Prof Pradeep K. Khosla, Chan­cel­lor, Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia San Diego

BioSpectrum (India) - - BIO CONTENT - Prof Pradeep K. Khosla, Chan­cel­lor, Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia San Diego Prapti Shah prapti.shah@mmac­tiv.com

“Col­lab­o­ra­tions are al­ways wel­come as they ex­pand the strengths mu­tu­ally”

Prof Pradeep K. Khosla, the eighth Chan­cel­lor of Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia (UC), San Diego, leads a cam­pus that has more than 35,000 stu­dents. He has ini­ti­ated and led UC San Diego’s first ever Strate­gic Plan aimed to iden­tify and im­ple­ment un­prece­dented so­lu­tions nec­es­sary to ad­dress press­ing global chal­lenges. With an­nual rev­enues of $4.3 bil­lion in fis­cal year 2015, UC San Diego is an aca­demic and re­search pow­er­house, with fac­ulty, re­searchers and staff at­tract­ing more than $1 bil­lion in re­search fund­ing a year. The cam­pus is the third largest em­ployer in San Diego County and one of 10 cam­puses in the world-renowned Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia sys­tem. Re­cently UC San Diego en­tered into a part­ner­ship with Ahmed­abad Uni­ver­sity and launched Global Ex­ec­u­tive MBA pro­gram for phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als. In this re­gard BioSpec­trum spoke to Prof Pradeep K. Khosla, Chan­cel­lor, Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia San Diego about the strate­gic plan and how this part­ner­ship will help In­dian stu­dents. Edited ex­perts;

Tell us about how UC San Diego’s first-ever Strate­gic Plan was cre­ated? Why did you ini­ti­ate it and how has it helped stu­dents?

UC San Diego’s Strate­gic Plan was ini­ti­ated in 2014 when the Uni­ver­sity was at a crit­i­cal junc­ture in its evo­lu­tion. We needed to think boldly, iden­tify and im­ple­ment un­prece­dented so­lu­tions that were nec­es­sary to en­sure our con­tin­ued level of ex­cel­lence and to ad­vance our knowl­edge, in or­der to ad­dress press­ing global chal­lenges.

We en­gaged more than 10,000 stake­hold­ers to gather ideas and in­sights about UC San Diego’s chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties. We cou­pled that ef­fort with a quan­ti­ta­tive assess­ment, bench­mark­ing UC San Diego to peer in­sti­tu­tions across mul­ti­ple di­men­sions. Based on the data we gath­ered, we sharp­ened and framed our mis­sion, val­ues, goals, and ini­tial strate­gies to col­lec­tively map a frame­work for sus­tain­able ex­cel­lence.

The Strate­gic Plan has re­fo­cused UC San

Diego to be a stu­dent-cen­tered uni­ver­sity. We are en­hanc­ing the stu­dent ex­pe­ri­ence on a pri­mar­ily res­i­den­tial cam­pus. We are cre­at­ing a more con­nected cam­pus. We are mak­ing UC San Diego a des­ti­na­tion for arts, cul­ture and recre­ation. We are cre­at­ing an ed­u­ca­tional and over­all ex­pe­ri­ence that de­vel­ops stu­dents who are ca­pa­ble of solv­ing prob­lems, lead­ing, and in­no­vat­ing in a di­verse and in­ter­con­nected world.

What are the driv­ing fac­tors of its suc­cess?

The Strate­gic Plan touches all as­pects of the uni­ver­sity and has been in­stru­men­tal in its holis­tic trans­for­ma­tion. Also, the fact that we en­gaged each and ev­ery stake­holder cat­e­gory while gath­er­ing the in­sights and made this plan highly in­clu­sive is a cru­cial fac­tor in its suc­cess. The Strate­gic Plan is a dy­namic roadmap and is ever evolv­ing, mak­ing it highly rel­e­vant and con­tem­po­rary, which is an­other rea­son why it is thriv­ing and suc­ceed­ing.

Why did you choose Ahmed­abad Uni­ver­sity as a part­ner? What makes it stand apart from the other uni­ver­si­ties?

In the uni­verse of uni­ver­si­ties, both Ahmed­abad Uni­ver­sity and UC San Diego are rel­a­tively young

– and hence both are ag­ile, as­pir­ing and nim­ble to move faster. Ahmed­abad Uni­ver­sity with its stel­lar lead­er­ship team driv­ing an in­ter­dis­ci­plinary par­a­digm, well-trained re­search-ori­ented fac­ulty, and a fo­cus on solv­ing larger is­sues of the mod­ern world, has all the right cre­den­tials to emerge as a great uni­ver­sity in In­dia. Their unique un­der­stand­ing of the con­text and sense of the re­quire­ment of the times that we live in, both, from the In­dian as well as global per­spec­tives, have helped them de­sign their aca­demic mod­els that ad­dress com­plex prob­lems faced by so­ci­ety, while build­ing deep dis­ci­plinary skills. In fact, the speed at which our two teams con­ceived and de­signed the Global Ex­ec­u­tive MBA in Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Man­age­ment pro­gram is a tes­ti­mo­nial of our mu­tual un­der­stand­ing and team­work – that bodes well for fur­ther col­lab­o­ra­tions in spe­cific do­mains of in­ter­est.

