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Old Posted Oct 5, 2007, 4:31 AM
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Just ran across this doing some random Google searching.

New student housing for CSUS on the river. Looks very nice. Designed by MVE & Partners, and pulled from Brookhurst Corp's website. http://www.brookhurstcorp.com/projects.html

Project Scope: This project is part of the exciting "Destination 2010" master plan adopted by the California State University, Sacramento that will ultimately provide up to 5,000 new beds for students attending the university. Brookhurst Development Corp assembled a team comprised of the two of the largest and best recognized construction companies in the Sacramento area in addition to the award winning architectural firm of MVE & Partners to design, finance and construct a state of the art student housing complex located on university land.

The Brookhurst Development Team was selected over numerous nationally recognized student housing development firms in this highly competitive bid process. BDC is presently on a short list under final consideration of the Office of the Chancellor.

The goal of the Brookhurst Team was to create a "real life" urban environment that fosters relationships and enriches the quality of student life. Through thoughtful urban design that expresses a diversity of communal spaces, the Team provided physical settings intended to enhance student life by providing a rich social and educational environment outside the classroom. Some of these amenities offered include:

* Multi-phasing of 5,000 new beds through 2010

* Plaza-level retail providing in an exciting "urban village" context

* Up to 2,000 parking spaces in two parking structures

* Campus Dining Commons

* Open Greens providing a beautiful and relaxing landscaped environment

* Efficient "Green Building" design

* Integration into enhanced central plant facilities
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Old Posted Oct 5, 2007, 5:21 AM
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Wow! That looks nice! Good find.

I'm out of the Sac State loop (pun intended).... is this for real? 2010 is just
around the corner - how far in the process is this proposal?

What's there now? is there demo of existing housing or other structures?
Map of recent Sacramento developments
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Old Posted Oct 5, 2007, 8:44 AM
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That is crazy! 2010?
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Old Posted Oct 5, 2007, 9:35 AM
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TowerDistrict -- So far that land has been leveled out and from what I have heard they are going to start construction early next year. The new student housing is part of Sac State's "Destination 2010" program (that site hasn't been updated in a long time though).
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Old Posted Oct 5, 2007, 3:59 PM
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Yeah, the current CSUS president is big on dramatically increasing on-campus and nearby residence. They bought the old CalSTRS offices across from Home Depot (the ones that will be replaced by the West Sacramento building.) They plan to build affordable housing there for use by their professors.
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Old Posted Oct 5, 2007, 5:34 PM
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Originally Posted by wburg View Post
They bought the old CalSTRS offices across from Home Depot (the ones that will be replaced by the West Sacramento building.) They plan to build affordable housing there for use by their professors.
Its my understanding that the old Calstrs offices are going to be used as additional admin and classroom space. I believe the have been working on exterior and interior refurb of the buildings for a while now. I think affordable housing is being built elsewhere..
Damn you Robert Horry!!!
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Old Posted Nov 17, 2007, 6:56 AM
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Rossi endows wine research
Napa grower leaves $12.5 million gift for UC Davis to bolster vineyard agriculture

By Jim Downing and Bill Lindelof - jdowning@sacbee.com
Published Saturday, November 17, 2007
Story appeared in SacBee BUSINESS section, Page D1

For nearly all of her 99 years, Louise Rossi raised grapes quietly on a plot of land on the east side of the Napa Valley. But on Friday, she made a posthumous splash that likely will etch her family's name in California wine history.

At a celebration at the Rossi ranch, University of California, Davis, officials announced that her estate has donated $12.5 million from the sale of the family's 52-acre ranch to the campus's viticulture and enology department. It is the largest donation ever to the world-renowned program, and among the largest ever given to the university.

As specified by Rossi, the gift will create a permanent endowment for research on improving the sustainability of vineyard agriculture and enhancing the flavor of grapes and wine.

Andrew Waterhouse, interim chair of the viticulture and enology department, struggled to come up with enough superlatives to praise Rossi's philanthropy.

"Through this incredibly generous gift, Louise Rossi is touching the lives of generations of Californians for years to come," he said.

