As I have done from time to time, I write to update everyone about space planning at UC Hastings College of the Law.
We have multiple initiatives underway. Most importantly, I want to emphasize the role that all stakeholders have played and will continue to play in these processes that will build a better UC Hastings for all of us. Everything we have done has followed our strategic plan, which was the result of more than a year of cooperative thinking about how to adapt legal education to new realities. Since we announced the plan, others have followed, and we continue to adjust to ongoing transformations of the legal marketplace and higher education.
We have a Long Range Campus Planning Project 2.0. This follows the successful Long Range Campus Planning Project 1.0. In the earlier effort, we achieved a consensus on the need for significant renovations to Snodgrass Hall, 198 McAllister. Now, we will assess the costs and possibilities for undertaking such improvements on the one hand, or considering alternatives that might involve the Tower, 100 McAllister, the vacant lot owned by the College, or both on the other hand. The LRCP 2.0 Committee, which includes faculty and staff, has been active, and it has solicited input from everyone, especially students.
We also have a 1st and 6th Floor Project. This concerns relocation of functions from the Tower to Mary Kay Kane Hall, 200 McAllister. Our goal is to bring together the Clinics and Centers, creating a state-of-the-art space designed specifically for them. This move will help us integrate the faculty of the College, make best use of our newest, most efficient building, and generate much-needed revenue on a reliable basis. The only decision we have made at this point is to look at the 6th floor rather than the 4th floor, a conclusion we came to after considering both options. By moving some activities out of the Tower and into the 1st floor or 6th floor of 200 McAllister, we will be able to lease parts of the Tower as we have in the past. We will be developing guidelines for this type of usage in a collaborative manner.
People have offered their opinions. I would like to ensure we are explicit about our two commitments:
First, we intend to at least maintain—and ideally increase as well as enhance—the student study space throughout the campus.
Second, we also intend to continue acquiring the range of academic research materials that are not available online, including but not limited to monographs, and ensuring we support the needs of the faculty in conducting scholarly work.
We are also hopeful about approvals for city funding that would allow us to upgrade the exterior of campus. If we receive public moneys for these plans, we would be able to improve safety for everyone.
Legal education faces unprecedented change. We have reduced our class size, setting an example, and held tuition constant for three years, recognizing the need to do so. Thus we have had to reduce costs significantly. As an institution, we must have a sustainable business model, and we will if we can make the necessary adjustments.
I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge that all of this is challenging; none of it has been easy. Thank you for your ongoing support.
- Frank H. Wu
Frank H. Wu
Chancellor & Dean