UC Merced will wrap up its fifth year of operation with this weekend’s commencement activities, and if the first half-decade is any indication, the university has a bright future ahead.
When the university opened in the fall of 2005, high hopes and swelling optimism were tempered by hard questions about the state’s economy and the campus’ viability. Despite some struggles and external pressures, those questions have largely been answered.
UC Merced has, in just five years, made significant progress toward each of its principal goals. It has increased the availability of a college education to students in the San Joaquin Valley and elsewhere; it has served as an economic stimulus to the Valley economy; it has become a model of environmentally responsible development; it has hired world-class faculty and attracted significant grants for meaningful research; and it has begun the process of establishing professional schools to address the Valley’s health and economic-development challenges.
There is much work to be done if UC Merced is to fulfill its mission, but the first steps have been taken, and a sound, thorough plan is in place for the future. The university is already beginning to have a meaningful impact in many ways, and the hard work that went into the first five years has laid a foundation upon which future successes will be built.
4 years ago