UC San Diego is currently in the planning stages of building a seventh college. The current proposal by the Seventh College Planning Task Force, published on the Academic Senate website on May 31, suggests two options: a college focusing on interdisciplinary themes or transfer students.
The task force suggested that if an interdisciplinary college is created, it should be themed around “Brain, Mind and Consciousness” or “Information, Behavior and Ethics”
While there was “unanimous enthusiasm” for both themes, the task force was not unanimously enthusiastic about a transfer college.
Ricky Flahive, President of the All Campus Transfer Association (ACTA) and the 2016-17 Senior Commencement Speaker, believes that a transfer resource center would be a better fit than a transfer-specific college.
“While we think that there is some merit to having specific programming and academic advising for transfer students, we think an individual transfer college would make it harder for transfers to integrate into the wider campus community,” Flahive said. “Ultimately, ACTA believes the best solution is a Transfer Resource Center, something already established at every other UC.”
In either case, the task force in charge of the project has determined that “there is a pressing need for the creation of Seventh College,” due to the fact that each of the current six colleges has already exceeded their population goal of around 4,000 students.
The UCSD Academic Plan, created in 1963, called for the development of twelve colleges of 2,300 students to be completed by 1995; however, since then, the campus plan has shifted significantly based on available land and population. The 2004 Long Range Development Plan acknowledged the need for an eventual Seventh College, based on the growth of the undergraduate population. Sixth College is currently in the process of being relocated to the new “Living and Learning Neighborhood” to what are now the Muir College parking lots.
However, some local residents have taken a clear stance against the Sixth College development, as well as any future campus developments.
“We’re not yelling at kids to get off our lawn,” local resident Michael Madden told The La Jolla Light, “but if there’s going to be 20,000 kids on our lawn, it seems necessary to do something.” Another resident, Sam Greenblatt, told The Light that he’s “almost 100 percent positive that [they’re] going to have to litigate this.”
Blackhorse neighborhood residents (pictured May 8) Irv Tollgard, Sam Greenblatt, Ann Ruethling and Michael Madden are garnering support to fight the UC San Diego North Torrey Pines Living & Learning Neighborhood. Photo courtesy of La Jolla Light staff writer María José Durán.
Despite the recent local criticism, UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla shows no signs of changing course. He believes that limiting growth will stymie the California, and more specifically, the San Diego economy.
“I think UC San Diego has the space to grow. I just want to make sure that our local community understands that without UC San Diego, San Diego doesn’t look like the way it is,” Khosla told the Union Tribune late last month. “To limit UC San Diego’s growth — to be an impediment to our growth — is not a good thing, both for the state of California and for San Diego in general.”
Possible locations for the new Seventh College include the current Sixth College housing located in east campus, The Village, the North Torrey Pines/Extension area, and the Revelle parking lots. While there is no concrete timeline for the projects, a short term conversion of either the current Sixth College site or the Village could result in a seventh college as early as 2018.
“With a UC San Diego steady state projected at 32,000 undergraduate students total by 2035, and the number of students in each of our six colleges already exceeding 4,000, planning should begin immediately for Seventh College, with the goal that Eighth College follow within two years,” the task force wrote.
Gabe Schneider is the News Editor for The Triton.