William Sederburg

Campus growth restrictions being potentially proposed by the state Board of Regents have Utah Valley State College president William A. Sederburg concerned.

Sederburg didn't mince words on a proposal pitched during a Regents' committee meeting Friday in Salt Lake City.

The draft document includes a moratorium on geographic expansion for the state's higher education institutions.

"These recommendations seem to be really missing the mark," Sederburg said.

Student growth is coming and the state should be prepared for it, he said.

"We're probably the school that is most affected," the UVSC president said, citing student growth projections for the northern part of Utah County and the southern part of Salt Lake County.

Developers have already approached UVSC officials regarding land banking opportunities in Eagle Mountain and another near the Point of the Mountain, he said.

Sederburg declined to say who the developers are or exactly where the sites are. He did say the Eagle Mountain site is 100 acres. The other site is 30 acres and is near Cabela's outdoors store, east of the Highland/Alpine exit in Lehi.

"I think the regents are looking at this (proposal) statewide as opposed to just our school," he said. "And UVSC is in a different situation than other schools."

Sederburg points to UVSC data that predicts rapid growth for the school. UVSC enrollment is now about 24,000. That is expected to double in the next couple of decades.

"We need to be ready for that wave of students," he said.

If UVSC waits 10 to 15 years to purchase the land, it will be gone, Sederburg said.

UVSC has received no official offers yet regarding the two land parcels, he said. "Until we receive something in writing, it's just a concept," Sederburg said.

Linda Peterson, spokeswoman for Eagle Mountain, said city economic development officials verified developers have indicated UVSC might be looking at a land parcel in the area west of City Hall, in the area of Pony Express Park.

A three-member committee has been working on the regents' strategic planning draft since January. They are: regents Anthony Morgan of Salt Lake City; Jack Zenger of Midway; and former Commissioner for Higher Education Rich Kendell.

Morgan, who presented the information to the committee Friday, said the draft policy is meant to plan for growth. "The regents have a responsibility to do long-range planning for the system," Morgan said.

Sederburg said he is especially worried about Section II of the strategic planning draft, which proposes simply accommodating growth by being more efficient with existing campus space. This includes expanding distance learning, as well as adopting scheduling techniques that utilize the facilities for more hours and more days.

Part 4 of Section II proposes: a "brief moratorium on any geographic expansion by any institution, pending the creation of a master statewide plan for physical facilities to accommodate population centers in the state."

Morgan said he doesn't like to see so many campuses dotting the state and that maybe students need to just drive a bit farther.

Higher education institutions asked the Legislature for almost $91 million in land bank requests this year, he added. "We really need a planning context for that," he said.

Sederburg said in an interview after the meeting, "We're already maxed out on our campus as far as space."

Last week the UVSC Board of Trustees approved plans to remove Mountainland Applied Technology College from space the ARC leases on the second floor of UVSC's West Building on Geneva Road. If MATC agrees, it will continue to lease only the main floor of the building.


Contributing: Catherine Smith

E-mail: astewart@desnews.com