Joint powers entity is key to university

first_imgBoth CSU Bakersfield and CSU Fresno offer upper-division and graduate-level courses in the Antelope Valley using a combination of classroom space at a satellite campus on the north end of Antelope Valley College and at a building at the former Antelope Valley Fairgrounds at Avenue I and Division. [email protected] (661) 267-5743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LANCASTER – The next immediate steps in trying to establish a four-year university in the High Desert will be the formation of a joint powers authority, according to project advocates. The Antelope Valley Board of Trade, which has been developing a higher-education master plan, is backing the formation of a joint powers authority to oversee the push for a four-year college. After discussions with California State University officials, AVBOT’s board of directors agreed to endorse the joint powers authority. State Sen. George Runner, R-Lancaster, who has been working for more than a decade to enhance the region’s higher-education opportunities, had pushed the idea of a joint powers authority as a coordinating body for the effort. “I think it’s going to be important to have an organized, regional voice,” Runner said. “We need to promote the current education opportunities, see what opportunities there might be for additional programs, and lay groundwork for a four-year university.” A planning group is working to determine the framework for a joint powers authority. One meeting was held with representatives of Antelope Valley College, the Antelope Valley Union High School District, Kern and Los Angeles counties, and the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale. Representatives from Tehachapi and California City have been invited to the next meeting in April, said Jackie Fisher, president of Antelope Valley College. AVBOT has completed a master plan for higher education, but has not yet made it public. The plan will go to the joint powers authority, once it is formed. It will serve as a supporting document for a formal university proposal that the JPA will develop, said Cathy Hart, AVBOT’s executive director. “The master plan was never intended to be the actual university proposal itself – only a first step – but it will be a very useful document that will save the JPA a considerable amount of research time,” Hart said. CSU officials have indicated there are no plans in the near term to add another campus. In conversations with Runner and with AVBOT representatives, CSU officials said the best way to bring in a campus would be to support the continued expansion of the Lancaster University Center. last_img

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