University of California, San Diego

August 2, 1996
SUBJECT: Proposal to Establish a Charter High School
As you may be aware, preliminary discussions and considerations have
been taking place over the past academic year of a proposal to
establish a Charter High School at UCSD. The formal document
proposing the school is too lengthy to append here, but a hard copy is
available at the Senate Office (215 UCtr), and it can also be accessed
on Infopath (http://www-senate/charter.htm).
The proposal has already received preliminary review by committees of
the Senate, as well as by a joint Senate-Administration Feasibility
Work Group. If preliminary issues are resolved favorably, the
Administration will be coming to the Senate in September with a
concrete proposal for consultation on whether to proceed. To help
sharpen our thinking, I have included below a list of questions that
it has already been realized must be answered satisfactorily if the
Charter School is to receive endorsement. With this notice, I am
soliciting your consideration of whether there are additional
questions that have not yet occurred to us that will require answers
at that time. My hope is that we can proceed with this in a spirit of
raising any tough questions early, so that by the time we arrive at
the decision, there is consensus as to whether or not we should
1. Does the operation and management of a high school fall within the
mission of UCSD? Can UCSD justify the use of State resources and
facilities for non-post-secondary purposes?
2. Why would UCSD operate and manage a campus high school? What are
the potential benefits to UCSD from the successful operation of a high
school on the UCSD campus?
3. Can the admission standards satisfy SP-1, the San Diego Unified
School District, the parents of student applicants, and the public?
4. How will the high school's and individual student's "success" be
evaluated, and by whom? Can student "success" be measured without a
control group?
5. If the high school is judged a "success," what limits how large it
could become? If UCSD can successfully operate a high school, would
it consider operating a junior high or elementary school?
6. Does UCSD have the necessary skills and experience to successfully
run a high school? Is the governance structure viable?
7. Will it be politically and practically possible to close the high
school if UCSD determines that it has not been successful or
sufficient funds for its operation are no longer available?
8. Can we protect UCSD students and high school students from
inappropriate interactions?
9. Will the high school divert resources from UCSD's core instruction
and research programs?
-- To the extent funds are provided by the Office of the
President and private donors, will they displace funds that would have
come to UCSD for instruction or research?
-- Where will the high school be housed, short and long term?
Will the site limit our future ability to house other functions?
-- Will high school students' use of the library, recreation
facilities, and other services diminish access for UCSD faculty and
-- Would high school students use UCSD laboratories, and if so,
would this jeopardize experiments in process or create any risks for
UCSD students and faculty?
10. Will the high school divert resources from other outreach
programs already in place at UCSD?
11. Are there thoughtful opponents to locating a Charter High School
on the UCSD campus? If there are, what are their concerns?
12. Will UCSD be better able to serve the San Diego region and the
state of California by pursuing the charter school and broadening the
mission that it has pursued thus far?
13. Will the school broaden the base of support, both public
enthusiasm and private financial support, that UCSD currently enjoys?
14. Will UCSD be able to secure a PERMANENT base of financial support
to support the school?
Again, thanks.
John C. Wheeler, Chair (jcw@chemj2.ucsd.edu)
Academic Senate, San Diego Division