Re-Visioning Our Campus: Unified Goals Propel Progress

UC San Diego is beginning a momentous and substantial transformation. We are re-visioning our campus to fulfill our five Strategic Plan goals. Every day, we make progress to enhance the student experience, cultivate an inclusive and diverse community, expand our research prowess and impact, improve the delivery of advanced healthcare and enrich our community. Our campus is physically transforming to meet the evolving needs of our campus and community members, and we are laying the groundwork to publicly announce our ambitious and historic $2 billion fundraising Campaign for UC San Diego to advance our mission. We’ve already surpassed the halfway mark in the quiet phase and recruited volunteer campaign leadership, including four honorary co-chairs and nearly 35 campaign committee members. Our revitalization is underway, and the following are achievements over the last year that support our five goals and campus vision. View the previous year’s accomplishments.

Goal 1

Delivering an educational and overall experience that develops students who are capable of solving problems, leading, and innovating in a diverse and interconnected world
  • Improved the academic curriculum by establishing 10 new undergraduate degree and minor programs in emerging fields and six new graduate programs, degrees and specializations; reviewed existing programs for quality; developed Top 20 UC San Diego majors Transfer Pathways, as well as pathways for three-year Bachelor’s degrees for top majors; streamlined the curriculum requirements of more than 40 top undergraduate majors
  • Launched The Teaching + Learning Commons, which is working with graduate students and faculty to help them become better instructors; early accomplishments include the establishment of the Student Achievement Hub offering supplemental instruction and tutoring support for all lower division math courses, and expansion of the scope of the Writing + Critical Expression Hub to offer writing support to graduate students; The Commons will be housed in newly renovated space in the Geisel Library in fall 2016
  • Enhanced student advising through six Innovation in Advising grants, which created pilot programs like drop-in tutoring and embedded undergraduate mentorships; improved mentorship and professional development of graduate students through programs like GradVantage and an online tool for faculty that supports them in their role as advisors
  • Expanded summer training student programs, including STEM Transfer Academy, Summer Bridge, Jacobs School Summer Engineering Academy and Extension Transfer credit courses
  • Continued implementation of faculty growth plan with 53 net new hires in 2015-16
  • Continued growth of high-quality, cost-effective and diverse graduate program, resulting in increased admission and enrollment of highly qualified Ph.D. and MFA students, a significant increase in the MA/MS population and improved first-year GPAs
  • Nearly doubled the number of Chancellor’s Associates scholarships – 181 new scholars will arrive this fall, bringing our campus total to 353 scholars – with the goal of providing a total of 600 scholarships by 2018-19
  • Added student health and well-being resources, including more alcohol and drug-free programming and education, extended Student Health Services hours and appointments, increased mental health professional staff at Counseling and Psychological Services, and additional staff and resources for CARE at the Sexual Assault Resource Center; also launched the Triton Concern Line, a 24/7 streamlined way for staff and faculty to seek consultation and assistance regarding students of concern
  • Served nearly 27,000 students and alumni through career and professional development and broadened relationships with strategic employers
  • Introduced a broader official UC San Diego record, including the Enhanced Electronic Transcript and the Co-Curricular Record to provide context information about students’ courses and a validated record of students’ co-curricular engagement and the transferable skills they developed

Goal 2

Cultivating a diverse and inclusive university community that encourages respectful open dialogue, and challenges itself to take bold actions that will ensure learning is accessible and affordable for all
  • Increased staff and resources strategically to promote student recruitment to yield a talented and diverse class of students and strengthen community support; the successful efforts led to one of our most diverse incoming classes of students this fall
  • Laid the groundwork for a campus-wide process to develop a strategic Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Plan
  • Assembled Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council – combining elements of the Diversity Council and Climate Council – to advise Chancellor and other senior leaders on diversity matters such as institutional access and representation
  • Created Leaders in Equity Advancement and Diversity (LEAD) Fellows Program to train staff leaders to ensure diversity and excellence across campus
  • Completed accountability data dashboards that display key indicators tracking recruitment, retention and advancement for all members of our campus community
  • Hired the inaugural director of the Inter-Tribal Resource Center
  • Established the Black Academic Excellence Initiative to strengthen support for our Black campus community
  • Strengthened the cultivation of a diverse graduate student pipeline with the expansion of STARS summer research program, increased mentorship and the development of new SEED fellowships for graduates of minority-serving institutions; extended student outreach in the Bay Area and Inland Empire
  • Instituted a variety of faculty support programs, such as the creation of the Family Accommodation Implementation Team, EDI faculty workshops, and ongoing leadership, support and training to divisional Faculty Equity Advisors
  • Implemented living and learning communities focused on Black, Latino and LGBT students to enhance students’ academic and co-curricular experience at UC San Diego
  • To track and quantify staff perceptions of climate, a subset of climate questions for the 2015 Staff@Work Survey was created to enable department heads and Vice Chancellors to determine a climate baseline for their units, implement department specific interventions and track progress

