Student growth studied in UCR’s Long Range Development Plan

Forum planned for May 20

May 14, 2019
Author: Imran Ghori
May 14, 2019

UC Riverside could increase its percentage of graduate students and improve its faculty-student ratios by 2035.

Both are among the assumptions that campus planners are considering as they draft the next Long Range Development Plan, or LRDP, a land use plan that looks at broad growth assumptions over the next 15 years and considers their environmental impact.

A town hall forum on the planning process is scheduled for May 20 at 12 p.m. at HUB 302.

The campus last approved an LRDP in 2005, preparing for a student enrollment of 25,000, which it is now close to reaching.

The new plan projects how the physical campus could grow to support a student enrollment of up to 35,000. As part of that, the graduate student percentage – now at 14% -- is assumed to go up to 20%, said Melissa Ann Garrety, a campus planner.

The university also aspires to improve its student-to-faculty ratios, which are now below the UC average, she said. With 35,000 students, the campus projects needing up to 1,300 faculty and about 5,000 staff. UCR now has 841 faculty members and 3,000 staff employees.

Planners are nearing completion of the first phase of work, which included data collection and understanding the facility growth needed to support a larger student enrollment. The team will compile a draft report by the end of the summer. 

That will be followed by the preparation of an environmental impact report that will take about 18 months to complete. A final plan is expected to be presented for adoption to the UC Regents in Spring 2021.

The plan is one of two vital documents in the process of being updated that will shape the university’s future. Last month, Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox announced the start of the strategic plan process that will outline goals driving future budget priorities and operations.

The strategic plan, which focuses on UCR’s mission, vision, and values, is not required, while the LRDP is a state requirement.

The LRDP helps support the strategic plan priorities by identifying areas for potential growth and helping to plan for that growth, said Uma Ramasubramian, UCR principal physical planner.