Industry experts hailed the windfall as a much-needed boost to California wine research. Australia, a top competitor, has been pouring money into research for more than a decade and now outspends California by a factor of five.

The Davis program, for decades the nation's top wine and grape research center, has lost some of its luster in recent years in part due to funding shortfalls, said Dan Berger, a Santa Rosa-based wine authority.

"This really gives Davis back its original charter," Berger said. "It is a phenomenal gift."

Cliff Ohmart, research director for the Lodi Winegrape Commission, praised the gift's focus on sustainable grape-growing techniques – an area where research dollars have been especially hard to find.

"There's so many basic questions we need answered," he said, ranging from pest management to water management to the apparently simple question of how changes in agricultural practices affect grape quality.

Rossi lived 97 of her 99 years in the modest house on the family vineyard in Rutherford. Vines of riesling, sauvignon blanc, merlot and cabernet sauvignon grow on the land.

Rossi arranged for the gift to the university before her death, specifying that the 52-acre property was to be sold to nearby Frog's Leap Winery, one of the valley's oldest organic wineries, and the proceeds given to UC Davis.

"Louise had values of conservation and sustainable farming, values of taking care of the land, values of frugality," said John Williams, owner of Frog's Leap and a friend of Rossi's, at Friday's ceremony. "She believed that UC Davis shared those values."

Rossi's oldest brother, Arthur, ran the grape operations until he died in 1950. Napa winemaker Robert Mondavi was a pallbearer at his funeral. Mondavi's $35 million gift to UC Davis is the largest private contribution to the campus.

Louise Rossi ran the property with her brother, Ray, a UC Davis alumnus, until he died in 1997 at age 91. Then, Louise Rossi oversaw the vineyard until her death.

The siblings' uncle, Antone Rossi, began to grow grapes in the Napa Valley in 1879.

Elizabeth Leeds, a longtime friend of Louise Rossi and co-executor of her estate, described her as "a feisty little thing. She was outspoken. You always knew what she was thinking."

Louise Rossi loved children and dogs – especially dachshunds, Leeds said.

Despite her family's nearly 130-year history in Napa, Louise Rossi was little known outside of local grape growing circles, said Darrell Corti, president of the Corti Brothers wine emporium and supermarket in Sacramento.

"I knew of the property, but I never knew about her," he said. "One of the things that's interesting is that this isn't strange in Napa Valley. There are people who you never know in the Napa Valley. And she was one of them.

"They're not the CFOs who moved to the Napa Valley and decided they wanted to make wine. These are people who grew and sold grapes as their sole source of income. This is the sort of person who forms the backbone of an agricultural community."
“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”~~Theodor Seuss Geisel

Last edited by urban_encounter; Nov 17, 2007 at 4:28 PM. Reason: updated story
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Old Posted Nov 27, 2007, 8:09 AM
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Neighborhood colleges

Neighborhood colleges
Los Rios district handles explosive growth by adding centers throughout region
Sacramento Business Journal
- by Kelly Johnson Staff writer

With 84,115 students, the Los Rios Community College District would be the largest city in Wyoming, Vermont, West Virginia, Delaware or Maine.

And it's growing fast. The district's enrollment increase of 57.5 percent over the past decade would rival population growth in all but the nation's two fastest-growing metro areas -- Las Vegas and Naples, Fla. -- for the decade ending with the 2000 Census.

That explosive expansion demands a commensurate expansion in services and space. But just as cities have found they can't keep up with the demands of swelling population by building bigger roads and more parking lots, Los Rios isn't responding by building more college campuses, with their big land footprint and high capital costs.

Los Rios, the state's second-largest community college district by enrollment, instead is developing satellite centers. The 2,400-square-mile district has a $340 million budget this year; it's investing $140 million over the next 15 years to get closer to students through mini-campuses near their homes and jobs. New, larger centers are planned to replace sites in West Sacramento, Davis and Rancho Cordova, along with a brand new center in Elk Grove and an expanded north Natomas satellite.

