School Rally: Madison Nguyen Proposes UC San Jose Campus

Madison Nguyen is ready to fight, fight, fight for the (insert Silicon Valley-themed mascot here)!

Nguyen, San Jose’s former vice-mayor and a current candidate for the 27th Assembly District, published an op-ed Thursday in the Mercury News calling for the creation of University of California, San Jose.

“It's clear that California desperately needs to start expanding the UC system and there's no better place for it than San Jose,” writes Nguyen.

The first part of her argument—that the UC system needs an 11th campus—relies on the fact that, “from 2007 to 2014, admission rates at UC for California residents dropped from 87 percent to 62 percent.” This is not due to a lack of qualified students. Rather, there are simply not enough UC spots for all of California’s sons and daughters.

The second piece of her argument—that the next UC campus should be here in Silicon Valley—piggybacks off legislation presented by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Glendale). The bill, AB-1483, is working its way through committees, and it proposes creating a UC campus focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (“STEAM”).

“San Jose offers unparalleled possibilities for mentorships, local expertise in science and technology, and public-private partnerships that will make a STEAM UC San Jose a powerhouse in both research and learning with far-reaching benefits,” Nguyen says.

The heart of her argument is that UCSJ would create jobs, close the income gap and generate revenue for the local economy. To support this point, she cites a 2011 study that found that a $3.35 billion investment in the UC system generated $46.3 billion of economic impact.

While this may be true, Nguyen’s call to action does not touch on a critical point. Have you seen the price of land in Silicon Valley recently?

LoopNet, a commercial real estate site, reports a 5.4 percent increase in the last year in the median asking price per square foot for office space in the metro area. Simultaneously, there has also been a 43.9 percent reduction in the number office listings.

Scarce space is already being tussled over by tech and affordable housing interests; adding higher-ed to that mix could mean a bitter fight. And although AB-1483, which has support from 10 co-authors, provides $50 million for land acquisition, establishing a campus in such a pricey area will likely be a tough sell for the financially embattled UC system.

Nguyen doesn’t address this very real concern, but she at least seems aware that a new campus might not come easy.

“It's an idea whose time has come,” she wrote of the proposal, “and I will fight for—UC San Jose.”

18 Comments

  1. Good grief!

    Political Correctness University

    http://twitchy.com/2015/06/11/cant-say-that-janet-napolitano-reportedly-creating-microaggression-free-uc-campus/

    ” Former U.S. Director of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano reached peak notoriety in 2009 by insisting that terrorist attacks be referred to as “man-caused disasters.”

    Now, as president of the University of California, Napolitano’s PC crusade continues undaunted

    “America is the land of opportunity,” “There is only one race, the human race” and “I believe the most qualified person should get the job” are among a long list of alleged microaggressions faculty leaders of the University of California system have been instructed not to say.

    These so-called microaggressions – considered examples of subconscious racism – were presented at faculty leader training sessions held throughout the 2014-15 school year at nine of the 10 UC campuses. The sessions, an initiative of UC President Janet Napolitano, aim to teach how to avoid offending students and peers, as well as how to hire a more diverse faculty.”

    No thank you.

    We can achieve much the same benefits that Ngyen proposes by downsizing the 10 other UC campuses and saving tax dollars instead of creating yet another UC brainwashing camp in San Jose.

  2. I first heard the idea from Johnny Lee. It was one of the major selling points for his campaign. Still though, it’s a good idea.

    I think she’s playing hard and loose with some facts though. If enrollment is down, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for people, it means that not as many people are enrolling. The reason we had more enrollments in the past was because we didn’t have predatory student loans. If your goal is to *truly* increase enrollment rates, you need to make the UC system free to those with qualifying grade histories.

    As far as Lindsey’s While this may be true, Nguyen’s call to action does not touch on a critical point. Have you seen the price of land in Silicon Valley recently?

    There’s a lot of opportunity. The UC system owns the Blue Oak Ranch reserve. The reserve could be subdivided into mitigation property lots that are sold to raise funds for the new campus. Location? How about some of the old IBM buildings in South San Jose, or a new campus in Coyote Valley. With the money raised by selling off the Blue Oak Reserve as Mitigation lots the UC system would then have the money to buy up the old IBM campuses.

    Just for the average reader.. IIRC Mitigation property means a portion of raw, wild land a developer has to purchase in order to mitigate the environmental impact done by their project. So if someone builds in DTSJ, they are required to buy mitigation property as part of the land impact.

    • > Just for the average reader.. IIRC Mitigation property means a portion of raw, wild land a developer has to purchase in order to mitigate the environmental impact done by their project. So if someone builds in DTSJ, they are required to buy mitigation property as part of the land impact.

      Sounds unconstitutional to me.

      I take it that some Democrat thought this up.

      [Here’s a little coaching for the Democrats in the audience]

      “No. It came from the EPA which was established by Richard Nixon.

      NYAH, NYAH, NYAH.”

    • Why is that? Seriously.
      I don’t know much about her other than that her Vietnamese community wanted to recall her.

  3. Why not first fix the issue of San Jose State not having enough professors/course sections to meet existing demand for classes, and help students graduate in four years?

