Defining the Future of the Public Research University

UC San Diego’s first-ever Strategic Plan establishes a shared mission and vision for our campus and future. The plan’s five transformational goals, 13 strategies and four grand research themes were collectively developed through a comprehensive, inclusive and bottom-up process that engaged more than 10,000 campus and community members. Initiated by UC San Diego’s eighth Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla at the beginning of his tenure, the Strategic Plan was produced in 2014 and remains a living document.

Read the Executive Summary and the entire Strategic Plan.

Letters from the Chancellor on Strategic Plan Investments

Re-Visioning Our Campus: Unified Goals Propel Progress

UC San Diego is beginning a momentous and substantial transformation. We are re-visioning our campus to fulfill our five Strategic Plan goals. Every day, we make progress to enhance the student experience, cultivate an inclusive and diverse community, expand our research prowess and impact, improve the delivery of advanced healthcare and enrich our community. Our campus is physically transforming to meet the evolving needs of our campus and community members, and we are laying the groundwork to publicly announce our ambitious and historic $2 billion fundraising Campaign for UC San Diego to advance our mission. We’ve already surpassed the halfway mark in the quiet phase and recruited volunteer campaign leadership, including four honorary co-chairs and nearly 35 campaign committee members. Our revitalization is underway, and the following are achievements over the last year that support our five goals and campus vision. View the previous year’s accomplishments.

Goal 1

Delivering an educational and overall experience that develops students who are capable of solving problems, leading, and innovating in a diverse and interconnected world
  • Improved the academic curriculum by establishing 10 new undergraduate degree and minor programs in emerging fields and six new graduate programs, degrees and specializations; reviewed existing programs for quality; developed Top 20 UC San Diego majors Transfer Pathways, as well as pathways for three-year Bachelor’s degrees for top majors; streamlined the curriculum requirements of more than 40 top undergraduate majors
  • Launched The Teaching + Learning Commons, which is working with graduate students and faculty to help them become better instructors; early accomplishments include the establishment of the Student Achievement Hub offering supplemental instruction and tutoring support for all lower division math courses, and expansion of the scope of the Writing + Critical Expression Hub to offer writing support to graduate students; The Commons will be housed in newly renovated space in the Geisel Library in fall 2016
  • Enhanced student advising through six Innovation in Advising grants, which created pilot programs like drop-in tutoring and embedded undergraduate mentorships; improved mentorship and professional development of graduate students through programs like GradVantage and an online tool for faculty that supports them in their role as advisors
  • Expanded summer training student programs, including STEM Transfer Academy, Summer Bridge, Jacobs School Summer Engineering Academy and Extension Transfer credit courses
  • Continued implementation of faculty growth plan with 53 net new hires in 2015-16
  • Continued growth of high-quality, cost-effective and diverse graduate program, resulting in increased admission and enrollment of highly qualified Ph.D. and MFA students, a significant increase in the MA/MS population and improved first-year GPAs
  • Nearly doubled the number of Chancellor’s Associates scholarships – 181 new scholars will arrive this fall, bringing our campus total to 353 scholars – with the goal of providing a total of 600 scholarships by 2018-19
  • Added student health and well-being resources, including more alcohol and drug-free programming and education, extended Student Health Services hours and appointments, increased mental health professional staff at Counseling and Psychological Services, and additional staff and resources for CARE at the Sexual Assault Resource Center; also launched the Triton Concern Line, a 24/7 streamlined way for staff and faculty to seek consultation and assistance regarding students of concern
  • Served nearly 27,000 students and alumni through career and professional development and broadened relationships with strategic employers
  • Introduced a broader official UC San Diego record, including the Enhanced Electronic Transcript and the Co-Curricular Record to provide context information about students’ courses and a validated record of students’ co-curricular engagement and the transferable skills they developed

Goal 2

Cultivating a diverse and inclusive university community that encourages respectful open dialogue, and challenges itself to take bold actions that will ensure learning is accessible and affordable for all
  • Increased staff and resources strategically to promote student recruitment to yield a talented and diverse class of students and strengthen community support; the successful efforts led to one of our most diverse incoming classes of students this fall
  • Laid the groundwork for a campus-wide process to develop a strategic Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Plan
  • Assembled Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council – combining elements of the Diversity Council and Climate Council – to advise Chancellor and other senior leaders on diversity matters such as institutional access and representation
  • Created Leaders in Equity Advancement and Diversity (LEAD) Fellows Program to train staff leaders to ensure diversity and excellence across campus
  • Completed accountability data dashboards that display key indicators tracking recruitment, retention and advancement for all members of our campus community
  • Hired the inaugural director of the Inter-Tribal Resource Center
  • Established the Black Academic Excellence Initiative to strengthen support for our Black campus community
  • Strengthened the cultivation of a diverse graduate student pipeline with the expansion of STARS summer research program, increased mentorship and the development of new SEED fellowships for graduates of minority-serving institutions; extended student outreach in the Bay Area and Inland Empire
  • Instituted a variety of faculty support programs, such as the creation of the Family Accommodation Implementation Team, EDI faculty workshops, and ongoing leadership, support and training to divisional Faculty Equity Advisors
  • Implemented living and learning communities focused on Black, Latino and LGBT students to enhance students’ academic and co-curricular experience at UC San Diego
  • To track and quantify staff perceptions of climate, a subset of climate questions for the 2015 Staff@Work Survey was created to enable department heads and Vice Chancellors to determine a climate baseline for their units, implement department specific interventions and track progress

