Discussion: If UC Says Jump, Will We?

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LRDP-Graphic

This week we have been discussing the issue of rental housing – how much housing the university should provide, and how much the city should supply at this point.  Clearly, there are disagreements in the community over this issue.

As I stated in yesterday’s column, “There is an overwhelming sentiment that UC Davis needs to put a much larger percentage of housing on campus than they currently provide. “

As one commenter put it, “UCD needs to get their priorities straightened out and (provide) much more housing on-campus, as the other UC’s and other teaching institutions have.”

I don’t think there is a question that UC Davis has not prioritized this.  As Eileen Samitz  has noted, at least twice in recent years UC Davis has agreed to increase their on-campus housing, but have failed to do so.

I do not think that most people would disagree with any of this.  The question as I put it is what can we reasonably do to change their actions.  The city has created their own subcommittee of Mayor Robb Davis and Councilmember Rochelle Swanson to work with the university on issues related to their Long Range Development Plan (LRDP).

Mayor Davis has already worked behind the scenes with UC Davis to convince them – for the time being, successfully – to increase plans to expand student housing.

Still – I think we have a problem here.  UC Davis has shown, not just now but in the past, that they are willing to promise to increase on-campus housing options.  The problem is that they haven’t followed through.

Is creating a subcommittee on LRDP or having an ongoing two-by-two, assuming that’s even possible, the answer?  Maybe.  But I do think we are being a bit overly optimistic here.  After all, words are cheap and promises fall prey to difficult planning realities.

But there is more than that.  UC Davis might be pressured into changing their policies, but at least looking at their history, I’m not sure why one would count on that.  The legislature, which has a heckuva lot more power than local residents, had to bribe UC to change their admissions policies to admit more in-state students – and yes, that will have a trickle-down effect on us as well.

But my point here is that I think we’re being a bit naïve to think in the end a little pressure from council and the citizens is going to compel UC Davis to do something it doesn’t want to do.

And even if they do agree – as they have – there is no guarantee they will follow through in the long term.

That was part of the point of yesterday’s exercise demonstrating that UC Davis has a lot of problems with getting development proposals underway and completed.  We have seen West Village, a logical location for additional housing, and yet it has been a 15-year process already.

As Don Shor pointed out, while UC Davis does have a lot of land, the amount of developable land is probably far less.  Clearly, as we have suggested, the possibility exists for a high-density student housing location.  As we noted, Cal Poly was able to house 2700 students on just 30 acres.  UC Davis could find twice that to house 5400 or more students.

Still, the history of this suggests that UC Davis is not going to be able to move fast to address this issue and, with 6800 new students set to arrive in the next decade, the clock is ticking.

I am not supportive of an all on-campus approach here.  I do believe that UC Davis needs to figure out a way to house that 90 percent, but that still leaves probably 3000 to 4000 beds that the city must provide or force students to commute from out of town – and, despite people’s ability to pull up available units on websites, the math from the last few years suggests that 10,000 people commute and there is not room for them or the expected increase in student population.

One poster asks quite reasonably: “Should Davis be forced to jump to building more housing every time the University plans to expand enrollment?”

This is actually a far more interesting and complex question than was perhaps intended.  First of all, Davis doesn’t jump to do anything, especially build new housing.  Part of why our vacancy rate is so low is that we haven’t done a lot of building, even as UC Davis has rapidly increased in size.

Second, I have problem with the implicit notion that this is an us against them world.  In a lot of ways, we are UC Davis.  A huge percentage of our community works for UC Davis and, therefore, our livelihood depends on the livelihood of UC Davis.  I don’t see how we can separate that.

Our city brand and our core identity are inextricably linked to the university.  While UC Davis itself is not calling all of the shots here, some of the growth is coming from above, some of the growth is at the core of trying to make a UC education more accessible and affordable for students.

Think of this as a critical company that is attempting to expand – they want to bring in more jobs and customers and we want to balk at providing at least some of the housing?  That doesn’t sound like being a good partner.

On the other hand, I readily agree that UC Davis hasn’t been the best of partners either – they have not lived up to their agreements to provide for their share of housing.

I still think the key question is what is the fair share of housing that each side should provide?  Some people seem to believe that Davis, the city, has no obligation whatsoever to provide for any of that housing.  Given our relationship and the benefits a large portion of our community gains from UC Davis, I cannot go there.

Bottom line and perhaps where I part ways with some – I believe that both UC Davis and the city of Davis have an obligation to provide more housing than they are currently.  For the university, I would look toward a small footprint, but dense project, toward the south end of campus.  For Davis, I would look at small infill spots or places like Nishi close to campus, which can accommodate apartments and rental housing.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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131 thoughts on “Discussion: If UC Says Jump, Will We?”

  1. Grok

    This is the 5th day in a row the Vanguard has published an article on this topic and it seems none of them have had any new research on the subject. The whiny repetitious “I don’t think the University will do it so Davis has to” is unhelpful and uninformative.  I suggested several days ago that you go do some research on what is going on at other schools, but not only have you not done that, you have posted 5 articles without doing ANY new research at all.
     
    The court watch stuff is interesting, but the local political stuff from this so called “news reporting organization” is looking more like just a whiny opinion blog every day.

    1. Grok

      Just look at  Sean Raycraft’s article for a better example. Even though he is an active participant in the story, He does his research, he quotes participants, he cites the bills involved. Quoting from the comments others posted on yesterdays blog is not news, its blogging.

    2. Alan Miller

      This is the 5th day in a row the Vanguard has published an article on this topic and it seems none of them have had any new research on the subject.

      Slow news year?

  2. South of Davis

    David wrote:

    > The question as I put it is what can we reasonably

    > do to change their actions.  

    Just about everyone in Davis agrees that UC should build new housing just like almost everyone agrees that it is not good for a 10 year old boy to stay up late every night drinking Mountain Dew and playing video games.

    We can complain to UC and hope not building any apartments in town gets them to build just like we can talk to the parent and tax soda, but in the end there is nothing the people in the city of Davis can do to “reasonably change the actions” of a a parent giving their kid too much soda or a university outside the city limits that does not build enough housing…

    1. Davis Progressive

      i’m not a big fan of your choice of analogies, because i think we probably have more we can do in your hypothetical case than the issue at hand.   the vanguard analogy of the legislature and uc with regards to instate admissions is being ignored by the grok-samitz-harrington contingency.

  3. Eileen Samitz

    I agree with Grok. These chronic pessimistic articles are counter-productive and tiresome. They do not even pretend to sound objective anymore and others are noticing this and commenting to me personally, and they are too fed up with the Vanguard to even post their complaints about it. Here a process of the City engaging with UCD on this housing issue has not even been given a chance to begin and the Vanguard is nothing but “gloom and doom” and if anything “sand in the gears”.

    For instance, the City has had no communications with the UCD for decades, literally, on this housing issue so what would we expect? If UCD felt they could get away with postponing the building of housing while prioritizing their pet projects like the new Shrem art museum, the new music recital center and an International Student Center (all under construction now) with UCD’s $1 billion endowment fund, it should be no surprise that they would do so. No representation from the City side has objected forcefully enough to motivate those changes.

    But now the community is engaged, and we have a City Council that is getting engaged on this issue. Yet there is not even any recognition in the article of the citizen engagement in the article, and minimizing the fact that a new Council sub-committee has been formed specifically on this issue and that all the Council members volunteered to be on that sub-committee because they fully understand that the community is fed up with UCD deferring their housing needs onto our community.

    So this raises a question that Grok has asked before. Why isn’t the Vanguard doing any research on this issue revealing UCD’s negligence?  Well, but then  the Vanguard complains it doesn’t have time to investigate. Yet Vanguard certainly has had the time to beat the Katehi and Napolitano subject to death, doesn’t it?

    Ok, so then even when the data is given to the Vanguard, it is ignored. Such as Grok’s interesting table of statistics yesterday on UC campus sizes, population and amount of UC housing provided. Well it was revealed that UCD has the most land of all the UC’s (around 4X more) yet UCD houses the least number of students than all of the other UC’s. AND of that meager amount of housing, UCD’s housing is primarily freshman dorms which only house the students for one year who are then forced off campus to find housing elsewhere.

    So let’s talk about these subjects rather than the Vanguard’s defeatist attitude before City – UCD conversions have even begun. One of the most obvious hypocrisies of the Vanguard is while it constantly complains about the City’s financial problems, the Vanguard then turns around and advocates for our community to take on UCD’s housing responsibilities and the imposing the costs and impacts of that growth onto our community.

