UCB Vice Chancellor Leaves for Merced By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

Tuesday August 02, 2005

The UC Berkeley point man for campus development and planning projects in Berkeley will be leaving the university within a month. 

Tom Lollini, assistant vice chancellor for physical and environmental planning, has accepted the position of associate vice chancellor of design and construction at UC Merced. That college, scheduled to open its doors this fall, is the tenth and latest UC campus to open, and is expected to grow to a 25,000 student enrollment by 2030. 

Lollini was out of town and unavailable for comment Monday. 

Mayor Tom Bates was on vacation this week, but Councilmember Linda Maio said that while she did not want to comment on Lollini personally “because I really did not have that much dealing with him,” she believed that because Lollini has been so identified with the university’s development projects, his departure may prove to be a good thing. 

“There’s always so much tension inside the city about the university’s intentions,” she said. “Whoever will be replacing him will be able to start with a clean slate.” 

In recent years, Lollini has been involved in a number of controversial UC Berkeley development and planning projects in Berkeley, including the university’s 2020 Long Range Development Plan and the Memorial Stadium renovation. 

Earlier this month, when a packed house of Berkeley residents at the Berkeley Planning Commission—including members of the School Board, Zoning Adjustments Board, the Landmarks Preservation Commission and the Housing Advisory Commission—sharply questioned UC Berkeley’s role in the downtown Berkeley planning process, Lollini deflected the criticism by calling himself a “collaborator; there’s clearly a spirit of cooperation [between the university and the city].” 

Lollini told the Daily Californian that the university’s development projects will not lose step because of his departure. “I have some terrific staff that’s capable of taking this process forward,” he said. 

Lollini will be replaced on an interim basis by Emily Marthinsen, associate director of physical and environmental planning.