Campus: CSU Fullerton -- November 07, 2001

Cal State Fullerton to Establish El Toro Campus

Cal State Fullerton will establish a campus on the Marine Corps' former El Toro base on a portion that it leased today from the county of Orange.

The 10-year lease with the Cal State Fullerton Foundation will enable the university to move its south Orange County operation from Saddleback College in Mission Viejo to a two-story building that once served as headquarters for the Marines' western region. The first classes at the El Toro campus will be offered for the fall 2002 semester, which begins Aug. 26, and will be taught by full- and part-time CSUF professors.El Toro's classes - all upper-division and graduate-level courses - will focus on such subjects as art, business administration, child and adolescent studies, communications, computer science, criminal justice, English, history, liberal studies, mathematics, nursing, political science, psychology and public administration.

Additionally, credential and graduate programs in teacher education also will be offered. Over time, other classes will be added according to the needs of students. "Currently at Mission Viejo, we have about 1,300 students," says Ephraim Smith, vice president for academic affairs. "We anticipate increasing this number next fall to 2,300 at El Toro. Within five years, we expect from 3,500 to 4,000 students. A recent survey of Orange County residents found that 94 percent support the concept of a Cal State Fullerton El Toro campus." The agreement calls for the university to pay $56,000 per month to the county in the first five years of the lease.

The costs of improvements the university makes at the site will be subtracted from that amount, according to John M. Smart, emeritus vice chancellor for the CSU and south county project coordinator for CSUF. Constructed a dozen years ago in the Spanish style with a facade of stucco and red tile, the building comes with a vast parking lot and courtyard.

"It's the best building on base for our purposes," says Smart. The university has plans to reconfigure the
structure, carving its 46,000 square feet into classrooms, office spaces, a library, a computer center and a food service area. The Cal State Fullerton Foundation will be given the opportunity to lease other buildings in the future, according to the terms of the agreement.

John Lawrence, professor of information systems and decision sciences, who has taught at both Fullerton and Mission Viejo, says he looks forward to teaching at El Toro because the site will help further CSUF's role as "the educational institution for all of Orange County." Lawrence says that the base's location "provides easy access for residents of south Orange County and is situated within close proximity to the Irvine Spectrum."

Located 22 miles from the Fullerton campus, the El Toro satellite will be accessible from the base's entrance on Trabuco Road east of Sand Canyon Avenue. From the Santa Ana Freeway, commuters would take the Sand Canyon exit north, according to George Giacumakis, director of the Mission Viejo Campus.

Registration information for El Toro is available from the Mission Viejo Campus at (949) 582-4990.

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