University of California, San Diego


September 5, 2006


SUBJECT:    Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Senior Vice Chancellor Marsha Chandler has informed me that she will be stepping down from her position at the end of this academic year. Marsha has served as SVCAA since coming to UC San Diego in 1997. She has played a major role in UCSD’s dramatic trajectory to the forefront of U.S. universities; indeed, the campus’ academic vitality and capacity for innovation have never been greater.

As SVCAA, Marsha is the chief academic officer of the University, responsible for policies and decisions relating to all academic programs and faculty appointments and performance. She supervises the recruitment, advancement, and retention of all faculty, deans, and other academic leaders and oversees academic planning, programming, and budgeting. She is responsible for graduate and undergraduate education, the Colleges, the research centers, and UCSD libraries. Dr. Chandler is a professor in the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies and the Department of Political Science. She will remain on the UCSD faculty.

Marsha has provided intellectual and academic leadership to UCSD that is the envy of many national universities. During her tenure since 1997, the student body has grown from 17,000 to over 25,000, more than 500 outstanding faculty have been appointed, and more than 600,000 square feet of academic space have been constructed or planned. Not only has UCSD grown in size, its reputation and rankings across the academic disciplines have also increased dramatically. Annual research funding has grown from $266 million in 1997 to over $730 million in 2006. UCSD’s growing excellence has been recognized in many venues: named the “hottest school” for science by Newsweek, ranked in the top 10 for “What Colleges are Doing for the Country” in the Washington Monthly, and ranked third in the world in terms of citation impact in science and social science. We now rank seventh in the nation for National Academy of Sciences memberships.

When Marsha began at UCSD, she initiated a multi-year planning framework, Charting the Course, that has allowed us to use our resources strategically to achieve campus priorities and take advantage of new opportunities. The Charting the Course process facilitated the allocation of resources not only for academic priorities, but also for the growth of support staff and other infrastructure needs. The campus will continue to build on areas of strength while taking up a host of new initiatives. Marsha has been a tireless advocate of interdisciplinary collaboration, breaking down barriers to stimulate cooperation across UCSD’s divisions and schools.

During her tenure, in strong partnership with the Academic Senate, many important new ventures were undertaken, most notably the Rady School of Management, the reorganization of the division of Natural Sciences as two divisions – Biological Sciences and Physical Sciences, the Sixth College, the Institute for International, Comparative, and Area Studies (IICAS), and a vast array of graduate and undergraduate programs including Bioinformatics, California Cultures in Comparative Perspectives, International Studies, Interdisciplinary Computing in the Arts, Human Biology, Environmental Systems,Bioengineering/Biotechnology, and Chicano/Latino Arts and Humanities. Other initiatives in a wide range of areas including family friendly policies, faculty mentoring, gender equity, an MSO training academy, best practices for diversity, freshmen and senior seminars, and training for department chairs have made an enormous difference on the campus.

Since arriving at UCSD, Marsha has developed strong ties with San Diego’s leaders, serving from time to time on several community boards including the San Diego Opera, the La Jolla Playhouse, the Mingei International Museum, and the San Diego Regional Economic Development Council. She has played a major role in our capital campaign, raising funds for such projects as the Rady School and the Kavli Brain-Mind Institute, as well as for endowed chairs, funding for professorships for stellar assistant professors, graduate fellowships, and University House.

The campus has benefited enormously from Marsha’s extraordinary vision and leadership. I want to express our sincere gratitude on behalf of the entire UCSD community. A national search will be initiated this fall for her successor.

Marye Anne Fox