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IIT alumnus named the next UC San Diego chancellor

Last updated on: May 10, 2012 15:18 IST

IIT alumnus named the next UC San Diego chancellor

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Suman Guha Mozumder

Pradeep K Khosla, dean of Carnegie Mellon University's College of Engineering, also known as the Carnegie Institute of Technology, has been selected as the eighth chancellor of the University of California, San Diego.

Citing Dean Khosla's accomplishments as a leader, educator and researcher, Mark G Yudof, president- University of California, San Diego said in an announcement on May 3 that Khosla emerged as the top candidate after an international search.

Other details of the appointment will be voted on May 16 during the meeting of the UC Board of Regents.

Khosla will succeed Marye Anne Fox on August 1. Fox, who announced her resignation last year, will continue serving as chancellor until then.

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Image: Pradeep K Khosla


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"Pradeep Khosla will bring in a distinctive set of attributes that will enable the university to build on the excellence that has made it one of the top institutions of higher learning in the world," Yudof said in a statement, "He is a time-tested, oft-honored researcher, an innovative educator dedicated to improving the quality of life for students, faculty and staff, and an entrepreneurial leader with a global vision and proven fundraising abilities."

During his tenure of eight years as dean, Khosla, also the Philip and Marsha Dowd University Professor at Carnegie Mellon, initiated the undergraduate curriculum reform in addition to leading successful diversity efforts, multidisciplinary and multi-college research centers, multidisciplinary graduate offerings and international programmes in Japan, Korea, Portugal, China and Rwanda.

Under his leadership, the College of Engineering has significantly increased the number of women and students of colour in its graduate programmes.

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Image: University of California, San Diego's Geisel Library
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikimedia Commons

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A native of Mumbai, Khosla, as dean of the College of Engineering, set a strategic direction for undergraduate and graduate education and research.

The College of Engineering was ranked sixth nationally in the 2011 US News and World Report Survey and 12th in the world by the 2011-12 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

Further, several strategic initiatives launched by him resulted in doubling the college's budget and also increasing the number of Ph.D students during his tenure.

His leadership in fundraising from industry, Federal and State government, foundations and alumni has benefited both the college and the university: He also played a crucial role in a $100-million fundraising campaign for a university-wide energy institute and $90 million for a 1,00,000-square-foot College of Engineering building for biotechnology, energy and nanotechnology.

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Photographs: Courtesy, UCSD website

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"UC San Diego's astounding growth and success are due in large part to its history of partnership with and support from the San Diego community," Yudof said. "Pradeep understands the importance of these connections and will foster and expand them."

Khosla did his MS and Ph.D in electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon in 1984 and 1986 after graduating from the Indian Institute of Technology with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1980.

During his years at Carnegie Mellon, in addition to teaching, writing and undertaking research, he served as head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, director of the Information Networking Institute and founding director of the Carnegie Mellon CyLab and the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems.

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Image: Khosla did his MS and Ph.D in electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikimedia Commons

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"In slightly more than 50 years, UC San Diego, under the leadership of Marye Anne Fox and her predecessors, has become one of the world's top universities," Khosla said in a statement. "I feel fortunate, humbled and energised to have the opportunity to contribute to that excellence while embracing the challenges of integrating world-class research with an undergraduate educational experience that will remain accessible to all, regardless of family income."

A strong believer in the role of a research university as an economic engine within the community and the country, Khosla is an active member of the Pittsburgh community.

He serves on the boards of several nonprofit organisations, including The Children's Institute, IIT Foundation, Mellon-Pitt Corp and the Pittsburgh Technology Council. He has served on the advisory boards of several other universities as well.

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Image: The front of Center Hall in University Center at UCSD
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikimedia Commons

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Both Yudof and Khosla said they will have no further comment on the nomination until the Board of Regents acts on the proposed appointment at its meeting in Sacramento May 16.

Khosla was honored with the Philip and Marsha Dowd Professorship in 1998, and was elected University Professor in 2008.

A recipient of several international awards for his contribution to education and research, he was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2006, a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Engineering in 2011, an Honorary Fellow of the Indian Academy of Science in 2012, and a Fellow of the American Association of Artificial Intelligence in 2003 'for significant contributions to automated modeling, reconfiguration, and design of robotic and real-time software systems, and for encouraging the field through professional leadership.'

Author of three books and hundreds of scholarly articles, he was awarded the Computers in Engineering Lifetime Achievement Award of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers n 2009.


Image: Pradeep Khosla (left corner)
Photographs: Courtesy, CMU website

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