Letters to the Editor: Graduate-level NIMBYism: What the UC Berkeley Enrollment Freeze Says About California

On February 27, 2022, the Sacramento Bee published this letter to the editor from Dick Ackerman and Mel Levine, co-chairs of the California Coalition for Public Higher Education:

To the editor: As UC Berkeley graduates, we can attest to the incredible opportunities the university opened in our lives. We call on lawmakers and the courts to avoid a dramatic reduction in the number of students who will have these same opportunities next year.

The appellate court’s rejection of the university’s request for relief from a lower court order requiring the campus to freeze student enrollment at the same level as 2020-21 is unfair. It bases enrollment on a year of unusually low enrollment because of the pandemic, and it will have an immediate and devastating impact on thousands of students who will be denied access to a UC education. The lower court decision treats enrollment as a “project” that must be analyzed under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), a troubling departure from past practice that would significantly harm our attempts to increase the educated workforce needed to support the state’s economy.

Former U.S. Rep. Mel Levine and state Sen. Dick Ackerman

Oak Park