Like Berkeley, the UC system as a whole is quickly running out of space to accommodate the next generation of Californians who will be reaching college age by mid-century. Even with the added capacity at UC Merced, the UC system will run out of space on existing campuses in the next decade. In the normal course of events, this would trigger planning for another new general campus. Yet at a time when the university is still reeling from the effects of the Great Recession, the wisdom of an expensive new general campus is questionable. The need now is to rebuild and reinvest in existing campuses, not build a new one. These considerations suggest a different strategy for long-term enrollment growth than the UC system has followed in the past: Growing off-campus capacity at mature campuses. This paper describes a range of potential options for off-campus expansion, such as a branch campus at Berkeley. Such a strategy could accommodate the moderate level of enrollment growth projected for UC between now and mid-century and would be far less expensive than a new general campus. Expanding off-campus capacity at mature campuses like Berkeley could also channel new resources where the financial damage to academic programs and infrastructure has been greatest.
February 21, 2017
Research and Occasional Papers Series (ROPS)
EXPANDING OFF-CAMPUS ENROLLMENT CAPACITY AT BERKELEY: A Concept Paper by Saul Geiser, UC Berkeley CSHE 2.17 (February 2017)