UC Merced campus expansion approved
On July 21, the UC Board of Regents gave final approval to an expansion plan that will nearly double the physical capacity of the UC Merced campus by 2020, enabling enrollment growth to 10,000 students after the project is completed.
“This is a historic step forward for UC Merced, the UC system, and the growing numbers of talented students throughout California who want and deserve a UC education,” said Dorothy Leland, UC Merced chancellor. “By significantly expanding the newest UC campus, we are redoubling our commitment to the San Joaquin Valley, the fastest-growing but most underserved region of the state, while providing critically needed access to many more qualified students throughout California.”
UC Merced opened in 2005 as the first new UC campus in 40 years and the first in the San Joaquin Valley. Enrollment has grown rapidly from 875 students in its inaugural year to 6,700 today, with application growth rates doubling the UC system average in recent years. About 99 percent of UC Merced undergraduates attended California high schools.
The regents’ approvals clear the way for a formal project agreement to be executed as early as mid-August, with groundbreaking scheduled for October. The project will add approximately 1.2 million gross square feet (790,000 assignable square feet) of teaching, research, residential and student-support facilities adjacent to the existing campus.