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Monday, February 25, 2008

Yale moving forward with plans for 2 new colleges

By Mary E. O’Leary
Register Topics Editor
NEW HAVEN
— It’s all unfolding as planned.
The Yale Corporation Saturday, after receiving a study on the ramifications of adding two residential colleges for undergraduates, asked that administrators prepare capital and operating budgets showing the costs, while also detailing a fundraising plan.
The development of these documents had been recommended by Yale President Richard C. Levin for consideration by the corporation before it takes a vote on the additions at its meeting in June.
Levin enthusiastically supported the study and has offered the rationale for building two colleges off Prospect Street, which would bring the total to 14 on the Yale campus and increase the number of undergraduates by some 12 percent.
The additional colleges, which would house around 400 students each, would have all the amenities of the existing colleges, including dining halls, common rooms, courtyards, masters’ houses and student suites.
In a letter to the Yale community last week, Levin said the project, which would add several other ancillary facilities, as well as additional staff and faculty, would boost the undergraduate student body to an estimated 6,000, up from 5,200.
Early estimates put the capital cost at $600 million with groundbreaking in 2011 and completion by 2013.
Levin has been concerned for some time with the explosion in the number of applications for Yale, with several hundred students denied admission each year who would have been accepted a decade ago.
Applications fluctuated between 9,000 and 13,000 until 2001 when it kept climbing to the current 22,500 number, with less than 10 percent expected to be accepted.
The president said Yale has the financial resources and the ability to raise more money to make the colleges a reality.
“Today, we have a long queue of highly qualified applicants who would collectively allow Yale to make an even greater contribution to society, if more could be educated here,” Levin wrote last week.
Roland Betts, senior fellow of the corporation, issued a statement after Saturday’s meeting, saying there had been a “stimulating discussion ... to ensure that the culture of Yale College would not be compromised” by an expansion. Specifically, he said they they want the quality of extracurricular life and classroom education to remain the same.
The study group has recommended construction of arts performance spaces, an exercise facility, a cafe, more classroom space and a possible convenience store, while also enhancing basic services such as library study space and health services, in addition to the colleges.
Construction of the colleges off Prospect between Sachem and Canal streets will greatly enhance the presense of Yale in that part of the campus, commonly referred to as Science Hill, which students now view as isolated from the central campus.
Mary E. O’Leary can be reached at 789-5731 or moleary@nhregister.com.

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