January 9, 2015
Following thirty years of outstanding service to UC San Diego, including seventeen as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Resource Administration, Debbie McGraw has announced her decision to retire from UC San Diego effective June 30, 2015. She will be greatly missed as a friend, colleague, advisor and mentor by many across the campus.
Debbie joined UC San Diego in 1985 and spent thirteen years as Assistant Dean for Fiscal Affairs in the School of Medicine prior to joining the Academic Affairs leadership team. As the senior resource administrator for Academic Affairs, she is responsible for management of the Academic Affairs operating budget, provides oversight for the management and planning for capital program resources and staff resources, and is a key advisor in strategic planning to meet the short- and long-range educational goals of the general campus.
Debbie’s tenure has coincided with tremendous growth of the general campus and the substantial expansion of the EVC organization. Since 1998, total expenditures in Academic Affairs have grown 178% to $750 million; student enrollment has grown from 16,860 to 27,644; and 14 buildings totaling approximately 1 million new square feet of assignable academic space have been constructed for Academic Affairs, a 50% increase. The new EVC organization includes oversight responsibility for an additional $223 million managed by the VCSA and VC-EDI, including $147 million of Financial Aid. There are approximately 13,500 academic and staff people within the Academic Affairs organization.
Throughout her tenure, Debbie has guided Academic Affairs to strategically manage resource allocations to improve quality even in times of austerity. Her wisdom and creativity have been critical to our success in the recruitment and support of outstanding faculty and to UC San Diego’s continued trajectory of excellence in research and education. Debbie is highly respected for creating opportunities that foster open communication and broad-based consultation across vice chancellor areas, including efforts to facilitate the Health Sciences and Marine Sciences growing engagement in undergraduate teaching, and developing models to support joint faculty hires. She has been a strong supporter of staff training and development, and her leadership guided the development and implementation of several staff training programs including the Business Officer Academy, Leadership Academy for Functional Managers and the UExplore program for early career staff. Debbie also spearheaded the establishment of a central IT group charged with developing web-based systems to automate business processes across Academic Affairs units, some of which have been adopted campus-wide and generate substantial savings in the form of administrative efficiencies.
Debbie has truly helped to formulate and guide every substantial resource allocation in Academic Affairs over the past seventeen years. Her intellectual depth and analytical ability, coupled with her sense of integrity and fairness has provided outstanding guidance and wise counsel to me and my predecessors. Please join me in offering heartfelt thanks to Assistant Vice Chancellor Debbie McGraw for her exemplary service, and in wishing her the best in her richly-deserved retirement. An announcement regarding her successor will be made shortly.