The approach is a version of the "smart growth" tactics applied by fast-growing cities, which seek to put homes, jobs and shopping close together to reduce traffic congestion.

Los Rios projects it will grow to 112,000 students by 2015; it added 7,000 over the past year, from fall 2006 to fall 2007. The reasons include national demographics, with a swelling population of young adults at the typical age for college, and the even more rapid growth in Greater Sacramento's population.

Even excluding the 2007 jump, Los Rios saw 32.5 percent growth in total enrollment from fall 1997 to 2006, the most recent data that can be compared across the state. The 18,382-student bump was higher than any district in California except Los Angeles Community College District, and represented almost one of every 10 students added to the system statewide. That growth rate tops the percentage rise for enrollment in the University of California (26.2 percent) and California State University (21.3 percent) systems over the same period.

The district is looking to accommodate those students through infill development while reducing traffic and air pollution. The strategy makes it easier for students to incorporate higher education into their lives, with the benefits a more highly educated work force can bring to the region's economy. The numbers show enrollment at the satellite centers is growing faster than at the full-scale campuses.

"I don't have to waste 30 minutes driving," said Oleksandr Ishchuk, a 21-year-old immigrant from Ukraine, who lives four minutes from the Natomas Educational Center, a branch of American River College. He's saving time and gas money while he completes his general education requirements, and he feels the center has a welcoming environment, he said. His mother, father and brother also take classes there, and he and his mother work in the office.

The satellite strategy has advantages for Los Rios, too. A full-blown new campus requires 150 acres, assuming that much land can be found, while satellites can be much smaller and may be leased, providing more flexibility. Folsom Lake College, the district's fourth full campus, took 14 years to build. The Natomas center took three years from concept to the opening of its first phase, said district chancellor Brice Harris.

On the down side, satellites can't offer all the programs and services of a main campus and some center students say they miss the diversity and experiences of a larger campus.
'Responsible business strategy'

Los Rios has embraced the satellite model more than many other college and university systems, but branch campuses have become a trend as colleges try to be more accessible to students, said George Boggs, president and chief executive officer of the American Association of Community Colleges.

The trend started because colleges began viewing students as customers, said Lee Burch, a vice president and higher education group leader with Carter & Burgess in Houston.

Students are more likely than in years past to be older, working and raising a family while attending school. They're also more likely to attend two or three colleges before graduating. Because they have so much else going on in their lives, these students need convenience, including more night and weekend classes.

So colleges and universities have gotten more creative with the places in which they offer instruction, Burch said, sometimes sharing space. Sierra College and California State University Sacramento, for example, share space in Roseville. Colleges also are leasing space in strip centers for branch centers, and building larger centers as demand grows -- a good summary of the Los Rios strategy.

Los Angeles Community College District is scouting for sites to greatly expand its satellite locations. It opened its first satellite, South Gate, 30 years ago; it now has about 5,000 students. But it didn't open a second until last year. A former bakery is being renovated for a third. Now, the district is considering one or two satellites for each of its nine colleges, eventually for as many as a dozen locations.

"We're shopping for probably half a dozen right now," said Larry Eisenberg, the district's executive director for facilities, planning and development.

The district's main motivation in this strategy is to offer an education to people who wouldn't otherwise attend because they have no cars or can't make transit work on the region's disjointed bus systems. Most South Gate students walk to school.

It's also a "responsible business strategy," Eisenberg said, given that a consultant found the centers would pay for themselves. And if one location doesn't work out, it's easier to ditch a lease than property the district owned and developed.

Riverside Community College District in Southern California, which saw enrollment grow 21.7 percent from fall 1997 to fall 2006, also is considering additional satellites to get closer to potential students and to serve the fast-growing population, said Jim Parsons, associate vice chancellor. The district has two "annexes," as the district calls them, plus two smaller program-specific locations.
Close to home in more ways than one

Many of Los Rios' centers have high enrollments of immigrants who seek to learn English before they enter the work force. For them, the centers in or near their own communities provide a more intimate, comfortable setting with others who speak their language and also are struggling to learn English.