Goal 3

Nurturing and supporting a collaborative and interdisciplinary research culture that advances the frontiers of knowledge, shapes new fields, and disseminates discoveries that transform lives
  • Advanced UC San Diego’s four grand research themes through new centers and initiatives – including the UC San Diego Microbiome and Microbial Sciences Initiative and the Center for Marine Archeology – key faculty recruitments, private / government / industry support and Frontiers of Innovation awards
  • Awarded 10 Frontiers of Innovation grants for campus centers, as well as 200 fellowships and scholarships through the Frontiers of Innovation Scholarship Program
  • Surpassed $1 billion in research funding for the fifth time in seven years, accelerating research productivity
  • Created the Office of Innovation and Commercialization to speed ideas and inventions to national and world markets, and bring together the offices of technology transfer, intellectual property, innovation design and industry partnering under one roof; streamlined license documents; increased research application support and proposal assistance, grants managed and awarded, new licenses and U.S. patents, and sponsored research agreements with new for-profit sponsors
  • Established EnVision Arts & Engineering Maker Studio and expanded support for the Design Lab and created new Design Minor
  • Boosted student research engagement through Research Experience and Applied Learning (REAL) Portal by including global experiences, service opportunities and internships; more than 17,000 people used the REAL Portal in FY 2015-16
  • Initiated innovation pipeline programs, such as Entrepreneur in Residence program
  • Continued to lead national and international policy and research; examples include Congressional testimony provided by our faculty, the Bending the Curve report and the hosting of the UC Carbon and Climate Neutrality Summit at UC San Diego

Goal 4

Supporting and promoting just and sustainable forms of economic development, shared prosperity, and social and cultural enrichment regionally and globally
  • Continued short and long-term campus visioning, including updating our Long Range Development Plan for campus and Hillcrest; initiating various regional transportation projects, such as preparation for Light Rail Transit in 2021 and the Gilman realignment project to facilitate connection to the future Gilman Bridge; and planning for the design and construction of mixed-use facilities to create vibrant communities and meet the evolving needs of campus members
  • Expanded UC San Diego Health Care Network and strategic partnerships with local health systems and community physicians to improve delivery of care in San Diego County and Southern California
  • Worked on completing construction of Jacobs Medical Center for fall 2016 opening and debuted the Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute building, a new campus hub for advancing basic science to clinical applications
  • Increased visibility of UC San Diego through Extended Studies and public programs; Extension’s total enrollments have amplified tenfold in the last five years
  • Hosted over 438,000 visitors at Birch Aquarium
  • Completed construction and testing for the research vessel Sally Ride, as well as construction of MARFAC Pier and Deep Sea Drilling West Facility

Goal 5

Creating an agile, sustainable, and supportive infrastructure by ensuring a dedication to service, people, and financial stewardship
  • Achieved financial simplification by transitioning from many funds to a limited few funds for core activity through the Simplified Operating Funds Initiative (SOFI)
  • Hired a Chief Information Officer to improve efficiencies and implement innovative applications of information technology in teaching, learning and student success
  • Completed eight “campaigns” in FY 2015-16 through IdeaWave to solicit ideas and implement recommended process improvements on a variety of topics, including reducing administrative burden, staff performance appraisals, improving our parking options, working together to save energy and improving the staff experience; the website received more than 800 ideas and 103,000 total page views
  • Continued construction and design for additional student housing on campus with the goal of adding 10,000 new beds, including 5,000 by 2021
  • Raised a record $212 million in private support in FY 2015-16 and prepared for public announcement of a historic and ambitious fundraising campaign by refining campaign priorities and recruiting campaign leadership, including honorary co-chairs Joan and Irwin Jacobs, Ernest Rady and Denny Sanford

Looking Ahead

Over the next year and beyond, we will continue our efforts to think boldly to identify and implement the unprecedented solutions that are necessary to ensure our continued level of excellence, and that fulfill our Strategic Plan goals.
Looking ahead, we plan to:
  • Refine campus vision and physical transformation to meet evolving facility needs for campus members
  • Build a culture of philanthropy and publicly launch fundraising campaign to advance Strategic Plan goals and campus vision
  • Continue to implement faculty growth plan to support future student growth and advance multi-disciplinary research
  • Grow UC San Diego’s research enterprise by expanding industry and community-based research, fostering innovation and entrepreneurism, improving large grant application process, and identifying and building support in alignment with strategic strengths
  • Implement new living and learning communities to enhance students’ academic and co-curricular experience
  • Open the Jacobs Medical Center and Outpatient Pavilion
  • Celebrate the arrival of the R/V Sally Ride to her homeport at the Nimitz Marine Facility and commence the ship’s research endeavors
  • Continue to address priority cyclical maintenance projects through strategic investments and partnerships
  • Continue work to support the University of California Carbon Neutrality Initiative by implementing energy efficient projects to ensure campus carbon neutrality by 2025