    As a non-profit the Vanguard is supposed to be objective. Well its objectivity is disappearing and it is losing credibility in the process. In addition, it just becomes part of the problem and if anything is exacerbating the problem, rather than being part of the solution.

    1. Davis Progressive

      it was also revealed by don that a lot of that of that land isn’t developable and the vanguard actually referenced that.  where do we develop then?  you’re still stuck at richards which is controversial, west village which is cut off from the city, nishi which was defeated, orchard and solano which have been delayed and are redevelopment sites, and then maybe an out of the box site.  but since you’re not going to put housing in certain ucd owned spots the land you’re talking about isn’t an apples to apples comparison

      1. Eileen Samitz

        Davis Progressive,

        Seriously, are you trying to say that with 5,300 acres that UCD cannot spare land for on-campus housing? Yet, it can spare land for a new multi-million dollar pet projects like the new art center and a new music recital center?

        1. Davis Progressive

          why do you keep repeating the 5300 number when don has pointed out without refutation that the real number of developable units is more like 640?

          1. Don Shor

            Just to repeat:
            http://davismerchants.org/vanguard/UCD%20core%20campus.png
            The core campus is a little over 1000 acres, depending on how you include the South Davis portion. The map above calculates to about 1056 acres.
            The part of the campus west of 113 is about 3300 acres measuring from 113 to Road 98. The developable part of that is probably about 640 acres unless you’re going to move the airport and
            fill in the wild area along Putah Creek.
            So the reasonably developable area of UCD for buildings and housing is about 1700 acres.
            I assume nobody is proposing development of Russell Ranch or the Wolfskill orchards.

        2. Grok

          “don has pointed out without refutation that the real number of developable units is more like 640” –  Davis Prog

          That’s not what Don said at all. what he actually said is

          “The part of the campus west of 113 is about 3300 acres measuring from 113 to Road 98. The developable part of that is probably about 640 acres

          That’s mostly open land that has almost nothing on itthat he says can be developed. That is a huge amount of space and the University could easily house more than 100% of new incoming students on that alone. but no one is advocating it all be used for housing because there is still space within the 1,000 acres east of 113 that can be used too. In fact Don pointed out that

          “the comparable area of UCD for buildings and housing is about 1700 acres”

          1,700 acres is bigger than all of the other campuses except for Riverside which is 1,931 acres. But Davis houses 10% fewer students than all other campuses but Berkelley and the City of Berkeley actually sued the university over the UCs LRDP growth plan.

          Now I am not advocating a lawsuit here because that would be premature, just as all fo the pessimism here is premature. UCD has every chance to get it right in its LRDP, if you all stop wasting your time here and start calling and emailing the people I suggest yesterday the LRDP can improve.

          While Berkeley is standing up to the University man of you are advocating that we jump when the university says jump. Well I am not jumping.

      2. Miwok

        Eileen, you may not be aware the University is an AG college, something that takes LAND to grow for research and teaching?

        Drive out there sometime and see. then imagine yourself as a student trying to get back to any other building on campus after a few hours in the hot sun working a little plot?

        1. Davis Progressive

          sorry don.  my point is that the 5000 figure is not a real number, but it keeps getting thrown out.  no one is saying that we shouldn’t have more housing on campus.

        2. Eileen Samitz

          Miwok,

          I think we all understand that. But since UCD has over 5,300 acres so they have plenty of land and can definitely spare some for their hosuign needs on campus. I imagine that the students who work out in any fields have to get back home from campus now after working in the fields and if they live in the City.

    2. ryankelly

      Eileen,  How do you reconcile this statement:

      These chronic pessimistic articles are counter-productive and tiresome.

      with this statement?

      Why isn’t the Vanguard doing any research on this issue revealing UCD’s negligence?

       

      1. Eileen Samitz

        ryankelly,

        If you read my entire post it should seem pretty clear. The Vanguard has added no new information in this article. It is just another article in an endless series where David continues to repeat the same negative message and pessimism regarding the provision of on campus housing by UCD.

        1. Miwok

          While I am loathe to defend  UCD on anything, I listen and disbelieve the Press releases they use for denying people salaries and enough buildings, since they state they have ALL this research money, then take 50% of it for Administrative Overhead, yet it doesn’t get to the researchers.

          Then they claim the STATE Money is the only money used for buildings, salaries, and benefits. They have always had this accounting problem, and with “foundations and Public-private” partnerships, they have no accountability once the money is “allocated”.

          I tell you, Eileen, because you may have encountered these specious arguments. So, they have to agree to put housing in, then wait for the Legislature to “approve” it, THEN wait for the money from the state.

          One year during Labor Negotiations, they gave out “Bonuses” of $82 Mil, while denying staff a four percent increase which would have cost $4mil. Yet they claimed they had “no money”. This exercise will be the same.

  4. Mark West

    “I still think the key question is what is the fair share of housing that each side should provide?”

    Nope. The problem is that you and others think that there is something that can be called a ‘fair share’ here.  The University is going to do what it wants, on its own timeframe, and there is little to nothing that the City can do to change that. This isn’t a collaboration, and the entity responsible for that lack is the City and the policies that we have pushed from our no-on-everything mindset. The University doesn’t listen to the residents of Davis because we have spent the last few decades proving that we are bad neighbors. Get over yourselves folks, the University doesn’t care what you think.

    Now we can continue to shout at the wind complaining about what the University should do, or we can start addressing the problem at hand.  We have a severe housing shortage in town. Yes, the University can help address that problem, but it is our responsibility to do what we can to fix it on our own (Anything the University does is really just ‘gravy.’) Our real-world responsibility is to build sufficient apartments to meet the needs of our residents, and if we want to be constructive in the conversation here we should be focusing on where in town we should build those apartments.

    Those of you who prefer to bloviate about the University thinking anyone is listening are free to return to the VG echo chamber now.

     

    1. Davis Progressive

      “The University is going to do what it wants, on its own timeframe, and there is little to nothing that the City can do to change that.”

      that point was made in this piece

    2. Tia Will

      MW

      This isn’t a collaboration,”

      To state the something is not a collaboration does not mean that it could not be one, or that collaboration would not be a better approach.

  5. Ron

    Mark (quoting article):  “I still think the key question is what is the fair share of housing that each side should provide?”

    Mark’s Response  “Nope. The problem is that you and others think that there is something that can be called a ‘fair share’ here.”

    On this point, I agree.  However, I draw (almost) the opposite conclusion.  If we continually (and forever) try to meet market demand by approving overly-dense infill, the city will become increasingly difficult to navigate and reside in.  And, it would hardly make a dent in demand or the price of housing.

      1. Ron

        DP:  “ok, so what do you do if you agree that uc can’t be compelled to build housing.”

        I didn’t say that – you did.  However, “compelled” is probably too strong of a word.  In any case, the efforts of some (including Eileen) have already made a drastic difference, regarding the University’s plans.

        I suggest that we don’t try to “solve” all of the consequences of the University’s actions, by destroying the livability of Davis.  I also suggest that we allow some breathing room, for the University to respond.

        1. Davis Progressive

          no, the efforts have only changed one thing – what the plan looks like.  that’s a piece of paper.  how much did it take to get uc to add more in-state students?

        2. Mark West

          “In any case, the efforts of some (including Eileen) have already made a drastic difference, regarding the University’s plans.”

           

          Eileen and others have been shouting in an echo chamber of their own minds.  They have done nothing to change the actions of the University.

          “I suggest that we don’t try to “solve” all of the consequences of the University’s actions, by destroying the livability of Davis.”

          Not building apartments, resulting in the expansion of mini-dorms throughout town is what is destroying the livability of Davis. In contrast, rational growth will improve the quality of life for all in town.

          “I also suggest that we allow some breathing room, for the University to respond.”

          The University has failed to live up to its promises on housing for more than two decades.  How much ‘breathing room’ do you believe they need?

           

        3. Ron

          Mark:  “Eileen and others have been shouting in an echo chamber of their own minds.  They have done nothing to change the actions of the University.”

          It seems that the recent commitment to house 90% of new enrollment means nothing to you.

          Not building apartments, resulting in the expansion of mini-dorms throughout town is what is destroying the livability of Davis. In contrast, rational growth will improve the quality of life for all in town.

