Questions About CSUCI Already Are Being Answered

Peter R. MacDougall is president of Santa Barbara City College and a member of the Ventura Campus Community Advisory Board of Cal State Northridge

The commentary, "CSUCI Rushes Toward Reality but What Are We Really Getting?" by Stanislaus Pulle (Sept. 6) included a number of inferences and random points that led him to conclude that development of the Cal State Channel Islands campus should be stopped until clearly defined ends are established.

My response to Mr. Pulle is personal but written from the perspective of membership, since its inception, on the Ventura Campus Community Advisory Board of Cal State Northridge. This board's diverse, community-based members have worked diligently and enthusiastically in support of the CSUCI campus for the past few years.

Mr. Pulle makes the point, "If quality higher education really matters, admissions standards, programs offered and caliber of instruction become critical." I concur with these central points; however, these points are well-established or underway in regard to the CSUCI campus.

Per the Master Plan for Higher Education in California, Cal State campuses accept high school graduates in the top one-third of their graduating classes who have completed an appropriate array of college-required courses.

Extensive work has and is taking place through the CSUN Ventura advisory board, community surveys, open forums with citizen and professional groups and a planning team charged with the ultimate responsibility to develop the curriculum for CSUCI.


I am confident that we will see a plan for a broad and vital curriculum that will be responsive to the general educational needs of a CSU campus and the specific needs of the local area. Documents outlining these directions are available and enlightening.

Quality teaching is a focus of the CSU system. The California Master Plan mandates such a focus, and the responsibility for quality teaching is reinforced throughout the university system. This will be true for CSUCI as well.

Mr. Pulle infers that the higher education needs of the local community can somehow be met by the private colleges and university satellite centers now in the county. With Ventura County's population of approximately 750,000 people and with regional needs extending to southern Santa Barbara County, the need for a public university is hardly debatable. Satellite centers from UC Santa Barbara and CSUN have provided a vital and important interim solution but cannot duplicate in quality or scope the higher educational services and programs required in the Ventura region.

Further, the cost factor makes it imperative that individuals from the Ventura County region have access to a relatively low-cost, high-quality public higher educational institution. Private higher education is simply too expensive for many families. Present and projected needs cannot be met by the array of private universities and university satellites now in Ventura County.


"CSUCI Rushes Toward Reality but What Are We Really Getting?" is an appropriate question. However, that question is being answered by scores of community members and organizations working with CSU officials.

I am confident that CSUCI will provide an important link with area community colleges. Such coordination of academic and vocational programs will ensure that students will be provided high-quality, low-cost access to academic programs through the baccalaureate degree. CSUCI will prove to be a dynamic catalyst for our region--a resource that will enhance the quality of life for individuals and increase the vitality of communities in the region.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World