Proposed budget funds review of CSU in Stockton
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.”