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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

UA might expand to Chandler

Matt Lewis/ Arizona Daily Wildcat
Matt Lewis
Matt Lewis/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

After a several years of discussions between President Robert Shelton and the City of Chandler, the UA might offer classes in Chandler as soon as this fall.

“”We began establishing a relationship with the University of Arizona, really wanting them to be up here and part of the driving force of our science and technology park,”” said Chris Mackay, the City of Chandler’s economic development director.

Mackay added that the city has been building that partnership for the past three or four years. 

“”The availability and timing of particular programs will depend on demand, delivery model, finances, our capacity to deliver and other factors,”” said Mike Proctor, senior associate vice president of outreach for the UA. “”That said, we may be able to aggregate distance delivery in particular high-demand programs as early as next fall, but more likely a year later, again depending on many factors currently under discussion.””

The university is keeping its options open in terms of what departments or colleges will be at the new Chandler facility.

“”We have arranged visits for several department heads and deans to explore the opportunity and potential fit,”” Proctor said. ””Our early focus will be on graduate programs and a narrow slate of upper division courses. We will not offer lower division courses in Chandler.””

Proctor said the City of Chandler has been a great partner throughout the whole process.

According to Proctor, the UA chose Chandler because, “”(it) is the home of some of the most significant technical expertise in the state and provides a good fit for many of our programs.””

He added that it is his understanding that the City of Chandler sees the relationship as mutually beneficial.

“”Our presence (in Chandler) will likely end up being something very different from what most people think of as a campus, per se. It may be a place where we end up having capstone experiences for students who live in the area, graduate-level programs for working professionals, a distance learning hub for highly technical learners or a center for managing various service-learning or other high-impact applied programs,”” Proctor said. 

The UA is currently evaluating which programs might make sense to be at the Chandler location.

The former Motorola facility, near the Ocotillo Golf Course on South Price Road and West Queen Creek Road, will be used for graduate classes in entrepreneurship and technology.

“”When you see that ‘A’ go up on that building, you’ll know they have arrived,”” said City of Chandler Mayor Boyd Dunn in his State of the City address last week.

The UA will share the 152-acre site with Capital Commercial Investments, which is planning to redevelop the building into an employment park. The City of Chandler hopes the park, called Continuum, will house several businesses and potentially employ as many as 9,000 people.

This comes as the city is facing a $17.5 million budget deficit for the next fiscal year, according to City Manager Mark Pentz.

The UA is also involved in another project with Capital Commercial Investments which would provide space for biotech startups. The site is a former Intel research and development facility, also in located Chandler at 145 S. 79th St., near the Loop 202 freeway and the Stellar Airpark.

The $5.7 million facility the City of Chandler is calling an “”Innovations Technology Incubator/Accelerator,”” is meant to draw in companies who do work in the software design, engineering, biosciences, nanotechnology and sustainable technologies fields.

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