Chula Vista city leaders have courted institutions of higher learning for a while with the promise of cheap leases on undeveloped land.
Chula Vista will soon have the four-year university that it hoped to lure to the city, though, it wasn't likely the first choice.
On Tuesday, the city council is expected to approve an agreement with the University of Saint Katherine. The orthodox Christian college was founded in 2010 and is currently located in San Marcos. According to city documents, 262 students currently attend the college. The city and university administrators have big plans for the future.
Reads the operating agreement, "[University of Saint Katherine] aims to become a nationally and internationally recognized residential institution of approximately 5,000 undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate and professional studies students. [The university] aspires to be a high research activity (R1), doctoral degree-granting institution which will award research doctoral degrees in the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields, as well as in medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy."
The university will move into a portion of the 375-acre city-owned land in Eastern Chula Vista called University Park.
For years, city officials have lobbied major universities to open extension campuses at the location. They touted the park as perfect for a "bi-national campus" that would attract "national and international attention."
On the city's short list were major universities including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard, Cal State, Duke, Rice, Columbia, University of San Diego, NYU, and the University of Southern California. University of Saint Katherine was not on the list.
But the operating agreement states that the university has the "potential for fostering economic development and educational advancement, and for providing a valuable amenity for the citizens of the City of Chula Vista."
According to the terms, the university will pay one dollar per year for the duration of the lease, the length of which will be decided after development plans are finalized.
A spokesperson for Chula Vista said "the City will meet with others regarding the university site which is slated to be a multi-institutional campus. This would potentially be the first university on the site."
The council is expected to approve the agreement on January 23 at 5 p.m.