UK university eyes Placer campus
An English university announced last year it will build a major satellite campus in Placer County.
Now it says it will build two campuses, not one.
Officials from the University of Warwick said Thursday they’re planning to open a permanent graduate school campus somewhere in central Roseville in 2018. A larger campus, on farmland west of the city, will follow several years later and will be devoted to undergraduate students.
The announcement, made during a visit by university officials to Roseville, represents a tweak in Warwick’s plans. In July, the university said it would open a temporary spot for graduate students in Roseville in 2018, with the idea of eventually moving that site to the permanent campus west of the city.
Instead, university officials decided the Roseville site would gain a lot more traction – with students, professors and the surrounding community – if it were permanent.
“You’re not placing yourself in a shed, which is very temporary,” said Seán Hand, the newly appointed dean of Warwick’s Placer graduate school, in an interview with The Sacramento Bee. “You’re going to have a permanent presence in the city of Roseville. ... That makes a big diffierence locally, civically.”
Bob Hogg, the university’s business development director, said Warwick officials are close to signing a lease on a 30,000-square-foot Roseville property, a site that could be expanded in future years. He wouldn’t disclose the exact location.
The Roseville graduate school will start small, with perhaps 40 to 60 students, according to Hand. The initial fields of study have yet to be disclosed.
Eventually the graduate school expects a student body of more than 1,000.
Having the two campuses several miles apart won’t present a problem, Warwick officials said. The university’s graduate business school is in London, nearly two hours from the main campus in Coventry, England.
Warwick’s long-term plan is to build a major campus on farmland between Roseville and Pleasant Grove, on a 1,159-acre parcel donated by a partnership led by the family of Sacramento land developer Angelo K. Tsakopoulos. The campus, serving as many as 6,000 students, would occupy about half the land when it’s fully developed in 2031. The Tsakopoulos group would develop the other half with housing and commercial properties, and devote the proceeds to building the Warwick campus.
Warwick is the third entity to propose opening a campus on the Placer site. The Tsakopoulos group initially recruited the Christian Brothers order, which proposed to build a four-year, private college called De La Salle University. The Christian Brothers pulled out in 2005, citing slow county approval of the project.
Next, Drexel University of Philadelphia announced it would build a campus on the Tsakopoulos land. In 2009, as an interim step, it began training graduate students in a Tsakopoulos-owned office building in Old Sacramento. In 2015, Drexel announced that it would close its Sacramento campus to concentrate on its home base in Philadelphia, as well as online education.
Hogg said Warwick officials have had extensive discussions with Drexel and remain convinced the Placer university will work out. Hand said building a campus from scratch, while a major undertaking, is emblematic of Warwick’s history.
“Warrick has done this, 50 years ago,” he said, referring to the university’s birth in the 1960s. “It’s in the DNA of the university.”
Hand said he plans to visit the Placer area several more times before permanently relocating with his family next fall. The graduate school is scheduled to open a year later.