University of Warwick happy to welcome suitors from Placer County

10/08/2013 1:20 PM

10/08/2013 1:50 PM

Officials from the University of Warwick say they’ll welcome the Placer County delegation hoping to entice the United Kingdom institution into opening a California campus.

Three Placer County officials and three from the city of Roseville are expected to travel to Coventry, England, in hopes of convincing Warwick to accept free county land and a $150 million financial contribution in exchange for building a full-service campus on land donated by developer Angelo K. Tsakopoulos in southern Placer County.

“The University of Warwick is looking forward to welcoming representatives from Placer County Board of Supervisors to our campus in November,” campus spokesman Peter Dunn said in an email. “We understand that they want to showcase their county and to explore what opportunities there may be for the University of Warwick to develop a presence in their region.”

Dunn said it was too early to offer detailed comments on the proposal.

The University of Warwick was founded in 1965 and has an enrollment of 23,400 full-time students, primarily at its campus on the outskirts of Coventry. It has consistently been ranked as one of England’s best institutions of higher learning. Having a stronger international presence was one of the university’s five goals expressed in its “Vision 2015” plan published in 2007.

“Warwick is a globally connected university that has chosen to form partnerships that are not based on geographical proximity but which help create a truly global network,” Nigel Thrift, Warwick’s vice chancellor and president professor, said in remarks forwarded to The Bee. “Warwick’s two most significant international partnerships are its international alliance with Australia’s Monash University; and its role as part of a consortium of universities, including New York University, creating a Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) in downtown Brooklyn, New York City.”

Representing Roseville on the journey will be Assistant City Manager Rob Jensen, Mayor Susan Rohan and Councilman Tim Herman. London-born City Manager Ray Kerridge is not making the trip. The council approved the travel last month. On Tuesday, the Placer County Board of Supervisors approved the county contingent of Executive Officer David Boesch and Supervisors Kirk Uhler and Robert M. Weygandt.

The trip is funded by the Sacramento Area Commerce and Trade Organization. The group’s president and chief executive officer, Barbara Hayes, declined to say how much the trip is costing the organization. SACTO is funded by a mix of business and government support.

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