July 5, 2011

Dear UC San Diego campus community:

Earlier today, I informed President Mark Yudof of my intention to step down as Chancellor of UC San Diego next summer, culminating nearly eight years as Chancellor.

Serving as Chancellor of UC San Diego has been the most rewarding chapter of my professional career, and I am proud of our growth and accomplishments.

Our achievements have truly been extraordinary. Together, we completed a $1 billion Capital Campaign – the first in UC San Diego history. Last year, our faculty members, scientists, postdoctoral scholars and students conducted more than $1 billion in sponsored research, a milestone among our UC colleagues. And, the number of faculty elected to the National Academies has steadily increased. Our faculty continued to earn international recognition, including the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, MacArthur “Genius” award, the Tony Award and an Academy Award.

We have initiated $3.5 billion in capital improvements, adding 3.4 million assignable square feet of space in new construction, a nearly 40% increase since 2004. Faculty now teach, conduct research, and care for patients in state-of-the-art facilities, including the Conrad Prebys Music Center, the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sulpizio Family Cardiovascular Center, and the Rady School of Management. The heart of the campus has grown, with additions of the Student Services Center and the Price Center expansion. Housing projects are adding residences for more than 5,100 students, strengthening the student experience on a campus that boasts award-winning public art and buildings overlooking the beautiful Pacific.

It is here, at UC San Diego, where creative collaborations and innovation thrive. We led a partnership to create the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine. Later this year, we will celebrate the opening of that joint stem cell research facility. Our faculty – with the support of our community’s visionary philanthropists – will search to cure disease in the Jacobs Medical Center and will train tomorrow’s medical innovators in the Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute.

We are positioned at the forefront of national and international research and teaching as we work collaboratively to solve today’s most difficult problems. Examples of our preeminence abound. The world-renowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography leads climate and oceans research, forging a way forward to protect our planet. In our “drugs from the sea” initiative, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences faculty collaborate with campus colleagues to identify chemical compounds to combat disease. Faculty and students in the Jacobs School of Engineering, and the Divisions of Physical Sciences and Biological Sciences seek solutions to the world’s energy needs. World-class faculty in the Arts and Humanities collaborate with Calit2 colleagues to uncover the secrets of master works of art in Italy. The research of our Social Sciences faculty helps us to understand social networks and their impact on our daily lives. Rady School of Management faculty seek avenues to accelerate the process of bringing innovations from the laboratory to market. And IR/PS faculty help our country’s leaders understand the Pacific Rim nations and their governments. UC San Diego Extension also served a record 55,598 enrollees last year, which translates to more than 26,000 students in nearly 5,000 courses.

Shared governance continues to flourish. My colleagues in the Academic Senate have provided invaluable counsel over the years and, as a faculty member and a university administrator, I have long appreciated the vital contributions of our staff during these times of fiscal challenge and the increasing demands of a growing public research university.

We are proud of our widespread efforts that have improved campus climate for all students, faculty and staff. We have established new homes for the Cross-Cultural Center, the Women’s Center and the LGBT Resource Center, and have expanded our curricular offerings to include courses that give students a better understanding of our diverse communities. We concluded the academic year with a celebration to dedicate our new Chicano Legacy Mural. And, in the fall, we will officially launch the search for a Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion to lead our diversity initiatives.

We have greatly expanded our community engagement and outreach programs, targeting middle and high schools. As an example, we have instituted a new mentoring and tutoring program between UC San Diego and Logan Heights Branch Library to ensure that students are better prepared to succeed in school. We strengthened partnerships with Gompers Preparatory Academy and Lincoln High School. The Preuss School at UCSD continues to gain national attention, most recently named as one of the best high schools in the U.S.

Our alumni achievements complement the excellence of our faculty, and generous donors provide support to advance educational and research programs. Our alumni total has grown to 142,000, with nearly 45,000 of those degrees awarded since my arrival in 2004. I am grateful for the warm friendships I have developed with the UC San Diego Foundation Trustees, the Chancellor’s Community Advisory Board, the UCSD Alumni Association Board, the UCSD Athletic Board, donors and alumni. Just last month, we had the opportunity to welcome back our alumni from around the world to celebrate “50 Years | 50 Leaders” during a magical evening on Warren Mall.

I was honored to be Chancellor during our 50th anniversary. During Founders’ Week, we held campus-wide celebrations that highlighted our visionaries, innovators and overachievers who have been pioneers in a rapidly changing world. On Founders’ Day eve, as I accepted the Medal of Science from President Barack Obama, I was reminded of the exceptional faculty from UC San Diego who had preceded me, including National Medal of Science and National Medal of Engineering winners Margaret Burbidge, Irwin Jacobs, Walter Munk, Craig Venter and a host of others. We gathered to hear our Nobel Prize winners at the Innovation Day Exhibition and Symposium, marveled at the incredible range of artistic talent of our Arts & Humanities faculty and students at the Celebrate50 and Founders’ Day events, and glimpsed the future at the Green Open House. Each event underscored the scholarly achievements of our faculty, the dedication of our loyal staff, and the creativity of our students.

When I arrived in San Diego, I inherited a strong campus led by exceptional visionaries like Herb York, Dick Atkinson and Bob Dynes. I am proud that over the past seven years we have developed a strong leadership team. I am confident that UC San Diego will remain a stellar public research institution, recognized as an international powerhouse where faculty, staff and students collaborate to change the world.

In the fall, President Mark Yudof will initiate an international search for my replacement. At the conclusion of my tenure as Chancellor, I will return to the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry to teach and conduct research.

I want to thank you personally for your hard work, dedication and support. I am grateful for the warm friendships I have developed with you, the UC San Diego Foundation Trustees, campus advisory groups, donors and alumni. I look forward to our work together in the coming year as our campus continues its journey to achieve the extraordinary.

Marye Anne Fox