As part of the Making Connections plan to introduce UC San Diego’s eighth Chancellor, Pradeep K. Khosla has spent his first 100 days connecting with students, faculty, staff, alumni and leaders, across the campus and in the community. From tours of facilities to meetings with key leaders, Khosla is learning the many ways that we lead, we heal, we explore and we discover.
On his first day, Khosla talked with alumni and incoming engineering students about the importance of the student experience, and he learned more about the many ways UC San Diego shapes lives and careers, and positively impacts local industry and our global community. “I especially remember speaking with alumna Melanie Aiken, who is a doctor now with young kids. It struck me that she is where she is because of the opportunity that UC San Diego gave her. That is the place we are and should be – one that creates opportunity for all.”
Khosla has toured numerous campus facilities and visited every corner of campus – from the La Jolla Playhouse and Prebys Music Center to Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Health Sciences. “I think we serve a very important community function at the Hillcrest Medical Center by caring for people from all socio-economic backgrounds. And I really believe the work we do at all of our medical facilities and our medical school will define the future of healthcare, and how it will be delivered in a person-specific way.”
Khosla went on a behind-the-scenes tour to see what makes UC San Diego a leader in energy conservation and sustainability, and one of the nation’s greenest universities. “I am amazed at the work we’re doing to be a sustainable campus and the involvement of our students. And I think our research on sustainability, like biofuels and solar energy, is going to define how we as human beings create energy in a very sustainable way.”
Khosla said on day one: “The culture on campus should be one of total inclusiveness.” From campus celebrations of diversity and community outreach programs to a special visit to Chicano Park in Barrio Logan, Khosla is demonstrating his support for UC San Diego’s diversity initiatives. Regarding his visit to Chicano Park, staff member and Chicana muralist Carmen Linares said, “We really appreciate the Chancellor’s interest to come here. He has shown a commitment to the people who built this community.”
UC San Diego’s supporters and partners have played a large role in the success of the campus, and Khosla wants to strengthen our ties to the community. In addition to meeting with members of UC San Diego’s Foundation Board and Chancellor’s Community Advisory Board, he’s also spent time with business leaders, elected officials and donors. “I find it amazing that many of our donors are not alumni. They’ve been drawn to our campus because of our talented faculty, staff and students; our cutting-edge research; our advanced patient care; and our commitment to service. That says a lot about who we are as a campus and what we do.”
A strong advocate of the student experience, Khosla says “universities exist only because of students, and that’s a fact we need to remember.” In addition to meeting with student groups, Khosla attended several Welcome Week activities to greet new students, including Convocation, Triton Power Hour and the Volunteer50 beach clean-up during Meet the Beach. He also mingled with students eating their lunch in the Price Center Plaza during the first week of classes.
One of the first events the Chancellor attended was the All Staff Picnic, where he received an enthusiastic reception, and thanked staff for their dedication and work. “I felt like I was welcomed into a very warm family.” He also attended the Service Awards, hosted a Staff Lunchbox Club in his office, and served as the keynote speaker at Sharecase, where he told the crowd: “The reason we’re here is because we love this place and we want to make a difference. I want to do what I can to make your lives easier, better, and help you to achieve your goals. I also want staff involved in developing our strategy and shared vision as we move forward.”
Khosla is connecting with UC San Diego graduates locally and around the state. He recently attended an alumni gathering at Fox Studios in Los Angeles as part of his California alumni tour, which included a visit to the Bay area and a Padres home game. Matt Newsome, president of the Alumni Board of Directors, said: “Chancellor Khosla has demonstrated his commitment to the Triton family through his efforts to meet many alumni these first 100 days, recognizing their importance as critical participants in the future of UC San Diego.”
From breakfasts with faculty to learning about our faculty’s interdisciplinary research and speaking at the dedication of the new engineering building, Khosla recognizes the great significance of the work happening on our campus. “I am impressed with the strength of our education and research in a diverse array of disciplines. I think UC San Diego is poised to play a critical role in addressing societal challenges. Our people have the ability to work seamlessly across disciplines and departments, and that makes this a unique research university that will continue to make an impact on our world.”
To learn more about Chancellor Khosla’s activities, visit his blog at chancellor.ucsd.edu.
Photos: UC San Diego Publications - Erik Jepsen
There is a reason Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla has a bowl full of energy bars in his office. He’s constantly on the go. During his first 100 days on the job, he’s literally met thousands of people on campus, in the community and around the state.
Instead of being exhausted, he’s energized. “In my first 100 days, I don’t remember anytime walking around campus without someone coming up to me, to greet me, welcome me, congratulate me. That’s an extremely uplifting and invigorating feeling for me,” said Khosla.
Khosla has been focused on making connections, listening and learning, and setting the stage for a comprehensive, all-inclusive strategic planning process that will define the future of UC San Diego.
“This will be the first time this campus has undertaken an initiative like this, and this is an opportunity to think about how we can work together to define shared goals and make this campus a better place,” said Khosla. “We’ve been in a significant growth mode over the last 50 years and now, with the state’s decreased investment, this is the right time in our history to evaluate where we are and where we want to be.”
For more information on the strategic planning initiative, click here. The website will be updated continually throughout the academic year as we progress through the planning process.
For a review of Chancellor Khosla’s first 100 days, view the slideshow.