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Report 99-2: Opening the Central Valley: A Review of the Board of Regents' Proposal to Build the University of California Community at Merced

Published by The California Postsecondary Education Commission

June 1999

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This report reviews the decision by the University of California's Board of Regents to create a new general campus -- the system's first in 40 years -- near the City of Merced in the San Joaquin Valley. The University intends to open the new campus in fall 2005 with 1,000 Full Time Equivalent Students which will grow to 5,000 FTES by fall 2010.

The Commission is required by law (Education Code 66903 and 66904) to review "the need for and location of" all proposals for new campuses and educational centers presented by any of the three public higher education governing boards. This report, which follows the Commission's Guidelines for the Review of Proposed University Campuses, Community Colleges, and Educational Centers, provides a planning history of the proposed campus, discusses the University of California's systemwide physical capacity to enroll new students, and considers a number of review criteria, including potential enrollments, alternatives to building the campus, academic planning, possible conflicts with other institutions in the region, and potential construction and operating costs.

Based on this analysis, the report concludes that the University of California at Merced should become a reality and recommends to the Governor and the Legislature that the campus be approved. It also urges the University to be innovative in its academic planning and to provide a clearer indication of potential construction costs.

The Commission adopted this report at its meeting on June 14, 1999.

Related Topics: Facilities Review

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