The University of California, San Diego has a transformative impact on the economic, social, cultural, and imaginative experiences of the communities it serves. The campus has deep and broad expertise in multidisciplinary areas that are rich with possibility for creation and innovation, education, and training.
At UC San Diego, a culture of collaboration, risk taking, and innovation emerged early on. Established in the 1960s as an experimental campus, the university benefited from pioneering faculty members who pursued new frontiers of knowledge, created new disciplines, and fostered the development of a comprehensive university where interdisciplinary research, inspired teaching, and creative expression quickly became hallmarks. Scripps Institution of Oceanography, founded in the early 1900s, served as a catalyst and an incubator for UC San Diego’s initial growth.
The campus today is a student-centered, research-focused, service-oriented public institution that provides opportunity for all. Its researchers excel at thinking and working across disciplines to solve complex problems in medicine, science, the arts and humanities, engineering, and the social sciences. The campus emphasis on transformative research has served the world well. Fundamental scientific studies led to the modern science of climate change. Members of the faculty developed the core technology for contemporary wireless communications networks. A focus on new health-care technologies helped transform the current health-care model into a system accessible by all the world’s populations.
Multidisciplinary efforts exist harmoniously with individual, discipline-specific research and creativity at UC San Diego, and both tracks will continue to be driving forces for scholarly activities. Research funding in 2014 surpassed $1 billion—the third time in the last five years the campus has achieved this milestone.
UC San Diego launched its first-ever campus wide strategic planning effort in 2012 to establish a framework for sustainable excellence and shared aspirations, and to unify the campus.
To redefine its mission, vision, values, and goals, the campus engaged more than ten thousand stakeholders to gather ideas and insights, and benchmarked the university to peer institutions across multiple dimensions. The inclusive, collaborative effort required the commitment and bottom-up involvement of faculty, staff, students, alumni, university supporters, and community friends. Among the multiple avenues for participation were interviews, focus groups, workshops, on- and off-campus town hall meetings, division-level discussions, brainstorming sessions, and surveys.
The UC San Diego Strategic Plan articulates five transformational goals, thirteen strategies, and four grand research themes that will shape the university for the decades ahead. It is a living and flexible document with ample space for creative decision making at departmental, unit, and individual levels, and several key actions are already underway.
The five overarching goals are:
A UC San Diego education is attainable and affordable for all young students from all backgrounds. In 2014, Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla took to the road to deliver that message to several local communities, reaffirm the university’s commitment to equity and inclusion for low-income and first-generation college students, and announce the expansion of the Chancellor’s Associates Scholarship Program.
As of fall 2014, 113 students had received the Chancellor’s Associates Scholarship.
To bridge the demographic divides that sometimes make the campus seem remote, the chancellor and other campus leaders held off-campus town hall forums that focused on providing educational opportunities to local youngsters. Admitted students from across the region—from the South Bay to Imperial Valley—attended welcome receptions where the chancellor personally congratulated local high school and community college students who qualified as Chancellor’s Associates Scholars. At community town hall meetings, Khosla also thanked the community for its earlier feedback, which had helped shape the Strategic Plan.
Khosla established the Chancellor’s Associates Scholarship Program in 2013 to ensure affordability and access to UC San Diego for qualified local students. Initially open to students from Gompers Preparatory Academy, Lincoln High School, and The Preuss School UCSD, the program has since been expanded to eligible community college transfer students from San Diego City College, Southwestern College, and Imperial Valley College. Other additions are eligible students enrolled in federally recognized Native American tribes, and students from Reality Changers, a nonprofit organization that provides inner city youth from disadvantaged backgrounds with the resources to become first-generation college students.
Through the Chancellor’s Associates Scholarship Program, the university provides $10,000 a year for four years at UC San Diego. When combined with the University of California’s Blue + Gold Opportunity Plan—which covers fees for California residents whose families earn less than $80,000 a year and qualify for financial aid—the scholarship provides a full ride to UC San Diego.
To improve the educational and overall experience of its students, the university has invested $3 million in undergraduate resources and services such as tutoring, advising, and teaching assistants. In addition, UC San Diego is establishing real and virtual next-generation classrooms and laboratories that offer interactive and immersive experiences. A $4 million annual investment over the next three years is earmarked for expanding instructional technology, upgrading classrooms and computer labs, and ensuring that faculty and teaching assistants have the resources, information, and training needed to use the appropriate educational technology in their courses.