          Endless development (including overly-large scale infill) would have a far greater impact than so-called “mini-dorm” conversions, on all residents.  (Considering the constant focus regarding this issue from pro-development types, it seems strange that no one in my neighborhood has done this – to my knowledge.)

          The University has failed to live up to its promises on housing for more than two decades.  How much ‘breathing room’ do you believe they need?

          The University has never previously agreed to house 90% of new enrollments.  Since you’re obviously concerned about the University’s commitment, have you joined Eileen’s ongoing efforts?

        4. South of Davis

          Ron wrote:

          > It seems that the recent commitment to house 90%

          > of new enrollment means nothing to you.

          The new students start class in about 6 weeks and Orchard Park has been sitting vacant and fenced off for two full years now.

          1. Do you really believe that UCD will build housing for 90% of the new students?

          2. Where will this housing be located and when will this housing be completed?

          3. Do you think any of the new students moving here in September will get a chance to live in the new housing before they graduate?

      2. Ron

        DP:  What?  The University has recently agreed to house 90% of new enrollment.  This is a substantial change.

        It seems that you’re advocating for endless development to meet market demand, regardless of the effect on the city’s current 66,000 residents.

        1. Davis Progressive

          this is the problem.  ucd hasn’t agreed to anything.  all they did was put a figure in their preliminary lrdp.  nothing has been approved.  even when it’s approved, there will be no enforceable contract.  what happens if they build nothing for ten years?  NOTHING.

        2. Ron

          DP:

          Since you’re obviously quite concerned about it, I’d suggest that you join Eileen’s ongoing efforts. Have you done so?

          Seems like some of those who complain the loudest (and are pessimistic) about the University’s plans are the same ones who refuse to get involved.

        3. Davis Progressive

          the point is: even if i agreed with the effort, it would be a waste of time.  but you do give me an idea of trying to organize people to lobby eileen samitz to see she’ll advocate on some issues.  that could be interesting.

        4. Ron

          DP:  “the point is: even if i agreed with the effort, it would be a waste of time.”

          Well, it’s interesting to note that you don’t agree with the effort to encourage the University to house its own students.  I’d suggest that you’re clearly in the minority, regarding that view.  And, that you’re going to have a difficult time convincing anyone that the city should approve more overly-dense infill (or peripheral development), as a “preferred alternative”. (Except for those who may have a vested financial interest in doing so.)

  6. Adam Smith

    Davis should view the  growing student population as an opportunity, not a  burden.    By constructing more student housing in and around Davis, we enhance tax revenues,  provide construction jobs and most importantly, provide enhanced business opportunities for our retail, service and restaurant owners, all of whom pay sales taxes to the city, salaries to workers, all while earning their own and income and building wealth.    If Davis doesn’t provide the living space for students, then  enterprising real estate developers will build in Dixon Woodland and West Sacramento, and Davis will lose the revenue opportunity.

    1. HouseFlipper

      Davis would reap all of those same benefits if the students where housed on campus. The people who loose out if the housing is on campus are the Davis property management companies and local landlords.

      1. Adam Smith

        No, the restaurants will not pick up the same amount of  business – ucd will provide dining services for those on campus.    Plus, you assume that UCD is going to provide housing.  I disagree.  With Davis, Woodland, Dixon and West Sac all less than 15 minutes away, UCD will allow many of the students to live  off campus  rather than build enough housing for them all.     I do think it is likely that UCD will add housing – but it will not be nearly enough and it will take a long time.   Davis has an opportunity to take advantage of this revenue source, or it can watch it go to other nearby towns.

        1. HouseFlipper

          “UCD will provide dining services for those on campus” for dorms, but not for apartments – just look at the apartments that are already on campus.

          “Davis has an opportunity to take advantage of this revenue source” Davis will take advantage of the revenue source if the housing is built on campus or in the city, but it will be better for the city if the students are housed on campus. The money in expanding enrolment at UCD is with housing the faculty and staff  in Davis not the students. Faculty and staff are much bigger contributors to the local economy. Get students out of the single family houses and back on campus and get those houses on the market so families can buy them and move in. That’s where the real money is.

  7. Eileen Samitz

    Adam Smith,

    Actually, it is quite the contrary. If the City were to take on UCD’s growth it winds up costing Davis residents for the infrastructure for it like waste water treatment and City services (fire, police etc.) particularly for 3-5 bedroom apartments. Our City already has enough financial problems without taking on UCD’s housing responsibilities and the costs and impacts that come with it.

    1. Davis Progressive

      i don’t buy it.  first, did davis just build a wastewater facility with no growth capacity – where’s matt williams when we need him.  fire is not going to add employees due to a few infill projects – so that’s nonsense just as the city’s fiscal analysis on nishi was with regards to police and fire.  police is short handed from what i understand but a few added projects aren’t going to change need.  so other than hook up charges, i’m not buying the strain on city services. wasn’t this the whole point of minnicozi?

    2. South of Davis

      Eileen wrote:

      > Actually, it is quite the contrary. If the City were to take on

      > UCD’s growth it winds up costing Davis residents for the

      > infrastructure for it like waste water treatment and City

      > services (fire, police etc.)

      Eileen must not know that if UC builds 100 units on the school side of Russell the city and state gets zero in property tax revenue, the schools get zero in parcel (or per unit) school taxes and the city is not paid for any of the city services like waste water.  If a 100 unit student apartment is built on the Davis side of Russell the city and state will get abut $250,000 a year in property taxes lot of school parcel tax revenue and get paid for city services like waste water (and get paid more and more each year as the city services bills keep going higher and higher)…

      1. HouseFlipper

        If student housing is built on the UCD side of Russell the housing does not use city services like waste water.

        School taxes are paid by parcel, so a 100 unit complex built in Davis pays the same as a single family home no matter how many kids from the apartments go to school in Davis.

        If extensive new student housing is built on UCD or in Davis, Davis will still get all of the sales tax revenue when they shop or go out to eat in Davis and there will still be a bunch of new construction jobs. if it is built on campus, the construction jobs might even pay better.

        I am telling you, if the housing is built on campus the people who miss out are property managers and landlords. Building lots of student apartments, especially if they are less expensive, would be terrible for Tandem or other apartment owners.

        1. MrsW

          …especially if they are less expensive…

          But new construction is not cheaper. Ever.

          The people who are already loosing our the students who take out loans to pay for their education’s living expenses.

      2. Eileen Samitz

        South of Davis,

        Since you do not live in Davis you just how much Davis residents pay to basically subsidize UCD housing really does not affect, you does it? You have posted some really baseless arguments trying to advocate for your position because it is a fact that multifamily is revenue negative for the City.

        However, I do find it interesting that you as a non-Davis resident continue to advocate for more housing in Davis, including for UCD.

         

         

        1. South of Davis

          Since I still own my previous home and my business a couple blocks from UCD so I pay more in taxes than all but a few people in town (plus almost $1K/year that all of us that live “south of davis” on the other side of Putah Creek pay to the DJUSD).

          You are looking at bad numbers if you think that a new 100 unit building full of wealthy students will be “revenue negative” for the city. n order to make a building like that be “revenue negative” you will need to use a lot of ridiculous assumptions (like one police and fire call per unit per month).

    3. Mark West

      “If the City were to take on UCD’s growth it winds up costing Davis residents”

      Incremental costs to the City will be virtually the same regardless of whether the apartments are in Davis or on campus because the needed infrastructure for City construction is already in place and accounted for. In fact, building apartments in the City will reduce the cost burden for existing City residents because the bill to maintain that infrastructure will be spread among a greater number of taxpayers. The difference is that the City will receive no incremental revenue from building on campus, with no added property or parcel taxes to compensate for our cost of services supplied to those new residents.

