OAKLAND -- In an effort to foster better relations with city residents, the University of California Office of the President has created a scholarship fund for Oakland high school students, sponsoring community events and getting its employees to buy gift cards to use at local businesses.

The UC Oakland Partnership was announced by UC President Janet Napolitano Tuesday. Her office employs 1,700 people in Oakland.

"We need to be a better neighbor," Napolitano said during the Annual Leader Lunch at the Oakland Museum of California. "We need to support and celebrate our home community."

Napolitano lives in Oakland.

A UC spokeswoman said the office hopes to give out two or three scholarships to Oakland high school students for tuition at UC schools every year. The dollar amount of the scholarships has not yet been determined.

The office also is urging its employees to buy Oakland Grown gift cards, a program started by the Sustainable Business Alliance, with 5 percent of purchases going to the scholarship fund. And the office has signed on as sponsor for the Oakland Running Festival, the 2014 Economic Development Summit and Oakland Earth Day.