April 2, 2019


SUBJECT:    Campus Update on Opportunities in Strategic Academic Program Development (SAPD)

I am writing to update you on the Strategic Academic Program Development
(SAPD) Initiative launched by UC San Diego in response to key issues
facing all public universities - evolving learner needs, technological
advances, and financial pressures. Our objective in SAPD is to develop
academic offerings that enhance the experience and outcomes of our
students, strengthen UC San Diego's global reputation in research and
education, and grow institutional revenues to sustain further
investments in the academic enterprise. Evolving State demands for us to
yield more graduates and achieve parity in graduation rates across all
demographics, combined with accelerating innovation at many of our
peers, suggest that such program development is a strategic imperative
for UC San Diego.

We are excited that seven strong and varied proposals from the first
campus-wide SAPD call were approved for institutional support and are
moving toward launch; four further submissions are still being assessed
and refined. The deadline for the second SAPD call is April 12. There
will be a general Q&A session on April 3 for faculty and staff
interested either in this opportunity or in SAPD more broadly. This will
be held from 1:30-3:00pm in Conference Room 111A. Please RSVP to Information from targeted SAPD workshops held during the
Fall and Winter Quarters is also available online Sign-On

Over the last two years, we have worked with faculty, staff, and the
Academic Senate, to develop an overarching strategy for program
development. We have established dedicated resources to support faculty
and departments in areas that complement academic unit capabilities,
notably market research and digital learning technology. We have
identified priorities, including applied master's degrees, concurrent
enrollment, and summer programs, that will maximize the value of UC San
Diego expertise and content. And we have settled that, while some of
these will be online, the majority of new offerings will be delivered on
campus and in person.

Five key features define the SAPD model at UC San Diego:
1. Program development is fully aligned and integrated with standard
academic approval processes.
2. Departments receive approximately half of all incremental revenue to
permit investment in their strategic priorities, earning an even higher
share in the first two years to offset the early costs of program
3. Faculty members are compensated upfront for program development and
major revisions.
4. Efforts are channeled towards sustainable opportunities that: (i)
support current students through greater program and learner diversity
and through academic reinvestment; and (ii) broaden our reach by
fulfilling the needs of new learner segments.
5. One tenth of additional revenue will fund financial assistance to
promote access and social justice, consistent with our public mission.

We are intentionally taking a university-wide approach to leverage our
collective strengths and coordinate our efforts. As the programs attract
new learners and we create new offerings and educational modalities, we
will continue to review and refine our approach in SAPD to ensure that
we support our students and the university's strategic plan as
effectively as possible. Our sister campuses have noticed the growing
impact of SAPD and are assessing the implications and their related

I invite you to learn more about SAPD at and to
reach out to the EVC Office (Steve Ross) or the SAPD Support Team
(Williams Ettouati) as you consider your opportunities and next steps.
This site will continue to be developed as a resource for UC San Diego
community members engaged in novel academic program development. We look
forward to working with you as we extend the academic excellence of UC
San Diego through SAPD.

Elizabeth H. Simmons
Executive Vice Chancellor