  8. cornford

    No-one to my knowledge has ever raised the issue of the city filing a lawsuit against UCD, or possibly a group of citizens doing so.  I mean is it reasonable for universities anywhere simply to vastly increase their enrollment without any regard to concern for the host city or town’s infrastructure and their capacity limits.  The very fact that this has not been considered or mooted, esp. in the present context shows firstly  the passivity and the subservience of our CC (over many years) to UCD.
     It also reflects the fact that, as I said yesterday in my exchange with Mark West, there is a very strong pro-growth developer lobby in Davis.  And, for a good ten years they have had the ear of almost all city council members.  Could it possibly be that other cities have not taken such a compliant and cooperative attitude toward the rapid growth of the universities in their communities?  (Here again is a subject that David or one of his interns could research if he had any interest and was not so preoccupied with fund raising).
     I did a cursory 30 minutes of research knowing that both UCB and UCSC had been in legal dispute with their respective host cities over issues such as growth, housing, and water.  I did not have the time to read all the hits I got, but Berkeley CC and UCB tangled legally in 2005, and UCSC several times including 2008 and 2012—and from my contacts there I know that there have been fierce legal disputes going back to at least the 1990s.  (Just trying Googling something like “Legal Dispute between UCB and City of Berkeley” or “legal disputes between City of Santa Cruz and UCSC”).
    I can only imagine that across the country there has been similar friction between town and gown over the effects of a university’s expansion on the host cities ability, or rather inability, to accommodate their host universities or colleges growth as the latter act in an autonomous and indifference with respect to the communities they will impact—just as UCD has done historically ad infinitum.
    Without doing further research and I  can only imagine that these disputes have resulted in numerous lawsuits, besides efforts on the part of local councils, not only to liaise (much better than our CC has ever really tried to do) with their host university, but to take up the issue of rapid university expansion and its impact on communities with their state legislators.
    But, to repeat, there seems  (I stand to be corrected and would welcome feedback from any council member) to be an almost total absence of such initiatives from our city council present and past and I can only attribute this to the reasons I give above.
    I think the time has come for some of us to put some pressure on our city council to liaise more effectively with the relevant state legislators and committees, and to urge the city to prospectively consider threatening legal action or recourse against UCD.
     

    1. Frankly

      I think the more likely thing that will happen is that the governor and the state legislature will pass new laws that force cities housing state universities to support a certain level of housing growth that supports the university growth.

      We have a societal issue in that the changes in the world economy require college education for most people, and thus there is a need to grow the student population.  College towns that prevent housing growth hurt these students by driving up the cost of their housing and causing more student debt.

    2. South of Davis

      cornford wrote:

      > No-one to my knowledge has ever raised the issue of

      > the city filing a lawsuit against UCD

      Has anyone contacted Mike (he likes to sue people).

      I wonder if I could sue UCD in small claims court if kids in a mini dorm played lout music?

  9. Ron

    Frankly:  We have a societal issue in that the changes in the world economy require college education for most people, and thus there is a need to grow the student population.”

    Maybe a little off-topic, but I actually think we have a “cultural” issue regarding the value of a college education (vs. the value and reward of blue-collar work and businesses, which often provide greater opportunities).  As the cost of education rises (without a corresponding increase in the subsequent “reward”), this may change over time.

    I actually think that some blue-collar work (e.g., carpentry, plumbing, electrical, auto repair, etc.) requires more skill and brainpower than “college-educated” work.  Not sure why we (as a culture) tend to discount this.

    1. Frankly

      I don’t disagree in general with your points here, but one problem we have is that the wages for various trades has failed to keep up with inflation due to the importing of a lot of cheap trade labor.   That is good from the perspective of consumer value, but not for resident career choice.   The other problem is the overhead cost increase in regulatory compliance and insurance requirements.

      However, the demand for college admissions would still exist even if we could solve these problems and make trade careers more attractive.

    2. South of Davis

      Ron wrote:

      > Maybe a little off-topic, but I actually think we have a

      > “cultural” issue regarding the value of a college education 

      Both of my grandfathers had a 6th grade education, both of my parents graduated from high school, I graduated from college and I’m pretty sure my kids will graduate from college and go on to grad school. With that said I think that most of high school and college was a big waste of time for me and I learned WAY more at the jobs I had all through high school and college.

      It is sad that just like in the 50’s people would look down on you if you put your kid to work at 15 and didn’t let him go to High School today our culture has changed so people will look down on you if EVERY parent does not send their kids to college.

      Here in Davis where I am one of the few parents who did not go to grad school (or a top 50 college for undergrad) the “culture” is to look down on me and treat me like I didn’t “really” go to college.

      This “cultural shift” is not changing any time soon so get ready for more students in town since parents know that if you  want your kids to get in to the “top 5%” they have a better chance if they make it in to a “top 5% college.

      There is a lot of talk about “diversity” in America and while the people running things may “look” different I find it funny that EVERY member of the US Supreme Court (including Scalia that just died) went to Harvard or Yale.  It is also interesting that EVERY president since 1988 has also gone to Harvard or Yale (GW Bush went to Harvard and Yale).

      P.S. It is no surprise that most of the top 1% is supporting the Yale grad in the current presidential election (the reality TV star did not go to Harvard or Yale)…

        1. Frankly

          Common hpierce, you don’t get that successful in business unless you can work and play well with others.  Your analysis is superficial at best.

        1. South of Davis

          quielo wrote:

          > Maybe it’s just me but nobody in Davis has ever asked if, or where,

          > I went to school. If they did I would tell them about my G.eD.

          I know that everyone in Davis is not focused on where you went to school (I’m pretty sure the group that hangs out by the Central Park Carousel smoking pot do not look down on people without an Ivy League education) but for whatever reason since moving to Davis the people my wife is friends with and the parents of the kids my kids are friends with seem to almost all have degrees (and grad degrees) from “top 25” schools.  The good news is I can head out of town for the weekend and go fishing with my cop, firefighter and contractor friends and where you went to college will never come up…

  10. ryankelly

    What we have is two entities – the City and UCD – that cannot dictate to each other how to develop.

    The City can choose to do nothing – no planning for new housing geared toward students, new faculty and staff.  However, these people will need to find a place to live and will find housing where ever they can – houses in neighborhoods, locations in surrounding cities and commute to Davis for school and work.  We still have the burden of the increased population, but without any additional resources to pay to improve or maintain infrastructure.

    We can pressure UC Davis and it can strive to increase housing options for students, faculty and staff on campus, but again the City will have the burden of increased population, without additional resources for infrastructure.  They could also choose to do nothing.  We really cannot dictate what they do.  Regardless, the burden increases for the City.

    It is really negligent if planning for how to handle this increase of burden is not done.  I see the City Council responding with the correct level of concern and interest in finding solutions.

  11. cornford

    Frankly,

     

    Actually, Frankly, I think it is much more likely that the state legislature, in its acute sensitivity to the housing issues of students unable to find housing in NIMBY/no growth cities, will pass a law providing for the mandatory billeting of students in Davis residents’ houses.  And in the legislative hearings I will urge legislators to put all those people like yourself so deeply and genuinely sympathetic to students to start with you and all others on the DV blog that profess such sympathy for students and their housing needs.

    1. Frankly

      I already have college students living in my house.  And the legislature does not need to do anything there… we are already over-represented in the percentage of single-family housing that is student housing.   Where we are also over-represented is NIMBY/No-Growth types that prevent the building of rental housing and also prevents the building of commercial space to support the university in technology transfer… something that can lead to another funding source that helps the university reduce pressure on tuition increases.

    2. South of Davis

      cornford wrote:

      > I think it is much more likely that the state legislature, in its

      > acute sensitivity to the housing issues of students unable to

      > find housing in NIMBY/no growth cities, will pass a law providing

      > for the mandatory billeting of students in Davis residents’ houses.

      Based on the long support for the third amendment I don’t see this happening.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

      P.S. If I started walking “South of Davis” and asking everyone I passed to tell me what the third amendment is about I bet I would get to the Mexican border before I ran in to someone that knew what it was about…

    1. Frankly

      Funny, but I have been singing this song for a few years.  About 3-4 years ago saying that in 5-10 years we would start to see a decline in domestic enrollment because of the economics… the cost of higher learning exceeding the benefits… and parents that want their little darlings to be impressive starting to realize that graduating with $125k in student debt and living in their parent’s basement is not really very impressive.

      But I also anticipated that the economy would grow and would not be so constrained by Dear Leader Barack Obama and his henchmen in the Senate.

      So I think we are going to see college enrollment increase for a few years.  And if Hillary Clinton is elected it will likely explode because she will just keep up the policies of Dear Leader while increasing taxes (killing jobs) and making tuition free.

      However, if Trump is elected, we might see 4% economic growth again and more privatization of higher learning, immigration slow downs… and trades becoming another “impressive” career.

      Then maybe.

      But also note that UCD is primarily a ag, food and medical science university.  I think those disciplines are going to stay in demand and UCD might actually be somewhat insulated from any drop in the overall domestic demand for college admissions.

