Belmont’s NDNU Sells Campus to Stanford | Local News


Notre Dame du Namur University is considering selling its Belmont campus to Stanford University following an agreement between the two to work on a purchase agreement, benefiting both in the long term.

“This agreement between NDNU and Stanford gives NDNU the opportunity to grow again in new and exciting ways,” NDNU President Beth Martin said in a press release. “We will be able to continue the programs for which we are so well known and add new programs directly targeted to the changing needs of students, including a mix of in-person, hybrid and fully online programs.”

The Belmont-based Catholic nonprofit announced the decision on Tuesday afternoon. She decided to sell because she was convinced that a sale to a compatible organization would lead to long term sustainability. The signed deal announced on Tuesday is an exclusive option for Stanford to buy the NDNU campus for the duration of the deal, which lasts until June 15, 2025, said Melissa McAlexander, special assistant to the president. NDNU course offerings are not expected to be affected, with normal operations continuing until the sale is completed. Once the sale is completed, the NDNU will be able to lease space on campus for its operations, with the two universities remaining independent. The site totals 46.3 acres and 24 buildings, with over 320,000 square feet of offices and classrooms.

In previous years, NDNU officials had raised the possibility of a permanent closure of the school due to enrollment and financial issues, with uncertainty over its future. However, the NDNU Board of Directors approved in January the operation beyond the spring semester 2021 and the transition from an undergraduate school to a predominantly graduate institution, offering master’s degree programs in business, clinical psychology and education, in addition to educational degrees. The transition was also part of the school’s decision to sell its campus. The NDNU was established in 1851 and is the third oldest college in California.

Stanford said the deal would help support its educational mission and long-term vision. He said an important consideration in the attempted purchase of the property was its current use as a residential college campus and its location on the peninsula in relation to public transportation and the existing campuses of Stanford and Redwood City. The school noted that a Stanford campus in Belmont could provide space for programs and lead to more continuing study courses for Bay Area residents.

“While we do not plan to move existing teaching and research activities away from the main campus, the addition of a campus in Belmont will provide us with additional space and facilities to enhance these activities through more regional work. “Stanford Provost Persis Drell said in a press release.

Stanford will develop a plan for the campus with the help of stakeholders from Stanford, NDNU, Belmont and local residents. The process is expected to take several years and would require Stanford to submit site improvement requests requiring city approval.

“Stanford is committed to involving all stakeholders throughout the planning process for the future of the Belmont campus,” said Joel Berman, director of Stanford Community Engagement Communications, via email. “We hope to start engaging with local residents and other stakeholders in the coming weeks. We welcome the opportunity to hear from the community as we work to reinvent this beautiful campus. “

He noted that Stanford and NDNU had started talks on a purchase contract in late summer 2020.

As for the future of NDNU, the university plans to offer new in-person, hybrid, and online course options in the coming years. The business school will launch a technology course in 2022 aimed at training MBA students to work and manage tech workers. The business school is also considering an MBA STEM option due to the huge demand for managers who can work in biotechnology. The business school provides a diploma completion program for students who have obtained an associate’s degree and who wish to specialize in business. The NDNU also recently partnered with the Dominican University of California, Menlo College, and St. Mary’s College of California to secure the future of several graduate programs. NDNU still offers online course options for students during the pandemic.

Belmont Mayor Charles Stone was delighted that Belmont potentially retains the NDNU for the long term and brings some form of Stanford North Campus to the city.

“I am extremely happy that this ensures the continuity of NDNU. If this deal is made, it will ensure that NDNU continues to exist to offer graduation and postgraduate work. NDNU is an incredibly important part of Belmont and its history, ”said Stone.

He noted that Stanford would contact Belmont and its residents about the campus vision, although it would likely take a few years before a final plan was decided.

“I keep a super open mind. This is at the start of the process. I don’t know what their vision is yet, ”Stone said.

While there may be a more extensive presence in the area, he believes the site can handle the project. There are plans for a roundabout near the entrance to NDNU, and the Ralston Avenue corridor is a key area for future housing development and transit, with a Caltrain station nearby.

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