Goal 3

Nurturing and supporting a collaborative and interdisciplinary research culture that advances the frontiers of knowledge, shapes new fields, and disseminates discoveries that transform lives
  • Advanced UC San Diego’s four grand research themes through new centers and initiatives – including the UC San Diego Microbiome and Microbial Sciences Initiative and the Center for Marine Archeology – key faculty recruitments, private / government / industry support and Frontiers of Innovation awards
  • Awarded 10 Frontiers of Innovation grants for campus centers, as well as 200 fellowships and scholarships through the Frontiers of Innovation Scholarship Program
  • Surpassed $1 billion in research funding for the fifth time in seven years, accelerating research productivity
  • Created the Office of Innovation and Commercialization to speed ideas and inventions to national and world markets, and bring together the offices of technology transfer, intellectual property, innovation design and industry partnering under one roof; streamlined license documents; increased research application support and proposal assistance, grants managed and awarded, new licenses and U.S. patents, and sponsored research agreements with new for-profit sponsors
  • Established EnVision Arts & Engineering Maker Studio and expanded support for the Design Lab and created new Design Minor
  • Boosted student research engagement through Research Experience and Applied Learning (REAL) Portal by including global experiences, service opportunities and internships; more than 17,000 people used the REAL Portal in FY 2015-16
  • Initiated innovation pipeline programs, such as Entrepreneur in Residence program
  • Continued to lead national and international policy and research; examples include Congressional testimony provided by our faculty, the Bending the Curve report and the hosting of the UC Carbon and Climate Neutrality Summit at UC San Diego

Goal 4

Supporting and promoting just and sustainable forms of economic development, shared prosperity, and social and cultural enrichment regionally and globally
  • Continued short and long-term campus visioning, including updating our Long Range Development Plan for campus and Hillcrest; initiating various regional transportation projects, such as preparation for Light Rail Transit in 2021 and the Gilman realignment project to facilitate connection to the future Gilman Bridge; and planning for the design and construction of mixed-use facilities to create vibrant communities and meet the evolving needs of campus members
  • Expanded UC San Diego Health Care Network and strategic partnerships with local health systems and community physicians to improve delivery of care in San Diego County and Southern California
  • Worked on completing construction of Jacobs Medical Center for fall 2016 opening and debuted the Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute building, a new campus hub for advancing basic science to clinical applications
  • Increased visibility of UC San Diego through Extended Studies and public programs; Extension’s total enrollments have amplified tenfold in the last five years
  • Hosted over 438,000 visitors at Birch Aquarium
  • Completed construction and testing for the research vessel Sally Ride, as well as construction of MARFAC Pier and Deep Sea Drilling West Facility

Goal 5

Creating an agile, sustainable, and supportive infrastructure by ensuring a dedication to service, people, and financial stewardship
  • Achieved financial simplification by transitioning from many funds to a limited few funds for core activity through the Simplified Operating Funds Initiative (SOFI)
  • Hired a Chief Information Officer to improve efficiencies and implement innovative applications of information technology in teaching, learning and student success
  • Completed eight “campaigns” in FY 2015-16 through IdeaWave to solicit ideas and implement recommended process improvements on a variety of topics, including reducing administrative burden, staff performance appraisals, improving our parking options, working together to save energy and improving the staff experience; the website received more than 800 ideas and 103,000 total page views
  • Continued construction and design for additional student housing on campus with the goal of adding 10,000 new beds, including 5,000 by 2021
  • Raised a record $212 million in private support in FY 2015-16 and prepared for public announcement of a historic and ambitious fundraising campaign by refining campaign priorities and recruiting campaign leadership, including honorary co-chairs Joan and Irwin Jacobs, Ernest Rady and Denny Sanford

