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Chancellor Leland Shares 2020 Project with UC Regents

March 13, 2013

UC Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland informed the UC Board of Regents of the campus’s intention to seek the board's approval of an amendment to its long-range development plan (LRDP) at the board’s next regularly scheduled meeting in May.

The amendment, developed in close consultation with the UC Office of the President, would expedite the next phase of campus expansion (“the 2020 Project”), providing enough space to accommodate up to 10,000 students within the next eight to 10 years.

In her presentation to the board March 13, Leland said the campus simply does not have enough physical space to support projected growth and will need to amend its LRDP in order to increase capacity as rapidly and cost-effectively as possible. (Listen to a recording of the presentation.)

She said the amendment to the LRDP, if approved in May, would reduce the size of the footprint for next-phase development from 335 acres to 219 acres, including the original 104-acre “golf course” plot. The change would make more efficient use of available land and enable construction of the project as an integrated, master-planned development, with mixed-use buildings delivered in clusters to save time and project costs.

The proposal is based on the recommendations of the Urban Land Institute, which issued its final report in December. Campus leadership has said it endorses the report’s findings and is actively reviewing individual recommendations, including greater use of off-campus facilities for administrative functions, to determine the optimal path forward.

“We need the regents to understand the urgency of our space needs and the efforts we’re making to address those needs as creatively and cost-effectively as possible,” Leland said after the meeting. “Making them aware of our intention to move forward in May with the amendment proposal is a vital step. I am very thankful for their high level of interest and continued enthusiasm for the UC Merced mission.”

An information brief supporting Leland’s presentation to the regents has been posted at online.