UC San Diego recently established the Teaching and Learning Commons (the Commons) to help transform undergraduate and graduate education. Gabriele Wienhausen, associate dean for education and senior teaching professor of the cell and developmental biology section in the Division of Biological Sciences, has been appointed as the inaugural faculty director. The Commons will house a new Center for Engaged Teaching while a Center for Engaged Learning, currently in the planning stages, will promote a culture of learning for both undergraduate and graduate students. Another new initiative, the Office of Online Learning and Technologically Enhanced Education, was recently announced. The campus colleges also piloted a First-Year Experience course for one hundred students per undergraduate college. Faculty and staff engage with students to advise on academic offerings, investigate majors, and connect with campus resources. A similar program for transfer students will be launched in fall 2015.
Linking formal undergraduate classroom instruction with relevant, real-world experiences also enhances the learning process. Experiential learning opportunities outside the classroom include placement in cutting-edge laboratories and research facilities, opportunities to live and learn in other countries, and involvement in public service programs at home and abroad. Participants in such cocurricular activities have higher retention rates and shortened time-to-degree.
The Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) works to initiate programs and provide resources that increase understanding and awareness of social justice, remove barriers for historically underrepresented groups, improve cross-cultural relations, and contribute to a campus climate that is safe and welcoming to all.
Through partnership and collaboration, EDI directs UC San Diego’s efforts relative to diversity initiatives, including the work of the Campus Community Centers for students, faculty, and staff members. The resource centers build community among diverse campus populations and contribute significantly toward the evolution of a socially just campus climate. The centers include:
The Black Resource Center works to enhance the black experience on campus, cultivate community, and develop leaders.
The Raza Resource Centro offers people a place to connect around Chicano/a and Latino/a identity and culture.
The Cross-Cultural Center is a place of belonging and validation for underrepresented and underserved students, staff, and faculty.
The LGBT Resource Center provides the campus community a place to explore issues relating to sexual and gender identities, practices, and politics.
The Women’s Center offers education and support regarding gender issues, and offers programs that encourage critical engagement with gender, feminism, and social justice.
In alignment with the UC San Diego Strategic Plan, three additional centers include: the Inter-Tribal Resource Center focuses on Native American communities, culture, and issues; the Student Veterans Resource Center provides opportunities for student veterans to connect with various groups and resources; and the Undocumented Student Services Office offers support and a resource center for students who are undocumented, including mixed-status families and their affiliates.
Study abroad is a life-changing experience that fosters cross-cultural competencies, global perspectives, and an appreciation for diversity. To expand participation in study abroad programs, UC San Diego is encouraging academic departments to develop global concentrations in undergraduate majors that do not increase a student’s time-to-degree.
UC San Diego is currently undertaking a significant expansion of its international program options for students at all levels through the development of new campus-based exchanges. By creating a strategic network of educational partnerships with peer international institutions around the globe, the university will dramatically increase the campus community’s prospects for future international exchanges, education, and research.
Global connections work both ways. In addition to sending more domestic students overseas, UC San Diego plans to increase the number of international students on its campus from underrepresented countries and regions. The university’s International Center is creating a comprehensive student services program to support this recruiting effort.
To launch a successful career, students need help finding jobs and making connections. Alumni are a rich source of academic and professional mentors, internships, and employment opportunities. The Career Services/Alumni and Community Engagement partnership, created in 2013, is helping students define and achieve their career goals.
Staff members support the student body, are integral to the institution’s research programs, and provide patient care in UC San Diego hospitals and clinics. A Standing Committee on Service- and People-Oriented Culture is assessing employee training and development; processes and policies; current technologies; financial systems and reporting; and organizational and performance controls. The committee is also examining ways to centralize services in order to increase efficiencies.
Modernizing the university information systems is a top priority. The campus has allocated $6 million to enhance its IT administrative efforts and maintain a supportive campus infrastructure. Employing common standards and protocols will improve the ability to leverage and harness the potential of emerging technology.
Diversity is a core value in the campus Strategic Plan. The university is expanding its investment in equity, diversity, and inclusion programs and centers and has allocated $305,000 for four diversity pilot grants and training programs.
The STARS (Summer Training Academy for Research Success) program is a two-year effort to recruit underrepresented undergraduate students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic-Serving Institutions to participate in collaborative research projects on the UC San Diego campus during the summer. The aim is to attract students who will return for graduate study.
Locally, the university is increasing its already strong role in the California Student Opportunity and Access Program (CalSOAP) for San Diego and Imperial Counties to raise the achievement levels of low-income and first-generation students. In addition, the university is investing $1 million over three years in its Center for Research and Educational Equity, Access, and Teaching Excellence (CREATE) to support the STEM Success Initiative (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), which links UC San Diego faculty, staff, and students and the San Diego education community in a shared effort to support K–20 STEM education in the region.
