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Meeting of the Board of Regents | April 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010 - 11:20pm

sed seal                                                                                                 





signature of Joe Frey


Joseph P. Frey



Master Plan Amendment: Boricua College to open a  branch campus in the Bronx


April 19, 2010






Issue for Decision (Consent Agenda)

              Should the Board of Regents approve a master plan amendment for Boricua College allowing the College to open a branch campus in the Bronx?

Reason(s) for consideration

Required by State regulation.

Proposed Handling

The question will come before the full Board at its April 2010 meeting where it will be voted on and action taken.

Procedural History

In July 2010, Boricua College submitted a proposal requesting approval to open a branch campus in the Bronx, at which it plans to offer the same degree programs as those currently offered on the College’s campuses in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The proposed branch campus requires master plan amendment because it entails an additional campus in a different county.



Background Information

              Boricua College seeks the Regents approval of an amendment to its master plan to develop a branch campus in the Bronx, at a new facility to be located at 890 Washington Avenue, between 161st and 163rd Avenues.  The College’s main campus is in upper Manhattan’s Audubon Terrace.  It also maintains a branch campus in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Williamsburg – Greenpoint. The College has had an extension center on East 147th Street in the Bronx since 2008; the new location is a little over a mile from the current extension center. If the branch campus is approved, the extension center would be closed.

              Boricua College’s mission and goals are to increase the higher educational attainment of Puerto Ricans and other Hispanics. The College enrolls nearly 1,100 students in its Manhattan and Brooklyn campuses.  The need for Boricua to establish a branch campus in the Bronx is based on the demand for its services from residents of that borough. In addition, the College’s charter states its commitment to serve Puerto Rican and other Hispanic residents in all boroughs of New York City.  Since the latter are dispersed throughout the metropolitan area, establishing a Bronx campus represents a significant affirmation of the College’s goals and its viability. Furthermore, the College estimates that about 28 percent of the students attending classes at its Manhattan campus reside in the Bronx. The Manhattan campus building is currently above capacity, and additional space for classrooms, science and computer labs, and other academic and administrative offices are needed. 

              The College currently offers a General Education Core Liberal Arts and Sciences – Generic Studies program leading to an A.A. degree; and specialized studies programs in Human Services, Childhood Education with a bilingual extension option, and Business Administration leading to B.S. degrees; General Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Inter-American Studies leading to B.A. degrees; Human Services, and TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) leading to M.S. degrees; and Latin American and Caribbean Studies leading to an M.A. degree.  The College plans to offer all of these programs at the proposed branch campus.

              The proposed branch campus is a 14-story building which will include both large and small classrooms, two computer labs and two science labs, a library and reading rooms, office space for academic, administrative, and student services, and rooms for film, dance, and art workshops.  The College anticipates that the new building will be ready in late April 2010, and plans a transitional period that will allow it to offer classes at the new location beginning in fall 2010.

              The faculty at the currently approved extension center in the Bronx will move to the new facility.  In addition, faculty from the Manhattan campus will also teach at the new campus, and additional faculty will be hired as the proposed initial enrollment of 500-550 full-time students increases. The College anticipates hiring 20 new full-time faculty as enrollment grows at the new campus.

              The administrative team will include a Vice President/Dean, Associate Dean, chairpersons of each academic department; Directors of Admissions, Library and Learning Resources, Academic Support Services, and officers of Financial Aid, Registration and Assessment, Bursar, Environmental Services, and Information Technology.  Plans for the proposed campus include a comprehensive student support services system comparable to that of the main campus, including Admissions, Financial Aid, Registration and Assessments, Bursar, Academic Support and Tutoring Center, Academic Advising and Educational Facilitation by full-time faculty, and the Library and Learning Resources. Floor plans provided to the Department reflect this anticipated use of space.

              On March 22, 2010, staff from the Office of College and University Evaluation made a preliminary site visit to the facility under construction in the Bronx. Prior to the visit, staff reviewed the master plan amendment submitted to the Department, as well as other documentation about the College, its registered programs, its financial status, funding plan, and its current facilities. There are no outstanding issues at this time.  During the visit, staff met with the President, Vice President, and other members of the College administrative team who have been involved in the planning of the branch campus facility. Staff also inspected the classrooms, laboratories, and other facilities currently under construction at the building site.

                 The College has developed an implementation plan for the move to the new facility which will involve minimal inconvenience or interruption to students. The plan entails a move in several phases: first occupying and moving furniture into the first five floors in late April; occupying floors 6-14 in May, at which time the administrative team would move into their offices; hiring of new faculty during the summer; and offering the first classes in the new location in September.

              The Department has conducted a canvass of all degree-granting institutions of higher education in the New York City region. Twelve institutions responded; there were no objections.


It is recommended that the Board of Regents approve the amendment to the master plan of Boricua College authorizing the College to open a branch campus in the Bronx, and to offer the same degree programs as those offered at the College’s two existing campuses. The amendment will be effective until April 30, 2011, unless the College implements the move to the proposed branch campus prior to that date, in which case master plan amendment shall be without term.

Timetable for Implementation

If the Board of Regents approves the master plan amendment, the institution will proceed to occupy the campus in the Bronx according to its proposed timetable. The Department will make a focused site visit to the new facility in fall 2010, and a full site visit in fall 2011, to determine its compliance with the standards embedded in the Commissioner’s Regulations.