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.
Create an Outstanding Student Experience
- Are we using the most pertinent data to measure performance?
- Are we comparing UC San Diego to institutions that are true peers in key areas?
- Do we/can we reward high-performing units?
- Do we study and emulate cutting-edge practices at other institutions?
- Can we be bold enough to initiate new models that entail a learning curve?
- Can we re-direct resources from traditional programs to ground-breaking ventures that involve risk?
- Are we telling our most compelling stories to allies and advocates?
- How can we mobilize stakeholder groups more productively?
- How can we increase private support by making better cases for “return on investment”?
A significant consensus throughout the 5-hour session was that UC San Diego must devote more resources to recruiting, and especially to retaining, faculty and students of color. This emerged as a top institutional priority across all campus areas.
Preserve/Strengthen Academic Excellence
- Chart the recruitment/retention rates of faculty and graduate students by department.
- Track faculty who leave or who do not accept hiring offers, and try to determine why.
- Broaden and hone peer comparison efforts; focus on “apples to apples” comparisons in target program areas and in specific outcomes.
- Reduce the “balkanization” of institutional resources by increasing funding of, and rewards for, cross-campus interdisciplinary units and projects.
- Bridge the divide between the equally valid faculty mindset of “We need to get things done” and the staff mindset of “We need to follow the rules and stay in compliance.”
- Measure and nurture faculty-student interactions outside the classroom that contribute to academic achievement.
- Study our research unit business model and and, if needed, look for ways to reconstitute such units to incorporate teaching and infrastructure responsibilities.
- Explore the creation of intra-campus “academies” that would offer frontier research opportunities to students.
- Pursue high-profile partnerships with elite international universities.
- Think more broadly about designing graduate programs for non-academic careers.
- Study how Stanford and MIT nominate top faculty for National Academy memberships and other benchmark recognitions.
- Upgrade recruitment/retention efforts for greater flexibility and time-sensitivity.
- Make it known that UC San Diego has fallen behind peer institutions with regard to investment in its research infrastructure (e.g., “Next Gen” sequencing), and explain how that gap has serious implications for San Diego’s culture of innovation.
- Consider the possibilities for raising private money to pay faculty salaries and recruitment/retention packages.
- Enlist alumni, entrepreneurs, policy-makers, and non-profit leaders to serve as adjunct faculty (instructors and lecturers) and campus mentors.
- Expand UC San Diego’s role as a “1st tester” of new technologies from corporate partners and supporters.
- Explore ways that UC San Diego can increase private support and public advocacy by marketing its ability to address large-scale societal challenges (e.g., political dysfunction and environmental sustainability).