UC Berkeley prepares to slash enrollment after California Supreme Court ruling [3/4/22]
The court’s decision to reject UC Berkeley’s application for a stay in the case means the school will likely need to shrink its student population before the fall semester begins.
The California Supreme Court has rejected a request from UC Berkeley to pause a lower court order freezing its enrollment — a ruling that will likely force the university to slash its admissions for the next academic year.
The decision by the Supreme Court justices to reject UC Berkeley’s application for a stay in the case means the school will need to shrink its student population from 45,057 to 42,347 by the time fall semester begins. The university’s admissions department has said a mandated reduction in students would result in the loss of more than 3,000 undergraduate seats and 5,100 fewer admissions offers being sent to high school seniors and transfer applicants.
The Supreme Court will not intervene in a Superior Court ruling from August that ordered the school to cap enrollment at 2020-21 levels, which dipped as some students decided to take time off because of the pandemic. That decision stemmed from a fight between UC Berkeley and a neighborhood group called Save Berkeley’s Neighborhoods, which has a history of challenging the
The Supreme Court denied the application for a stay and a petition for it to review the case in a 5-2 decision. Justices Goodwin Liu and Joshua Groban dissented, with Liu writing that he would have granted the stay and petition for review because of “the statewide importance of the issues presented.” He also said that the court’s decision shouldn’t seal the fates of thousands of students, suggesting that UC Berkeley renew its request for a stay with the appeals court or reach a settlement with the neighborhood group.
Superior Court Judge Brad Seligman found that school administrators did not properly consider the effects of expanded enrollment on the neighboring city when it submitted an environmental impact report for a construction project on the edge of campus.
The Supreme Court’s decision does not mean the enrollment ruling is guaranteed to stand in the long run. The case is currently being heard by a state appeals court, which also denied the university’s request for a stay, saying that attorneys for UC Berkeley waited months before applying for relief.
UC Berkeley spokesperson Dan Mogulof called the ruling “devastating news for the thousands of students who have worked so hard for and have earned a seat in our fall 2022 class. Our fight on behalf of every one of these students continues.”
Mogulof said the university will try to reduce the number of new students it turns away, primarily by increasing online enrollment and encouraging incoming students to delay enrollment until January 2023. He said California residents and transfer students from within the California Community College system will be prioritized for fall in-person undergraduate enrollment.
UC Berkeley’s legal battle prompted legislation from state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) that would exempt certain campus housing developments from the California Environmental Quality Act. The neighborhood group sued the school under that law, which requires state and local agencies to study the environmental impact of construction projects before approving them.
“It’s tragic that California allows courts and environmental laws to determine how many students UC Berkeley and other public colleges can educate,” Wiener said in a statement. “This ruling directly harms thousands of young people and robs them of so many opportunities. We must never allow this to happen again.”
Past legislation to circumvent CEQA, which housing proponents say has been misused by neighborhood groups to prevent new construction, has run into opposition from environmentalists and some labor groups. But the fight at UC Berkeley has brought the issue back to the forefront just as record numbers of high school students await admissions decisions from the prestigious campus.
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office said in a tweet that the enrollment ruling is “is against everything we stand for — new pathways to success, attracting tomorrow’s leaders, making college more affordable.”
Phil Ting, who chairs the powerful Assembly Budget Committee, said in a statement that the Legislature is exploring a variety of options to provide relief to UC Berkeley. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon also hinted in a tweet that his office is exploring a policy fix.
California has dedicated funding to expand enrollment by 5,000 full-time students at University of California schools and 10,000 full-time students at the California State University System. Newsom’s latest budget proposals aim to further increase enrollment by the 2026-27 school year.
UC Berkeley plans to begin mailing admissions offers on March 23. The university has said that it would limit those offers to 15,900 applicants if a stay was denied, down from its original allotment of 21,000 admissions offers for the next academic year.
Joint Statement re Settlement Agreement [10/20/21]
The University of California San Diego, the Blackhorse Homeowners Association, and the La Jolla Shores Association have resolved all issues arising from a lawsuit the associations filed in October 2020 regarding the Theatre District Living and Learning Neighborhood project. The settlement agreement represents the community coming together with UC San Diego. To strengthen this new partnership, representatives of the Blackhorse Homeowners Association and the La Jolla Shores Association will join UC San Diego’s Community Advisory Group to ensure continued close collaboration between the University and the community. This resolution represents a win-win for the community, for the University, and for the students, both present and future.
NYTimes.com: As Occupancy Dwindles, College Dorms Go Beyond Students [11/18/20]
Interesting timing as we go into the UC Regents discussion of UCSD’s proposed TDLLN Project this afternoon. Seems flexibility and creativity are the keys to success and survival in today’s world.
Real estate developers are seeking opportunities to buy student housing from strapped universities and convert them into apartments for white-collar workers:
Letter from LJSA to UC Regents re errors in September meeting minutes
Click link below to read letter LJSA sent to UC President and Regents regarding errors in their September meeting minutes regarding the the TDLLN project:
Letter to City Government re opposition to UCSD’s request for removal of deed restrictions [10/25/20]
Mayor Kevin Faulconer
San Diego City Council President Gomez
San Diego City Council President Pro-Tem Bry
San Diego City Council Members J. Campbell, C. Cate, M. Kersey, M. Montgomery, V. Moreno, S. Sherman, & C. Ward
(Sent via Email to all parties)
October 22, 2020
Re: Removal of Deed Restrictions to 510 Acres of land given to UCSD
Dear Mayor, City Council President, City Council President Pro-Tem and City Council Members
The La Jolla Shores Association (LJSA) voted at its October Meeting to oppose the request by UCSD to have the Deed Restrictions removed on 510 acres of San Diego City land gifted to the University. These Deed Restrictions were imposed on these land gifts to ensure that this valuable land would be used for University educational purposes.
The University of California was established as a publicly funded university to serve the citizens of California with higher education and important research. In UCSD’s presentation to the Land Use and Housing Committee on September 17th, the description of what the land will be used for strays far from the UC mandate.
The LJSA opposes the lifting of the Deed Restrictions on these 510 acres to include, but not be limited to, the following reasons:
- The proposed UCSD continued building of retail shops, art galleries, restaurants, conference centers, ballrooms, a state of the art convention center, hotel rooms, condos and residences for retired professors does not serve the University mandate to educate students. Instead, it competes head-to-head with the local economy.
- SDSU just purchased 160+ acres of land from the City of San Diego for $88 million. SDSU went through exhaustive community forums, a City-wide vote, and extensive protracted negotiations with City entities. The same should be required of UCSD.
- If the Deed Restrictions are lifted on the 510 acres of land in question, the University can then sell the land for profit and/or long-term lease the land to developers with little to no benefit to the citizens of San Diego.
- UCSD stated that revenue of $80 million over 20 years would accrue to the City of San Diego if UCSD were to develop this land as they plan (see description above). The benefit to the City comes out to $4 million per year. This is a mere pittance of what 510 acres of prime coastal and view land is worth. This is like stealing much needed revenue from the citizens of San Diego. Revenue that should benefit ALL of San Diego.
For these, and other reasons, LJSA opposes the lifting of the Deed Restrictions on the 510 acres of land gifted to UCSD. No action should be taken on this important matter without a full and robust vetting of this issue by City entities and ALL the citizens of San Diego in Community Forums held city-wide.
We thank you for your attention to this important matter on behalf of the citizens of San Diego.
Janie Emerson, President LJSA