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OSI's History Began with the University's Strategic Plan


In 52 years UC San Diego had created one of the world’s leading institutions. We had undertaken groundbreaking research that led to transformational which helped drive the economic rise of the San Diego region, helped to power the California and national economies, and impacted the world.  The question was…what’s next? Faced with ongoing challenges from dwindling state financial support to other forces impacting higher education, UC San Diego believed that it was critical to use these challenges as a platform for setting off on another 50 years of dynamic and transformational leadership in higher education.  

UC San Diego’s strategic planning process

The 2012 strategic planning process was intended to have a direct link to our financial security and fundraising activity as we revisited the focus of the institution, our value proposition to the world and determined how we would ensure UC San Diego’s position as a preeminent global research university in the 21st Century.  At the beginning of the strategic planning process we embraced the aspiration of UC San Diego’s founders, to establish an experimental campus that would define the future of education and research at a public university. That aspiration propelled UC San Diego to become a top public research university and one of the top twenty universities in the world. 

We knew that in order to be successful, the strategic planning effort and the plan that was produced had to germinate from an inclusive and holistic process. In fact, from the beginning, it was made clear that the dialogues, processes, and communication channels used during the plan creation process were as important as any document produced, as these new communication channels, processes, and dialogues would be the same channels and processes that would be needed to implement our strategic plan.   

In November 2012, UC San Diego created the Chancellor’s Strategic Planning Council to shape and guide UC San Diego’s first-ever comprehensive strategic planning process.  In order to ensure that the process was a broad exploration of who we want to be as an institution and the role we should play in the world we engaged over 10,000 faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community stakeholders, assimilated that data with quantitative and qualitative benchmarks, and collectively mapped a framework for our future.

The planning process and the plan itself had the intent of catalyzing action and change in what we do, how we do it and the impact we create. To that end, we did not wait for the full strategic plan document to be completed before we started implementing initiatives in a number or areas that had complete alignment to the new mission and vision.

Implementation strategy

UC San Diego’s implementation strategy ensures that the strategic plan is a “living document”, informing our planning each year and embracing accountability in order to deliver our framework for sustainable excellence. Success will be measured by our accomplishments and the societal impact that results from achieving these goals (PDF).

OSI’s role in the implementing strategic plan

As an outcome of the strategic plan, OSI was realigned to support efforts related to the plan, with a specific emphasis on partnering with Campus to achieve Goal 5: Creating an agile, sustainable, and supportive infrastructure by ensuring a dedication to service, people, and financial stewardship.