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

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“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.

After Chancellor Khosla set the stage with a presentation on “Defining UC San Diego’s Future,” Executive Vice Chancellor Suresh Subramani led the group in a discussion of three topics:

Graduate student feedback on UC San Diego’s strengths included:

  • Outstanding faculty who inspire advanced degree students to pursue innovative endeavors.
  • Ability to collaborate on cutting-edge projects across campus departments and divisions.
  • Opportunities to work with faculty at world-class research institutes in San Diego and at other UC campuses throughout the state.
  • Distinctive programs like Science Studies that bridge the sciences and the humanities.

Ideas to improve the academic experience included:

  • Give faculty greater incentives and support to improve teaching and mentorship skills.
  • Build a more diverse faculty overall, with an emphasis on science and engineering programs.
  • Measure outcomes of academic programs; replicate those that demonstrate success and eliminate those that do not.
  • Upgrade the Registrar system to process the correct spelling of non-Anglo names of international students.

Ideas to improve the social experience included:

  • Provide more opportunities to broaden personal interests by engaging in visual and performing arts in venues like the La Jolla Playhouse, the recently-closed Craft Center, and UCSD Extension.
  • Expand shuttle service between the campus and communities like North Park and Hillcrest where graduate students can afford to live and raise their families.
  • Offer family-friendly activities that embrace student spouses and children.
  • Eliminate administrative hurdles to scheduling on-campus student events.

Future stakeholder group town hall meetings will be held for health care staff and the external community.