    2. Adam Smith

      The day that pops will be a bad day for Davis landlords.

      The day that pops will be a bad day for Davis – fewer students leads to fewer professors, fewer businesses in town, lower pay for everyone.

       

    3. Tia Will

      Like Frankly, I also have been watching the education bubble, but from a very different perspective. I place a larger value on the time and contribution of individuals to the society than I do to the arbitrarily designated amount of money ( called wink, wink, the “free market”, but which we all know does not really exist). I see the educational bubble as yet another argument for a UBI.

      The benefits of the UBI in this situation would be that students who excel in an area that does not guarantee large monetary compensation could pursue those interests while choosing to live more modestly.

      1. South of Davis

        Tia wrote:

        > The benefits of the UBI in this situation would be that students who

        > excel in an area that does not guarantee large monetary compensation

        > could pursue those interests while choosing to live more modestly.

        Today anyone that works in an area that “does not guarantee large monetary compensation” is forced to live MORE modestly.  A world with UBI will allow a “Harry Potter Historian” to live LESS modestly since they will get money than the “free market” (that “arbitrarily” pays the guy who can replace a water heater more than it pays a guy who writes poems about Harry Potter) pays them…

  12. South of Davis

    HouseFlipper wrote:

    > Any of y’all ever here of the education bubble?

     

    Yes, great video…

    > The day that pops will be a bad day for Davis landlords.

    When the “housing” bubble popped there were not less people living in housing, the housing just cost less.  When the “education ” bubble pops there will not be less people getting an education, the education will just cost less (and leave people with more money to spend on housing making the Davis landlords even richer since UC will have even less money to build dorms)…

    1. HouseFlipper

      I think you have that all twisted up.

      When the housing bubble burst people lost their homes to foreclosure and whole neighborhoods sat half empty in some parts of this country. When the housing bubble bursts it will be different, you cant foreclose on a degree.

      A likely result is private student lending will be harder to get, just as home loans became harder to get.

      With less easy money students and parents will have to more carefully consider the value of college. More of them will take other paths either because there is no other financial option, or by choice. With decreasing demand its true tuition may go down, but it is not a given, the colleges have a lot of fixed costs that can constrain their ability to lower tuition.

      Whether the cost of tuition goes down or not, with less easy loan money available, there will be less for students to pay for rent. Landlords will have to lower their rent or students will adapt and sleep 4 to a room if they have to. either way Landlords will loose.

      Student housing is a much riskier business to be in now than 20 years ago.

       

      1. Mark West

        If the ‘education bubble’ bursts, it will be the lower quality colleges that will be impacted.  The better schools will have little trouble maintaining the level of demand for their services. UCD will not be materially impacted.

        Whether or not someone has a degree does not impact their need for housing. The demand for housing in Davis will consequently not be impacted by any burst bubble, just as we saw little or no impact from foreclosures (beyond the displays of irrational fear).

        1. HouseFlipper

          Just because Davis is at the top of the education pyramid will not protect it. Junior colleges at the bottom will be the most highly in demand, because that’s what people can afford. Cheaper state schools, especially with real job training will come next. Davis programs that turn degrees into jobs wills still have a following, but some programs do, some programs don’t.

          “Whether or not someone has a degree does not impact their need for housing. The demand for housing in Davis will consequently not be impacted by any burst bubble” with less people coming to the university, less people would move to Davis, thus less housing needed. Bummer for the landlords.

        2. South of Davis

          House Flipper wrote:

          > When the housing bubble burst people lost their homes to foreclosure

          > and whole neighborhoods sat half empty in some parts of this country. 

          True just like many for profit “college” that are around only because the government guarantees the loans of the homeless people and low IQ people that are tricked in to signing up will be sitting empty.  Piedmont, Palo Alto and Davis did not have “whole neighborhoods sitting empty after the real estate bubble busted).

          > Just because Davis is at the top of the education pyramid

          > will not protect it.

          You are wrong about this UCD could fill its freshman class many times over (at even higher tuition than they charge today) with kids who pay cash in advance without needing loans.

          > Junior colleges at the bottom will be the most highly in demand,

          > because that’s what people can afford.

          Tuition at UC schools is a little over $1,000 a month and CSU schools is a little less so they are not that hard to afford.  Private fake colleges like University of Phoenix and DeVry are at the bottom (much lower than even the worst Junior College).

          > Davis programs that turn degrees into jobs wills still have a following

          There will still be plenty of top 1% trust fund kids who will want to come here and take classes that will never make them a penny.

    1. Don Shor

      Bubbles are just bubbles. They don’t make any real difference to longterm planning. Moreover, we are so far behind in providing housing here in Davis that a leveling of enrollment would be helpful. But I have my doubts that UCD will see that; at best, enrollment increases at UCD might just slow down.

  13. Edison

    Some posters have said that the City of Davis has no ability to force UCD to build more on-campus student housing beyond first year dorms. To some extent that’s true, but perhaps more housing would have been constructed over the past several decades if the provisions of the 1989 MOU between UCD and the City had been followed.  For example, the MOU specified that the 2 parties would meet periodically to review UCD’s housing plans and progress.  I’d venture to guess that by the late 1990s and early 2000s most of the Council members knew nothing about the 1989 MOU, so the prescribed meetings rarely if ever occurred. UCD administrators were probably quite happy to let those meetings slide so they could go about building other non-essential facilities such as the Mondavi and Shrem art museum.  Perhaps if past Councils had kept up the pressure on UCD through such meetings, more on-campus student housing would have been constructed.

    The new Council deserves praise for its recent initiatives for reinstating ongoing dialogue with UCD. It’s my hope that it will be more than dialogue, however, and that the Council will exert strong, consistent and assertive pressure on UCD administrators to start meeting their student housing obligations.  I suggest that the new Council subcommittee (Davis and Swanson) appointed to meet with UCD take a serious look at drafting a new MOU, perhaps one with much higher expectations of UCD performance. In addition,  perhaps the City could work through the California Association of Counties to join with other UC host cities to draft legislation setting a minimum percentage of students that must be housed on campus by a future date.

    More high density apartment complexes will be less necessary in Davis if the campus starts absorbing a much higher proportion of the students, thereby freeing up apartments for full-time Davis residents.  Student tenants probably have much higher turnover, so the property owners and landlords will probably like having more stable family tenants.

     

  14. Edison

    Here’s another angle that may explain why it takes UCD so long to plan and construct on-campus student housing, but one that will be controversial.  I’d argue that the highly paid academics that comprise the swelling ranks of UCD administrators just aren’t very effective or efficient. My years in grad school exposed me to the fact that most university administrators don’t work nearly as hard as their counterparts in the private sector.  A number of years ago in a prior job I had a number of UCD interns reporting to me.  I once asked them what all those administrators actually do.  They replied that they had no idea, but that it appeared to them that most UCD administrators spent much of their day wandering around campus looking for the next place they could sit down, gossip and have another cup of coffee.

    Here’s another angle on much of the housing debate I’ve seen in the Vanguard in recent months. Many people seem to assume that more housing in locations such as Nishi and MRIC will mean more people living and working in Davis, but the reality is that many people living in Davis don’t work in town or at UCD; they commute to other cities for jobs that match their professional skills and that pay more than any job in Davis ever would.  Case in point:  A friend living in Davis is an attorney for an agency headquartered in Sac.  The spouse is a partner in a Sacramento law firm. Both commute separately every day to Sac.  Case #2: A neighbor is also an attorney for a state agency in Sac and drives there at least 3 days per week.  Case #3: Another neighbor commutes to 2 job sites, Dixon and Sacramento, while the spouse commutes to their business in Vacaville.  Case #4: Years ago while working in Sac, I asked a co-worker why he commuted to Sacramento from Fairfield. He replied that his wife worked in downtown San Francisco, so Fairfield was a logical mid-way point for both of them.   These few examples demonstrate that people chose to reside in a place that makes sense to them. There is no assurance that if Nishi had been approved that the innovation workers would have actually lived on-site, just as there would be no certainty that a high percentage of MRIC workers would actually live there.  This is especially true in families where each wage earner may work in highly dispersed locations.