Looking Ahead

Over the next year and beyond, we will continue our efforts to think boldly to identify and implement the unprecedented solutions that are necessary to ensure our continued level of excellence, and that fulfill our Strategic Plan goals.
Looking ahead, we plan to:
  • Refine campus vision and physical transformation to meet evolving facility needs for campus members
  • Build a culture of philanthropy and publicly launch fundraising campaign to advance Strategic Plan goals and campus vision
  • Continue to implement faculty growth plan to support future student growth and advance multi-disciplinary research
  • Grow UC San Diego’s research enterprise by expanding industry and community-based research, fostering innovation and entrepreneurism, improving large grant application process, and identifying and building support in alignment with strategic strengths
  • Implement new living and learning communities to enhance students’ academic and co-curricular experience
  • Open the Jacobs Medical Center and Outpatient Pavilion
  • Celebrate the arrival of the R/V Sally Ride to her homeport at the Nimitz Marine Facility and commence the ship’s research endeavors
  • Continue to address priority cyclical maintenance projects through strategic investments and partnerships
  • Continue work to support the University of California Carbon Neutrality Initiative by implementing energy efficient projects to ensure campus carbon neutrality by 2025
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Achieving Our Mission: Campus Makes Great Progress Toward Strategic Plan Goals

Every day, UC San Diego campus members make great advancements toward our Strategic Plan mission and goals. From classroom and lab renovations to curriculum enhancements and new multidisciplinary research centers, the Strategic Plan guides our decisions and resource allocations, and enables us to seize opportunities that enhance our distinctiveness, quality and benefit to the community. Together, we are shaping a bright future for UC San Diego. Read about our achievements over the last year by clicking on the arrows below.

Goal 1

Delivering an educational and overall experience that develops students who are capable of solving problems, leading, and innovating in a diverse and interconnected world
  • Improved teaching facilities and instructional technology
  • Added new courses and research experiences in response to emerging fields
  • Created and began implementing faculty growth plan with the goal of adding 80 net new faculty over three years to help reduce the student to ladder-rank faculty ratio to 28:1
  • Worked to improve retention and graduation rates through numerous avenues, which include: streamlining curriculum requirements, creating the Four-Year Plan tool (allows students to plan and monitors their graduation path for all 130 majors), increasing offerings of bottleneck courses and expanding first-year experience courses
  • Established Teaching & Learning Commons
  • Began implementation of Graduate Student Growth and Excellence Initiative to increase graduate student and Ph.D. population, increase number of students and scholars with fellowships, increase average net stipends paid to all students across all divisions, and increase international student population
  • Commenced bicycle and pedestrian improvements on campus
  • Opened Triton Food Pantry to provide free food to students in need

Goal 2

Cultivating a diverse and inclusive university community that encourages respectful open dialogue, and challenges itself to take bold actions that will ensure learning is accessible and affordable for all
  • Designed and implemented TA training on diversity and pedagogy to support improved teaching and cultural awareness
  • Developed and held Teaching Diversity Conference
  • Created Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Speaker Series
  • Expanded the number of students who receive the Chancellor’s Associates Scholarship and boosted on-campus programming to further support the scholars
  • Increased outreach to disadvantaged businesses for contracted services
  • Added diverse art to campus including Sojourner Truth statue and the Art Park
  • Enhanced collaboration between Admissions and Campus Community Centers (Black Resource Center, Cross-Cultural Center, Raza Resource Centro) to amplify outreach efforts to over 40 high schools, community colleges, and student groups in Southern California, primarily low-income and first-generation students

