Entering a New Era

The University of California, San Diego shapes minds, changes lives, launches industries, and builds the future—one student, one discovery, and one achievement at a time. Today’s campus is an academic powerhouse and economic engine, recognized as one of the top ten public universities by U.S. News & World Report for more than a decade, and ranked number one in the nation for public service by Washington Monthly for the past two years.

During the 2010–11 academic year, the university celebrated its 50th Anniversary. The landmark birthday was a catalyst for building deeper relationships with the greater San Diego community, and with sponsors of specific campus programs. The yearlong commemoration was a time for reflecting and reconnecting, for assessing where the university has been, where it is now, and where it hopes to go.

Although UC San Diego recently sustained its largest budget cut in campus history, the university’s margin of excellence remains intact. Fifty years of growth have produced a robust, diverse, and resilient institution that can weather today’s economic crisis. By diversifying its funding sources over time, the university has been able to maintain its preeminent level of teaching, research, public service, and patient care activities—and continues to advance on all four fronts. The breadth and depth of its sponsored research and the quality of its vibrant teaching programs attract top faculty, staff, and students to the campus.

Ninety-nine percent of current UC San Diego students graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class. Sixteen Nobel laureates have taught on campus, and faculty members have been recipients of Fields medals, Pulitzer Prizes, Tony Awards, MacArthur Fellowships, and many other significant honors.

In 2011, Shu Chien, a professor of bioengineering and medicine, became the most recent member of the UC San Diego community to receive the National Medal of Science. In 2010, Chancellor Marye Anne Fox received the prestigious medal.

Partnering with the Community

As an educational institution and the region’s fourth largest employer, the campus plays a major role in supporting the expansion of the skilled workforce in San Diego. Approximately one-third of the university’s nearly 140,000 alumni live in San Diego County, contributing income, payroll, property, and sales tax to the region. In greater San Diego, the university’s faculty, staff, and alumni have launched over 150 active companies, employing over 18,140 people and generating annual sales of $15.3 billion (see “Economic Impact” insert in this report).

UC San Diego serves the public with a broad range of resources—from world-class medical research and health-care advancements, to the unique Stuart Collection of public sculpture. The university’s arts, humanities, and social sciences rank among the top ten programs nationwide.

The university’s professional schools train the nation’s leaders in medicine, business, engineering and technology, and international affairs. UC San Diego’s collaborations with its partner institutions on the Torrey Pines Mesa—including the Sanford-Burnham Institute for Medical Research, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, and The Scripps Research Institute—have burnished San Diego’s global reputation as a hotbed of activity in science, biotechnology, and medicine.

By 2016, a $1.5 billion investment in UC San Diego Health Sciences, including gifts from the university’s supporters and donors, will help to transform the region into one of the nation’s premier medical destinations. The new state-of-the-art Jacobs Medical Center will serve patients at the La Jolla campus; the Medical Education and Telemedicine Building will meet the needs of physicians-in-training and populations residing in remote areas; and, the Clinical and Translational Research Institute will speed the delivery of new treatments from laboratory bench to patient bedside.

50th Anniversary Sponsors

UC San Diego’s 50th Anniversary was made possible by the generous sponsorship of those listed here.

Visionary Sponsors

  • Cubic Corporation
  • Qualcomm Inc.
  • Sempra Energy (Green Open House Lead Sponsor)

Innovator Sponsor

  • VOLT

Overachiever Sponsor

  • Cymer, Inc.

Triton True Blue Sponsors

  • BKM/Steelcase
  • Classic Party Rentals
  • Swinerton Builders

Supporting Sponsors

  • Skidmore, Owings and Merrill
  • Turner Construction Company
  • Webcor Builders
  • USE Credit Union

Media Partners

  • Clear Channel Communications
  • Diego 91.7/La Mejor 99.3
  • KFMB-TV/CBS 8 San Diego
  • KURS 1040AM
  • San Diego Union-Tribune

Fifty Years of Visionaries, Innovators, and Overachievers

On November 18, 1960, UC San Diego was officially established as the seventh campus in the University of California system. The founders built the campus from the ground up by recruiting to campus top scholars from all over the world.

Events established to commemorate the 50th Anniversary and engage the campus and greater San Diego community were hugely successful. A weeklong series of free talks and events featured dynamic leaders in the arts, sciences, technology, medicine, and education. The Innovation Day Expo provided hands-on exhibits and the opportunity for students and community members to network with industry leaders and innovators.


Drop and give me 50: More than three thousand volunteers donated over sixty-two thousand hours of community service as part of the Volunteer50 initiative.

Launched as part of the birthday celebration, Volunteer50: Chancellor’s Call to Service remains a key campus initiative. Volunteer50 encourages all students, faculty, staff, alumni, and university friends to perform at least fifty hours of community service during the academic year.