UC San Diego must also continue to attract and retain a diverse, top-quality faculty body of scholars and researchers in order to meaningfully address present and future research themes and challenges.
The campus has increased the number of underrepresented minorities and women in the faculty applicant pools, and the selection processes have dramatically increased the yield of these candidates. The practices being developed to improve outreach, recruitment, and selection of diverse faculty across disciplines include writing broader position descriptions; creating Excellence positions that present a candidate’s contributions to diversity, scholarly excellence, and future potential as essential criteria; requiring diversity statements from all candidates; establishing regular training for chairs and search committees on how to evaluate candidate portfolios and avoid unconscious bias; and creating a website that lists opportunities for faculty to find and participate in diversity activities.
The results are encouraging, and the campus is committed to further improvements in retention and tenure success rates. Faculty diversity needs to reach a critical mass at all levels of the university, from research to teaching and administration, and equity will be regularly reviewed in a data-driven process.
Faculty recruitment in 2014 at UC San Diego yielded a diverse group of new faculty members: fifty-four for the general campus, fourteen for the School of Medicine, and three for Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The general campus has been in an active faculty-hiring phase aimed at growing the faculty by a net of 150 by 2020. The target for the next three years is to add eighty faculty positions—including sixty to meet divisional needs and another twenty as investments in campuswide research themes.
The university is committed to making significant investments in science and scholarship that will keep the campus at the forefront of basic and socially beneficial research. UC San Diego’s research enterprise is focused on four multidisciplinary areas in which the campus has broad and deep expertise. The four grand research themes are the focus of this year’s report:
In the interest of maximizing opportunities for outreach and recruitment and to better reflect its key role on campus, the UC San Diego Office of Graduate Studies has been renamed the Graduate Division. The rebranding effort underscores the importance of graduate education to the success of UC San Diego as a model public research university.
New graduate degrees established in the 2013–14 academic year include
New undergraduate degrees include
Academic year 2013–14 also saw the launch of the Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Center in the Institute for Engineering in Medicine (IEM), and the Center for Hellenic Studies in Arts and Humanities.
For Daniel Million, learning that he was one of two seniors at The Preuss School UCSD to receive the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship in 2014 was a huge relief. Just three years earlier his sister Miriam received the same scholarship during her senior year at Preuss. Since Gates Millennium Scholars have all college costs covered through graduation, the scholarships meant that the Million family would not have to worry about how to pay for college. Daniel plans to study neuroscience at the University of Southern California, and Miriam is at Johns Hopkins University studying public health.
Years earlier, their father had fled the violence and instability of political unrest in Ethiopia, determined to reach America. In the United States he created a new life for his family, establishing education as a central value. As students at Preuss, a charter middle and high school for low-income students who strive to become the first in their families to graduate from college, both of the Millions excelled.
For Preuss School graduates the acceptance rate to four-year colleges and universities is more than 90 percent. Located on the UC San Diego campus, Preuss has been consistently ranked as one of America’s best high schools by Newsweek, The Washington Post, and U.S. News & World Report.
To support the primary research initiatives of the Strategic Plan, the Frontiers of Innovation program provides seed grants for large-scale, multidisciplinary applications. The program, created in 2014, is investing $7.2 million over a two-year period in two hundred seed grants to support multidisciplinary research fellowships for undergraduate students, doctoral students, and postdoctoral scholars working with faculty mentors. The program promotes experiential learning through diverse research experiences and partnerships across fields, and exposes students to projects that will develop their ability to communicate and collaborate.
Among the projects to receive this funding in 2015 are the:
The goal of design is to produce products, services, and systems; it is the science and practice of making. The new Design Lab, located on the UC San Diego campus and managed by the Qualcomm Institute, offers a novel mix of practice and theory, of Thinking, Observing, and Making: TOM. The aim is to produce major works that advance the state of knowledge and leave a lasting heritage. TOM’s advisory board includes scholars from management, engineering, visual arts, theatre, and the social sciences. The director of the Design Lab, Donald Norman, is a professor emeritus of psychology and cognitive science at UC San Diego and the cofounder of the Nielsen Norman Group.
Integrated Digital Infrastructure (IDI) is being designed and staffed to support the campus Strategic Plan’s five goals and four grand research themes by providing infrastructure solutions for researchers’ needs. IDI’s student-centered support will help the faculty train students who can solve problems, lead, and innovate in their fields. In year one, in conjunction with campus partner organizations including the UC San Diego Library, the San Diego Supercomputer Center, and the Qualcomm Institute, IDI will develop workflows to apply, support, scale, and manage new technologies offered on and off campus.