Goal 3

Nurturing and supporting a collaborative and interdisciplinary research culture that advances the frontiers of knowledge, shapes new fields, and disseminates discoveries that transform lives
  • Formed committees to advance research themes – committees set for Understanding and Protecting the Planet and Enriching Human Life and Society; committees being created for Exploring the Basis of Human Knowledge, Learning and Creativity and Understanding Cultures and Addressing Disparities in Society
  • Created multiple interdisciplinary centers through the Frontiers of Innovation program to support four research themes, including Sustainable Power and Energy Center, Institute for Integrative Science of the Developing Mind and Brain, and Center for Research on Gender in STEMM
  • Launched 200 multidisciplinary student-research projects through Frontiers of Innovation Scholars Program
  • Connected 600 students with research experiences through Undergraduate Research Portal
  • Enhanced multi-institutional research and signed 26 new international memoranda of understanding
  • Completed Space Study to examine use of existing space, policies for space management and campus facilities information system, and identify areas for improvement

Goal 4

Supporting and promoting just and sustainable forms of economic development, shared prosperity, and social and cultural enrichment regionally and globally

Goal 5

Creating an agile, sustainable, and supportive infrastructure by ensuring a dedication to service, people, and financial stewardship

Looking Ahead

Over the next year and beyond, we will continue our efforts to think boldly to identify and implement the unprecedented solutions that are necessary to ensure our continued level of excellence, and that fulfill our Strategic Plan goals.
Looking ahead, we plan to:
  • Continue to focus on education and student initiatives, such as expanding supplemental instruction programs, trying novel approaches to advising and devising new, tested strategies to improve retention and time-to-degree
  • Continue to implement faculty growth plan
  • Expand master’s and Ph.D. programs
  • Create a Behavioral Concern Advice Line
  • Continue to forge donor and industry partnerships in key regions
  • Increase staff to promote student recruitment and retention, and strengthen community support
  • Increase alumni giving
  • Continue to utilize IdeaWave to solicit ideas and implement recommended process improvements throughout the organization
  • Address priority cyclical maintenance projects that have been identified
  • Complete EDI Dashboard, a real-time, web-based user interface that shows graphical presentations of the current status and historical trends of UC San Diego’s performance indicators
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Great Progress, Bright Future

The world is about to become a better place. That’s because more than 8,000 new UC San Diego graduates are joining the ranks of our distinguished alumni, faculty and staff who are already positively impacting our society and planet. It’s also due to the efforts of our campus members to fulfill the five goals we collectively developed in our first-ever Strategic Plan and achieve our vision as a student-centered, research-focused, service-oriented public university.

As a public research university, UC San Diego has a responsibility to conduct and translate research so that it benefits our community and world. Just in the last year, UC San Diego faculty have made much progress in advancing our Strategic Plan’s four grand research themes. Read more...

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Setting a Strong Course for the University

“Our success will be measured by our accomplishments and the societal impact that results from achieving our goals.” – Chancellor Khosla

Chancellor Khosla hosted a campus-wide Town Hall on April 24 at the Faculty Club to discuss the outcomes of UC San Diego’s first-ever Strategic Plan.  He talked about the five transformational goals and 13 strategies that were developed after garnering feedback from more than 10,000 campus and community members. He also shared early actions the campus has taken during the strategic planning process that support the plan’s goals, and expressed his excitement about the direction we are heading.  He said, as a public university, it is our responsibility to give back to society by educating global citizens, discovering new knowledge, creating new technology and contributing to our economy.  To learn more, view the Strategic Plan Executive Summary and the Chancellor's PowerPoint. The Chancellor will host additional Town Halls in the coming weeks.

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Town Hall Set to Discuss Strategic Plan Outcomes

Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla will host a Town Hall to share the five goals, 13 strategies and four research themes developed through the strategic planning process, and he will talk about the decisions and investments that have already been made to support the plan’s goals.

The Town Hall will be held on Thursday, April 24 from 3 - 4:30 p.m. at the Faculty Club Dining Room. Read more about the town hall in This Week.

Unable to attend?  Two additional Town Halls will be held at different locations on campus in the coming weeks.

Read the Strategic Plan Executive Summary.

