February 9, 2015


SUBJECT:    Strategic Plan Update – Launch of Committee to Focus on Achieving and Maintaining Operational Excellence

We are pleased to announce the formation of a standing committee to support UC San Diego’s strategic plan efforts to achieve our aspirational goals of operational and administrative excellence. The Standing Committee on Service and People Oriented Administrative Culture (SP – SPOC), composed of faculty, administrative staff, campus leaders and subject matter experts, is advisory to the Chancellor and will be chaired by Professor Kit Pogliano (Biological Sciences).

Our campus has a long history of proactive and “out-of-the-box” thinking with respect to achieving administrative efficiencies. Processes at UC San Diego reflect the complexity of our organizational structures, funding sources, university policies, and governmental regulations. Over the years, we have achieved process efficiencies, particularly in the areas of information technology and administrative support. We have centralized various services to reduce redundancies and produce economies of scale, and we have effectively used technology as an enabling tool to automate manual processes, reduce transaction time, and offset personnel reductions. However, we know that the approaches utilized in our past – as valuable as they have proven to be – will not provide the strategic breakthroughs the University needs to address the financial, service, regulatory, and growth demands of the future.

In order to achieve our strategic goals, we must equip our managers and staff to be successful in a new environment through professional development opportunities that reinforce solution-oriented thinking, realign performance metrics, and reward smart risk-taking. In addition, we must ensure that potential efficiencies positively impact our UC San Diego mission and advance our strategic objectives.

The charge to the Standing Committee is to provide:
1. A high-level, cross-functional perspective on critical issues, opportunities, and unique capabilities and programs that will positively impact the attainment of a service- and people-oriented culture on campus.
2. An objective perspective that drives a balance of administrative and operational efficiency with service delivery in support of UC San Diego’s mission, and validation that this is accomplished.
3. Guidance on the initial screening criteria for initiatives.
4. Ongoing guidance and recommendations on initiative selection, prioritization, resource implications, and ongoing viability.
5. Advice on specific issues and opportunities related to initiatives, and help facilitate a collaborative working relationship across the campus.

The members span all areas of UC San Diego and will focus on creating and sustaining a culture that delivers the highest level of customer service. The SP – SPOC membership is:

Kit Pogliano (Chair SC-SPOC, Professor Biological Sciences)
Mike Bloom (Administrative Vice Chair Psychiatry, SOM)
Cristina Della Coletta (Dean, Division of Arts and Humanities)
Cathy Constable (Professor, Scripps Institution of Oceanography)
Bob Continetti (Vice Chair Academic Senate, Professor, Chemistry)
Peter Cowhey (Dean, School of International Relations and Pacific Studies)
Anne Footer (MSO Marine Sciences)
Rajesh Gupta (Chair, Computer Science Engineering)
Katja Lindenberg (Professor, Chemistry)
Leslie Martin (Professor, Medicine)
Nieves Rankin (CAO SDSC)
Ramesh Rao (Director, Qualcom Institute; Professor, ECE)
Phil Roeder (Chair, Political Science)
Emily Roxworthy (Associate Professor, Theater and Dance)
Allan Timmerman (Professor, Rady)
Ajit Varki (Professor, School of Medicine)
Teresa Wassum (MSO Cognitive Sciences)

Nathan Chappell (Assistant Vice Chancellor, Advancement)
Brian Gregory (Associate Vice Chancellor, Resource Management and Planning)
Linda Collins (Assistant Vice Chancellor, Research Affairs)
Cathy Ledford (Chief of Staff, Office of Vice Chancellor/Chief Financial Officer)
Steve Ross (Associate Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs)
Helen Mout (Muir College, UC San Diego Staff Association Chair, 2014-2015)

Additional campus subject matter experts will be included in the committee deliberations as appropriate, and will provide detailed assessments of potential projects. Implementation of approved projects will be delegated to appropriate specialists. We anticipate that the committee will meet once per month during the academic year, starting in February 2015.

The committee will provide quarterly updates to the Chancellor’s Cabinet. Staff support for the Committee will be provided by the Office of Operational & Strategic Initiatives, led by Executive Director Bob Neuhard. Questions and comments may be addressed to Kit Pogliano via email ( or phone (858-822-1314) or Bob Neuhard via email ( or phone (858-822-1764).

We appreciate the willingness of all members of the committee in participating on this important committee.

Pradeep K. Khosla

Suresh Subramani
Executive Vice Chancellor