Chula Vista city leaders have courted institutions of higher learning for a while with the promise of cheap leases on undeveloped land.
  • Chula Vista city leaders have courted institutions of higher learning for a while with the promise of cheap leases on undeveloped land.
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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.

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Comments

Visduh Jan. 20, 2018 @ 2:54 p.m.

Chula Vista will take what it can get, and this isn't much, at least yet.

There is a Saint Catherine University, up until recently called the College of Saint Catherine, in St Paul, Minnesota. It's one of those private but Catholic institutions, along the line of the University of San Diego. At the undergrad level it is still a women's college, but does accept men into some of its graduate programs. It has been around for over a century. One alumna was my late mother.

This new operation, name spelled with a "K", is something else entirely. It may or may not grow into something of significance.

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Sjtorres Jan. 20, 2018 @ 3:19 p.m.

Dorian, where is the info about the Mexican college that will be part of this project?

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Dorian Hargrove Jan. 21, 2018 @ 7:49 a.m.

There is only a brief mention in the negotiating agreement that USK will be an internationally recognized university.

"Additionally, Developer aims to become a nationally and internationally recognized residential institution of approximately 5,000 undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate and professional studies students. Developer 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. Developer may also offer masters, professional practice, and doctoral degrees in other fields. Complementing its educational purpose, Developer aims to create an intensive, collaborative research environment through corporate and public partnerships, and, consequently, to contribute significantly to the innovation enterprise of Chula Vista and the Cali- Baja region."

This will be their intention to include a binational student body but it's not there yet.

Thanks. -dH

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cvret Jan. 21, 2018 @ 9:36 a.m.

how will a mexican college benefit us?

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Dorian Hargrove Jan. 21, 2018 @ 11:30 a.m.

They have been promoting this idea of a binational university to serve both the US and Mexico. City officials say doing so would bring serious economic benefits to the region, and, most importantly Chula Vista. If you look at the list of universities and colleges they tried to recruit, you can tell they have some high hopes for this project. We will see.-dH

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cvret Jan. 21, 2018 @ 9:33 a.m.

sad that this is the best they can get

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bbq Jan. 22, 2018 @ 7:02 a.m.

To Mayor Salas and the CV City Council; This decision to lower our standards to make yourselves more desirable future candidates is not just immoral but lowering our potential to become a first class city. We happen to be one of the only cities on the west coast with viable "Greenfield" and "Brownfield" sites ready for development. Our land along the Otay River Valley and the Bay Front is beautiful and should be developed with care. We should be a big business dream and here you are willing to give it away to a wanna-be near start-up University. We do not need 5000 Christian based students working on Liberal arts if we are to become a first class community, we must have a full spectrum university of 20,000 diverse students developing scientists, engineers, and teachers for the 21st century. I am beginning to think you are falling for the Ed Branch (Former Sweetwater Superintendent) form of "Improvement" that if you cannot play with the big boys settle for the scraps. Do not accept this offer, do not give away our (the citizen's) asset on the first proposal, like many first marriages they end up with disappointment and divorce.
BBQ

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bbq Jan. 22, 2018 @ 8:43 a.m.

Opps I had a brain fade on Monday Morning and should of properly said Ed Brand not Branch, I guess I was just trying really hard to forget about that period of time at Sweetwater Union High School District. Not that everything there is hunkey-dorey right now. What's up with "L" Street and new Jr High and High Schools out east and the "Olympic" Swimming Pool in IB? BBQ

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dwbat Jan. 22, 2018 @ 9:40 p.m.

It's should've (NOT "should of") ;-) And hunky-dory (NOT "hunkey-dorey").

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AlexClarke Jan. 24, 2018 @ 12:26 p.m.

5000 conservative bible thumping Christian students and Liberal arts do not go together. Maybe 5000 Christian students and MAGA goes together.

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bbq Jan. 23, 2018 @ 6:33 a.m.

dwbat, Thanks for the English lesson, but what do you think about the "Gift" of Land by the City of Chula Vista? BBQ

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dwbat Jan. 23, 2018 @ 9:49 a.m.

I have no interest in the subject; I live in North Park. Chula Vista might as well be on Mars, for all I care. ;-)

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Visduh Jan. 23, 2018 @ 3:53 p.m.

bbq, you are right to question this land grant. One thing that Chula Vista might be able to land is a cal state campus. The county outgrew SDSU, and eventually the new Cal State San Marcos opened about thirty years ago, and has grown rapidly. SDSU is now too big for its britches (has been for a very long time), and wants to be a "research university." The campus on the mesa is tiny and cramped. They have bought property to the south starting decades ago, and have expanded down just about to Montezuma Road, but it is still far too limited in land area for what it has planned. That's where the stadium property comes in, but there is no guarantee that SDSU will get any of it. Even if it does, the popularity of SDSU (which I cannot explain) will likely continue, meaning that eventually it will no longer be able to grow physically or in enrollment.

The logical thing now is for the CSU system to start the planning process to add a So County campus. And that land set aside in CV would be the perfect spot for such a campus. If this deal means that all the land that could have accommodated a CSU campus is now gone, I'd call it a very bad deal for the city.

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