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Update on Administrative Structure Review and Organizational Changes

The campus-wide administrative review, conducted in tandem with our strategic planning initiative, positions UC San Diego for implementation of the university's strategic plan. I have initiated organizational changes that include:

  • Appoint Steve Gamer as Vice Chancellor - Advancement. In this position, he has primary responsibility for oversight of university development and alumni and constituent engagement, and will lead the planning for a major fundraising campaign.
  • Launch Search for Vice Chancellor - Student Affairs (VCSA) position, with a solid reporting line to the Executive Vice Chancellor and a dotted reporting line to the Chancellor. The VCSA remains a Cabinet member. This change will lead to a stronger integration of academics and student life, will sharpen our focus on the overall student experience, and help us to achieve our campus goal to be a student-centered university. The search commenced in January 2014.
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The Imperative for Change - Ensuring a Bright Future for UC San Diego

At the conclusion of UC San Diego’s 50th anniversary year in 2011, our campus community was inspired with a renewed sense of pride in our tremendous achievements. Our golden milestone afforded us a valuable opportunity to celebrate our unique and enviable academic trajectory, one that we hope to emulate in the future. These celebratory times were quickly followed by the inevitable question, “so, what’s next?” Our campus had arrived at a pivotal moment, which became increasingly clear as myriad important conversations on campus began to converge. Meanwhile, following decades of enormous growth in students, faculty, programs and buildings, the campus had been dealt five years of severe state funding cuts, resulting in the erosion of our budgeted-to-actual faculty ratio and student-to-faculty ratio. It was time to look toward the future and determine how to rebuild in a thoughtful and strategic manner to ensure an equally remarkable next 50 years for UC San Diego. Thus, we commenced a strategic planning process.

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Chancellor’s Council Prepares for Strategic Plan Rollout

The Chancellor’s Strategic Planning Council set the stage at its April meeting for an early summer rollout of UC San Diego’s first-ever blueprint for future growth.  Members conveyed feedback from campus units on a Statement of Mission and Values, and they appraised initiatives to foster educational quality, faculty excellence, research-fueled innovation in emerging fields, equity and diversity, and public engagement.

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Strategic Planning Council Consensus: “We’re 90% There”

The March 2013 Chancellor’s Strategic Planning Council meeting focused on UC San Diego’s Statement of Mission and Values, a planning framework that incorporates a wide range of stakeholder input. The campus leaders expressed support for the statement’s clarity and precision in setting future priorities for UC San Diego, and concurred with the importance of “measures of success” as a key component of the blueprint for the future. They agreed with Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla that it represents “a 90-percent convergence” of the planning process to date, and they said they will begin integrating its precepts in charting the future of their units.

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Regional CEOs Advise Chancellor on Strategic Planning

CEOs and corporate leaders from San Diego firms identified new ways to expand UC San Diego’s impact regionally and globally in a Feb. 25 early morning breakfast meeting with Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla.

Many of the participants are themselves alumni, parents of alumni, or employers who have hired graduates and mentored students.  The executives underscored the need for closer ties on all fronts between innovation-based industries and university faculty and students. They offered to help prepare students to succeed in a workforce that values enterprise and teamwork.  And they asked the Chancellor to accelerate research and development partnerships that will yield collaborative breakthroughs.

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Alumni Leaders Join Strategic Planning Process

UC San Diego’s Alumni Board of Directors joined the campus strategic planning process in a Feb. 22 forum that generated an array of ideas for enhancing the student experience, strengthening the university’s brand, and fortifying the global network of 150,000 campus alumni.

Board members called for more dynamic alumni-student exchanges, particularly those centered on academic majors and career development.  They expressed a keen interest in promoting UC San Diego as a “public Ivy” renowned for both high academic quality and broad educational access.  They suggested that more enterprising admissions procedures would boost diversity and inclusion, and they volunteered to serve as admissions readers.

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Strategic Planning Council Holds Second Meeting

The second meeting of the Chancellor’s Strategic Planning Council focused on two of the planning initiative’s primary themes: “preserve/strengthen academic excellence” and “create an outstanding student experience.”  Wide-ranging discussions of each theme emphasized three parameters that are integral to strategic planning.

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Health Sciences Faculty, Staff Take Part in Strategic Planning Town Halls

Faculty and staff from the Division of Health Sciences joined in the campus strategic planning initiative at town hall forums at the Moores Cancer Center on Feb. 7 and the Hillcrest Medical Center on Feb. 8.  The discussions examined the Division’s role as San Diego’s only academic medical center, its mission to generate research discoveries that spur clinical innovations, and the challenges it faces in sustaining revenues and improving patient care.