The Los Angeles district opened its latest satellite location last year in Rosemead for East Los Angeles College. Part of the motivation for the center, just 3 miles from the main campus, was to serve the area's Vietnamese and Chinese immigrants, a population that the college previously did not attract, college president Robert Isomoto said.

The makeup of each Los Rios branch location reflects the community it serves. West Sacramento and Rancho Cordova have large percentages of students for whom English is not their primary language. At those centers, demand for English-as-a-second language (ESL) classes is strong.

The Davis center, on the other hand, sees classrooms filled primarily with traditional-age students and doesn't offer ESL. Natomas has many night students and skews older than its parent campus, American River College. Some students work in downtown Sacramento and pop off the freeway after work for a class before heading home to Yuba or Sutter counties.

Other students feel more comfortable in the smaller settings, including young students from rural communities who opt for the El Dorado center in Placerville. The psychological barrier presented by a large college or four-year university would be too great for some of these students.

"Because we are kind of remote, for many of the residents in our community, this center is critical," said Dale van Dam, dean of the center. If it didn't exist, "I have a feeling that a lot would delay significantly or not go to college at all."

"Convenient" is students' most frequent description of the satellite centers. They like the short commutes from home, the lack of lines and free parking right near class. Some students said they get to know instructors and staff better.

"Folks can call me directly" said Don Palm, dean of the Davis Center. By overseeing a center instead of working at a larger campus, he feels like he can make more of a difference and "create possibilities for people" at the center. He found himself bogged down in administrative tasks when he was chair of history and political science at Sacramento City College.

The satellites also provide opportunities for workers to find some work-life balance by allowing them to pursue interests beyond academics and career. Physical education classes -- everything from yoga to volleyball to self-defense -- also are big draws for people in the district who otherwise wouldn't think of returning to college.

"P.E. is sort of a good entree for us," said Whitney Yamamura, Natomas Center dean. Deans of several Los Rios centers said they'd fill up additional physical education classes if they could offer more of them.

As a benefit to the broader community, the centers also help keep older people engaged by offering a multitude of enrichment classes for lifelong learners.

For the business community, satellite centers can boost the supply of trained workers. An uneducated single mom might consider improving her situation through college if a school is nearby and tuition is affordable, Harris said.

Two years ago, Christy Tatum, a 27-year-old single mom of three kids, had placed her youngest in day care for the first time. As she wondered what she'd do with her first child-free day, the Placerville resident drove past the El Dorado Center and decided, on the spur of the moment, to enroll. Perhaps she'd pursue nursing, Tatum thought at the time.

Without the center being in her community, Tatum said, it would have taken her much longer to decide to further her education, let alone drive miles to Folsom or Sacramento to begin classes. With her kids only five minutes away from the satellite campus, she can use the time she would have spent driving to another college to take an extra class each term.

The small mini-campus also was less threatening for Tatum, who hadn't attended classes since high school. Everyone from the teachers to the dean were approachable, she said.

Now, Tatum takes classes at the center and at Folsom Lake College, and works up to 20 hours per week at the El Dorado Center. Her next goal is Pepperdine University. Later she wants to go to medical school. Her 9-year-old son has already started talking about going to college himself.

Without the satellite center, she said, "I would never have gotten to know my true potential."
The downside of dispersal

For some, the centers can feel too removed, too protected and in some cases, lack the diversity of a main campus.

Sitting in an ESL class in West Sacramento in March, Andrey Shafigullin said the satellite was close to his home and work, but he preferred the diversity of the main campus of Sacramento City College. Most of the students at the center came from Russia or Eastern Europe, and he shared the class with four family members. Shafigullin, who is in his early 20s, is no longer a student at the center.

By design, branch campuses don't provide a full array of courses, facilities and services. They can provide significant offerings, most of them geared toward students wanting to fulfill their basic education requirements.

"The state doesn't want a college on every corner," said Jon Sharpe, Los Rios deputy chancellor.

The centers' science courses are limited because they lack labs with complex piping and ventilation. Bookstores aren't kept open all semester. The Davis center has limited space for a counselor and none for a financial aid counselor.

