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Chancellor's Office-UCSD
9500 Gilman Drive
Mail Code 0005
La Jolla, CA, 92093-0005

(858) 534-3135

chancellor@ucsd.edu

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Q&A

Edward Abeyta helps people pursue their dreams. As the Registrar and Director of Academic Services at UC San Diego Extension, he encourages people to learn and grow their entire lives, personally and professionally. As one of only two Staff Advisors to the UC Board of Regents, he is an effective translator and bridge builder between the UC staff and leadership. Edward has a background in academic outreach counseling, and has worked to improve student and staff diversity here on campus. He is proud to be founding board member of the newly created San Diego Urban Discovery Charter School. And, Edward was recently selected to receive the San Diego Metropolitan Magazines “40 under 40” award that recognizes the region’s young business and civic leaders.

Q Why did you want to be a Staff Advisor to the University of California Board of Regents?

Abeyta: Throughout my career at UC, I have been grounded by the value that, regardless of classification or title, each employee supports the overall mission of the University.  It is with that mindset that I decided to apply for the Staff Advisor to the Regents.

Ed Abeyta In addition to my full-time role at UC San Diego Extension, over the last 13 years I have had the pleasure of serving as the chair of the UCSD Staff Association, delegate and web manager for the Council of University College Staff Assemblies (CUCSA), and web manager for the Staff Advisor to the Regents when it was a pilot project a few years ago.  Through my experiences serving staff at a local and system-wide level, I gained a broader view of how UC operates; interacted with key leaders in the system; and learned how to successfully implement change and gain consensus. Collectively, these experiences have prepared me to contribute a local and system-wide view on issues facing the University of California.

As The Staff Advisor to the Regents, I serve as a non-voting advisor to three Regents' Committees: the Committee on Educational Policy, the Committee on Finance and the Committee on Long Range Planning. I participate in all meetings of the three Regents’ committees and observe all open sessions of the Regents' meetings and certain other Regents' events.

Q Tell me about your communication so far with UC staff and the Regents. What kind of input and feedback have you received?

Abeyta: The Regents have been extremely engaged with Bill Johansen [the other Staff Advisor] and me this year. Bill and I have been working with the Student Regents to promote services for veteran students and support their efforts to avert tuition fee increases. Likewise, the Student, Alumni and Faculty Regents have been receptive to discussions on issues facing staff including salary, education/training, benefits and retirement. The common theme among each Regent is a desire to maintain the reputation and strength of UC and the UC-managed national laboratories, which are one of the most treasured assets in California.

Q How was your initial meeting with UC President Mark Yudof a few weeks ago?

Abeyta: On August 6, 2008, Bill Johansen and I met, with UC President MarkYudof to discuss various issues facing the University of California. The initial meeting provided each of us the opportunity to address our mutual concerns and ideas. President Yudof discussed his vision of accountability and management philosophy that he has since implemented. Additionally, we discussed the economic challenges facing UC and the impact it would have on students, faculty and staff. We agreed to continue to work together to address the ongoing challenges impacting the University. Bill and I emphasized our need to be involved in discussions related to staff, with a focus on finding creative ways to uphold UC as a great place to work and develop a career.

Q You’ve spent your life and career helping people through education and community service. Tell me about some of your experiences and how they’ve changed your life.

Staff Advisors to The Regents Bill Johansen and Edward Abeyta met on August 6, 2008, with UC President Mark Yudof to discuss various issues facing the University of California. This meeting sets the stage for a collaborative relationship between President Yudof and the Staff Advisors to address the on-going challenges for the University of California while also communicating the positive impact of the University on local communities.

Abeyta: Education has always been my passion. Regardless where one may be in life, continuous learning is an essential part of a well balanced “life-diet.” My philanthropic efforts on campus and in my community have included the Mayors Citizens Review Board on Police Practices, San Diego Workforce Advancement Committee, the Child Abuse Prevention Foundation and other great non-profit groups. However, my involvement with the newly created downtown San Diego Urban Discovery Charter School has been invigorating to me. There is something special about working with a dedicated group of parents, community leaders and working professionals, all focused on the idea of providing innovative learning opportunities for students using the vast resources of the downtown San Diego urban landscape. As a member of the Trustee Board, I take great pride in volunteering my time to an amazing school where community service will be valued and fostered.

Q How has the downturn in the economy affected enrollment at UCSD Extension? Tell me about the new grants offered by UCSD Extension to help jobless San Diegans.

Abeyta: Because California's jobless rate was at 7.7 percent for the past two months and is now at 8.2 percent, the highest level since 1996 and the third highest in the nation, UC San Diego Extension decided to offer $100,000 in grants to help jobless San Diegans. UCSD Extension trains working professionals seeking to move up in a company, assists in career changes and helps people gain insight into other areas of personal interest. It was a simple decision to by our executive leadership team to provide assistance to those had been affected by the dramatic change in the economy. Although UC San Diego and the San Diego Workforce Partnership have worked together for years on meeting the training needs our regional workforce, the jobless grants are just a little extra effort by Extension to help San Diegans in this difficult time.

Q What is the favorite part of your job?

Abeyta: I have the rare opportunity to work in an innovative team environment at UC San Diego Extension that promotes creative approaches to delivering continuing education and public service. It is invigorating to come to work each day to find better ways to serve our students and staff through new technology and collaborative partnerships. At UCSD Extension, we believe great social and economic prosperity comes from integrating the collective knowledge of the university, community leaders and professionals.

Fun Faves
 

Favorite place on campus: The Geisel library — if knowledge is power, there is no better symbol that represents the innovative research that continues to develop at our campus.

Favorite place in the world: New Mexico

Favorite campus event/tradition: The Chancellor’s 5K Run/Walk for Scholars

Favorite subject in college: Sociology

Favorite hobby: Running and dancing with my niece Emily.

Favorite time of day: I truly enjoy waking up early and getting my first cup of coffee before I head to work.



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