In UC Merced’s first 10 years, the once-fledgling campus has gone from a few buildings near a cow pasture to about 1 million square feet of classrooms, research laboratories, offices and student housing.
The campus is behind on its initial projections for enrollment, which were affected by several years of a difficult state economy and space constraints. UC Merced had an enrollment of 6,268 last year, when the campus originally expected to enroll 8,136, according to its Long Range Development Plan.
University officials maintain that the campus is on target and meeting its goals to provide Valley students nearby access to a world-class research university.
“We are educating a significant number of students from the San Joaquin Valley,” Chancellor Dorothy Leland said. “And many of them come from first-generation, low-income and minority families. Those are precisely the students who didn’t have access to the University of California before this campus was built.”