    1. Don Shor

      Housing is not a priority to UCD. It doesn’t bring prestige, it doesn’t bring donations, it doesn’t provide anything of value. And it has to pay its own way. Here’s the Chancellor’s State of the Campus report from January. Notice the projects that she felt merited special attention.
      https://chancellor.ucdavis.edu/speeches_writings/speeches/2016/state-of-the-campus-2252016.pdf
      Those were Chancellor Katehi’s priorities. I suspect any new chancellor will have a similar outlook. You don’t get any plaudits for building dorms.

      1. Eileen Samitz

        Don,

        Well what about integrity regarding UCD’s reputation because that is really what is involved here? And what really matters now is not what Katehi has said in the past at this point. It is to see if the new (interim) Chancellor cares enough about the welfare of the students and if he has the integrity and leadership skills to address UCD’s management failures and to build a better relationship with our community.  It starts with him addressing the serious problems that UCD has caused its students and our community by UCD not building the promised on-campus student apartments over the years since the 1989 MOU.

        1. Don Shor

          The interim chancellor has apparently allowed staff to agree that UCD will house 90% of the enrollment increase going forward. The points I’ve been making about this are:
          — what any new chancellor will decide to do is a good question. If they come in to UCD from outside as Katehi and Hullar did, they’ll probably not be as committed to that commitment. This interim chancellor is unlikely to be the one signing off on actual construction.
          — housing has to be self-sustaining and is not funded from fees, tuition, or state funds, so it is very likely that the enrollment increase will precede the housing increase; thus, our current dire situation remains only slightly more dire.

        2. Adam Smith

          The plan that everyone is referencing is in draft form – may change to more,less or  the same housing.   Regardless, EIR’s will have to be completed on the final plan,  and assuming that goes well,  then  UCOP holds the approval rights for buildings on campus.      Bottom line, the Chancellor and UCD’s integrity may have nothing to do with the outcome.

        3. Adam Smith

          I don’t know what you mean by “especially now”, but UCD leadership does not have decision making authority about how many beds are ultimately provided.  UCOP makes that decision.    Therefore, UCD leadership may have all the best intentions, but they can’t fulfill them unless UCOP agrees.

        4. Frankly

          UCD’s reputation and the integrity its leadership have everything to do with this, especially now.

          Here we have UCD shaming to mask the lack of integrity and lack of leadership in the City of Davis to do the right things for the welfare of our student residents.

        5. Matt Williams

          Eileen, last week during a discussion of the Democratic Convention, PBS’ David Brooks said the following about Donald Trump . . . “With Trump nothing is ideological, everything is transactional.” 

          When you say “Well what about integrity regarding UCD’s reputation because that is really what is involved here” you are making a very strong ideological statement, but I wonder whether either UC or UCD are driven more by ideology or more by the accumulation of transactions.

    2. tribeUSA

      Edison–Re: admins. Prior to about 2000, many UCD administrative jobs did appear to be rather low-stress jobs in which there was plenty of time for chatting with and getting to know faculty, students, and other admins–that has gradually shifted since circa 2000; from what I have seen (as a researcher on campus) most admins keep very busy; the flaky jobs are a thing of the past (I don’t understand what they do exactly; but they seem to be very busy at it; many of them often look stressed and overloaded with work; just like the private sector!). Things may have changed since your grad school years.

      1. Eileen Samitz

        tribeUSA,

        I think everyone’s experience on campus varies, but there is no debate about the bureaucracy problems on the UCD campus which has been long-term and is widespread. However, UCD has new leadership and there is great need for a change for the better.

  15. Tia Will

    I have a question for anyone who cares to answer since I do not believe that I have seen this approach discussed.

    When I was a UCD medical student approximately 30 years ago, the first two years of classes were taught on the UCD campus and the clinical courses were taught at UCDMC and other participating clinics. A few years ago, the entire medical school was relocated to the UCDMC campus. This was a successful move that put medical students in closer proximity to the best instructional asset, the patients. It has remained however, UCDMC not SacramentoMC.

    So here is my thought. Given the lack of housing availability in our community and on campus, why not again bifurcate the campus by need. Veterinary students and those in agricultural based fields will be best served by being based on/near agricultural land. However, this is not true for those in the arts and humanities and other non ag sciences.  So, why not considering moving their classes to adjacent communities while still being under the UCD umbrella. This could be a completely different model of one university/ multiple locations. Does anyone know if this has ever been considered. I am sure that there are adjacent communities that would love to provide locations for university spin offs and Davis could keep and provide adequate housing for those who need the location of the “mothership” with its origins in agriculture.

    1. Misanthrop

      Great idea, move UC Davis to a community that actually values having it. I’m sure there are many places that would take it off our hands.

      Actually like qwerty its not easy to move a university but this is exactly what Katehi was suggesting with the third campus in Sacto.

    2. hpierce

      kinda defeats the concept of a “university”… guess if you want to train engineers who have no exposure to the humanities, liberal arts majors with little/no exposure to the ‘hard sciences’, it might be damn efficient.  I’ll pass on the concept.

      1. Tia Will

        Frankly

        No, Frankly, I do not believe that this is a serious question for two reasons.

        First, I have answered answered it in our conversations on a number of occasions. I have a deep attachment to the university and to the city of Davis. I love this community.

        Secondly, I have frequently wondered why you with your “bigger is better” attitude with regard to business have not located elsewhere, say Folsom or Roseville for example. However, I have never asked since I do not see how it promotes a genuine exchange of ideas.

        1. Frankly

          So you admit that your primary reason for staying in Davis is the university, yet you don’t support developing in and around Davis to meet the business needs of the university.  I see.

          My reason for staying in Davis is that I like to argue with irrational people.

          1. Don Shor

            I don’t think it’s irrational to be disturbed that the chancellor has essentially unilaterally set the rate at which the city is expected to grow. With the 2020 Initiative, she announced that the population locally would increase by 5 – 10%. And they have certainly kept to that enrollment growth.
            Appreciating the university doesn’t mean everyone is going to buy into their growth rate, particularly when they’ve not kept pace with the housing demand that it creates. It’s not irrational to object to that, and to object to the impact it has on the community. It’s not pragmatic to try to block the consequences; I fully support trying to develop strategically to address the housing crisis that has resulted from this rapid enrollment growth. But I certainly understand the frustration and don’t consider that to be irrational. The chancellor isn’t elected and appeared to be impervious to public pressure on this issue.

        2. Frankly

          It is irrational to admit that the reason you live in a community is because of the university and then block what the business of the university requires.  Or if not irrational, it is short-sighted selfishness.

          This is interesting… http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/26/business/fewer-us-high-school-graduates-opt-for-college.html?_r=0

          Showing a steep in crease in the number of high school graduates going on to college up until 2010-11 where there began a leveling off and decline.

          So, with this we could make a case that UCD is pursuing a growth strategy outside of the national trends.

          However, we are talking about California… a state that has grown in the number of high school graduates every year http://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/ne/yr15/yr15rel34.asp.

          One last thing.  I am betting that Ms. Will will voter for Hillary Clinton… and was probably a Bernie Sanders supporter.  Now both of these candidates are promising free college tuition.  So what do you think that will do to pressure for student admissions?

          She lives in a town primarily because the university is here, and does not support the university growing even though she votes for politicians that will increase the demand for college seats.

          Yes, it is an irrational thing.   Highly.

          1. Don Shor

            I never had the impression that there was any demographic basis for Katehi’s 2020 Initiative. Most of what she has done has seemed to be for the purpose of enhancing UCD’s prestige and rankings. If you know of some rational basis that leads to a 5000 student increase for UCD, by all means provide that.
            At the time of the announcement, my immediate reaction was “where are they all going to live?” That doesn’t seem to have been a consideration for UCD or the chancellor. So recognizing those impacts and acknowledging that growth can have adverse consequences is not irrational. A pragmatic response is to try to balance the needed development with the desire of Davis residents to maintain the ambience and character of the community.

            What I really don’t understand is your inability to post on the Vanguard without disparaging others, and your apparent inability to keep from trying to link everything to presidential politics.

        3. Davis Progressive

          gotta disagree frankly.  you seem to presume that there can be only one vision for what the university requires, whereas we all know if you find two leaders of the university there is a multitude of possibilities.  therefore there is nothing irrational about holding the value of the university while disagreeing with the direction imposed by current leadership.

        4. Frankly

          For fall quarter 2016, UC Davis received about 68,500 freshman applications competing for approximately 5,900 available spaces.

          Since 2000, UCD has experienced a 157 percent increase in new undergraduate applications.

