The University of California Board of Regents Academic and Student Affairs Committee has approved the establishment of a School of Public Health at UC San Diego. The unanimous vote took place at the Sept. 18, 2019 meeting. The full Board of Regents approved the school on Sept. 19.
“UC San Diego’s new School of Public Health is the next logical step in the evolution of our public health programs, initiatives, clinics, undergraduate degree program and existing faculty expertise,” says UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “With a focus on public health, we can define the future where medicine, biology, engineering and public policy come together. We can look at how we, as human beings, can live in a better society and create better health outcomes for each and every one of us, regardless of our socioeconomic background.”
The bulk of the resources needed for establishment of the School of Public Health are existing resources that would migrate to the school; the school’s financial plan uses current resources and does not request any additional state funds or full time employees.
These resources will be supplemented in two significant ways. First, the Dr. Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Family Foundation pledged $25 million to UC San Diego in Oct. 2018 as a lead gift to usher in a new era of public health research, education and advances. Initiatives will promote healthier populations on a local, national and global scale because of the university’s increased focus on public health. The gift was contingent on approval by the University of California to establish of a School of Public Health at UC San Diego.
Second, UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla and Vice Chancellor Health Sciences David A. Brenner, M.D. have committed an additional $7 million of new funds to support the school. This includes a commitment to fund five $1 million endowed chairs in the school and a commitment of $500,000 per year for four years to fund faculty recruitment and startup costs. In addition, UC San Diego Advancement has formulated a comprehensive fundraising plan and is committed to aggressively implementing that plan.
UC San Diego has been increasing its research and education efforts in the field of public health over the past several years. In 2014, the campus established the UC San Diego Institute for Public Health to unite public health-oriented activities across campus, foster interdisciplinary collaborations and, ultimately, improve the health of individuals and communities.
The School of Public Health at UC San Diego will feature curricula leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Science, Master of Public Health, Master of Science, Master of Advanced Study, and Doctor of Philosophy. The school will join the Schools of Public Health at UC Berkeley and UCLA. Schools of public or global health are being considered at UC Irvine, UC Merced, UC Davis (School of Population and Global Health), and UC San Francisco (Global Health).
For more information about UC San Diego’s public health initiatives, visit publichealth.ucsd.edu.