Berkeley Global Campus at Richmond Bay: Partnership with the Richmond Community


Chancellor Nicholas Dirks meets with Richmond Community Working Group

Plans for Construction of the Berkeley Global Campus Suspended

On August 25, 2016, UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks met with members of the Richmond Community Working Group (CWG) to thank them for their service and to inform them that UC Berkeley is indefinitely suspending plans to physically develop the Berkeley Global Campus at Richmond Bay--due to the continued need to address significant budgetary challenges confronting the University. Joined by a Berkeley Lab representative, Chancellor Dirks and other university leaders provided CWG members with background on the budgetary issues that led to this decision; and outlined steps the campus would take in collaboration with the City of Richmond to account for the CWG’s recommendations when plans for new large scale construction in Richmond are developed.  The campus also committed to work closely with the City of Richmond on their Richmond Bay Specific Plan and to continue supporting existing partnerships in workforce training, procurement, and education.  

In a follow up message to the community and campus stakeholders, Chancellor Dirks clarified that the decision to suspend plans for new construction in Richmond will not diminish the campus commitment to making Berkeley a more global university. The campus will continue to broaden and deepen academic partnerships with universities across the world, including research partnerships with universities such as Cambridge, the National University of Singapore and Tsinghua, and student study abroad programs in dozens of countries, from Botswana and Brazil to India and Italy. Chancellor Dirk’s and Berkeley Lab Director’s message to campus and community stakeholders are below.  

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About the Berkeley Global Campus at Richmond Bay

On October 29, 2014 UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks presented his vision for the  Berkeley Global Campus at Richmond Bay (BGCRB) to the Academic Senate. When it was to be launched with funding from the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL), this project was known as the Richmond Bay Campus. Now, under the Chancellor's leadership, the BGCRB will serve as a new research and action hub in Richmond with a focus on global issues, culture and collaboration.

While other internationally focused projects launched by universities have been located abroad, the Chancellor's plan is to create a global campus in Richmond. The Berkeley Global Campus at Richmond Bay will be the focal point for an international coalition of academic institutions, private sector, and community partners who will collaborate on research projects to address complex global challenges. The Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) remains a steadfast partner in the Berkeley Global Campus at Richmond Bay, but this is now a UC Berkeley-led project.

The Berkeley Global Campus at Richmond Bay is a new model for global engagement and research integration that will have deep ties to the main campus and to the local community through a variety of educational, public health, community outreach, labor, and transportation partnerships. In his remarks, the Chancellor reiterated UC Berkeley’s commitment to the Richmond community and how he believes it will be a catalyst for Richmond's South Shoreline. Through the South Shoreline Specific Plan, the City of Richmond is leading the way to improve infrastructure and enhance transportation, residential and commercial development to ensure the Berkeley Global Campus is part of a sustainable and vibrant community that includes jobs, business opportunities and an array of recreation and social outlets.

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In April of 2014, the Chancellor of UC Berkeley (UCB) and the Director of Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) issued a Joint Letter of Commitment to Strengthen Community Partnerships Between UCB, LBNL, and the Richmond CommunityIn keeping with the commitment to develop the project in partnership with Richmond, the Chancellor and LBNL Director established a Community Working Group that will provide advice and recommendations on key aspects of the new global campus.  During the summer of 2014, the campus and LBNL received more than 50 applications from individuals who wished to serve on the Community Working Group. In September, the Chancellor and LBNL Director appointed 20 Richmond community and campus-based leaders to the inaugural working group. 

The 2014-16 Working Group has now been established, with members appointed to serve for two years. It is composed of representatives from a broad selection of constituencies. This ensures broad participation as the Working Group embarks on the development of actionable proposals in the areas identified in the Joint Statement: Education, Local Employment, Procurement, and Workforce Training. Richmond Community Working Group members have added Housing/Displacement as an issue.

The inaugural BGC at Richmond Bay Community Working Group consisted of the following representatives:
  • City of Richmond Departments (1)
  • Community-based Non-profit Organizations engaged in Education, Workforce Training, Business Development, Economic Development (4 seats)
  • Faith-based Organizations (1 seat)
  • Business (2 seats)
  • Labor (2 seats)
  • Richmond Neighborhood Coordinating Council (1 seat)
  • West Contra Costa Unified School District (1 seat)
  • Contra Costa College (1 seat)
  • Youth (15–21 years old) (2 seats)
  • Philanthropy (2 seats)
  • UC Berkeley/LBNL Engaged Scholarship/Research/Public Service (2 seats)
  • UCB & LBNL Local Community Government Relations (2)

At the request of CWG members, the following seats have been added. (Cick here for a complete list as of 9/2015)

  • Community Co-Chair/Co-convener
  • Housing and Displacement Expertise (1 seat)
  • Neighbor adjacent to the BGC (1 seat) and an alternate.

