University of California, San Diego


August 16, 2001


SUBJECT:  Managing Future Growth of UCSD's Business Operations

Dear Colleagues:

Our series of internal communiqués on campus growth issues continues with this message from Steven Relyea, Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs. As you read this message, you will see how the Division of Business Affairs touches almost every aspect of life at UCSD: from food and housing to safety and transportation to payroll and purchasing. These services affect each member of our campus community. We don't just study and work here; we live here, and the impact of unprecedented growth on campus operations is a matter of paramount importance to all of us. Throughout its history, UCSD has excelled at the business of education. This era of growth gives us a greater incentive - and a greater opportunity - to bolster our business practices. In this message, Steve outlines how UCSD will manage the business of institutional growth throughout this decade.


                                                Robert C. Dynes



August 16, 2001

The numbers are daunting: 10,000 additional students, 400 more faculty. How do we grow at such an unprecedented rate without sacrificing the quality for which we've become known? That's the challenge facing UCSD and the Office of Business Affairs as we map out a strategy for the years through 2010.

To that end, we have launched initiatives to improve and expand the campus infrastructure and to strengthen campus operations and business practices. And we will continue to seek - and find - new ways to deliver the highest level of support to our teaching, research, and clinical programs without compromising the quality of our services.

In order to meet these challenges, we will focus on both making the most of the resources we have now, and adding new resources where needed. As the volume and complexity of work increases for UCSD staff, we will provide both the staffing and the tools necessary to accommodate the demands of the future. While there are no formulas for hiring new staff to meet the student growth projections, as there are in the case of faculty, my fellow Vice Chancellors and I are committed to recruiting the additional staff necessary to meet the needs of UCSD programs and initiatives. Our continued success depends on our ability to maintain appropriate numbers of talented staff on campus to make our programs work.

We are also committed to providing UCSD staff with the best tools and training to sustain their excellence during this era of expansion. We understand staff members' needs for easier access to better quality information, simpler work processes, less bureaucracy and help when they need it. Campus staff are already benefiting from Blink (http://blink.ucsd.edu), a new Web initiative that pulls information, tools, and other resources from across the university into one integrated Web site that is easy to read and up to date. Blink is the first staff Web portal project of its kind in the United States, another tribute to the talented and creative staff we have attracted to UCSD.

The Staff Retention and Support Steering Committee, which is my privilege to co-chair with Assistant Chancellor Linda Williams, will identify campus priorities to ensure ongoing success in maintaining excellent staff. This committee is exploring ways to ensure adequate allocations for staff resources; strengthen the partnership between faculty and staff; improve campus processes for recruitment, classification and compensation; develop more effective communication mechanisms, and identify opportunities to enhance staff's ability to get the job done.

Through forums, focus groups, and surveys (see a summary of the results at http://blink.ucsd.edu/go/surveyresults), we have gleaned what is important to UCSD staff. We understand that the campus must maintain a work environment that emphasizes trust, appreciation for diversity, mutual respect and accountability. We know that quality-of-life issues such as transportation and childcare are important to many staff, and we must find ways to address those issues. Above all, we must enable each staff member to maximize his or her contribution to the collective mission of UCSD. To carry out the committee's mandate from Chancellor Dynes, we will develop solutions to give the UCSD staff the resources and environment they need for success.

Other initiatives to support UCSD's growth now in planning or development include a new power plant to provide reliable energy, new student housing facilities, a robust data and voice network, expanded safety programs, new child care facilities, and many other efforts to support the people who keep the campus working.

Great universities have certain things in common, including excellent faculty, comprehensive libraries, and proper facilities. But none of these are enough without the highly skilled and dedicated staff that create the environment for teaching, research, and patient care.

UCSD has a national reputation for hiring the best and brightest staff, women and men who are creative and always look for new and better ways of doing things. Unlike employees of a typical company, UCSD staff are essential in supporting solutions to community issues, creating an environment for educating the next generation, and in helping discover breakthroughs that will make this a better world for our children.

                                                Steven W. Relyea
                                                Vice Chancellor, Business Affairs