UC San Diego recently named six new senior leaders: three new academic deans, the university’s first chief financial officer, the vice chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and the vice chancellor for Student Affairs.
As the new dean of the Division of Arts and Humanities, Cristina Della Coletta holds the Chancellor’s Associates Chair in Italian Literature. Born in Italy, she comes to UC San Diego from the University of Virginia, where she was associate dean of humanities and the arts in the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
James H. McKerrow, the new dean of UC San Diego’s Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, was previously at UC San Francisco, where he served as professor of pathology and director of the Center for Discovery and Innovation in Parasitic Diseases. McKerrow, who earned his PhD in biology in 1973 at UC San Diego, brings a wealth of experience in natural product research and drug discovery and development.
Carol Padden, the new dean of the Division of Social Sciences, is an award-winning scholar of sign languages and a recipient of the MacArthur fellowship. She plays a central role in promoting research on sign languages around the world and in shaping policy and practices that promote the full participation of deaf people in society. She holds the Sanford I. Berman Chair in Language and Human Communication in the Department of Communication.
Juan González, a first-generation college graduate and the new vice chancellor for Student Affairs, is committed to expanding college access, opportunity, and success for all students. Over a twenty-two-year period, he was vice president of student affairs at a number of prestigious universities, including Arizona State University; Georgetown University; California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; and California State University, San Bernardino. Most recently, he held the position at the University of Texas at Austin.
Pierre Ouillet has extensive experience managing large budgets, building high-performance teams, and driving change in complex organizations. As UC San Diego’s first designated vice chancellor and chief financial officer, he will ensure that the university’s financial and human resources support institutional priorities articulated in the Strategic Plan. At the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, he was vice president of finance, resources, and operations, and previously served as vice president of finance for Best Buy International and Best Buy Canada.
As the new vice chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI), Becky Petitt will take the lead in providing a holistic and integrated vision for all campus equity, diversity, and inclusion undertakings. At Texas A&M University she was associate vice president for diversity, and chief of staff to the Office of the Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity. As an adjunct faculty member, she taught courses focused on educational administration, social justice, and organizational development.
In spring 2014, on the third annual Triton Day, hundreds of volunteers arrived on campus to welcome newly admitted freshmen to UC San Diego. The yearly event is designed to inspire admitted freshmen to envision themselves as future Tritons and accept their offer of admission from the campus. More than twenty thousand admitted students and their families participated in Triton Day. A similar event for transfer students, Triton Transfer Day, also featured information sessions, entertainment, and a showcase of student research.
UC San Diego’s annual Founders Celebration commemorates the day the campus was officially founded in November 1960. While Hullabaloo is a students-only, nighttime gathering with live music, free food, and games, daytime activities and an interactive evening symposium are open to the entire campus community and the public. The symposium and conversation with the current and a number of former UC San Diego chancellors were captured on video by UCSD-TV and made available for future viewing.
Fall 2014 marked a significant milestone for UC San Diego Athletics. For the first time ever, the campus offered prospective high-merit student-athletes scholarships that are significant enough to help with costs for tuition, living expenses, and books and supplies. The scholarships are funded by fees from a 2007 Associated Students referendum, with additional private support from alumni, families, and friends.
The change will help UC San Diego Athletics remain competitive with other UC campuses, as well as competitor schools in NCAA Division II, which provide athletic scholarships to attract top students. The new scholarships will also make UC San Diego more affordable to student-athletes from all backgrounds, including those from low-income families in underserved regions.
The NCAA requires that scholarships be provided to student-athletes at Division II colleges and universities. In order to keep their scholarship funding, student-athletes will be required to maintain a GPA of 2.6 or better.
After twenty-five years of providing education and support to UC San Diego students, the university’s Sexual Assault and Violence Prevention Resource Center (SARC) expanded its scope recently to provide crisis intervention services and advocacy to faculty and staff in addition to students. In response to a call to action by University of California President Janet Napolitano for a systemwide, consistent model for the prevention and response to sexual assault and violence, SARC recently changed its name to CARE at SARC. The center is an independent confidential campus resource that provides education and support services for those affected by sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.
The “It’s On Us” campaign launched by President Barack Obama to help put an end to sexual assault on college campuses is another initiative UC San Diego has embraced.