Palm, the Davis dean, laments that public transportation between Sacramento City College and his center isn't better -- sometimes the bus ride to the center from Sac City takes 90 minutes. Student Ishchuk said he wished the Natomas center had a library -- an amenity expected in a couple years through a joint project with the Sacramento Public Library and Inderkum High School.

At the downtown Sacramento center, several students complained about the lack of convenient parking. Tanya Davidson, who takes an accounting class at the center, pays for a parking pass for her other classes at Sacramento City College and pays again downtown. At times, she buys something at Westfield Downtown Plaza to validate parking in the mall lot or uses a class break to feed the one-hour meters.

Although the satellite centers have fewer course offerings and are missing some amenities, Sharpe said nothing is lacking in the quality of education they provide.

kjohnson@bizjournals.com | 916-558-7860
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Old Posted Nov 27, 2007, 6:06 PM
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Los Rios has really become an excellent college system in the last few years. The list of online classes, satellite campuses, and guaranteed transfers to CSU's and UC's is getting better every semester.
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Old Posted Dec 14, 2007, 12:39 AM
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Thursday, December 13, 2007 - 11:45 AM PST
UC Davis prof gets $2.4M stem-cell grant
Sacramento Business Journal

Chon-xian Pan, a University of California Davis scientist, received a New Faculty Award from the state's stem-cell institute Wednesday.

The $2.4 million award from The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine was part of $54 million the institute granted.

The funding is designed to provide money to back five years of research by early stage stem-cell scientists at universities and nonprofits.

Stanford University received four grants for about $10.7 million.

In all, UC Davis has received more than $11 million and Stanford has received nearly $41.4 million from the stem-cell agency since it began handing out research money in April 2006.

Grants began going out last year, and the top four total money recipients, after Stanford, are:

* UC-San Francisco, $29.7 million
* UCLA, $23.3 million
* UC-San Diego, $19.8 million
* UC-Irvine, $19.6 million.
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Old Posted Dec 14, 2007, 12:42 AM
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Sacramento State to host volleyball championships
By: Alicia de la Garza
Posted: 12/12/07

The 2007 NCAA women's volleyball Final Four championships will be held Thursday and Saturday in Sacramento at Arco Arena and the event will be hosted by Sacramento State.

Sac State earned the right to host the event because in 2001 the school submitted a bid along with the Sacramento Sports Commission to host the event.

Competing in this year's Final Four are Stanford, USC, Penn State and Cal.

In order to get to the Final Four, each team had to win at Regionals last weekend. Stanford defeated UCLA 3-1, USC defeated Texas 3-0, Penn State defeated BYU 3-0 and Cal swept Nebraska 3-0.

Last year Stanford was defeated by Nebraska in the championship match.

On Thursday, both semi-finals will take place to determine which teams will be playing in the championship match on Saturday.

Stanford, which beat Sac State in the second round of tournament action earlier this month, will take on USC at 6 p.m on Thursday.

If Stanford defeats USC, the team will be making its 13th appearance in the NCAA championship game since 1981.

After that match, Cal will take on Penn State at approximately 8:30 p.m.

Wednesday is when the action starts for the athletes. The day is filled with practices, interviews, and press conferences.

The finale will be on Saturday as the winners of the semi-finals will play at 6 p.m. for the championship title.

The winner of the final match will be named the National Champions for the 2007 women's volleyball season.
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Old Posted Dec 14, 2007, 12:46 AM
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Folsom Lake College among fastest growing in US
By Walter Yost - wyost@sacbee.com
Published 3:14 pm PST Thursday, December 13, 2007

Folsom Lake College has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing community colleges in the United States.

According to a recent report from the national trade publication Community College Week, Folsom Lake College was the 10th fastest-growing community college among schools with 5,000 to 9,999 students.

The college, part of the Los Rios Community College District, showed a 12.3 percent enrollment increase in a review of Fall 2005 to Fall 2006 enrollment data. Folsom Lake College serves approximately 8,500 students at the main Folsom campus, the El Dorado Center in Placerville and the Rancho Cordova Center.

