Welcome to the new academic year. I’ve now been Chancellor for two months, and I’ve spent my time making connections with faculty, staff, students, alumni and community leaders. With each meeting, event and tour I attend, I’m learning more about UC San Diego’s impact, and it’s helping me to lay the groundwork for the strategic planning process we will initiate with campus and community members.
I believe this is the right time in our history to evaluate where we are and where we want to be. During UC San Diego’s first 50 years, our campus benefitted greatly from the state’s investment in higher education. Our founders had a vision to establish an experimental campus that would define the future of education and research at a public university, and that led us on an upward trajectory to where we are today. However, with the continuous decrease in state funding, there is significant concern that our trajectory could level off. So we need to go back to our founders’ vision and ask: What do we want UC San Diego’s next 50 years to look like? We need to define our aspirations and our constraints, and then come up with goals that are ambitious, achievable and high impact.
That is why your involvement and input are important. I am a strong believer in shared governance, and I want to work with you to develop shared goals and a shared vision for the future of UC San Diego. Each and every one of you is vital to this planning process. This campus has many components and pillars of excellence, and we want all of them to be included in this exercise and to be viewed under the single umbrella of UC San Diego. One of the important outcomes of the strategic plan is not just the plan itself, but the process that leads to the plan. It will help us to think about how we can individually and collectively contribute to this university and make it a better place. Once we determine our objectives, we can work to secure the resources we’ll need to reach our goals, which, in turn, will serve as a guide as we contend with the fiscal challenges we continue to face.
We are just beginning the discussions about how we will proceed with our strategic planning. Executive Vice Chancellor Suresh Subramani and I have talked with campus and community leaders – vice chancellors, faculty, deans, department chairs and other campus leaders, in addition to university supporters – about this process. One thing is very clear – there is a lot of enthusiasm and support for developing this strategic plan.
Going forward, we will define how this strategic planning process will work. I can assure you that everyone – faculty, staff and students – will have an opportunity to participate and provide comments. I look forward to working with you, and leading this university to even greater recognition and reputation.
Pradeep K. Khosla
Pradeep K. Khosla