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Chancellor Asks Academic Senate to Help ‘Define UC San Diego’s Future’

At the Nov. 28 meeting of this session, Academic Senate Chair T. Guy Masters, with three guest speakers and a light load of regular assembly business, kept his opening remarks brief and let his guests do most of the talking.

The Senate first heard details of a proposed Open Access Policy put forward by the University Committee on Library and Scholarly Communications. The new policy would expand open access to research publications by UC faculty; let authors grant the university a non-exclusive license to their work; and require that authors keep a digital copy of their work in the California Digital Library. Acknowledging that the issue has raised many questions among the faculty, the committee directed interested members of the university community to an Open Access website with more details about the rationale for, and benefits of, the proposal.

Scheduled Strategic Plan Town Halls

Thursday, Dec. 6
1:30–3:00 p.m. in Price Center West, Ballroom A

Monday, Dec. 10
10:00–11:30 p.m. in Atkinson Pavilion at the Faculty Club

Campus Invited to Participate in Strategic Planning Process

Acting Vice Chancellor for Marine Sciences Catherine Constable then offered a brief but broad update on Scripps Institution of Oceanography, focusing on its people, its expanded mission, its funding, and its recent additions and upgrades. Responding to some recent concerns expressed by La Jolla residents about a new building blocking views of the sea, she averred that the construction adhered strictly to approved plans, and pointed out landscaping, overlook parking, and other steps the campus has taken to maintain scenic vistas.

Masters then introduced Chancellor Pradeep Khosla, who asked the members of the Academic Senate for their strategic-planning suggestions and requested that they join other members of the campus community in “defining UC San Diego’s future.”

The university has been highly successful over the last 52 years, he said, and despite “increasing financial constraints,” we have “many opportunities for distinctiveness and leadership.”

Among the challenges facing us, he told the assembly, are improving the undergraduate experience; attracting more graduate students; improving student-to-faculty ratios; attracting and retaining talented faculty; and increasing alumni giving rates, among other daunting necessities.

Addressing those challenges, especially with flat or declining state and other revenues, will require a comprehensive strategic plan, he said, with ideas and suggestions from academics, researchers, administrators, students, staff, alumni, donors, and members of the community.

An engineer, the chancellor described how the process will work and laid out a high-level work-plan for the strategic-planning effort.

Working together, the campus will design the process; engage stakeholders and evaluate our current situation; define the university’s vision; set the strategy; and plan the implementation.

To ensure that all campus community voices are heard in the process, Khosla said, multiple channels of engagement have been planned, including Town Hall meetings, focus groups, online surveys, individual interviews, Chancellor’s Council meetings, and guest-addresses to regular campus meetings.

Information about the process and the progress of strategic planning, he said, is available online.

“The strategic planning process starts now,” the chancellor said. “We need your help. Please get involved.”

With no further assembly business, Masters adjourned the session. The Academic Senate will meet again at 3:30 p.m. on January 29, 2013, in the Leichtag Building conference room. More information about the meeting and related materials is available here.