"We thank the students and communities of our region because their support is what made this national 'Top 10' recognition possible," Folsom Lake College President Thelma Scott-Skillman said in a press release.

Enrollment surged this fall at all four Los Rios campuses, including Sacramento City College, American River College and Cosumnes River College. Folsom Lake College led the way with a 20 percent gain in enrollment over last fall.
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Old Posted Dec 17, 2007, 7:27 PM
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Having spent a lot of time at Sac State the past few months, and primarily taking light rail or bus rather than driving, I'm watching the new dorms project with great interest. Bus service from downtown to the school is all right but a dedicated BRT or streetcar shuttle from 65th/Folsom would be very nice indeed--the buses are irregular (sometimes very much so) and walking from the light rail station to class is a 15-20 minute hike--okay if there is time but a pain if one is in a hurry.

The free RT bus pass for Sac State students is an awfully nice bonus. To discourage driving there I deliberately didn't buy a parking permit, and only drove to campus twice (once a nice fellow student gave me her daily pass, the other time I was just dropping by to drop off library books) the whole semester. Plus I use the pass a couple times a week taking light rail to work or just hopping on the bus because it's going my way.
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Old Posted Dec 18, 2007, 7:28 AM
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15 to 20 minute hike? For some reason I assumed that LR was closer to campus. Are there are plans to improve this? 15-20 Minutes is long, good exercise, but long.
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Old Posted Dec 18, 2007, 8:50 AM
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I have walked from the LRT onto campus many times, and I can confirm it is a good 15 minute hike to the middle of campus.
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Old Posted Dec 18, 2007, 5:30 PM
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econgrad: From the 65th & Folsom light rail station one can either hike up 65th to the "Bee Tunnel" off of Elvas or up Folsom, under the railroad bridge past the old Cattle Club/Bojangles/Library, then through the parking area. The bee-tunnel route is especially dumb because there is a wall of fences that make it impossible to simply walk onto the main campus, you have to walk around the various sports fields (or hop fences) to get onto campus.

There really isn't a way to improve light-rail access to CSUS, other than diverting the light-rail tracks through campus. At the 2005 Streetcar Summit some folks discussed doing a short-loop streetcar around campus that would end up at 65th Street, or a dedicated BRT line, but heck, even a campus-shuttle/minibus timed to meet the trains would work for me.

A couple of buses (82 and 87) go from 65th to campus on their larger routes, but they are rarely well-synced with the trains, as they are part of a larger run rather than a direct shuttle link. Generally I prefer to take the 30 bus to the transit center on the other end of campus.
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Old Posted Dec 18, 2007, 5:53 PM
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Originally Posted by wburg View Post
A couple of buses (82 and 87) go from 65th to campus on their larger routes, but they are rarely well-synced with the trains, as they are part of a larger run rather than a direct shuttle link. Generally I prefer to take the 30 bus to the transit center on the other end of campus.
That's a problem I run into constantly. If I am doing work in Folsom and take light rail to go to school I miss the 87 by 3 minutes. There are a few times a day that the 34, 82, and 87 all leave within minutes of each other and it's either wait 20 minutes for the next bus or walk 20 minutes.
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Old Posted Dec 18, 2007, 6:56 PM
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I walk from light rail to campus every weekday and it is a pain that you have to walk all the way around the parking garage just to get to campus. My classes are in the amador building and it is almost a straight shot from the hornet tunnel. They need to put a walkway in between the track and the baseball stadium. But usually the time it takes me is cut in half thanks to my longboard!
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Old Posted Dec 20, 2007, 3:50 AM
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University of Sacramento Will Deliver Advanced Leadership Program for Canadian Government
Tuesday December 18, 12:15 pm ET

SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Canada School of Public Service has asked the University of Sacramento to join the design and delivery team for its Advanced Leadership Program. The ALP is a leadership development initiative aimed at the next generation of leaders in Canadian Public Service. In addition to providing leadership training and development in the classroom, the University will also be responsible for designing and delivering a series of field experiences to deepen the insight of senior Canadian public officials into the public policies and leading edge thinking of California’s statewide leaders in business and government.

