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Welcome, New and Returning Tritons

October 2, 2014

We are beginning this new academic year with several achievements that we can add to our track record of success that happened over the summer. From the christening of the Sally Ride research vessel which will be operated by our Scripps Institution of Oceanography, to investments made in our Strategic Plan goals, to the hiring of several new campus leaders, we are setting the stage for another excellent and productive year.

Geisel Library

UC San Diego continues to top several prominent national and international rankings that were released this summer, including being ranked:

  • The number one university in the country for the fifth consecutive year by Washington Monthly.
  • The 8th best public university in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, up one spot from last year.
  • The 14th best university in the world by the 2014 Academic Ranking of World Universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

In addition, UC San Diego Health System continues to rank among the nation’s best, according to theU.S. News & World Report’s 2014-15 issue of “America’s Best Hospitals.” Our Health System placed first in the San Diego metropolitan area and fifth in the state. We also had 11 specialties ranked in the magazine’s top 50 list of 16 specialties.

These rankings speak volumes about the people who work, teach and study on our campus because they are based on the quality and accomplishments of our faculty, staff, alumni and research, and on criteria like social mobility and service, which align with our core values and mission.

It is because of you – our campus members – that UC San Diego has become a premier research university in only five decades. In fact, UC San Diego has become a $3.8 billion academic and research powerhouse, with our researchers, faculty and staff attracting more than $1 billion in research funding a year.

Today, we are building on our successes and redefining what it means to be a public research university through our Strategic Plan goals and strategies. Now that we’ve collectively created a framework for sustainable excellence, we must share our message and impact around the world. We must also invest in our future and continue to seek supporters – last year, we raised $150 million in private support – to help us achieve our transformational goals.

To that end, we’ve already begun investing in resources and programs that help us to achieve our goals, including:

  • upgrading classroom technology and undergraduate teaching laboratories;
  • enhancing student resources, like tutoring, advising, and health and wellbeing services;
  • increasing investment in equity, diversity and inclusion programs and centers;
  • funding 89 net new faculty members, including at least 20 joint positions;
  • supporting multi-disciplinary research projects to encourage discovery and interaction among faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, and post-doc fellows;
  • growing our graduate and Ph.D. programs;
  • seeding research opportunities, like our brain activity mapping investigations;
  • improving IT administrative efficiencies;
  • expanding scholarship opportunities and programs for low-income student scholars.
Juan Gonzalez, Cristina Della Coletta, James McKerrow and Carol Padden
Juan González, Cristina Della Coletta, James McKerrow and Carol Padden.

We’ve also created a dynamic and diverse leadership team, including the recent addition of our new Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Juan González. We also welcome three new deans: Cristina Della Coletta, Dean of Arts & Humanities; James McKerrow, Dean of the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and Carol Padden, Dean of Social Sciences.

11 ranked health sciences specialties

  • #6 Pulmonology
  • #15 Nephrology
  • #16 Urology
  • #19 Geriatrics
  • #22 Ear, Nose & Throat
  • #23 Cardiology and Heart Surgery
  • #25 Cancer
  • #25 Neurology and Neurosurgery
  • #32 Diabetes & Endocrinology
  • #38 Gastroenterology & GI Surgery
  • #44 Orthopedics

A few accomplishments of our campus members


UC San Diego is ranked third among public universities for our faculty membership in the three prestigious National Academies. –The Center for Measuring University Performance 2012 report


UC San Diego’s admitted students for fall 2014 had an average GPA of 4.13.


UC San Diego staff contribute thousands of volunteer hours to the campus and the community through 14 Staff Associations and other service initiatives.


UC San Diego is ranked 12th in the nation for our Peace Corps service; 54 alumni are currently serving.

This year promises to be one of our best yet. I look forward to working together with you to ensure a bright future for UC San Diego.

With kind regards,


Pradeep K. Khosla