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Dear campus community
Today we are announcing a new plan to address the housing needs of our current and prospective students. Our student body is facing increasingly limited living options and the campus is facing a profound challenge to meet the demand. The university must modernize and expand student housing, yet we are constrained by high real estate and construction prices, limited land to build, and restricted ability to take on new debt to finance construction.
Given our limited resources, we have determined our best path forward is establishing public-private partnerships. This will enable us to increase housing options for our student body. Since housing costs comprise a large portion of our students’ budgets, this is an important objective. While we worked together over the course of several months to evaluate student housing, other areas were explored to standardize operations and build a common campus infrastructure.
The custodial, facility (maintenance, trades, and grounds services), and design & project services functions, and campus restaurants in the Student Affairs/Residential & Student Service Programs (RSSP) portfolio will transition to Administration & Finance/Real Estate. This alignment will unite similar functions. Student Affairs will continue to be supportive of the staff transitioning to Real Estate and include them in staff recognition programs that Student Affairs and RSSP have developed.
One of our operating principles guiding this change are to ensure students continue to receive the services and support necessary to help them succeed at Berkeley. As such, we will be preserving the critical student-facing functions in the hands of the staff trained and experienced in supporting and developing students. Student Affairs will continue to operate residential life programs and housing assignments as well as the dining halls. Additionally, they will continue to support the associated campus convenience stores and concessions. The residence hall and family housing students will see no reduction in the service-level or quality of the custodial and maintenance work currently provided. Student Affairs and Real Estate will continue to be vital partners to support the student experience.
The transition is expected to take place over the next 18-24 months. We are in the early stages of this effort and there will be significant planning required to design and implement this change. The work ahead will require consultation with staff from RSSP and Real Estate; the ASUC (Associated Students of the University of California), GA (Graduate Assembly), RHA (Residence Hall Assembly), and VRA (Village Residents Association); and others to ensure a seamless transition. The timing of the changes will be structured to minimize the impact to students and fit the academic calendar. A dedicated team will be established to manage the process.
We want to thank both the management teams and staff in RSSP and Real Estate for their dedication to our students, and their commitment to work together to find new solutions to address these challenges. For more information about details that are presently known, please see the Frequently Asked Questions at bit.ly/ucb-facilities-
Claude Steele, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
John Wilton, Vice Chancellor, Administration, Finance and Real Estate
Harry Le Grande, Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs
Bob Lalanne, Vice Chancellor, Real Estate