The visit is one component of a nine-week Advanced Leadership Program (ALP) sponsored by the Canada School of Public Service and is the University of Sacramento’s first executive education contract, according to Declan Murphy, dean of the College of Business Administration.

“The goal is to give some of Canada’s top government leaders a first-hand look at how Californians are grappling with many of the same policy issues,” Murphy said. “Our job is to expand these leaders’ capacity to integrate broader perspectives in dealing with public and private sector challenges and to encourage formation of new networks for trans-border cooperation between Canada and the U.S.”

The University will organize and lead teams of Canadian officials on study tours throughout Northern and Southern California. Teams will meet with California leaders in environment and public policy, clean air and transportation, water supply, innovation and competitiveness in high-tech industries, the impact of American entertainment on the world, and the role of government in fostering innovation and competitiveness.

Murphy joined the University in June. One of Murphy’s first initiatives is to develop an executive education program for the College of Business Administration.

The University of Sacramento is part of a global network of 15 universities operated by the Legionaries of Christ, a congregation of Catholic priests. The University of Sacramento, which opened its doors in January 2005 with a master’s degree in education, is the Legion’s first university in the United States.


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Jan Burch, 916-448-2021 (office) or 916-501-5594 (cell)
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The more schools, the merrier
All agree the education-hungry region can handle two proposed college campuses in Placer County, a third in Rancho Cordova and an expansion in Rocklin
Sacramento Business Journal - by Robert Celaschi Correspondent
Dennis McCoy | Sacramento Business Journal
Sacramento State provost Joseph Sheley says a Placer campus would need private funding.

College-bound students should have an unprecedented number of options in the Sacramento area in a few years.

Three new campuses and one expansion are in various stages of planning. Each has a slightly different approach to education, which could allow them to complement one another rather than compete for students and resources.

California State University Sacramento is looking to build a Placer County campus roughly the same size as the original in East Sacramento. University of Sacramento, a Roman Catholic school, has land ready to develop into a campus in Rancho Cordova. Drexel University, a large private institution in Philadelphia, is eyeing Placer County for a possible West Coast campus. And William Jessup University, which comes from a Protestant church background, is already expanding its main campus in Rocklin.

"I think we all would have a different role out there," said Joseph Sheley, provost of Sacramento State. "The other universities that are building or potentially building out there are looking at markets that probably don't affect Sac State. What it's going to do is elevate the status of that region as a strong education center. And I think we benefit from that. I invite it."

Others agree.

"I don't think you have to worry about available population," said Jonathan Brown, president of the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities. "Look at places like the middle of Iowa, where Grinnell College is, where there isn't a lot of population around but it still supports the place."

The Sacramento region continues to grow and needs educational opportunities to grow with it, he said.

"There's a real sense that when you bring more of a focus to higher education, we all do better. I think that becomes a real benefit," said Joe Womack, vice president of advancement at William Jessup University. "In the Bay Area, I don't know how many private and public colleges, all needing support, find a way to get their portion of that to keep the institutions thriving."
Catching up

William Jessup University has already started its expansion. Currently serving a student body of about 600, the school hopes to grow to 5,000, with almost half of them living on campus. Enrollment already has grown by more than 80 percent since the school moved from San Jose in 2004.

Jessup has room to grow. It owns about 130 acres in Rocklin, where it converted a former furniture factory into classrooms, offices and dormitories. Now it plans to build from the ground up.

The first step is an apartment building with 196 units and more than 100 underground parking spaces, with a fall 2009 target for completion.

"That would double our on-campus capacity," Womack said. Jessup is also looking to add a gymnasium, dining hall and conference space by fall 2009.

"We're just trying to make sure we've got all the funding in place for about $20 million to $22 million of construction in this next phase. We're ready to go on the apartments, and we are still in the silent phase of any campaign announcement on the other," Womack said.

Jessup has been expanding its academic offerings as well. It now offers more than a dozen majors. Plans call for adding majors in history, marketing, finance and physics in the next few years.
Lining up

Two institutions have land for new campuses and are working through the bureaucracy of getting ready to break ground.

