February 25, 2021

Dear Members of Our Campus Community,

During a pandemic that has required much attention and focus on the immediate, we are excited to share a piece of good news regarding our campus’s future. 

As you may remember, in May 2019 the UC Regents approved construction of our Classroom Building, our first building dedicated to classroom space since 1967. The building will increase our campus’s classroom seating capacity by 2,000 seats, or 35 percent, and will not only help us meet our current and projected enrollment growth, but also provide innovative teaching facilities. We have already broken ground on the four-story building, with completion anticipated for Spring 2023, and have formulated a plan for bicycle traffic and more than 1,800 bicycle parking spaces. This state-funded project is being supported by appropriations from the 2019-20 State Budget Act earmarked specifically for construction of the Classroom Building. The 2019-20 state budget was enacted in June 2019. 

The idea for this project was borne out of a series of lunch meetings that I held with some of our faculty colleagues four years ago. These conversations, along with input from our students, parents, faculty, and staff, made it clear that our greatest need was state-of-the-art classroom space. Today, I am delighted to share with you an animated video of our Classroom Building, which offers modernized lecture halls and classrooms with interactive learning and new instructional technology at the heart of our campus.

Many thanks to our New Classroom Building Committee, chaired by former Executive Vice Chancellor Gene Lucas, for its guidance and oversight of the project, and to all of our faculty, staff, and students who contribute to our academic mission every day. While in many ways the pandemic has dominated the past year, this project reminds us that our commitment to advancing teaching and research cannot be overshadowed.


Henry T. Yang

New Classroom Building Committee 
Gene Lucas, Chair
; Executive Vice Chancellor Emeritus
Leesa Beck, Director, Summer Sessions
Henning Bohn, Professor, Economics; Former Chair, Academic Senate
Alison Brysk, Chair and Mellichamp Professor, Global Studies
Rolf Christoffersen, Associate Professor, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
Amr El Abbadi, Professor, Computer Science
Kathy Foltz, Professor, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
Kathryn Foster, Undergraduate student representative
George Michaels, Executive Director, Instructional Development
Michael Miller, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Services, Student Affairs
Audrey Nolan, Graduate Student Association representative
Jennifer Peiffer, Staff representative
Erika Rappaport, Professor, History
Andy Satomi, Director, Space Planning and Management
Catherine Scanlon, Graduate Student Association representative
Jeffrey Stopple, Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Undergraduate Education
Marc Vukcevich, Associated Students representative

Ex Officio:
Chuck Haines, Associate Chancellor, Finance and Resource Management
Julie Hendricks, Director, Design and Construction Services
Mark Nocciolo, Director, Capital Development