Please review the Information and Membership Application sections to learn more about the initial Working Group mission, representation and appointment, authority and decision making process, and the criteria for selecting Working Group members.

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Key Working Group documents include:

     *updated 9/2015

Richmond Community Working Group Meetings

Meetings have usually been held at the site of the Berkeley Global Campus, in building #445, (Click here for directions to the BGC and here for a map to building #445).  While there are no regularly scheduled CWG meeting at this time, Thursday August 25th at 6pm is a potential date for the next meeting. As always, feel free to submit a comment card.)

Sign up below to get updates about future meetings.

Below are summary notes, presentations and other documents from past CWG meetings.

April 28, Community Working Group Meeting #13

February 26 Review Session of the Draft Narrative to the CWG Recommendations

February 10, Special Meeting of the CWG to her from Raise Up Richmond Lawyer Julian Gross about community benefit agreements and legally binding langauge. 

January 28, Community Working Group Meeting #12

December 10, Community Working Group Meeting #11

November 30, CWG Community Briefing and Open House

October 22, Community Working Group Meeting #10

Check back soon for more documents and summary notes of the October 22 CWG meeting.

September 24, Community Working Group Meeting #9

August 27, Community Working Group Meeting #8

Summer recess -- no meeting of the BGC Community Working Group in June or July

May 28, Working Group Meeting #7

April 23, Community Working Group Meeting #6

March 26, Community Working Group Meeting #5

February 26, Community Working Group Meeting #4

December 18, Community Working Group Meeting #3

December 11, Richmond Community Lunch with Chancellor Dirks

October 23, Community Working Group Meeting #2

September 25, Community Working Group Meeting #1

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Following more than two years of community engagement in Richmond, the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) hosted three meetings to explore community priorities that are not addressed in the environmental documents; and to assist in the development of a final Joint Statement of Commitment to Strengthen Community Partnerships Between UC Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the Richmond Community. Documents from those meetings are available below.

April 7, 2014

March 6, 2014

February 26, 2014

  • A presentation providing background and updates on the proposed Richmond Bay Campus and identifying community priority areas (education, local hire and procurement, workforce training, and ongoing community engagement).
  • A sample of current UCB/LBNL programs and projects in Richmond.
  • Notes from the breakout sessions.

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On May 15, 2014 the UC Regents approved the proposal by the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) to establish a new research campus – then called the Richmond Bay Campus – in Richmond, California. The purpose of the campus is to build upon the University’s record of accomplishment in providing long-term societal benefits through discovery and the advancement of knowledge. The location at the Richmond Field Station, which is owned by the University of California, has not changed. UC Berkeley, which already has some programs on the site, has developed its own vision for possible future activities at the site and has been a partner with Berkeley Lab in developing the site's Long Range Development Plan.

The draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the revised Richmond Bay Campus LRDP was posted to the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab's original RBC (now the BGCRB) project website on November 15. The EIR comment period was extended to January 21, 2014. The EIR public hearing took place on the evening of December 11, 2013 at the Council Chambers in the City of Richmond Civic Center. The environmental documents, as well as slides from past community presentations are available on the Berkeley Lab’s project website.

The Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was submitted to the University of California Board of Regents for consideration at the UC Regents meeting held in Sacramento on May 14 and 15. At this meeting, the Board of Regents decided to adopt the Richmond Bay Campus Long Range Development Plan and certify the Environmental Impact Report. (Video of the meeting is available here.) The Notice of Availability, Final EIR, the Mitigation Monitoring Reporting Program, and all of the Final EIR appendices are available on the Berkeley Lab's website for viewing by agencies and the public. More information about the meeting is available on the UC Regents website.

The following documents are also available on the Berkeley Lab's website: the final draft Long Range Development Plan; the proposed Physical Design Framework; the draft Removal Action Workplan; and the Joint Statement of Commitment to Strengthen Community Partnerships between UC Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the Richmond Community, signed by UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicolas Dirks and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Director Paul Alivisatos. Copies of the Final EIR are also available for review at Richmond and Berkeley public libraries. Please see the Notice of Availability for additional information or to request copies. The presentation made to the Regents is also available. 

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 BGC CWG Overall Presentation_9.24.15(1).pdf

Berkeley Global Campus at Richmond Bay Updates