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Options determine ULV’s growth

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by Heather Baxter
Assistant Sports Editor

As student enrollment throughout the nation continues to steadily climb, and is expected to continue for the next 10-15 years, officials at the University of La Verne, concerned with ensuring the continuity of the school, presented a list of potential growth options at the Board of Trustees meeting on Nov. 4.

Four options were presented, dealing with the University’s intentions toward the Master’s program, the CAPA program and the undergraduate program.

Executive Vice President Philip Hawkey crafted these proposals, after some discussion, initiated by President Stephen Morgan, from officials at the University who were concerned with the future of the University. Senior management and direct staff were all involved in the discussions. The options have also been slightly redrafted since they were presented to the Board.

“What we tried to present are at least three options that are legitimate options,” said Hawkey.

The first option concerns the graduate program and whether it is to be moved off campus. It involves the development of a Graduate Center in downtown Ontario, between C and D streets. The completion of the project is expected to take five to six years.

If this option was deemed the most viable for the University, the short-term plan would be to construct a 20,000 to 30,000 square foot building on the corner of Lemon and East D streets. This would take about two to three years.

Option two proposed that all programs stay on the main campus. Due to space restrictions, this option would require the University to schedule classes all day, from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., with all classrooms being occupied at all times. Also, this requires that class sizes increase, and programs not been making money for the University may no longer be offered.

“The expectation, were we to stay on the main campus, would be at least 10 students per class,” said Hawkey. “We have too many classes that have less than 10 students. For us to be financially viable we need 10 students in a class.”

“We have a very small campus here,” said Hawkey. “There’s a lot to squeeze in here if we plan to grow we need more space.”

The third option, which concerns property located south of Arrow Highway in La Verne, has the University utilizing the 20 acres of land to build one of the following: a graduate center, a housing complex, parking facilities, or athletic fields. It has not been decided which would be appropriate at this time.

“I would always say it will always be best for us (athletics) to be on campus if possible. And that’s our first choice,” said Jim Paschal, athletics director.

The final option involves the development of a whole new campus in Ontario. This option could take in excess of 20 years to complete.

Another consequence found in these options includes no longer allowing undergraduate students to take night classes, as only graduate program classes would be offered at night.

“If we have a graduate campus in Ontario, one of the requirements would be, it would have to be safe,” he said “It would be well-designed, convenient parking, well planned.”

The four options were discussed at the University Retreat, which was held Wednesday. Every University employee was invited to discuss the options.

“If we wanted to, we could accomplish our goals staying on this campus, on the 31 acres,” he said. “It would be hard, and there would be some tough decisions, because we can’t do everything that we do now, and stay on these 31 acres.

“But, if we wanted that option, we could make it work.”

Hawkey said that it is very important for these problems to be addressed soon in order to decide what needs to be done for the University’s continuing success.

“If we plan to grow, we need more space,” said Hawkey.

Hawkey cites the University’s success, with the programs, and the reputation of those programs, growing as the catalyst for these options. He said that the question now is whether the University has too many students or too few facilities. With most people believing the latter, University officials believe that the implementation of one of these options will alleviate the problems.

At the retreat, it was announced that the University had purchased the Brown property. With the acquisition of the property, the University will begin planning the implementation of option three. And, although this option is being put into action immediately, there are still plans to review the other options and implement them as the need arises.

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