UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering University of California San Diego
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Dean's Council of Advisors

“The Jacobs School has become a powerhouse. There is tremendous capability--in the School, the ancillary academic units, and the centers of research excellence.”
--Robert Akins
Chairman and CEO Cymer, Inc.
"We are at a pivotal juncture in the development of the Jacobs School. We plan to nearly double the size of the School in the next decade. Our distinguished Council, with top executives of America’s leading technology companies, provides us ideas and an international perspective on our strategic plans."
--Robert Conn, Dean

THE JACOBS SCHOOL COUNCIL OF ADVISORS recently convened for a two-day meeting to hear about the School’s progress and plans, and to provide advice. The Council is chaired by engineering alumnus Robert P. Akins, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Cymer Inc., with Paul E. Jacobs, President of QUALCOMM's Wireless and Internet group, as vice-chair. The 20-member Council includes five Jacobs School alumni.

At its November 30/December 1 meeting, the Council heard presentations from the leadership of the School's five academic departments and four of its many affiliated research institutes. "The Jacobs School has risen in stature faster than any other engineering school in history," said Akins. "When an institution becomes that good, it must focus on long-range planning in order to ensure excellence over time."

The Council endorsed the School's strategic plan to:

Reach a steady state of 250 faculty and a student body totally 6,000 including 4,500 undergraduates and 1,500 graduate students;

Continue to grow our research program with a focus on ensuring adequate resources so that the School can have a major impact and provide leadership in particular focus areas;

Continue to lower barriers to interdisciplinary research and education; and

Ensure leadership in engineering education, with undergraduate and graduate programs that provide both engineering fundamentals and leadership skills.

Some of the Council's observations and recommendations included:

The School is doing an excellent job of recruiting and retaining the best faculty and this should remain the highest priority.

The School's ratio of undergraduate students/ faculty members is too high and threatens the quality of learning; the School and UCSD must develop creative ways to manage the situation.

The School is working well with the UCSD campus to develop interdisciplinary research institutes. The Council offered to help evaluate how to ensure maximal interactions between these great institutes.

The School's strategy of focusing on major subject areas within the academic departments, and of encouraging interdisciplinary research through joint appointments of faculty to more than one department, is an excellent approach.