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Regents' committee endorses Berkeley campus development plan

– UC Berkeley's Long Range Development Plan was endorsed unanimously Tuesday by the UC Regents Committee on Grounds and Buildings at its meeting at UC San Francisco.

In presenting the plan, UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau said the plan's vision, which takes the campus through the year 2020, was not created in a vacuum, but was "built on an academic plan developed over several years.

"It is driven by academics, not by the desire to build building," Birgeneau said.

Among those also addressing the Regents was Professor Robert Knapp, professor of classics and chair of UC Berkeley's Academic Senate.

"The faculty is fully aware that we are a large university in a small city," Knapp said, adding that the LRDP was committed to sustaining UC Berkeley's excellence while maintaining the highest possible quality of life both on and off campus.

Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates implored the Regents' committee to delay action on the plan for two months, so that the city could continue to negotiate with the campus over environmental mitigation and fiscal impacts.

In the end, the committee voted 6-0 to recommend that the full Board of Regents approve the LRDP and certify its environmental impact report when it meets at UCSF on Thursday, Jan. 20. The Regents are expected to follow the committee recommendation.

Both the regents and the chancellor indicated that it was of utmost importance that the dialogue continue between the city and the campus.