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First Look at UC San Diego’s 8th Chancellor, Pradeep Khosla

photo: Pradeep Khosla

Pradeep Khosla was officially appointed UC San Diego’s eighth Chancellor at today’s UC Board of Regents meeting. Currently the Dean of Engineering at the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University, Khosla will begin his tenure at UC San Diego on August 1.

UC San Diego’s eighth Chancellor, Pradeep Khosla, is confident about UC San Diego’s future, and the continued leadership role the campus will have in addressing global challenges.  And that is, in part, why he accepted the position.  He says he recognizes that the greatest strength of a university is its people, and he wants to lead, and be a part of, this team of Tritons who are positively transforming our community and world.

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Read a profile of Chancellor-designate Khosla.

Live Stream Thursday

Stream Thursday’s press conference with Chancellor-designate Khosla. The event begins at 11:45 a.m. and can be watched at

“When I think about education, I think about the next-generation citizen, the next-generation leader, the one who is educated and trained in using both the left and the right brain in solving problems.  And I cannot imagine an education better than the one provided by UC San Diego, because of its great strengths in the arts and humanities, the sciences and medicine, and engineering and technology,” said Khosla.  “They all come together in a very seamless interdisciplinary way, not only to further the agenda – the economic development agenda and the research agenda – but also to educate the next-generation engineer or the humanist or the artist or the scientist.”

Khosla has long been an advocate for collaboration, innovation and multi-disciplinary study, all of which are building blocks of UC San Diego’s tradition of excellence.  Expressing her enthusiasm for UC San Diego’s next leader, current Chancellor Marye Anne Fox said: “In keeping with Roger Revelle’s vision to create a distinctive university, UC San Diego will have a distinctive leader with Pradeep Khosla.  He is a multi-talented administrator, entrepreneur and visionary, which is exactly what this campus needs.  UC San Diego is very much like a small city, and the Chancellor has to be a mayor, a CEO, a thought leader, a fundraiser, and so much more.  That is hard to find in one person, but they found it in Pradeep Khosla.”

As Dean at Carnegie Mellon University, Khosla set the strategic direction for undergraduate and graduate education and research, and initiated successful diversity efforts, multidisciplinary and multi-college research centers, multidisciplinary graduate offerings and international programs.  Several strategic initiatives he launched resulted in doubling of the college’s budget, and he played a central role in the university’s fundraising initiatives.

Khosla knows there are both opportunities and challenges ahead at UC San Diego, especially with the continuous decline in state funding.  But he is a resourceful leader, a go-getter and a successful business executive.  “I think at UC San Diego, we have a choice. We can wait for the state budget to go up and be suspended animation until then, or we can be entrepreneurial.  In the past 50 years, UC San Diego has done things that no other university in history has ever done.  In the next 50 years, we will keep up that momentum and we will compensate for the shortfalls in the state budget by being entrepreneurial, by expanding our revenue sources.  We’ll have to be creative.”  As an example, he cited the possibility of expanding Ph.D. programs, saying they would generate revenue through government resources, federal government and industry sources. 

Community Reaction

“As Chair of the Assembly Committee on Higher Education, I congratulate the University community on the selection of Dr. Pradeep Khosla as the new Chancellor. He understands this is a critical time for California’s higher education system and is committed to ensuring UC San Diego is a global model of excellence, and that it is accessible and affordable for aspiring students.”

Assemblymember Marty Block (California Assembly District 78)

More community reaction

He also talked about the importance of shared governance.  He says his view as a leader is to take advantage of the resources and assets around him, to include campus members in the decision-making process.  “I’m looking forward to developing a plan with the faculty, together with the students and the staff, and getting UC San Diego to the next level.”

Khosla is keenly focused on helping people reach their potential, especially students.  He believes all deserving students – regardless of income – should be able to obtain a higher education.  And he is dedicated to providing students with a well-rounded, diverse educational and social experience.

“I think diversity plays an important role in one’s development because it brings different points of view and forces you to think about issues that you may not have thought of because you’d never had that experience.”

His hope is that graduates can appreciate the quality of their education and their college experience in general.  He wants them to be able to look back at their time on campus and see how they’ve grown, and hopefully become better people.

And what does he want people to know about him? “I’m a reasonable person.  I’m very approachable.  My intent, my motivation is always focused on what is good, what is right for the institution and its people.”

Another thing you may notice about Khosla – he has an engaging laugh, which could be attributed to his natural sense of humor or his love for higher education.   “It’s hard for me to explain, but I live for what I do.  I very much enjoy what I do.  My work life, my personal life, my hobbies, they’re all seamlessly integrated,” Khosla said.  “I’m really excited about coming to UC San Diego.  In my view, it is one of the top research universities in the country.”

For more information, visit Khosla’s profile page.