Protests spanned UCSB yesterday as supporters of the Ventura Center for off-campus studies rallied against the closure of the satellite campus.
A small group of students chanting, “Hell no, we won’t go!” marched through campus — storming into Davidson Library and the UCen with a megaphone and signs — in response to the center shutting down. Students who began taking classes at the Ventura Center this fall were originally promised two to two-and-half years to complete their bachelor’s degree, but according to Dean Michael Brown, the UCSB extension campus will need $500,000 in annual funding to stay open. This cost, UCSB’s administration said, can no longer be supported by the university’s treasury, which is already hard-pressed by a $45 million budget deficit.
“This is not easy for us or for me personally, because this is the last program operated by UC to provide world-class degree-earning opportunities to qualified working adults on a part time and evening basis, who are limited by time and distance from attending the main campus,” Brown said.
Proponents of the center argue that the $500,000 a year necessary to keep the center alive is negligible given the campus’ success educating thousands of students since its opening.
The Ventura satellite campus was opened in 1974 as the first off-site education program among all 10 UC campuses, according to a press release. Since then, the center has enabled 4,000 students to take classes there. Currently, the center consists of a six classroom complex near Highway 101 and has a student body of 65.
Debbie Pastor, a student at the Ventura Center, said she is among many who feel unacknowledged by UCSB’s administration for their concern over the center’s planned closure.
“Our ideas seem to be ignored,” Pastor said. “We are not given updates and feel no support.”
In the likely event that the center closes, Pastor said, university officials have a responsibility to ensure a smooth transition for those currently attending the Ventura campus.
Same fees, less serviceI would have liked to have seen noted that the Ventura campus students pay the same fees and we are questioning the management of our contributions, as well as that of the certification extension program. Lack of planing on UCSB side should not create a crisis on our side! It has been acknowledged that with the reduction on state contributions, administrators realized to not have experience in getting funding through different means than the traditional ones. We are suggesting to appeal to the community that benefits from the center to help out, that is private donors, city… Read more »
It is amazing that drinking and drugs are always the top stories and fighting for education comes last. This article is a good start, however 65 students registered means students that only attend the off campus in Ventura for a couple of classes. There are mostly likely over 40 students that take classes on both campuses but are enrolled as strictly UCSB students. This article also doesn’t account for the UCSB extension program that offers courses in business and accounting. The extension program also helps pay for the building along with off campus studies. The students at the Ventura center… Read more »