          Sure, it is just Katehi and those pro-growers doing their own thing… threatening those Davis NIMBY, no-growers with unwanted change.

        5. Frankly

           therefore there is nothing irrational about holding the value of the university while disagreeing with the direction imposed by current leadership.

          It is either irrational or highly selfish to milk the benefits of the university while actively blocking it from executing its business plan.

          Neither you nor Tia nor most others that post on this blog have any business inserting themselves into the business affairs of that large and complex organization.

          And it is clear that the growth that the university is pursuing is a response to student demand and not a forward thrust of university empire building.

        6. Roberta Millstein

          As Don Shor says, Katehi’s stated reasons for the 2020 initiative were not demographic trends.  I remember when she presented the idea to faculty.  The university was in serious financial straits.  She said that we had a lot of land and could grow our way out of our financial problems by admitting more students.  I don’t recall hearing anything about housing those students, however.

        7. Roberta Millstein

          Frankly, and you have a habit of using insult instead of arguments and facts, which apparently you lack.  Here is a relevant link from the University:

          http://chancellor.ucdavis.edu/initiatives/2020-Initiative/

          “In March 2013, Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi launched the “2020 Initiative,” an ambitious plan to build on the institution’s excellence, create a more diverse community of scholars, and achieve financial stability.”

           

        8. Frankly

          The 2020 Initiative was announced in 2013. Your link is from 2015.

          Yes, and I am sure that before the article was published in 2015 there had been at least two years of work and discussion going on with the Regents and all UC Chancellors.

          The point about increasing revenue wasn’t the driver, but a consequence of increased demand.  But since the employees of the university are under the Chancellor’s care, and she in fact would be motivated to maintain their support, and since the Governor and the State Legislature was putting an end to tuition increases, of course she would bill it as a revenue strategy.  That strategy would be a breath of fresh air for the employees of the university worried about their jobs and benefits.

          This Davis NIMBY line of UCD and Chancellor-shaming for the university growth is out of line.  The growth is from societal changes.  And the shame for denying it and attempting to deflect personal responsibility for it is all on the laps of the Davis NIMBYs.

          Davis has a world-class university in a town filled with world-class selfish as_ _ _ _ _ s.

        9. Roberta Millstein

          Frankly, wow.  You are just going to continue to make false claims even in light of the evidence that I posted before your most recent comment that shows them to be false.  Look, it’s not a criticism of the Chancellor to say that the main driver of the 2020 Initiative was financial.  It’s not anti-growth.  It is simply a fact.

        10. Frankly

          The ONLY evidence is that student demand for UC and UCD enrollment has been increasing significantly.  The ONLY valid argument you can make about Katehi is that she did not ignore it like you and your no-growth cohort.

          I know the facts are inconvenient to the masking of your true positions, but facts are facts mam.

        11. Matt Williams

          Don Shor said . . . “I don’t think it’s irrational to be disturbed that the chancellor has essentially unilaterally set the rate at which the city is expected to grow. With the 2020 Initiative, she announced that the population locally would increase by 5 – 10%. And they have certainly kept to that enrollment growth.”

          With respect to Don’s comment above, it would be very interesting to see what the “average commute” figures are for all the UC campuses.  For the students who live on each respective UC campus, the average commute would be zero.

          UC Santa Cruz would probably have the lowest average.  Where UCD would fall is interesting to contemplate.

        12. Roberta Millstein

          Oh my god, Frankly, you’ve now taken to simply making up your own facts and ignoring the evidence that is right in front of you.  This is a new low for you.  I am not making this up – by the Chancellor’s own words, one of the main reasons for increasing enrollment was for financial reasons.  Here are some quotes from the UC Davis-produced article that I linked to above (I have bolded relevant passages since you seem to have missed them):

          “The goal is to continue creating a university that can sustain its rising trajectory through its own best efforts, leveraging support from the state but rising above the fiscal limitations we now face,” said Katehi, who announced the 2020 Initiative during her annual fall convocation address, which traditionally launches the beginning of the new academic year.

          Given the reality of shrinking state support for higher education, Katehi said UC Davis has two choices:

          Accept permanent reductions in state support, which will continue to constrain UC Davis’ ability to excel, or, take control of the campus’s own destiny by developing new strategies and budget models that will move the university forward in the coming years.

          “Today we find ourselves at a defining moment in our history as a campus. Since you cannot cut your way to greatness, the choice for me is clear,” Katehi said. “If we develop and expand our campus in a thoughtful and deliberative way, and if we increase the population of highly qualified resident and nonresident students and create an ever-growing endowment fund — as we are doing already — we will have a business model that works. Even in tough times like these.

          Saylor heard what she said, apparently:

          “The state funding situation is dire and UC Davis must take a more direct role in its future success and sustainability,” Saylor said. “Clearly, Chancellor Katehi is acting in a responsible manner, and I applaud her for opening up a dialogue with the surrounding community to help shape UC Davis’ direction.”

          Nothing about responding to increasing enrollments in CA.  That was never the primary reason for the 2020 initiative.

        13. Frankly

          Are you an attorney?  Next I am expecting you to respond “it depends on what the definition of is is.”

          From the previous article I posted a link to about the UC Regents approval of a budget that supported a large increase in student admissions.  Again, something that certainly wasn’t some new revelation of need given the actual increases in UC applications for the preceding decades:

          Napolitano and state lawmakers have both voiced concerns for more than a year about meeting the growing demand for a UC education. Under the approved budget plan, UC will match a $25 million allocation from the state to help cover costs related to the increased enrollment.

          The university is working to address the logistical hurdles inherent in such rapid growth, including ensuring that campuses have adequate faculty, staff, classroom space and housing, UC administrators said.

          So clearly this was a major factor in all UC Chancellors’ planning.

          This is really quite a silly debate anyway.  Again it appears to be that lawyer thing… striving so hard to win the rhetorical argument void of the common sense argument.

          Applications have been on the rise.  There has been a steady increase demand.   Either the UC system expands to meet that demand, or what?   Concede that the kids are screwed because the old puckered up NIMBYs don’t want their precious retirement village disrupted?

        14. Frankly

          This explains some things http://www.ppic.org/main/pressrelease.asp?i=1226 (May 2012).

          – The drop in enrollment rates is not a result of a decline in applicants’ qualifications. The share of high school graduates who complete classes required for UC and CSU admission—known as A-G courses—is at historically high levels for every ethnic group in the state. Yet enrollment rates at these universities are declining for each group and are sharpest among African Americans.

          – The number of recent high school graduates leaving California for four-year colleges in other states appears to have increased.

          The report’s author, Hans Johnson, a Bren policy fellow at PPIC, notes that the state can ill afford these losses. PPIC has projected that the state will fall 1 million college graduates short of economic demand by 2025 unless enrollment and graduation rates improve substantially.

          “Sizeable numbers of high school graduates are less likely to enroll in a California university than they were just a few years ago,” Johnson says. “This is precisely the wrong direction California should be headed to meet the future demand for highly educated workers.”

          State general fund spending on higher education has declined notably in California. The state now spends more on corrections than on public universities. Over the last 10 years, general fund spending fell 9 percent for higher education and increased 26 percent for corrections.

          At the same time, demand for college is growing. The number of high school graduates rapidly increased to an all-time high of 405,000 in 2010 and is expected to remain high.

          In response to the decline in state support, UC and CSU have rapidly raised tuition and fees. All three branches of the public higher education system have acted to limit enrollment. UC has reduced its enrollment targets, prompting many campuses to become more selective. UC places eligible applicants not admitted to their campuses of choice in a “referral pool” for admission to a less selective campus. The size of this pool has grown dramatically, to more than 10,000 students. In other words, an increasing number of students are being accepted at campuses for which they did not apply. Students are much less likely to attend a college that is not their first choice.

          So it was clear then that the state demand for CA state colleges was increasing and has not been met.

          I guess the no-growers in Davis would prefer that other communities handle the load… or the kids just are out of luck.

          And then I ask “why”?  Why would someone actual block these institutions that exist only for educating youth with a good college education so they can go have a good life?  Why would someone vote to prevent that… to cause a percentage of young people to not be admitted because of lack of capacity… only because they don’t like change to their lifestyle… even though it is changing anyway due to increased student population.

          And all I can think… a question… how do those people sleep at night knowing what they do?

        15. Roberta Millstein

          This is really quite a silly debate anyway.