Two Years of Record Research Funding

Despite the protracted economic downturn, research funding for the past two academic years shattered all prior records. UC San Diego competed for and received more than $960 million for research in fiscal year 2010–11. During the previous year, the university surpassed the billion-dollar mark, aided by more than $160 million in federal stimulus funds generated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

The current funding level will support key projects in medicine, science, oceanography, engineering, social sciences, and the arts—and keep talented people engaged in their work. The largest single contracts in fiscal year 2010–11 were $19 million to the San Diego Supercomputer Center for the development of the Gordon supercomputer; $15.6 million to the Department of Psychiatry for research on post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury; $13 million to the Department of Neurosciences for the study of Alzheimer’s disease; $9 million to the Consortium for Algal Biofuels for commercializing products, technology, and services; and $8.7 million to the Department of Pediatrics for studies of children’s health.

Diversifying Revenue Sources

To sustain its excellence in all areas, UC San Diego continues to strengthen its community ties and diversify its revenue sources. In 2011, the university’s total revenues were $3.23 billion, representing an 89.6 percent rise since 2001, and 48.4 percent since 2006. The campus received more than 39,000 gifts totaling $120.7 million in private support from alumni, parents, faculty and staff, students, and other friends of UC San Diego.

Due to the fluctuations in recent state funding, it is important to look at year-over-year changes over a multiyear period, rather than just a one-year comparison. State support did, in fact, increase in fiscal year 2011 by $15.7 million compared with 2010. When compared to 2008, however, there was actually a decline of $3.3 million over the four-year period. Revenue from student fees and tuition continued to grow at a historically high rate in 2011, due to a continued decrease in state funding when compared to inflation. Tuition and fees revenue grew 12.1 percent in the year, compared to a five-year average of 29.1 percent. For the fall 2010 quarter, enrollment for undergraduate and graduate students rose 2.7 percent. Mandatory in-state student fees (excluding health insurance) increased 11.5 percent in 2011.

Grants and contracts, and health-care revenue remain the university’s two largest funding sources. In 2011, revenues from grants and contracts totaled $959.9 million, with a one-year increase of 8.8 percent. Medical Center revenues were $959.6 million, a one-year increase of 12.3 percent.

The Price of Excellence

Approximately 55 percent of UC San Diego’s undergraduates require financial aid.

At a time of rising student fees and declining state support, difficult choices must be made. UC San Diego is focusing its resources on academic and clinical fields at the leading edge of scholarship in which the university excels or has the potential to excel—and that provide significant value to the campus and community at large.

In 1990, the state of California provided 78 percent of the average cost of education per student at the University of California. The ratio was reduced to 47 percent in academic year 2010–11 and is projected to fall even further. Supportive donors, industry-university partnerships, foundations, and alumni are helping to alleviate the shortfall.

In an effort to bring in more funding during difficult economic times and to broaden the diversity of the campus population, the campus has increased the number of out-of-state and international students offered admission. Currently, only 6 percent of UC San Diego’s students are in the nonresident category—a ratio well below that of UC Berkeley or UCLA.

Scholarships and Fellowships

Academically, UC San Diego competes with the world’s finest universities. Financially, the challenge is to ensure access and affordability to top students during the nation’s severe economic crisis. Approximately 55 percent of UC San Diego’s undergraduates require financial aid, and 16 percent of graduate students receive fellowships.

Recruiting and retaining ambitious and motivated students is integral to UC San Diego’s ability to advance research and improve the regional economy’s long-term outlook. Invent the Future: The UC San Diego Student Support Campaign was the fundraising beneficiary of 50th Anniversary events with $11 million in commitments received in 2010—11. The goal of the ongoing campaign is to raise $50 million for undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships.

Among the many generous donations for student support—a number of which are profiled in this year’s report—were a $1 million gift from the Amgen Corporation to support undergraduates involved in hands-on research, a $1 million pledge from Kenneth Kroner to support graduate fellowships in the Division of Social Sciences, and a $450,000 pledge from the Robertson Foundation for Government. The gift, pledged over four years, covers expenses for outstanding students to complete their master’s degree at UC San Diego’s Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies.

Technology Transfer

UC San Diego’s Technology Transfer Office (TTO) manages the university’s large technology portfolio and is responsible for patenting and licensing university-developed intellectual property. Technology created at UC San Diego comprises innovations in a wide variety of fields including biomedicine, bioinformatics, engineering and physical sciences, nanotechnology, and clean technology. TTO manages a portfolio that includes approximately fifteen hundred active patents, over eighteen hundred patent applications, and more than twenty-six hundred innovations. During fiscal year 2010–11, more than eighty US patents were issued for UC San Diego inventions, and more than four hundred license agreements were active with organizations around the globe.

The Technology Transfer Office facilitates the transfer of innovations created at the university to industry partners for further development as commercial products and services. More than ten new start-up companies were formed during fiscal year 2010–11 with licensed UC San Diego innovations. To date, over 170 start-ups have been formed by licensing university technology and, of this number, more than 130 were founded in the state of California, including over 110 start-ups in the greater San Diego region.

Strategic New Academic Directions


Students participate in the first annual UC San Diego powwow, spring 2011.

Identifying emerging academic areas and charting new directions is critical for a great university, even at a time when financial resources are scarce. UC San Diego is developing several transformative research initiatives for the next decade that are interdisciplinary in nature, ensure a competitive advantage for the university, and focus on major societal problems.

