La Jolla, California - The UC San Diego community has set a new course for the university through the development of our first-ever Strategic Plan, which outlines five ambitious goals that will improve the student, staff and faculty experience, and positively impact society.
“We are redefining the future of education and research through our transformational goals,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “What came out loud and clear during the strategic planning process is that our mission is a public mission, regardless of how we’re funded. We owe it to society to give back, to educate our next-generation leaders, to discover new knowledge and create new technologies, and drive economic development.”
“UC San Diego was built on the foundation of Roger Revelle’s vision of distinctiveness and excellence,” added Executive Vice Chancellor – Academic Affairs Suresh Subramani. “Our continued trajectory of excellence ultimately depends on the unique and distinctive approaches that our campus brings to solving world problems.”
UC San Diego’s goals are:
- Delivering an educational and overall experience that develops students who are capable of solving problems, leading and innovating in a diverse and interconnected world;
- 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;
- Nurturing and supporting a collaborative and interdisciplinary research culture that advances the frontiers of knowledge, shapes new fields, and disseminates discoveries that transform lives;
- Supporting and promoting just and sustainable forms of economic development, shared prosperity, and social and cultural enrichment regionally and globally;
- Creating an agile, sustainable, and supportive infrastructure by ensuring a dedication to service, people and financial stewardship.
“These goals support our vision of being a student-centered, research-focused, service-oriented public university,” noted Khosla. “Every decision we make will be based on these goals, and what is best for our faculty, staff, students and society.”
The overall objective is to generate new opportunities for people—creating an enhanced campus environment that reflects our world and helps students become productive and contributing global citizens; enhancing research and collaboration; and streamlining processes and policies to help faculty and staff, and make the university more efficient.
At the upcoming Strategic Plan Town Hall on April 24, Khosla will address several decisions and investments that have already been made during the strategic planning process that support our new goals, including the establishment of the Chancellor’s Associates Scholars program, the Student Growth and Excellence Initiative, and the Center for Brain Activity Mapping.
“During the planning process, we gathered so much input and heard so many ideas that we wanted to take our time and get it right. Yet, that didn’t stop us from taking action,” Khosla explained. “If we saw a problem that needed to be solved, we addressed it.”
“Our increasingly regulatory landscape means that every faculty member or staff member is doing a lot of extra things that they didn’t have to do 10 or 20 years ago,” said Subramani. “We have to look at all of our processes and practices and ask ourselves how can we best engage our campus community to more effectively deliver our newly defined mission and goals.”
To create new opportunities in research, the Office of Research Affairs and the Academic Senate hosted workshops for faculty, staff and students from across the university to talk about areas of exploration and collaboration. Those discussions led to the development of four research themes:
- Understanding and protecting the planet;
- Enriching human life and society;
- Exploring the basis of human knowledge, learning and creativity;
- Understanding cultures and improving society: addressing disparities, social justice, access, equity and inclusion.
The four research areas encompass all disciplines at the university and are meant to be open-ended, encouraging experimentation and innovation. Khosla and Subramani stress the importance of supporting both foundational basic research and multi-disciplinary research that push the boundaries and lead us to new areas of research and discovery. Read more about the four research themes at the Research Initiatives website.
“We want to leverage UC San Diego’s unique strengths, engaging the entire university in finding solutions to world problems,” said Subramani. “In addition to supporting basic research, we’ll invest in new areas – some unknown at this time. We’ll try new things and see if they work, and we’ll remain flexible, which will allow us to seize new opportunities that arise along the way.”
In addition to the five goals and four research priorities, 13 strategies were created as part of the Strategic Plan to guide our efforts to achieve our vision and to serve as metrics. The strategies include reevaluating our curriculum to improve retention and graduation rates, expanding our graduate program, strengthening community outreach and enhancing our financial sustainability.
“The best part of this process has been hearing people share their dreams, aspirations and goals for UC San Diego,” said Khosla. “It’s critical that we keep our conversation going, and maintain this open culture and safe space for ideas. The Strategic Plan will be a living document, and our success will be measured by our accomplishments and the societal impact that results from achieving our goals.”
The Strategic Plan Executive Summary can be viewed online at the UC San Diego Plan website. The longer document is still being finalized.
The strategic planning initiative was initiated by Chancellor Khosla shortly after he began his tenure at UC San Diego in August 2012. More than 10,000 campus and community members participated in the creative process.