          Frankly, at least we agree on that much.  You seem to think that I have some other point to make by saying that the Chancellor proposed the 2020 Initiative primarily to improve the University’s finances.  Actually, I don’t.  I thought I was just chiming in to set the record straight.  The record is very definitive on that point – when the Chancellor proposed this idea in 2011, it had nothing to do with growing enrollments in CA and everything to do with the University’s finances.  Your citation of later articles talking about growing enrollments in CA changes that fact not at all.  If you want to continue to deny the facts, that is your choice, but I am done discussing it with you, as it is pointless to discuss something with someone who will deny the words right in front of their face.

  16. Jim Leonard

    City Hall should demand higher education moneys go to State Colleges over Universities–especially ones that abuse their neighboring jurisdictions. Universities are overly expensive for the State to support given the value they contribute to society. The basic value of a higher education is reading, writing, and critical thinking, which the State Colleges supply at a lesser cost than the Universities.

    Davis needs to decide what it is and move forward based upon that identity; I think the definition should remain the historical one of Davis being a small, rural based, agriculturally centered town. Others, unfortunately including our traitorous City Council, seem to think of Davis as only future profits in real estate. Unfortunately that “future” vision ignores the fact that eventually the real estate gravy train runs out while the associated costs continue forever. It is true more money is associated with real estate at first and that, for many, appears to be a positive. Sad this viewpoint is a myopic one associated with much suffering once real estate money runs out. Agriculture, in contrast, continues on as a source of income and, seemingly in this world of ever increasing population, produces more and more income sustainable income than real estate ever can.

    U.C.D. is a growth generator and the main beneficiary is real estate. We don’t need that. What we need is what U.C.D. used to support: basic services for the agricultural community, particularly the local agricultural community. That way the historical Davis identity is supported rather than undermined and U.C.D. has a purpose that it can uniquely fill. If U.C.D. continues to bloat, grow fat, and impose its will on Davis, we would really be much better off without it. And the State would be better off directing its support to State Universities instead.

    1. South of Davis

      Jim wrote:

      > Universities are overly expensive for the State to

      > support given the value they contribute to society.

      Cal and UCD have tuition and fees of about $13K/yr (Cal is a little cheaper since you only pay for two semesters a year vs. three quarters).

      Sac State and CSU East Bay have tuition and fees of about $7K/yr.  If you think the extra $500 a month it costs to go to go to UC is “overly expensive” you can send your kids to a CSU school.

      I don’t think we have a single person saying “I got in to Cal, but since it is “overly expensive” I’m going to Cal State East Bay (the new name for Hayward State)…

      1. hpierce

        Funny…in some disciplines (Engineering is one, Teaching (K-12) is another), employers look more favorably @ CSU grads, when they are looking for a strong ‘practitioner’.  UC grads in those fields, are stronger if the employer is looking for a professor of theory or someone ‘on the cutting edge’… there is a place for both systems…

  17. Tia Will

    Misanthrope and hpierce

    First, I said nothing about relocating the entire university. Berkeley did not cease to exist when UCD came into being to establish a an ag school.

    The university was not defeated when the entire medical school was moved from the rest of the campus. Chancellor Katehi did not propose locating the World Food Center in Sacaramento in order to defeat the university. Why would one assume that the existence of a multicampus university would lead to the defeat of a university.

    1. Misanthrop

      I get what you are saying but do you realize Katehi had already recognized that UC was going to go down that path? She proposed the third campus not because it was her preferred choice but because UC needed to grow to fulfill its obligations to California and meet the needs of a growing world and local opposition to growth had stymied the ability of U. C. Davis to satisfy the demands placed upon it by California seeking educational opportunities for its children. Remember when she proposed the third campus she invited Davis to join in the prosperity that growing the University will bring but warned that if Davis didn’t want to grow with the University, UCD was going to do what it needed to do anyway.

      Also please don’t forget, despite headlines about full pay out of state students, that UC is still a beacon of hope for so many first generation college students of limited means. Making UCD affordable for these young people should be a burden that this community embraces as so many people here were once like these young people ourselves. Instead it seems so many now have other values we hold so dear that we give helping others help themselves the lowest priority. So low has that priority become that we are unwilling to bear any costs to house more students in our community even though the population of California has grown dramatically in the last few decades. Instead it seems many would prefer that UCD look elsewhere to fulfill its mission. I believe it is sad the way so many are turning their back to UCD, especially since the State of California and UC have given so much to this community over the last century by bringing tremendous wealth and invested so much capital here, while at the same time educating so many of our citizens.

       

      1. South of Davis

        Misanthrop wrote:

        > UC is still a beacon of hope for so many first

        > generation college students of limited means. 

        As the first in my entire family (including aunts and uncles and cousins) to go to college I didn’t know much about it (except that after watching Animal House in High School it looked like fun).  I learned “after” I graduated that my family income was so low I could have had free tuition (and not have had to pay it myself with my $3/hr +tips jobs).  Today I have been told that every kid from a family that makes less than $60K can get free tuition at JCs, CSU schools and UC Schools (and Stanford has free tuition for anyone from a family that makes less than $125K/year)…

      2. Tia Will

        Misanthrop

        I do realize that. I was not posing this as an original idea of mine. I was referring to the lack of reference and conversation about the concept here on the Vanguard. This is one of the things that I think Chancellor Katehi had right. Like most things in life, I feel that this issue is being framed two simplistically as an either or. Some see it as either Davis grows to proportions sufficient to all university needs, or the university picks up its toys, abandons Davis, and enriches some other community. I think this is far too simplistic. Some functions of the university are best located right here, physically in Davis. The agricultural, veterinary and some environmental subjects doubtless fit this bill. Some could easily be located elsewhere without losing any of their essential character and some, like the Medical School would actually benefit from change of venue if not a change in name.

        If one considers it selfish to want to place some limitations on the physical size of Davis, then please explain to me why it is not selfish to want to keep all of the benefits of university growth within Davis and keep surrounding communities from also prospering from this growth. I doubt there is anyone in town that wants to see the university accept more qualified university students from California than I do, having recently had my qualified son rejected. And yet, with the numbers that we are talking about, it is ludicrous to believe that the UCD campus is going to be able to accommodate all the growth desired by Chancellor Katehi without bifurcating the campus as she suggested.

  18. Tia Will

    South of Davis

    UC Schools (and Stanford has free tuition for anyone from a family that makes less than $125K/year)”

    While this is true, it does not help if your qualified student cannot get accepted because slots are going to less qualified students who can pay more.

    1. Misanthrop

      Agreed, accepting lesser qualified international students who could afford to pay more has been both a public policy and public relations disaster.

    2. South of Davis

      Tia wrote:

      > While this is true, it does not help if your qualified student

      > cannot get accepted because slots are going to less qualified

      > students who can pay more.

      The reason it is so hard for qualified white and asian kids to get in to UC schools is because spots are going to less qualified students who can “pay more” AND less qualified students who have “darker skin”.  I “have a dream” that one day UC admissions will be done by SS# (no name or address) and we just take the “most qualified” and not have half of most UC schools full of kids who would not have got in if they didn’t have dark skin or parents that live out of state and have an extra $50K/year.

  19. Tia Will

    Frankly

    Neither you nor Tia nor most others that post on this blog have any business inserting themselves into the business affairs of that large and complex organization.”

    Perhaps you have not noticed that the Davis Vanguard is a conversation space. What I and other posters including yourself are doing is sharing our opinions not “inserting ourselves into the business affairs of that large and complex organization”. So unless you are willing to opine that those who do not agree with you do not have the same right as any other American to exercise our right to free speech then I think you might want to rethink the validity of your comment.

     

  20. Tia Will

    Frankly

    It is irrational to admit that the reason you live in a community is because of the university and then block what the business of the university requires.  Or if not irrational, it is short-sighted selfishness.”

    Being attached to the university does not mean that I have to blindly applaud ever single aspect of the university nor support them all projects equally. When the medical school relocated, that was sad for me personally because I was very attached to my memories of my first two years here. But that did not mean that I could not see that there was very strong reason for the move and that it was better for students, instructors and ultimately patients. I realize that it may be hard for you to comprehend how one could love an institution and yet believe that all of the changes that are being proposed are not the best for the institution even though they might bring in more money. But that is the position that I am in and I fail to see how “selfishness” has anything to do with it at all since I have long joined Don is supporting more students housing, but fail to see how more “luxury housing” aids those students.

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