Fort Ord covers 28,000 acres and includes valuable seafront property. Estimates of the value of the land at Fort Ord range as high as $1 billion. There are no guidelines or formal procedures for the closure of a military base or the transfer of Department of Defense property to civilian hands. Local government and education leaders now enter the politically-sensitive terrain of advocating for a portion of the former Fort Ord for educational use.

The first official approach to the government from the California State University system is a March 25 letter from CSU Chancellor Barry Munitz to the Department of Education (DOE), notifying the department of the university's interest in 2,000 acres of Fort Ord. As a federal agency, the Department of Education has prior claim over local and state agencies to surplus federal property. The department has the power to secure the property and transfer it to the CSU-this is one possible avenue for achieving the transfer.

Another potential avenue is action by the United States Congress to grant the land and facilities directly to the state university. California's federal representatives are in action on this front: California Senators Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer introduce Senate Bill 365, and Congressmen Leon Panetta and Ronald Dellums introduce House of Representatives Bill 531 to do just that.

Governor Wilson writes to Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander on April 9, expressing his "conceptual support for CSU's proposal" to acquire part of Fort Ord for a new campus.

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