Pro­posed bud­get funds re­view of CSU in Stock­ton

Lodi News-Sentinel - - FRONT PAGE - By Oula Miq­bel NEWS-SEN­TINEL STAFF WRITER

Cal­i­for­nia’s new gov­er­nor be­lieves a Cal­i­for­nia State Uni­ver­sity in Stock­ton is worth ex­plor­ing.

Gov. Gavin New­som un­veiled his 2019-20 bud­get pro­posal on Thurs­day and it in­cluded $2 mil­lion di­rected at Cal­i­for­nia State Uni­ver­sity Chan­cel­lor Ti­mothy B. White’s of­fice to re­view the po­ten­tial for a CSU cam­pus in Stock­ton.

Mayor Michael Tubbs said that a CSU Stock­ton would be an eco­nomic driver that would lead to job cre­ation and re­gional growth dur­ing a press con­fer­ence in Stock­ton.

“If you think of the fu­ture of work and where jobs are go­ing, most of them are go­ing to re­quire some level of cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, some level of higher ed­u­ca­tion,” said Tubbs, who added that the City of Stock­ton has con­ducted stud­ies that project a uni­ver­sity would gen­er­ate $250 mil­lion an­nu­ally to the re­gional econ­omy.

Assem­bly­woman Su­san Eg­gman, D-Stock­ton, who has served in the As­sem­bly for six years, has been ad­vo­cat­ing for a Stock­ton-based pub­lic uni­ver­sity since her days on the Stock­ton City Coun­cil.

Stock­ton is cur­rently home to San Joaquin Delta Col­lege, Uni­ver­sity of the Pa­cific — a pri­vate in­sti­tu­tion — and a satel­lite cam­pus for Cal­i­for­nia State Uni­ver­sity, Stanis­laus.

David Stam­mer­jo­han, who serves on Eg­gman’s staff, said a CSU Stock­ton would fill a need for a tech-based uni­ver­sity in the re­gion.

“If a CSU Stock­ton does come to­gether, it will take time to de­velop a cur­ricu­lum and con­struct the uni­ver­sity. It will not hap­pen overnight,” said Stam­mer­jo­han, who added that Eg­gman has worked with the Uni­ver­sity of the Pa­cific’s Cen­ter for Busi­ness and Pol­icy Re­search to com­pile data on a po­ten­tial cam­pus.

Based on the re­search, a CSU Stock­ton cam­pus would be mod­eled after a polytech­nic uni­ver­sity and fo­cus on the re­gion’s agri­cul­tural econ­omy and tech­nol­ogy.

“Agribusi­ness is our main source of econ­omy and our pri­mary mar­ket. It makes sense to mech­a­nize agribusi­ness be­cause of es­ca­lat­ing la­bor costs,” Lodi Cham­ber of Com­merce Pres­i­dent Pat Pa­trick said. “UC Merced be­came rel­e­vant be­cause of its pre-med fo­cus, which is why stu­dents go there. But the uni­ver­sity strug­gled in the be­gin­ning to get stu­dents to ap­ply for the uni­ver­sity un­til it started pro­mot­ing that med­i­cal an­gle.”

Stam­mer­jo­han be­lieves a cam­pus would help trans­form the re­gion.

“Due to the eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment in San Joaquin County, the lack of higher ed­u­ca­tion has left many young peo­ple in the com­mu­nity with min­i­mum wage jobs that are not able to se­cure any fi­nan­cial se­cu­rity. The op­por­tu­nity to de­velop a cam­pus of higher ed­u­ca­tion at a rea­son­able price for stu­dents could lessen the eco­nomic strain in the re­gion and help strengthen the lo­cal econ­omy.”

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