March 5, 2018


SUBJECT:   Town Hall Meetings on Strategic Academic Program Development (SAPD)

Please join me for a Town Hall meeting and discussion of UC San Diego's Strategic Academic Program Development (SAPD) Initiative, launched as a result of the changing landscape of higher education. A panel of faculty with experience in creating novel educational programs will be on hand to answer your questions and engage in a lively discussion. You will also have the chance to meet members of the SAPD Support Team, who have experience with the technical side of program development and initiation.

An increasingly competitive environment, evolving learner demand, financial pressures at the state and federal levels, and technological advances all require that universities expand the variety and modalities of educational programs we offer. Over the past year, under the leadership of Dean Peter Cowhey, we engaged a group of faculty and staff colleagues to consider these changes and develop an agenda for action. Those deliberations clarified the imperatives that will guide our campus' decisions-the need to develop programs that collectively meet student needs, enhance UC San Diego's reputation in research and education nationally and internationally, and grow institutional revenues to sustain investments in the education and research enterprise. The group made a number of recommendations to the Chancellor and me for how our campus might respond; based on many of those recommendations, we are prepared now to work towards implementation.

We have learned from peer institutions and campus experts that we must provide substantial support to faculty engaging with these new educational opportunities. To that end, we have established an SAPD Support Team (SST), a group of technical professionals, assembled from across the campus, charged with providing integrated business development support to faculty, departments, and divisions/schools that seek to launch programs within the SAPD Initiative. I have appointed Dr. Williams Ettouati to lead the SAPD Support Team (50% time) as Director. He will be a key resource for you as we move forward.

Dr. Ettouati is currently appointed as a Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (Skaggs) and also serves as the Director of Industry Relations and Development. His role at Skaggs is to develop and secure strategic collaborations, ranging from drug discovery to corporate sponsored fellowships for Pharm.D. students with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and he has been instrumental in engaging colleagues from across the general campus and health sciences in the development of the school's Master of Science in Drug Development and Product Management. Before joining the Skaggs School, Dr. Ettouati spent twenty years in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, and has extensive experience encompassing multiple functional disciplines in areas such as business development, licensing, marketing and new product planning strategy in biotech and pharmaceutical companies. His experience translates well to the needs of our SAPD Initiative.

I hope you will join me and the SAPD team at one of two upcoming Strategic Academic Program Development Town Hall Meetings. We look forward to sharing more information with and receiving input from interested faculty and key staff across all disciplines as we move forward with this important initiative for the campus. We will also discuss an RFP process for faculty, departments, and divisions/schools who wish to participate in the initial phase of the SAPD initiative. Here are the dates and times:

Friday, March 16, 2018
8:30 - 10:00 a.m.
Faculty Club, Atkinson Pavilion
RSVP to by Monday, 3/12/18
Continental breakfast will be provided.

Monday, March 19, 2018
3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Price Center East, Forum (4th Floor)
RSVP to by Monday, 3/12/18
Light refreshments will be provided.

Please contact Gillian Hemingway in my office with any questions: or 858-534-0099.

Elizabeth H. Simmons
Executive Vice Chancellor