How will part­ner­ship with UC San Diego help In­dian stu­dents?

One of the goals of the Strate­gic Plan has been to cul­ti­vate a di­verse and in­clu­sive uni­ver­sity com­mu­nity that en­cour­ages re­spect­ful open di­a­logue, and chal­lenges it­self to take bold ac­tions that will en­sure learn­ing ac­ces­si­bil­ity and af­ford­abil­ity for all. So In­dian stu­dents choos­ing UC San Diego will find a very sup­port­ive and multi-cul­tural en­vi­ron­ment in which to study. We have also ex­panded the num­ber of stu­dents who re­ceive schol­ar­ships and boosted on-cam­pus pro­gram­ming to fur­ther sup­port the schol­ars. Our part­ner­ship with Ahmed­abad Uni­ver­sity will ex­plore in­no­va­tive ways in which In­dian stu­dents would make their over­seas study fea­si­ble and highly en­gag­ing at UC San Diego.

Are there any plans to part­ner with other pub­lic or pri­vate uni­ver­si­ties in In­dia?

Col­lab­o­ra­tions are al­ways wel­come with other uni­ver­si­ties as they ex­pand the strengths and en­hance the learn­ing curve, mu­tu­ally. Our as­so­ci­a­tion with the Ahmed­abad Uni­ver­sity is an im­por­tant col­lab­o­ra­tion in In­dia and we look for­ward to a dy­namic part­ner­ship that would make the

Global Ex­ec­u­tive MBA pro­gram in Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Man­age­ment to be the best in the world. We are open to ex­plor­ing new op­por­tu­ni­ties that might arise in the fu­ture which would en­tail col­lab­o­rat­ing with pub­lic or pri­vate uni­ver­si­ties in In­dia.

How has this part­ner­ship helped UC San Diego?

First, we all know In­dia’s gi­gan­tic as­pi­ra­tion to pro­vide its cit­i­zens with world class ed­u­ca­tion. Re­cent es­ti­mates sug­gest that stu­dents from In­dia spend more than $8 bil­lion in ed­u­ca­tion abroad – nearly half of which is spent in the United States. In­dian stu­dents

are among the most mer­i­to­ri­ous glob­ally. So ac­cess to this huge pool of tal­ent as­pir­ing for cut­ting-edge ed­u­ca­tion in tech­nol­ogy, sciences and pol­icy is highly de­sir­able for UC Dan Diego. This part­ner­ship with Ahmed­abad Uni­ver­sity en­ables us to ac­cess that pool. Sec­ond, like Ahmed­abad in In­dia, San Diego has emerged as an Amer­i­can and global hub for cut­ting-edge re­search and in­no­va­tion in life-sciences and biotech­nol­ogy. Hence, it is a very at­trac­tive propo­si­tion for both UC San Diego and Ahmed­abad Uni­ver­sity to syn­er­gize these biopharma and life sciences clus­ters to align with each other and cre­ate a world-class ecosys­tem of sci­en­tific and man­age­rial ex­per­tise.

In your opin­ion, what should be done to re­duce the in­dus­try-academia gap in life sciences & pharma sec­tor?

As In­dia be­comes a global pharma hub, it is im­per­a­tive that the lead­ers, man­agers and em­ploy­ees of com­pa­nies in the sec­tor sharpen their tech­no­log­i­cal, sci­en­tific, and man­age­ment acu­men. There needs to be an on­go­ing col­lab­o­ra­tive in­ter­ac­tion and in­put mech­a­nism be­tween the in­dus­try and academia to make the pharma cour­ses more in­dus­try ready and ap­pli­ca­tion ori­ented. The Global Ex­ec­u­tive MBA de­gree in Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Man­age­ment is one step in that di­rec­tion where phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal pro­fes­sion­als are en­gaged in in­tense in­ter­ac­tion with ex­pe­ri­enced col­leagues and world­class fac­ulty on key is­sues af­fect­ing in­no­va­tion and drug de­liv­ery in phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal and life sciences field.

How can Uni­ver­si­ties help in mak­ing stu­dents equipped with the skills that are needed in the in­dus­try?

First, it’s im­por­tant that stu­dents are well-rounded and able to think with both the left and right brain. We must pro­vide stu­dents with a strong foun­da­tion of skills – like how to ap­ply knowl­edge with un­der­stand­ing and how to work col­lab­o­ra­tively – so they can then build ad­vanced ex­per­tise and work on multi-dis­ci­plinary teams to tackle and ad­dress our so­ci­ety’s most com­plex and press­ing global chal­lenges. It is also im­per­a­tive that stu­dents learn from fac­ulty who have in­dus­try ex­pe­ri­ence and lead­er­ship. At UC San Diego, we ac­tively en­cour­age stu­dent in­no­va­tion, lead­er­ship, en­trepreneur­ship and non­tra­di­tional think­ing, as we want to pre­pare our stu­dents for the ever-evolv­ing job mar­ket and econ­omy, which re­quires creativ­ity, flex­i­bil­ity and adapt­abil­ity.

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