UC Santa Cruz called on city and county leaders to help develop a sustainable implementation framework after UC Regents approved the 2021 Long-Term Campus Development Plan today.
Chancellor Cynthia Larive said UC Santa Cruz will continue to work closely with elected officials to balance the need for access to education for California students with community concerns, especially around housing, to circulation and water.
“I believe we can both fulfill our mission of serving California and continue to be a great neighbor in Santa Cruz,” Larive said. “Once the plan is approved, we can focus on solving the remaining issues. The campus, the city and the county have a strong relationship, and I know we are on the road to resolution.
Campus, city and county leaders signed an agreement earlier in the week that lays the groundwork to begin formal discussions on the way forward and how to resolve issues related to LDRP 2021.
Over the next 20 years, the LRDP 2021 will serve as a model for the future physical development of the campus, detailing at a high level how the main campus and the Westside Research Park could develop over the next two decades. The plan is the result of more than four years of work by campus leaders and planners in close collaboration with campus and community members.
The proposed LRDP does not detail specific projects. It essentially functions as a land use document, identifying where students, staff and faculty could be accommodated and where spaces for learning and research could be created, while also imagining the infrastructure needed to connect it all. . It is informed by community contributions and the university’s ambitions for decades to come, including the continued advancement of its academic and research missions, expanded access to higher education for the next generation of Californians, and more housing options on campus for students and employees.
Chancellor Cynthia Larive presented the plan, the accompanying Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and the monitoring and mitigation report program to the Finance and Capital Strategies Committee of the Board of Directors of the ‘UC Wednesday afternoon. Committee members, who unanimously approved the plan, sending it to the full board for review today, asked several questions, including the goal of providing 100% student housing at the -over 19,500.
Board members also asked about the campus’s efforts to reduce the demand for potable water per use by increasing reliance on runoff and recycled water, and on performing technical audits. on campus water use, a mitigation measure in the plan’s final environmental impact report.
Other questions focused on reducing car trips and mitigating transportation demand management programs that the campus will pursue to encourage the use of pedestrians, bicycles and public transportation, including l ‘addition of housing on campus for students and employees.
The regents welcomed the inclusion in the housing plan for employees. Larive explained that within the University of California, UC Santa Cruz is already providing one of the largest numbers of employee housing units, and will continue to do so as we add more housing over the course. the next 20 years. Regents also noted the campus’s efforts to minimize developable area in areas of high fire severity on campus.
Council members noted that legally binding mitigation measures are an integral part of the plan.
“I think we are moving forward in a responsible manner,” said UC Board Chair Cecilia Estolano. “We’re serving the needs of the state of California – but we’re doing it in a much more conservation-oriented, much more compact development than the previous LRDP, so I’m very happy to support this LRDP.”
Estolano stressed the importance of continuing to work in partnership with local leaders, urging the campus to continue conversations with members of the Santa Cruz City Council who spoke during the public comments.
UC Vice-Chairman Richard Lieb praised Larive for the process the campus followed in developing the plan and responded to concerns raised about impacts and mitigation measures. “I want to reaffirm what our chairman said, as well as what you said,” Lieb said, “that is… the mitigations in the document will be applied and we will live by these documents.”
UC Santa Cruz of the future will continue to be an extraordinary natural environment where students, faculty and staff teach, learn, research, live and work. The 2040 campus will be more connected, functional and flexible, with facilities complementing the landscape – just as the founders of the campus envisioned almost 60 years ago. It is, and will continue to be, a place of resilience that drives innovation forward, inspires the next generation of leaders and innovators, and tackles society’s toughest issues.
Based on campus and community feedback, the plan:
- Continue to embrace and respect the original vision of the campus.
- Promotes a compact footprint for learning, research and housing spaces.
- Increases the campus nature reserve, used for ecological and educational purposes, while promoting outdoor activities that contribute to health and well-being.
- Offers sites for up to four new residential colleges, advancing our unique and transformative residential college system structure, which provides students with the experience of a small liberal arts college with the depth and rigor of a great research university.
- Expands housing for 100 percent of new full-time students enrolled above 19,500.
- Includes housing for up to 25 percent of new employees, depending on demand.
- Improves campus traffic with a focus on alternative modes of transportation to reduce individual car trips.
UC Santa Cruz has developed an extensive county-wide awareness campaign to garner a wide range of views on the plan. Campus has formed a community advisory group, made up of leaders from local government, the education sector, and neighborhood and community groups, some of whom have challenged the university on its long-term plans in the past. Public consultation workshops were held and an online public survey was conducted. Three regional planning workshops were organized, followed by presentations on the regional planning map project. Three scoping sessions prior to the development of the RIA project took place in spring 2020.
University of California policy requires each of its campuses to regularly update a long-term development plan. The exercise requires campuses to set specific parameters – a time horizon and an enrollment figure – to carefully plan for the future.
Long-term development plans are sometimes mistakenly referred to as workforce growth plans. In reality, enrollment decisions are driven by many continuing and evolving factors, including student demand, state funding, and campus capacity.
UC Santa Cruz’s now-approved plan will guide the campus over the next two decades and provide for the infrastructure and space the campus may need to serve up to 28,000 students, a figure that city leaders and college in the 1960s imagined the university would reach in 1990. A comprehensive plan, informed by input from the campus community, the general public, and the college’s vast network of alumni and supporters, helps current and future university leaders to make good overall decisions.
“It is impossible to fully predict university life 20 years from now,” Larive said. For example, the lasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are unknown and may result in changes in campus operations, such as an increase in remote work for some employees and more online and hybrid education. “But it is prudent that our campus produces a well-thought-out roadmap that can serve as a guide whatever the year 2040 may bring.”
Since its founding in 1965, UC Santa Cruz has followed an unprecedented trajectory, producing transformative research and scholarships in the service of society while graduating more than 140,000 students who make their own contribution locally, regionally and globally. . UC Santa Cruz joined the American Association of Universities in 2019, a stunning achievement for a university that is not even 60 years old, highlighting the impact and quality of campus research as well as teaching at graduate and undergraduate cycles. UC Santa Cruz now shares the distinction of being the youngest member of this esteemed 66-member association and one of four members that is also an institution serving Hispanics.
A leader at the intersection of creativity, innovation and justice, UC Santa Cruz continues to attract students eager to create real and transformative change. The recognition and commitment to social justice increased the interest of prospective students. The diversity of the student population is growing and each year the campus welcomes thousands of students from modest backgrounds who will be the first in their families to obtain a diploma in four years. This focus on opportunity and access serves California and defines the mission of the university.