California State University Sacramento has about 290 acres in Placer County's Placer Ranch development. The land, about as large as the main campus, was offered in 2004 by Placer Ranch developer Eli Broad.

Four years later, the university is still going through its due diligence on the land, Sheley said. At the same time, Placer Ranch is working on annexation to the city of Roseville.

"Thus we are also in conversations with the city of Roseville about what a branch campus would look like and what it entails to develop one," Sheley said.

Placer Ranch expects to get through the annexation by mid-2009.

"Then if we don't get sued, which is what you always have to factor into a development project these days, it would take us another year to get infrastructure to the site," said Holly Tiche, Placer Ranch president.

Even though it's a state school, state money won't kick in until the new campus hits a plateau of about 500 students, Sheley said.

"In order for this branch campus to do well, it will depend not on stateside funding but on partnerships with people and entities in the region," he said.

The other institution with land at the ready is the fledgling University of Sacramento. The Roman Catholic university has 200 acres in Cordova Hills, south of Highway 50, donated by landowner and developer Conwy LLC.

"We're going down the process of entitlements with the county," said Marianne Oaks, the university's vice president of communications. "We have said we're breaking ground in 2011, and the first freshman class will be 2012. We've sort of drawn a line in the sand for ourselves and said whether it's at that site or another, in 2012 we are going to have a freshman class."

Working from offices in downtown Sacramento since 2005, the university now has 80 students taking evening graduate and certificate courses. It wants to have about 5,000 undergrads and 2,000 graduate students by 2035.

The first phase, involving about 250,000 square feet of construction to handle 1,500 students, would take $75 million to $100 million. The school already has shown its ability to attract money, having received a $1.5 million endowment for a business school dean.

Being part of a congregation of priests called the Legionaries of Christ, the University of Sacramento can draw on resources far beyond the Sacramento region. The Legionaries of Christ already have 14 other universities around the world. Sacramento is the first in the United States, and its academic programs can be integrated with the others. For instance, University of Sacramento plans a graduate business program that would involve study in four countries.

"The students would study for a few months in Paris, Madrid, the Philippines and Sacramento," Oaks said.
Sizing up

In the "maybe" category is Drexel University. Based in Philadelphia, the private institution has an enrollment of more than 20,000 and includes schools of medicine and law. Drexel officials came to Placer County last summer to scope out a site for a possible West Coast campus.

Several families, including that of developer Angelo K. Tsakopoulos, would donate 1,100 acres west of Roseville. The school would sell off 500 acres to help finance construction on the remaining 600.

None of that can happen, however, until a plan is approved by Drexel's board of trustees and the Placer County Board of Supervisors.

In mid-February, three supervisors traveled to Philadelphia to make their own evaluation.

"It went really, really well. We got a good chance to hear from people how the university is perceived in the region. Overall, we were really impressed," said Supervisor Robert Weygandt, whose district includes the proposed site.

But Weygandt also is urging caution. The same land that Drexel is considering was once earmarked for a Roman Catholic college called De La Salle. That proposal fizzled in 2005 when the Christian Brothers order worried that slow county approval would increase development costs.

"Having that experience, healthy skepticism is more a part of my perspective," Weygandt said. While an unequivocal commitment might be too much to ask for, his vote would depend on Drexel demonstrating that it would follow through, he said.

The county might also create an escrow account for any proceeds from the sale of land so that it can be restricted for some type of university use should the Drexel plan fizzle as well.

For now, Drexel is contemplating offering classes in about a year, probably starting in downtown Sacramento, Weygandt said.

When looking at metropolitan regions up and down the West Coast, Sacramento has been thin on university choices, said Womack of Jessup. The combination of new private, public, large, small, secular and faith-based campuses could raise Sacramento's visibility and add up to more than the sum of its parts.

"I don't know that anybody can claim any great strategic plan, but what is emerging is a pretty good scope of higher education," Womack said. "You combine that with what's here, it really could transform the region."

Last edited by econgrad; Mar 1, 2008 at 7:31 AM.
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