November 29, 2017


SUBJECT:    Dean, Division of Biological Sciences

Following nearly five years of distinguished service as Dean of the Division of Biological Sciences, Dr. William McGinnis has announced that he will conclude his tenure as Dean and return full-time to teaching and research, effective June 30, 2018.

A member of the UC San Diego faculty since 1995, Dean McGinnis has an extensive history of service to the Division of Biological Sciences, and he played an integral role in shaping the division as one of the world's most highly ranked research and education programs. In addition to his service as Interim Dean from 2000 to 2001, he was Associate Dean of the former Division of Natural Sciences, Chair of the former Department of Biology, and Co-Chair of the Natural Sciences Working Group on Biology Reorganization to a Division in 1999-2000.

As Dean he has led a large and dynamic academic division, with about 6,000 undergraduate biology majors, several hundred graduate students and post-doctoral researchers, and faculty spanning four major sections. He has demonstrated a commitment to faculty excellence, recruiting 23 exceptional new faculty members to the division in his five-year term. Under Dean McGinnis’ leadership, private and foundation giving to the Division of Biological Sciences has increased ten-fold, the number of summer undergraduate research scholarships has doubled, and the Ph.D. program in the Biological Sciences has grown by 20 percent. He oversaw the establishment of the Tata Institute for Genetics and Society, and played a key role in launching the new Gordon and Betty Moore-Foundation funded Research Communications Program, which seeks to improve the ability of UC San Diego faculty members, postdoctoral fellows and other researchers on campus to communicate their work to the public

Dean McGinnis has also helped to develop an inclusive division that supports and develops the talents of a richly diverse group of individuals from different social, economic and cultural backgrounds. He appointed the first divisional Director of Mentorship and Diversity, a new position established to advise the Dean and Chairs and implement strategies for increasing the diversity of the division’s faculty and students, and to ensure effective mentorship of all Biology students, with particular focus on those from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds. He has contributed to the division’s enhanced research and teaching infrastructure with the renovation of three floors of the Muir Biology building and the ongoing construction of the new Tata Hall for the Sciences, which will offer three new floors of research lab space and a new floor of undergraduate teaching lab space.

Please join us in thanking Dean McGinnis for his impactful contributions to the Division of Biological Sciences, and in wishing him every success as he returns to his faculty post in the Cell and Developmental Biology section. A national search for Dean McGinnis' successor will commence shortly.

Pradeep K. Khosla

Elizabeth H. Simmons
Executive Vice Chancellor