey that was conducted in fall of 2016 and covered the three-year period from July 2013 through September 2016.

The survey’s most striking findings concern the extent to which survey respondents remain committed to the University’s mission of public service. A total of 2,772 (63%) respondents reported volunteering in their communities, 849 (20%) volunteered for the University, 1,154 (27%) provided professional services, and 653 (15%) published written works. For Santa Cruz retirees, significantly greater percentages volunteered both within their communities (72%) and at the campus (37%).

Most UC retirees do not subscribe to the conventional view of retirement as a time of rest and relaxation. They eagerly share their experience and wisdom while contributing to the public good, pursuing creative endeavors, engaging in lifelong learning, caring for loved ones, and participating in a wide range of other activities. The majority of respondents have devoted 20 or more years to the University and many feel a lifelong sense of loyalty to the institution. For them, retirement is not a disengagement from UC, but rather a shift in the relationship. UCSC retirees are reimagining and redefining their lives to make a difference, and many do so while acting as advocates, ambassadors and assets for the University of California.