Four Key Initiatives—The Center for Educational Excellence will position UC San Diego as a national model for excellence in undergraduate and graduate education and a driver for sustainable innovation in teaching and learning. Functioning as an umbrella organization and building on the university’s existing strengths, the UC San Diego Advanced Energy Technology Initiative will focus on the technologies, sciences, and policies of the new energy economy. The broadly defined Design Initiative will include participants from Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, and Engineering in providing functional, informative, and aesthetically pleasing solutions for the utility of products, processes, institutional structures, and services. Quantitative Biology will be the catalyst for future applications in medicine that will transform diagnosis and therapeutics.

New Degrees, New Programs—New graduate and professional degrees established in 2010–11 include a PhD in mathematics with a specialization in statistics, a PhD in nanoengineering, and a master of advanced study (MAS) degree for engineering professions in architecture-based enterprise systems engineering (AESE). In addition, UC San Diego established three new joint PhD engineering programs with San Diego State University in bioengineering, electrical and computer engineering, and structural engineering. New undergraduate programs implemented in 2010–11 include an MS in earth sciences, a BS in nanoengineering, and minors in global health and business.

The Education Studies Program transitioned to the Department of Education Studies in 2011, after its nearly forty-year history as a campus academic program for theory, research, and practice in K–12 education.

Faculty Recruitment—UC San Diego currently has 155 endowed chairs. Faculty recruitment on the general campus resumed last year, with searches for forty-seven new faculty, which to date, has yielded a diverse group of thirty-two new faculty members. An additional eighteen faculty have joined UC San Diego’s School of Medicine and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.


From twentieth-century pioneer in tracking carbon levels, to twenty-first-century living laboratory of sustainable solutions, UC San Diego continues to push the boundaries of knowledge in mitigating climate change. Being green is part of the university’s institutional DNA.

Energy Innovation Park — A state-of-the-art, 2.8-megawatt fuel cell went online at UC San Diego in 2011. Initially fueled by natural gas, it will ultimately utilize methane gas. It is the largest fuel cell commercially available in the world today, has sufficient capacity to power twenty-eight hundred homes, and will meet about 8 percent of UC San Diego’s total energy needs.

The $19 million project qualified for $7.65 million in state of California Self-Generation Program incentives, and the BioFuels Energy firm will provide the remaining $11.35 million in private investment, loans, and investment tax credits. With the new fuel cell and the near-doubling of the campus photovoltaic solar capacity in 2011, UC San Diego is poised to meet as much as 95 percent of its annual electricity needs. As part of a ten-year agreement, UC San Diego will buy the electricity produced by the fuel cell from BioFuels Energy at competitive rates.

The fuel cell project anchors UC San Diego’s Energy Innovation Park on the east side of the main campus, which also includes a high-efficiency, 5.75-kilowatt sun-tracking concentrating photovoltaic array. Using lenses or mirrors to concentrate sunlight onto high-efficiency solar cells decreases the required cell area while increasing cell efficiency.

Global Reach

In 2010, the University of California, San Diego ranked seventh in the nation among major research universities for the number of international scholars hosted, and tenth in the nation in the number of students studying abroad for a full year. Approximately 22 percent of UC San Diego students participate in an education abroad experience before they graduate.


UC San Diego’s global reach includes expanding
collaboration with the United Arab Emirates.
Shown here, Dubai.

Partnerships: Mexico, India, China — UC San Diego continues to expand its global presence through a series of partnerships. In 2010–11, the university’s Office of International Affairs provided consultation on forty-one partnership proposals, and negotiated, drafted, and vetted nineteen agreements. This includes four academic and research agreements with universities in Mexico, India, and China, which are UC San Diego target countries for the development of international partnerships. The universities are Universidad Autonoma de Baja California, Indian Institute of Technology–Hyderabad, Zhejiang University, and Lanzhou University.

Collaboration: United Arab Emirates — Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates agreed on a collaboration to advance ocean and earth-science research and development, gain a more fundamental understanding of the oceans, and benefit society at large.

A New Center in Florence — UC San Diego signed a ten-year lease agreement for rent-free space in the historic House of Amerigo Vespucci building in Florence, Italy. The space will house a center of advanced research in applied biotechnologies and cultural heritage diagnostics and will attract an international network of scientists and student scholars. The region of Tuscany, the Florence Health Authority, and UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering are collaborating on the project.

About this report

The UC San Diego Annual Report 2012 is produced by Creative Services and Publications for Steven W. Relyea, Vice Chancellor for External and Business Affairs.

Executive Director, Creative Services and Publications: Michele Humphrey
Writer: Sylvia Tiersten
Designer: Jessica Scherer
Project Coordinators and Editors: Julie Dunn, Sarah Andrade, Judy Piercey
Web Design: Matt Hale
Web Production: Gabe Shahbazian, Yada Khoongumjorn

Featured Photographer: Erik Jepsen
Historical photos courtesy of Lynda Claassen, Director, UC San Diego Mandeville Special Collections Library. Original Ansel Adams negatives, courtesy the collection at UC Riverside.

For a printed copy of this report, please contact the office of the UC San Diego Vice Chancellor for External and Business Affairs, rjensen@ucsd.edu.