Strategic Plan Rollout to Begin in September; Early Steps Underway on Student Initiatives

Blog Preview Image

Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla talks with Chancellor’s Associates Scholars at an event in April.

The Chancellor’s Strategic Planning Council wrapped up its work for the 2012-2013 academic year at a June 3 meeting where members discussed early steps forward and set a framework for unveiling the completed plan and launching its implementation in the fall. The Council also reviewed UC San Diego’s mission, values and goals.

Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla reported to the group on five early initiatives that will:

  1. Enhance Ph.D. quality and increase graduate enrollment
  2. Increase diversity and strengthen community involvement by providing full scholarships to graduates of three UC San Diego partner schools;
  3. Improve the student academic experience by renovating chemistry and biology labs;
  4. Respond to national research funding opportunities by initiating a multidisciplinary Brain Activity Mapping Center to understand the human brain;
  5. Partner with the faculty in a review of the credit hour requirements across campus majors in order to decrease students’ time to degree.

“We’ve already started to respond to the ideas that have come forward from the involvement and feedback of our faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors and the broader San Diego community,” Khosla told the Council. “Executive Vice Chancellor Suresh Subramani and I have been very pleased with the quality of recommendations that have bubbled up through the strategic planning process. It’s clear the campus is engaged and an active partner in determining UC San Diego’s future.”

Khosla set the stage for strategic planning work that will pick up after the summer and the Council discussed implementation “best practices.” The Chancellor noted that organizations typically embark on strategic planning in response to a crisis or an urgent need. UC San Diego is unique in launching this endeavor from a position of strength.

Where other institutions “try to move the needle on a certain parameter,” Khosla said, “we’re trying to move the needle on cultural change. Our fundamentals are extremely strong.  We want to create a culture that will keep those fundamentals strong.”   The strategic planning process presents UC San Diego with an historic opportunity “to achieve something much deeper – a model for going forward,” he said.

One of the ongoing topics at the strategic planning meetings has been initiating a change in institutional culture. Khosla noted that he has seen a shift, citing initiatives that strengthen the campus as a student-centered, research-oriented, service-oriented public university.

Khosla and Subramani agreed that factors that will affect the outcome of the implementation process include: faculty participation and concurrence, integration across divisions and disciplines, clear metrics of success, and ongoing communication with stakeholders.

During the summer, a draft of the plan will be prepared for wider distribution in the fall. The Chancellor emphasized that the strategic plan will be “a living document” subject to review and input from the faculty and from stakeholder groups who have been involved in the planning process.