Monday, April 28, 2008

Even as Regents pull the reins is UVSC headed to Eagle Mountain?

A few weeks ago a three-member committee made a recommendation to Utah's Board of Regents that would place a "moratorium on geographic expansion" for the system's public colleges and universities. The committee hopes that future growth can be handled through schedule juggling and a greater focus on distance education, at least until a statewide plan for expansion can be adopted. As you can imagine UVSC's Bill Sederburg, president of the state's fastest growing college, was none to pleased to hear that the kibosh is being put on his dreams of campus expansion.

UVSC chief pans plan that would limit growth (Deseret Morning News, April 19 2008)

Now on the heels of the Regents plans to manage growth, comes the news that UVSC and the up-and-coming berg of Eagle Mountain are looking into a possible UVSC satellite campus.

Satellite college campus may land in Eagle Mountain (Salt Lake Tribune, April 24 2008)

No mention of the proposed moratorium in the Trib article, but of course any plans for expansion would have to be approved by them, as well as the legislature. An interesting note on that committee that recommended the moratorium; one of the members is Jack Zenger, former Chair of UVSC's Board of Trustees. Fascinating that a man so familiar with UVSC's expansion needs would recommend such action. As Sederburg has pointed out satellite campuses will be absolutely necessary to accommodate the nearly 20,000 additional students the school projects will enroll in the next few decades. Sederburg believes that unless land is banked now there won't be any place to build down the road.

There is another interesting nugget in the Trib article; Val Peterson is quoted as saying that the main Orem Campus could only handle 28,000 students. Considering the recent uptick in growth (Sederburg predicted an additional 500 students this Fall) 28 K doesn't seem so far away.

But will students go to a satellite campus? If the Wasatch campus is any indication, probably not. The tone in the Trib article seems to indicate that they are marketing these satellites (another is planned for the south end of Utah County, most likely Spanish Fork) to working adults. That makes sense, but the question still remains if you build it will they come?

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