April 4, 2017

ALL AT UC SAN DIEGO (including Health Sciences)

SUBJECT:    Retirement of Associate Vice Chancellor - Academic Affairs and Dean of Undergraduate Education Barbara Sawrey

Following 33 years of extraordinary service to UC San Diego and the University of California, including a decade as Associate Vice Chancellor - Academic Affairs and Dean of Undergraduate Education (AVCDUE), Dr. Barbara Sawrey has announced her decision to retire, effective August 31, 2017.

AVCDUE Sawrey is an effective and well-respected leader on accreditation and undergraduate education matters, and is highly regarded for her research in Chemical Education. She has contributed her expertise locally, statewide and nationally. She will be greatly missed as a colleague, mentor and advisor to many.

Dr. Sawrey joined the UC San Diego faculty in 1984 and is a Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. She served thirteen years as the Department’s Vice Chair for Education prior to joining the Executive Vice Chancellor’s management team. As AVCDUE, Dr. Sawrey has served as the senior advisor to the EVC on all undergraduate education matters, providing leadership and promoting excellence in undergraduate education across the colleges, divisions, schools and disciplines. Her tenure has coincided with significant undergraduate enrollment growth - increasing from 22,048 to 28,127 since 2007. She has been an integral partner with the Academic Senate and Student Affairs in enrollment management, and has been highly effective in cultivating collaborative initiatives that enhance the student experience and ensure UC San Diego’s continued excellence in undergraduate education.

Highlights of her contributions include spearheading the campus wide Education Initiative in partnership with former Graduate Dean Kim Barrett. This broad based initiative engaged and aligned the efforts of academic and administrative partners from the general campus, Academic Affairs and Student Affairs to maximize the potential of all students for academic and post-graduate success. The establishment of the new Teaching + Learning Commons was an important outcome of this major campus initiative.

AVCDUE Sawrey also shepherded a comprehensive effort with the Academic Senate, Deans, Departments and Colleges to explore and implement options for reducing time-to-degree. This has resulted in a streamlined curriculum, Senate policy revisions, expanded summer jumpstart programs, an increased use of Summer Session, and improved advising/degree audit tools with the end goal to reduce time-to-degree. She established and chairs the Undergraduate Academic Advising Council (UAAC), which meets monthly to coordinate advising efforts across the colleges, departments and programs, resulting in more innovative, cohesive and effective advising to support student success.

As the campus’ Accreditation Liaison Officer (ALO) with the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), Dr. Sawrey led the campus masterfully through a successful 10-year reaffirmation of accreditation review in 2010. She oversaw the preparatory work in advance of the Commission’s visit and led workshops for provosts, department chairs, program directors and undergraduate advisors – providing a valuable opportunity for academic units to reflect on the effectiveness of their courses and programs. Ongoing work and comprehensive program reviews continue to improve program quality.

Dr. Sawrey established the Classroom Advisory Committee in 2009 to provide a coordinated approach to physical issues in campus classrooms. As a result of the Committee’s work all campus general assignment classrooms have undergone a complete physical and technology refresh, and groundbreaking instructional technologies have been employed, such as video simulcasting, video podcasting, and the creation of flexible “flipped” classrooms. In 2014 she provided oversight for the development of a consolidated Institutional Research Office, with the goal to create an institutional data environment that effectively supports our campus community in data-driven planning and decision making.

AVCDUE Sawrey has provided critical support and leadership in her oversight of the Colleges and College Provosts. She has also strengthened the mission and services of the Offices for Students with Disabilities, Academic Integrity, and Summer Session, and has provided valuable oversight for the faculty directors of the Education Abroad Program (EAP), the UCDC program, and the UC Center Sacramento.

We thank AVCDUE Sawrey for her impactful contributions and insightful counsel, and her willingness to tackle the most challenging issues for the benefit of UC San Diego’s undergraduates. We wish her the very best in her retirement. A search for her successor will begin shortly.

Pradeep K. Khosla

Peter F. Cowhey
Interim Executive Vice Chancellor