UC San Diego Alumni Board Supports Student Vote for Division I Athletic Program

Alumni Board Passes Resolution Endorsing Associated Students’ Plan to Raise University Profile

San Diego, CA, March 17, 2016 – At its February meeting, the University of California, San Diego Alumni Association Board of Directors passed a resolution supporting a move of the university to National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I athletics. The Associated Students agreed last month to give undergraduates a chance to vote on the proposed change. The consensus among volunteer alumni board members was that a Division I athletics program would raise UC San Diego’s profile, continue its focus on student excellence and enhance the students’ experience.

The UC San Diego Alumni Board resolution states:

The Alumni Association Board of Directors supports extending UC San Diego’s culture of excellence, elevating the student experience, strengthening the alumni connection, increasing community engagement, and building UC San Diego’s national brand through Division I athletics. The Alumni Board endorses the proposal to move to a Division I (non-football) athletic program.

The UC San Diego Associated Students voted unanimously, at a meeting in late January 2016, to put the NCAA Division I athletics proposal to a vote of the student body. The student vote is scheduled for May 16-20. To pass, the vote will need participation of at least 20 percent of undergraduate students, with more than 50 percent voting in favor of the proposal. The change would mean a three-year phase in of a student fee increase; an additional $160 per term in the final phase. The funds would support athletic scholarships, personnel and other expenses to comply with Division I requirements. This is the second time in recent years that UC San Diego students will consider raising their fees to fund a Division I athletic program.  Students considered a fee increase in 2011, but the proposal failed by about 1,800 votes. At the time of the last vote, UC San Diego undergraduates had faced a 79 percent increase in their education and registration fees over the previous five years.

Jerrilyn Malana, president of the UC San Diego Alumni Association Board of Directors, states, “We heartily support the move to Division I, and we are pleased the Associated Students have brought the matter to a vote by the student body. We trust our current students will recognize the long-term vision and tremendous benefits of Division I, and we look forward to the results of the student body vote in May.”

Dominick Suvonnasupa, the Associated Students president, states, “This is a great opportunity for the entire campus to have a voice in what direction we’re heading as a university. I’m excited to see how the students feel about this important issue as well as how passionate our Alumni Board is about the potential of a move to NCAA Division I.” 

About the UC San Diego Alumni Association

The UC San Diego Alumni Association represents 170,000 alumni from five decades of graduating classes at the forefront of the sciences, business, research, the arts, social innovation and political service in California, throughout the nation and around the world. The Association recognizes outstanding alumni, awards undergraduate scholarships, assists the university with legislative advocacy, and brings alumni together in San Diego and across the globe with networking, educational and social forums designed to help them find and cultivate meaningful and valuable relationships. For more information, visit www.alumni.ucsd.edu.

Contact: Beth Binger