Businessman and former city councilmember Rudy Ramírez proposes that the University of Chula Vista project start without a physical campus built with research on critical projects to generate interest for the philanthropic and academic communities in the country.
"The University of California has been overdue for too long waiting for a budget to approve," Ramírez told Chula Vista Today.
That impasse could take indefinitely, "but if we develop critical research and innovation, and if we do it well, we can attract the interest of foundations that fund research and curricula in the country," said Ramírez
He said that one of the University of Chula Vista's specialties could be recycling and using recycled water in the face of increasing scarcity and drought. "That is a problem that we are all going to have to face sooner rather than later."
Ramirez said that, due to its location, the University of Chula Vista has to be binational and start generating local jobs as soon as research and innovation projects begin.
"If we carry out research well for the regional benefit and solve binational and border problems, we will arouse interest in Harvard or Stanford and the foundations and philanthropic community that finance projects at those renowned universities," said Ramírez.
Land for the 400-acre university is in Eastlake, but the plan is nearly two decades behind schedule.
In an op-ed currently appearing in the Times of San Diego, Ramirez, and attorney Ko Sharif, also of Chula Vista, presented other details of their proposal.
"We must first understand our focus area for innovation, which must be driven by what gives us a competitive advantage," they said.
Ramírez and Sharif explained that "this should be sustainable with a public benefit and a purpose that is closely related to the economic development of the city and capable of taking advantage of other local assets such as industry, climate, and proximity to the border."