University of California, San Diego
June 11, 2001
ALL STUDENTS AT UCSD
SUBJECT: Managing Future Growth of UCSD's Academic Enterprises
Our series of internal communiqués on campus growth issues continues with this message from Marsha Chandler, Senior Vice Chancellor - Academic Affairs, on the future growth of our academic enterprises. Scholarly excellence has been a UCSD trademark since our earliest beginnings at the Scripps marine research laboratory on Coronado in 1903.
UCSD's founders always saw institutional growth as an opportunity to ratchet up the academic caliber of our research and education. This decade's growth surge presents our best opportunity yet to extend that tradition. In this message, Senior Vice Chancellor Chandler describes some of our strategies for managing growth and fostering excellence in our scholarly activities.
June 11, 2001
The anticipated increase in the student body at UCSD will mean significant increases in faculty and staff. The campus growth allows us to cultivate and develop our distinctive strengths while taking up a range of new initiatives. To use our resources wisely, we have been charting a course that is focused but flexible, enabling us to best direct our energy and resources.
Our planning for growth, "Charting the Course," is not a "top down" process. The bulk of thinking and looking ahead has taken place in departments, divisions, schools, ORUs, programs, and colleges. The role of Academic Affairs has been to design the general framework for this process, stimulate divisional planning, facilitate cross-divisional initiatives, help recognize and organize patterns and areas of focus that emerge from the plans, and to translate them into an aggregate set of priorities to guide the General Campus.
This process, on a broad scale, involved:
-- distinguishing areas of strength that require continuing support -- defining and proposing new initiatives to build on existing strengths -- looking across traditional disciplines and boundaries -- linking research with undergraduate education and graduate training
Charting the Course has helped us set the direction for the academic future of UCSD. Now, we are moving into the implementation of these plans with regard to faculty, academic initiatives, students, staff, and facilities.
Outstanding scholars and teachers are the foundation of a great university. UCSD's absolute commitment to recruiting premier faculty enabled it to become one of the nation's top-ranked research universities in an incredibly short period of time. As we grow, we will need to add 400 new faculty positions as well as replace many faculty who will be retiring. Our enduring strength depends on continuing to attract a diverse array of established scholars and scientists who not only lead but define their fields. As well, we must recruit the most promising young faculty and enable them to realize their full potential.
In addition to guiding our appointments, Charting the Course allows us to identify and prioritize curricular initiatives. Two examples are "Bioinformatics," which brings together scholars in biology, engineering, physical sciences and medicine to study the flow of information in living systems, and "California Cultures in Comparative Perspective," a joint venture of the Divisions of Social Sciences and Arts & Humanities which examines the growth of California's native minority and immigrant populations. These two new initiatives build upon the strengths of existing campus resources and create synergies among the leading scholars in inter-related disciplines. Both research initiatives will involve new programs in graduate and undergraduate education.
Ensuring quality undergraduate education is a central element in UCSD's mission. Our growth provides tremendous opportunities to enhance our curricular offerings for undergraduate students. As we move into new and exciting research fields, we are committed to making sure that our undergraduates also benefit from these initiatives. A new position in Academic Affairs - Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education - has just been created. This individual, whom I expect to appoint this summer, will provide leadership and promote excellence and innovation in undergraduate education across colleges, divisions, schools and disciplines. Our commitment to the college system also remains vital. In keeping with this rich tradition, Sixth College is set to admit its first students in fall 2002.
Graduate education is a crucial part of our enterprise. UCSD is committed to increasing the proportion of graduate students on campus, moving from today's 13% of total enrollment to 18% by 2010-11, and ultimately to 20%. Each division is growing its graduate programs at the Masters and Doctoral levels. At the same time, new graduate programs are being developed that allow the General Campus to work more closely with the School of Medicine and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. We will also continue the process of considering and developing new professional schools and programs to further augment graduate education.
Like students and faculty, staff are essential to our campus' future. We will need to hire a significant number of new staff as we grow, as well as to encourage and facilitate the professional development of those already here. As in the case for faculty, we have made a multi-year budgetary commitment to finance the growth of staff. Academic Affairs is very much in gear to plan for the staffing expansion - Charting the Course asked departments and divisions to address staffing needs in four key areas: administrative, student services, laboratory and computing, and faculty support. As always, quality will be our top consideration. We are dedicated to developing the excellent staff presently on campus, and recruiting a diverse group of new employees of the same high caliber.
Buildings and facilities present a special challenge, due to the long lead time and expense. Because we were able to anticipate our growth, we're already mobilized. Several new structures are either under construction or planned for the future, including the Natural Sciences Building, Music Building, and a building for Cal-(IT)2. Buildings added to the campus not only create new space, but also free up the existing areas vacated by the new buildings' residents. Current structures will also need to undergo renovation to ensure that our scholars, faculty and staff work and learn in state-of-the-art laboratories, classrooms, and core facilities. We are working closely with External Relations so that some of the funds raised during the upcoming Capital Campaign will allow us to enlarge and upgrade State-funded buildings already planned for the campus, as well as provide additional structures.
Another fundamental part of our infrastructure is the UCSD Library System. As new curricular areas are strengthened and developed, and more faculty and students come to campus, the Libraries must keep pace with growth. Academic Affairs is committed to ensuring that our collections and staff are able to support the world-class level of scholarship on campus. We are working to take advantage of technological advances that will make a wider array of resources more readily available to all UCSD affiliates.
Lastly, a word about life-long education: when the members of the UCSD Class of 2001 gather for Commencement exercises on June 17, we will remind them that the awarding of a diploma does not signal the end, but rather the beginning of a new and more profound phase of learning. In keeping with that belief, we must build on the outstanding record of education of UCSD Extended Studies and Public Programs and step up our efforts to provide innovative education programs in conjunction with our partners in the community and industry.
Just as we have tremendous pride in UCSD's history, we have enormous confidence in the campus' future. As we enter a period of unprecedented growth, we can shape an academic future that is even more remarkable than our past.
Marsha A. Chandler