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Chancellor Takes Strategic Planning Initiative Out Into the Community

UC San Diego’s strategic planning process moved out into the community when Chancellor Pradeep Khosla held brainstorming sessions with leaders of diverse and underserved areas of San Diego County.

At back-to-back town hall forums – on Feb. 6 in East San Diego and Feb. 7 in National City – community representatives urged the Chancellor to bridge the demographic divides that can make the campus seem remote from stakeholder groups in its own region.  Led by members of the Chancellor’s Community Advisory Board, the discussions focused on providing educational opportunity to local youngsters and applying university expertise to address local economic and policy challenges.

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Chancellor’s “Strategic Planning Council” Takes Charge of Charting Campus Future

At a Jan. 14 gathering of campus leaders, Chancellor Pradeep Khosla installed his “Strategic Planning Council,” and he gave the group two charges: help drive the strategic planning process and carry it forward into the greater UC San Diego community.

“Your role is to make sure we are on the right path,” the Chancellor told them.  “I also want you to be the ambassadors who keep reporting what this process is and how various forms of input are being incorporated into it.”

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Scripps Institution of Oceanography Community Gathers for Strategic Planning Town Hall

The birthplace of UC San Diego was the site of the most recent campus strategic planning town hall when Chancellor Pradeep Khosla met with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography community on Jan. 18. Town hall participants included Scripps faculty, staff and students. Also in attendance was Walter Munk, who joined the Institution as its first graduate student in 1947, former Director Charles Kennel, along with members of the Scripps Advisory Council.

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ORU Directors Discuss Research Directions in Strategic Planning Group Session

Faculty leaders who direct campus Organized Research Units (ORUs) met Jan. 14 to discuss how UC San Diego could forge new pathways to scholarly achievement by restructuring administrative systems and reinvigorating a climate of intellectual audacity.  They emphasized the need for greater budget transparency, and they suggested ways to bolster grant revenues by offering more substantial incentives for successful proposals.

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Jan. 10 Town Hall Forum Focuses on Graduate and Professional Education

“UC San Diego has achieved a lot more than any other university has or could have in its first 50 years.  How are we going to maintain that and improve upon it?”

Chancellor Pradeep Khosla put that question to a group of graduate and professional students at a strategic planning town hall meeting on January 10 in the Student Services Center.  The students responded by identifying campus assets that drew them to UC San Diego and challenges they face in earning advanced degrees at the university.  They suggested specific ways to enrich their educational experience, and they urged the Chancellor to continue this exchange of ideas beyond the planning process.

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Undergrad Students Take Part in Campus Town Hall Forum

Nearly 200 undergraduates became the first students ever to take part in a UC San Diego strategic planning process when they gathered for a January 8 town hall meeting at the Price Center.  Invited by Chancellor Pradeep Khosla to participate as a key stakeholder group – “at the end of the day,” he told them, “you are the reason why we are here” – the students offered an array of ideas for charting the institution’s next 50 years.  They expressed a common desire to have a greater voice in setting priorities for the campus, and they asked for more transparency and more open communication. 

Following a presentation by the Chancellor on “Defining UC San Diego’s Future,” Executive Vice Chancellor Suresh Subramani moderated a discussion of three topics central to the strategic planning process:

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Campus Town Hall Forums Launch Strategic Planning Process

UC San Diego launched the first strategic planning process in its 52-year history with two 2012 town hall forums that explored how the campus educates its students and serves its community.  Several hundred participants joined Chancellor Pradeep Khosla at the Price Center December 6 and the Faculty Club December 10 for what he called “a brainstorming session to take a fresh look, understand how we got here, and then figure out what it is we want to be 50 years from now.” 

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Formulating the Plan: How We Prepare for UC San Diego’s Future

UC San Diego’s founders established a tradition of excellence that led us on an upward trajectory of growth and success over our first five decades. Their vision led us to where we are today – one of the world’s premier public research universities.

Now it’s time for us to plan what’s next for UC San Diego.

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