The University and its Neighbors
The University of Arizona’s (UA) 5-year strategic plan (2012-2016) provides several indicators of projected growth that suggest areas of concern for the neighborhoods that surround its central campus. As the 2005 report on infill development suggests, “The presence of the University of Arizona generates a demand for student rental housing, which has serious impacts on the surrounding neighborhoods, including the construction of mini-dorms, inappropriate student behavior, and parking congestion.”
Between 2006 and 2016, the number of bachelor’s degrees to be awarded by the university is expected to increase by 28.3%. The increase in the number of research doctorates is even greater, at 31.6%. The increase in total enrollment is projected at 24.5%. It is also important to note that total research expenditures are expected to increase by 51.2% over this period. Of course, not all of this expanded activity will be felt within the neighboring communities.
While the university’s public service expenditures are also expected to increase by nearly 24%, we note that those expenditures are actually less than 10% of the university’s planned research expenditures, and also well below the level of public service expenditures by UA’s peers.
The University’s Strategic Plan has little to say about the kind of “good neighbor policy” it will have to develop and put into place in order to realize the kinds of growth that it envisions. Greater cooperation and coordination between the University, the City of Tucson, neighborhood associations, as well as real estate agents and developers will certainly be needed.