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College President Favors Taylor Ranch University

January 11, 1990

As an educator for the past 33 years (27 at Ventura College), I strongly support the development of a CSU campus on the Taylor Ranch property. I am writing this letter as a citizen of this county and as the Ventura College president, but not representing a college or district position.

The development of a CSU campus is a higher education opportunity for the region, rather than just for the city of Ventura. The CSU campus will influence the lives and expand the educational opportunities for all Ventura County citizens, especially those residing west and north of the Conejo Grade and particularly those who do not have the resources or the time to commute or relocate to another four-year college campus in the state.

Recently the Legislature passed and the governor signed AB1725. Among other items, this important reform bill re-established the mission of the community college, with transfer education being the No. 1 priority. A university in close physical proximity to a community college is essential to carry out this mission. If offers the opportunity for thousands of students who work and attend college to compete and complete baccalaureate requirements. The vast majority of people currently attending the overcrowded CSU University Center on Alessandro Drive are former community college students, and most of these are working women.

CSU Chancellor W. Ann Reynolds supports the purchase of additional property in order to provide a wilderness area for wildlife that may or may not be affected by a college on the Taylor Ranch site. This should help allay the fears of those concerned with the destruction of wildlife.

The global world that we live in cannot and should not be ignored. I urge all citizens to speak out and support the Taylor Ranch proposal now. We in Ventura County send more than $600 million in taxes to Sacramento annually and get less than $1 million in return for higher education beyond the community college level. Currently more than 4,000 students are commuting outside the county to take higher education classes. Ventura County is the largest county in the state of California without a CSU campus. The future is now!

ROBERT W. LONG

Somis

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