    • State and UC programs offer completely different programs. For example, you can’t get a degree in Medicine at State, but you can at a lot of UC colleges. The UC colleges tend to be better funded, have more resources (over 3000 acres in Mt Hamilton)

      The two issues are completely separate.

      • Actually, the two issues are not separate. The biggest crunch is for undergraduate education in California. Many CA students are being turned away from slots as freshmen, and many students at both the UCs and CSUs are having trouble finishing in 4 years because they can’t get the classes they need (that’s when they are eligible – having met all of the pre-requisites.) Registration for classes is in order of priority based (for most students, not athletes or students with special needs) on year – seniors have highest priority, then juniors, etc So when a student’s priority registration time slot comes up, the classes he/she wants to take and is eligible for can be full. This happens all of the time, and it increases the amount of time it takes to graduate, especially because many classes need to be taken in a sequence, not concurrently. Hence, meeting the demand for existing classes would help students finish in 4 years, freeing up space (especially in on campus housing) for new students.

        Medicine is a graduate program. The UC system has a graduate program in SF but does not have an undergraduate program in SF. There is a CSU in SF with an undergraduate program.

        It would be great to have a UC in the South Bay area – especially because students could then live at home if room/board at the university was unaffordable. Room/board costs at the UCs are really expensive.

      • It is true that UC programs are geared towards the sciences, and thats why SJSU is a better match for San Jose. SJSU is geared towards business and engineering. Silicon valley is a hot bed for jobs from these two majors and thus it is better equipped for San Jose than a UC would be. These issues are not completely separate.

        • In addition, UC tuition is about twice the tuition at a CSU. For a public university system, the UC system is unbelievably expensive for in-state residents. On top of tuition add a boatload of fees and a huge expense for textbooks.

          A SJSU parent spoke with me this week about how hard it is for students to finish their degrees because the classes are so oversubscribed. I’m not opposed to a UC in/near Silicon Valley, but if more money is going to be spent on public universities in CA, let’s please fix the existing problems with undergraduate education in CA first before putting money into a new university.

  4. > It would be great to have a UC in the South Bay area – especially because students could then live at home if room/board at the university was unaffordable. Room/board costs at the UCs are really expensive.

    I conclude from this that there is a housing issue, NOT a UC issue.

    There is UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco, and UC Santa Cruz. There is no shortage of UC.resources for people in the south bay.

    There is a HUGE shortage of opportunities for people with UC degrees, and a huge burden of student debt on people who were gulled into believing that a UC degree was a ticket to the social and political nomenklatura.

    Plus, a UC will likely bring in a cadre of malignant and objectionable societal wreckers:

    Ward Churchill
    Elizabeth Warren
    Rachel Dolezal

    All professors at public universities.

    • Hey SJO…

      So the other day I decided to “Think like a progressive!” With our recent heatwave, we had a few murders, so the question came to my mind, “Why don’t we subsidize Air Conditioning!”

      * It would reduce the murder rate
      * It would provide union jobs (electrician, plumbing, HVAC)
      * It would improve school scores in lower income neighborhoods (Kids get a good night sleep instead of a restless one from sweaty sheets)
      * Public health would be improved! Less heat strokes
      * Water consumption would be reduced, cool people don’t get as thirsty.

      On the progressive scale of 1-10 (10 being awesome) how do you think I scored? I’m surprised our progressives haven’t picked up on this yet.

      • I’d give it a 9 or a 9.5.

        Also, if you give the populist underclass air conditioning, it makes them more comfortable and well rested, which makes it easier to get them out on election day to vote for Democrats.

        One of the really clever things you did was to avoid any reference to the Laws of Thermodynamics which basically says that running air conditioners increases entropy, which probably means it increases global warming.

  5. Sure, you could build it on the old Agnews property. Or else on the mud flats: How does University of California — Alviso sound? Use houseboat technology to make the place earthquake-proof.

  6. Great idea @MadisonNguyen ! Perhaps Mayor Liccardo and the City Council can use the land next to Diridon accumulated for a delusional MLB stadium and, instead of more corporate welfare, do something useful?

  7. > instead of more corporate welfare,

    Why is welfare for corporations any more objectionable than welfare for tenured left-wing academic drones peddling useless degrees at obscenely high prices?

  8. Since most of the comments are negative and dismissive, I have another approach. I would like to see how many San Jose residents who have or may have students attending any of the UC campuses would be in favor of their student attending a UC Campus as proposed in San Jose instead of where they may currently be attending? And for the sake of accumulating data in support of a UC campus in San Jose, if their student would prefer not attending out of state, other local and out of the bay area universities both public and private universities? If the tuition was competitive; academically competitive; local students living in the bay area were given priority admission; Silicon Valley internships/Partners. If criteria and specifications that can be put in place to support our local students in a way that the logistical needs could make a UC campus a preferred option besides the major benefit the room and board savings, this idea can be a great decision. A survey to generate some data and crunch some numbers is productive and an approach that to me makes sense to explore. At this point, I see no valid reason to be against this great idea proposed by Madison Nguyen.