Proactive Approach a Must-Have for Watson's Successor

    Though most of the upper echelons of UCSD’s administration have been shuffled this year, the selection of a new vice chancellor of student affairs will undoubtedly leave the greatest footprint on the undergraduate student experience. The selection committee for the soon-to-be-vacant position has recommended a field of three candidates.

    The incoming candidate has big shoes to fill. Outgoing Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Joseph W. Watson has been instrumental in fleshing out student services, and has pushed for a diverse student body by bringing underprivileged students into UCSD’s fold. The April passage of the Student Promoted Access Center for Education and Services referendum by students underscores the need for a vice chancellor with the same dedication to equality.

    The new vice chancellor must also direct attention to UCSD’s Psychological and Counseling Services, a vital and underfunded department that has struggled to serve a burgeoning student population on a shoestring budget.

    Watson’s hard line on student safety – while understandable – must be tempered with respect for student responsibility. Two years ago, when the A.S. Council pondered the feasibility of a beer garden at the Sun God festival, Watson agreed to consider any student-initiated proposal that adequately addressed safety. When the council developed such a proposal, it was rejected.

    Most importantly, the incoming vice chancellor must be able to form a solid rapport with the student population and government. A proactive approach to communication is essential to dissolve the “”overseer”” mentality that too often sullies student-administration interactions.

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