From civically engaged research to urban studies courses to sustainable campus operations, UC San Diego is minding its environmental business. When California and San Diego mandated several water use restrictions last summer, the university’s Resource Management and Planning unit responded by stopping water leaks within seventy-two hours of notification, limiting watering hours, and mandating the use of recirculating pumps for decorative water fountains. UC San Diego also identified 352,000 square feet of turf for conversion to low/no-water-use landscape using drought-tolerant plants and groundcover. Once all areas are converted, the campus will save approximately 9 million gallons per year.
When it comes to electricity, the key to keeping the lights on is the campus microgrid, which is a small-scale version of a traditional power grid. One of the most advanced in the world, the microgrid at UC San Diego generates 92 percent of the electricity used on campus and annually saves more than $8 million.
The University of California Global Food Initiative addresses one of the world’s most pressing problems: how to sustainably and nutritiously feed a world population expected to reach eight billion by 2025. As part of this initiative, in southeastern San Diego, people are gathering at the Ocean View Growing Grounds to grow food, socialize with their neighbors, and hold events. Local residents are transforming a twenty thousand square-foot vacant urban lot into a community focal point.
Keith Pezzoli, director of the Urban Studies and Planning Program at UC San Diego, is helping to build community-university partnerships at the site through science-based programs for public benefit. He and his research team are working with the City of San Diego and other groups to encourage cleanup and reinvestment in brownfields. These parcels of land can be developed as community gardens—a low-cost way to increase access to nutritious fruit and vegetables.
UC San Diego’s ongoing challenge is to maintain its excellence, reputation, and access despite declining state contributions to the University of California budget, indeterminate federal funding, and a nation that is still recovering economically. California currently provides only 7.6 percent of the university’s total revenues. Since academic year 2011–12, students have been contributing more than the state to the cost of their education.
To sustain its excellence in all areas, UC San Diego continues to strengthen its community ties and diversify its revenue sources. In 2014, the campus’s total revenues were $3.8 billion, representing a 128 percent rise since 2001, and a 42.5 percent rise in the previous five years.
Health-care and grants and contracts revenues remain UC San Diego’s two largest funding sources. In 2014, UC San Diego Medical Center revenues were $1.29 billion, an increase of 13.6 percent over the previous year.
Most of the grants and contracts money comes from the federal government and is allocated for research. Grants and contracts revenue from all sources totaled $920.2 million, representing 24.4 percent of annual revenue and a one-year decrease of 4.2 percent.
For fiscal year 2013–14, a total of 32,755 donors raised $148 million in private support—comparable to the previous year.
The UC San Diego Technology Transfer Office (TTO) manages the university’s technology portfolio and is responsible for patenting and licensing intellectual property developed on campus. At fiscal year-end 2014, TTO was managing more than three thousand innovations and 439 active license agreements. The total portfolio consists of 859 US and 886 foreign active patents, with 99 US and 134 foreign patents issued in fiscal year 2013–14. During that period, sixteen new start-up companies were formed with licensed UC San Diego innovations.
To date, more than 650 companies—including many San Diego biotechnology and technology firms—have been launched by or use technology produced by UC San Diego faculty, staff, and alumni. Of this group, more than two hundred start-ups have licensed university technology from TTO to found their companies.
The UC San Diego Library’s archival resources received a notable boost in 2014, with the donation of two significant archives, and the addition of exciting new items to the library’s world-famous Dr. Seuss Collection.
The library has become the official repository for the papers of Jonas Salk, who developed the world’s first successful polio vaccine. The papers—which constitute almost six hundred linear feet (or nearly nine hundred boxes)—were donated to the library’s Special Collections and Archives by Salk’s sons, Peter, Darrell, and Jonathan, who, like their father, trained as physicians and are involved in medical and scientific activities. While recognized worldwide for his significant contributions, Salk is particularly noted locally for his founding of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, located adjacent to the UC San Diego campus.
A digital archive documenting the United Farmworkers (UFW) Movement in central California from 1962 to 1993 was also added to the library’s holdings and can be accessed from the library’s website. The Farmworker Movement Documentation Archive includes a wide variety of information on the activities, accomplishments, challenges, and work of UFW founding president Cesar Chavez, and the farmworkers who participated in the movement. The multimedia presentation includes thirteen thousand photos, a timeline of significant milestones, oral histories, manuscripts, and poetry penned by volunteers.
Fans of the whimsical collection of Dr. Seuss children’s books will one day soon be treated to new volumes in the wildly popular series. More than fifteen hundred new materials from the personal archive of author Theodor Seuss Geisel were donated by Audrey Geisel to the library, including several unpublished projects such as “Cat Ballooning,” “The Pet Shop,” “Bee Watches,” “How Welk Can You Spelk,” “The Clock Book,” and “Arabian Adventures.”