January 19, 2010


SUBJECT: UC Commission on the Future - Working Group Feedback

Dear Senate Colleagues:

As you are aware, the UC Commission on the Future ( is addressing broad issues of substantial importance to the future of the University. UCSD is represented on three of the Commission's five Working Groups:

* Education and Curriculum - Professor Mark Appelbaum and Dean Kim Barrett * Access and Affordability - Professor Akos Rona-Tas and Vice Chancellor Penny Rue * Size and Shape of UC - Professor James W. Posakony

The Working Groups have been meeting regularly and have a relatively short period to formulate a set of recommendations to present to The Regents. While everyone is welcome to submit feedback directly to the Commission (see "feedback" on the bottom of the Commission's web page), our Working Group members would appreciate hearing from you directly on the following issues and principles, from either a local UCSD perspective or a broad UC-wide perspective:

* Education and Curriculum - What are the value and concerns/support for increased use of distance and on-line instruction of UCSD students, including the issue of credit enrollment for UCSD students in non-UCSD courses? - What is the appropriate balance between amounts and levels of instruction delivered by ladder-rank faculty vs. non-ladder rank faculty and lecturers? - What retirement incentives should be considered to permit faculty "renewal" during a non-growth period? - Should research (and other non-state) funds be allowed to buy out ladder-rank faculty instruction with replacement of that instruction by non-ladder rank faculty, postdoctoral fellows, lecturers, and/or graduate students? If so, under what conditions and restraints?

* Access and Affordability - UC should continue to honor its commitment to the California Master Plan and to enrolling the top 12.5% of California public high school graduates and to maintaining a lower division to upper division undergraduate student ratio of 40:60. - UC should strive to enroll a student body that represents outstanding academic achievement and reflects the diversity of the state. - Academically competitive non-resident undergraduates, both domestic and international, should be encouraged to apply and enroll. - Funding the cost of attendance requires a partnership between families and the state, and UC pledges to continue a robust financial aid program to insure access. - Students from families with incomes below the median will receive full UC fee coverage.

* Size and Shape - The Master Plan and UC's role in higher education in California: Should this change, and if so, how? In the face of financial constraints, should we continue to offer a place at UC to the top 12.5% of high school graduates or to a lower percentage? Are there professional degree programs that UC should cede to the CSU system? - Campus autonomy: What is the right balance between the autonomy of the individual campuses to develop and excel as they see fit, and the coordinated development of UC as a whole? Should we consider limiting certain academic disciplines and certain research and instructional endeavors to specific campuses in the name of efficiency and economy? - Synergy in the UC system: How should the ten campuses relate to, and collaborate with, one another? How can we generate efficiencies and innovations through intercampus communication and cooperation? In other words, how can we best ensure that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts?

* Overall - What are the special characteristics of the research and educational programs of UCSD that must be preserved at all costs? What trade-offs are we willing to endure to preserve these special characteristics?

If you have comments on these issues and principles (or other points you would like to address), please e-mail them to by 29 January; your comments will be shared with the UCSD Working Group members.


William S. Hodgkiss, Chair
Academic Senate, San Diego Division