A biweekly publication for faculty and staff

Daniel M. Feitelberg, Vice Chancellor, Planning and Budget

September 24, 2013

This is a very exciting and critical time in our institution’s young history. Together, we have an opportunity to build upon the vision of our founding faculty, staff and students. I am honored to be part of the UC Merced community. 

Since January, we have laid the groundwork to move forward with the development of the 2020 Project. UC Merced’s greatest challenge for enrollment growth — both graduate and undergraduate — is sufficient and timely capital development. The campus is faced with a growing gap between strong student demand and the campus’s limited capacity to provide the capital and infrastructure needed to support that demand. 

Our success in attracting and retaining a diverse, talented student body, stellar faculty members, and dedicated administrators and staff members requires a capital development program that keeps pace with our planned growth. The 2020 Project includes the facilities needed to support an enrollment level of 10,000 students, including academic, administrative, research and recreational buildings, student residences, student services buildings, utilities, infrastructure, outdoor recreation areas, and associated roadways, parking and landscaping.  

In May 2013, the UC Regents approved an amendment to the UC Merced 2009 Long-Range Development Plan (LRDP) to create a planning framework that identifies a Central Campus District and adds a new Campus Mixed Use (CMU) designation that would provide greater land use flexibility to design and deliver a master-planned development.

The 2020 Project and the associated life-cycle costs of the facilities we plan to develop will be one of the most defining aspects of the business model for this campus over the next several decades. As such, we recognized the need to develop a strong and diverse internal project team and to hire strong commercial real estate expertise to help lead us through the process of real estate development.

The next several months will be a busy time as we prepare to release a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for development teams.

Over the past two weeks, our development team met with the campus community in small focus groups. In approximately 30 group discussions, conversations focused on identifying the needs of the campus and stakeholder interests in a holistic manner. The information will be used to develop macro programs for each of the 2020 Project elements, evaluate development strategies and analyze the campus’s infrastructure requirements and sustainability objectives. 

The development challenges we face require us, as a campus community, to work collaboratively to meet our objectives. As we develop the 2020 Project, we want to establish an inclusive, team-oriented process that is also focused on moving forward with project development on a timely basis. 

I encourage you to keep informed about the project by visiting our 2020 Project website. Our development team will post additional information about the project as it becomes available. Questions about the project can be sent to ucmerced2020@ucmerced.edu.