Video of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s press conference today.




Moments ago, on today’s installment of this week’s proposed budget tour, Gov. Gavin Newsom dropped a bombshell for Humboldt County: His proposal will set aside an eye-popping $433 million to transform Humboldt State into a polytechnic university — the CSU system’s third.

“I am a big supporter of Cal Polys. We have two; we want to create a third. And that’s the significant investment: $433 million,” Newsom said. “We’ve been working with the Board of Trustees — the incredible new leader at the CSU — about this opportunity to revitalize the economy in Northern California around Humboldt State, and to look at this opportunity to have a third polytechnic campus.”

While it’s uncertain precisely what form the university would take under this new designation, polytechnic universities generally have a greater focus on the sciences and applied, hands-on education. Presumably the university’s longstanding excellence in earth sciences — biology, botany, fisheries, forestry and the like — would form the backbone of the new polytechnic.

Regional leaders are already applauding Newsom’s announcement:

We expect more reaction to this massive proposed investment — which must still go through the legislature — soon, and will update. Suffice to say, for now: This is a big deal that could alter the county’s course significantly.