Chancellor’s Lunchbox Club

12 UC San Diego employees in a group shot with the chancellor

Twelve lucky UC San Diego employees join the chancellor at the annual Chancellor's Lunchbox Club.

The Chancellor’s Lunchbox Club is a cherished tradition I enjoy hosting each year. This special event is designed to recognize a select group of our hardworking staff with lunch and a discussion about working at UC San Diego. It provides a unique opportunity to meet and spend time with a diverse group of staff from all across campus. I always learn something new and have a wonderful time, and today was no exception. 

Our guests this year ranged from Human Resources to Facilities Management to Custodial Operations to University Communications. These lucky winners submitted their names into a drawing at the 2022 Summer Staff Celebration, and I randomly drew entries from a basket. Each attendee wins a personalized lunchbox and lunch with me and fellow staff at the Chancellor’s office. 

Employees eating lunch with Chancellor Khosla

Those having lunch with Chancellor Khosla received a commemorative lunchbox to remember the day.

During this year’s lunch, I encouraged everyone to provide feedback about the best of UC San Diego and suggestions for ways we can improve. This time, we discussed commutes, work/life balance, flexible schedules, facilities maintenance suggestions, staffing challenges, our favorite things about campus, and much more. We ended the event with a group photo and an invitation to stay in touch. 

The 2022 Chancellor's Lunchbox

The commemorative 2022 Chancellor's Lunchbox Club lunchbox.

Over the past 10 years, I have accumulated quite the collection of commemorative lunchboxes, which double as great conversation starters during meetings in the conference room. I also love to hear about staff who display them for years to come, even well after they retire. 

We would not be where we are as a university without the dedication and hard work of our outstanding staff. Staff are the engine that drives the transformation of UC San Diego. I see your work everywhere I go on campus. I see it in the diverse faces of our students and employees. I see it in the well-maintained buildings and grounds. And I see it in our growing connections to our greater San Diego community. 

You—your work—makes all of this possible. On behalf of the entire Triton community, thank you for your service. UC San Diego is a better place because you are here. And I am incredibly proud to work with you.

Thanks to all who attended, and best of luck to our entrants next year. Be sure to find me and my staff at next year’s Staff Celebration to enter the drawing. I hope to see you at a future Chancellor’s Lunchbox Club luncheon.

Convocation 2022: Welcoming New Tritons

Chancellor Khosla at UC San Diego's 2022 Convocation Ceremony

Chancellor Khosla speaking at the podium with the faculty in the foreground at UC San Diego's 2022 Convocation Ceremony.

At UC San Diego, Convocation formally marks the moment in which new and transfer students officially become Tritons. It is a joyful celebration as students begin an exciting new educational journey at one of the top-ranked public institutions in the world.

This year, we were especially pleased to join together in person to celebrate our new students. Each and every one of them is uniquely qualified to be here and contributes meaningful talents, perspectives and experiences to this vibrant and inclusive Triton community. 

Chancellor Khosla in front of a large crowd of students at UC San Diego's 2022 Convocation Ceremony

Chancellor Khosla speaking to thousands of first-year and transfer students at UC San Diego's 2022 Convocation Ceremony.

During the ceremony, I encouraged students to get involved in their campus community, as studies show that the more involved students are, the better they perform academically. I reminded them to get to know their professors and fellow students, as they are surrounded by some of the brightest minds in the world. And, I mentioned the remarkable accomplishments of many notable alumni, but encouraged each new student to blaze a new path instead of following in the footsteps of others. 

The "College Roll Call" is a tradition at UC San Diego's annual Convocation Ceremony

The "College Roll Call" is a tradition at UC San Diego's annual Convocation Ceremony. Which college had the most spirit this year? You be the judge. 

Our students belong to both the wider Triton community and the tight-knit community of an individual college. During the traditional roll call for each college, students competed enthusiastically for the loudest and most spirited cheers. This college pride was quite evident during the ceremony, and it was inspiring to see how connected our students already were to their new communities. We are delighted to welcome them to their UC San Diego Triton family – forever. 

On behalf of the faculty and staff, we are so honored that our new and transfer students chose UC San Diego. They made the right decision. This educational journey will challenge and change them – and in turn, it will empower them to better our world. 

Let’s make it an outstanding year. 

Breaking Ground to Break the Mold on Transfer Student Housing: Pepper Canyon West Living and Learning Neighborhood

From left to right: Associated Students President Sky Yang, AVC for Housing Dining Hospitality Hemlata Jhaveri, EVC Elizabeth Simmons, Chancellor Khosla, Senate Pro Tempore Toni Atkins, Assembly person Chris Ward and Assembly person Tasha Boerner Horvath at the Pepper Canyon West Living Learning Neighborhood groundbreaking.

On Tuesday, we celebrated the groundbreaking of a very impactful project — the Pepper Canyon West Living and Learning Neighborhood. This project will provide 1,300 new single-occupancy housing units for transfer students and also include retail, services, open spaces in two large courtyards, and access to canyon trails. And Triton transfer students cannot wait to move in.

Pepper Canyon West Living and Learning Neighborhood

Construction of the Pepper Canyon West student housing has commenced, with the goal of opening in the fall of 2024.
Copyright: Perkins & Will Architects.

Housing constitutes more than 50 percent of the total cost of higher education. Anything we can do to lower the cost of housing, lowers the overall cost of education. We have been working on several strategies to help reduce the cost of housing. For example, I worked with the UC Regents and state legislators last year on the creation of a new $2 billion Higher Education Student Housing Grant Program. This important program is helping to build new student housing all across California.

UC San Diego recently received a $100 million grant from the new student housing program. We will use the grant to lower housing rates up to 55% below market for 1,100 low-income California students. We are able to do this in part because our existing on-campus rates are already below market rates. And recently, we were able to reinstate our two-year housing guarantee to undergraduate students.

We also continue to add more inventory at every chance. Since 2015, we have opened 3,530 new beds for graduate students and 2,000 new beds for undergraduate students. At 18,022 total beds on campus, UC San Diego now ranks third in the nation for student housing inventory, just behind Penn State and UCLA. And more student housing is on the way. With the Theatre District Living and Learning Neighborhood, the Pepper Canyon West Living and Learning Neighborhood and a third project in development, we will add a total 5,300 new undergraduate beds to campus by 2025.

AS President Sky Yang with his commemorative shovel

Associated Students President Sky Yang holding his commemorative shovel.

All of our neighborhoods offer housing that students can afford. It's a win for families, and a win for student success because we know that students who live on campus are more engaged. They are more focused. And they are more likely to complete their degrees sooner, saving them time and also expense.

Future plans will increase on-campus housing by at least 10,000 beds by 2035. All of this new housing brings us closer to our ultimate goal of providing students a four-year housing guarantee at 20% below market. We do this to realize our vision to be a student-centered, research-focused, service-oriented public university.

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