Rising to the Occasion during a Difficult Year
Nine months into the 2019-20 fiscal year, the world changed. SDSU’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shut-down focused on the safety and health of our community and followed CDC and County of San Diego health guidelines.
Despite the challenges facing our researchers, many of whom moved to virtual instruction and assumed family care responsibilities, they transitioned quickly and successfully. Those whose activities were deemed essential continued their work on campus, and another 200 researchers returned to their labs by June. Others adapted to continue their work remotely. Funding agencies pivoted and issued COVID-19 grant opportunities. Our faculty responded. To date they have received nearly $9 million to support investigations into the testing, tracing, spread, communications and effects (physical and mental) of the coronavirus.
Two milestones, achieved despite the pandemic, will strengthen and expand our research mission. First, SDSU is moving its Strategic Plan forward. It includes a goal to increase the research profile of the university and supports movement to an R1 institution. Second, SDSU broke ground on its Mission Valley campus, which will include an innovation district and is expected to expand the university’s regional economic impact by $3 billion annually.
I am proud of the 307 SDSU faculty and staff who received 758 awards and $144.4 million last year, despite unexpected difficulties. Some of their projects are highlighted on the pages that follow. A complete listing* of all 2019-20 awardees and the more than 300 sponsors who supported them, can be found here.
Interim Vice President for Research and Innovation
San Diego State University