Submission: Save the Jewel

Photo courtesy of Matt Howard

We are organizing against the expansion of UC San Diego because in 1849, when California placed in its Constitution the objective of a complete educational system, Governor Low suggested that the university system be based on the University of Michigan system. The state auditor’s reports have caused the Regents of the UC system and Janet Napolitano’s Office of the President to keep expanding campuses to deal with the need to bring in California students versus out-of-state students. This is not like Michigan, which is one of four state systems today that directly elect people to be regents and to run the university. The other states are Colorado, Nebraska, and Nevada. In today’s board meeting of the UC Regents, the tone and tenor of the board have changed slightly. The board has appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)  to do an audit and a third party to monitor the implementation of the auditor’s reports.

The California Master Plan for Higher Education of 1960 established that the UC system must admit undergraduates from the top 12.5% (one-eighth) of graduating high school seniors in California. UC schools do not currently adhere to all tenets of the original Master Plan, such as the directives that no campus was to exceed the total enrollment of 27,500 students, to ensure quality of education. The reason I’m bringing this up is that the expansion of the campus to reach 45,000 students in 2020 will not only violate the California master plan but UCSD’s own long-range plan in 2014. I think the state legislature has been stymied in controlling the autonomous University of California.

Chair Monica Lozano of the UC Board refuses to deal with the neighborhood that is surrounding UCSD, but the expansion will impact the areas in La Jolla. We will be reaching out again to Richard Blum and Janet Napolitano, as well as requesting meetings at the July 12 initial meeting of the fiscal year for UC. The Board of Regents obviously are stewards of the university, but are not ensuring the proper policies and procedures to be good neighbors in the La Jolla area. It is a shame that the University did not commit to working towards greater transparency and accountability. The Chancellor of the campus is directly given his objectives from the Office of the President of the UC system. The state legislature is not in partnership with the community.

The UC system claims it is advancing initiatives to support increased enrollment of Californians and enhance diversity among the student bodies and faculty ranks, leveraging the power of the UC system to solve the great challenges of the world. The University of California’s constitutional autonomy carries with it an obligation to be wise and prudent stewards of public resources. It is California’s third largest employer and currently enrolls over 264,000 students.

Our Save The Jewel initiative, while not important to Ms. Lazano, is important to us, and we plan to do a complete environmental impact analysis of this expansion. We will deal with the fact that the Office of the President will not deal with residents on their leased land. This will be a major impact in the upcoming gubernatorial election, and we will campaign against any candidate who does not support their constituents.

 

This article was written by Sam Greenblatt, a member of Save the Jewel. The positions stated here do not necessarily represent the opinions of The Triton, any of its members, or any of its affiliates.

We welcome responses to opinion pieces. If you’d like to submit a response, or comment on a different issue affecting the UC community, please submit here.