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Letters to the Editor: UC Yreka? This is why UC’s next campus needs to be in California’s far north

A scrap-metal statue of a prospector panning for gold and a donkey stand beneath a sign that says "Yreka."
A reader says there should be a University of California campus in the northern third of the state — Yreka, perhaps.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Yes, the University of California system needs to enroll far more in-state students, and the answer is not to cut spots for nonresidents. (“The struggle for the soul of UC,” editorial, May 28)

The number of UC campuses expanded steadily until the 1960s. However, since 1965, only one new campus has been added. We need all of our California State University campuses too, but there’s a gaping hole that should be filled. There are no UC campuses north of Davis and only two CSUs in the northern third of the state.

Why not build a UC campus in Siskiyou County? High school seniors in the far north of the state deserve a chance to go to a UC close to home. A UC Yreka, perhaps, would bring many jobs to an economically disadvantaged part of California, and the faculty and staff might actually be able to afford homes there.

California has the money now. Invest in students’ futures by building a new UC campus.

Tessa Lucero, Canyon Country

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To the editor: You propose converting a CSU campus into a UC. Which CSUs would you propose for this conversion? These campuses have evolved in sync with their communities, and replacing a CSU with a UC is not a quick proposition.

I’ve taught in both the CSU and UC systems. They both offer significant value to their students and communities.

Perhaps we also need to look at other options, such as siting UC campuses in downtown urban areas, where commercial real estate may soon be more available due to changes in work patterns during the pandemic. Not all students wish to attend — or pay for — a campus with recreation facilities, student centers and the like.

Also, is CSU-UC co-location an option on certain campuses? This could create interesting opportunities for research, sports, resources and program sharing.

Finally, do all students who reach for UC or CSU really benefit from their college experience? Would some prefer to enroll in more career-oriented programs, if available?

Let’s consider more carefully why students go to college and where before we make snap decisions.

Laura Curran, Newport Beach


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