Senior Vice Chancellor Retires After 25 Years

Paul Drake announced his retirement on Nov. 6, leaving his position of Senior Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs after 25 years of service.

Beginning his career at UCSD as a professor of political science, Drake became director of the Latin-American studies program before being promoted to the position of dean of the division of social sciences in 1994. Drake served in the position for 12 years before being appointed to the position of vice chancellor in 2006.

Drake said his goal as vice chancellor was to preserve the academic core of the university, which he described as a fusion of world-class research and internationally renowned education.

In 1998, Drake became a key member of the International Studies Advisory Committee, which created the international-studies department and the seven majors that fall under it. In 2004, as dean of social sciences, he granted a special allocation of $48,000 to the preservation of the Heritage Language Program.

Drake is concerned that the university’s current budget constraints will negatively impact diversity efforts at UCSD.

“Diversity has been a constant effort,” he said. “That’s been one of the disappointments of freezing over 100 faculty positions. One of the ways to promote diversity is to bring in more faculties, which we can’t do right now.”

Drake also established a fundraising campaign designed to create student scholarships, which received a $530,000 grant in the year 2000 to support graduate students working in the social sciences. The grant was the single largest gift UCSD had yet received in its campaign to raise money for graduate support.

The retiring vice chancellor has also been involved in efforts to make the new furlough program for faculty less onerous: He played an instrumental part in the creation of the Joint Senate-Administration Task Force on Budget Reconciliation.

Drake said he is concerned about the rate at which student fees are increasing.

“If the state reduces the amount of money by that much, who’s going to pay for the education?” he said. “We are unfortunately moving toward the model of a private university, where students pay the whole fare, and the state doesn’t pay for anything. But it’s the only way.”

Drake noted that the fee increases will most affect middle-class students, who will reserve less financial aid and will be expected to pay more in tuition.

“I think that UCSD needs to figure out how to be great without relying on state funding,” he said. “We’re getting down to the bone here, and it’s going to hurt. But we have to get through this, and we have to move on. I think the notion of shared sacrifice is true. Everybody is suffering.”

He expressed concerns about the university in the coming years.

“I’m very worried about UCSD for the next year or so,” Drake said, “But I am optimistic in the long run. It will survive, and we will thrive.”

Chancellor Marye Anne Fox has launched a national search to find a replacement for Drake, who will be leaving the university Oct. 1, 2010.