We Californians, who live where many cultures mingle, come in daily contact with the people, products and problems of the countries known as the Pacific Rim. Now the state, through the University of California at San Diego, will provide the nation with its first graduate school of international relations focusing on the countries that ring the Pacific Ocean. It is a challenging undertaking--one that should bring distinction to UC San Diego even as it prepares people for careers in diplomatic, business and academic life.
Schools of international relations traditionally have looked toward Europe. But Pacific Rim countries as diverse as Japan and Mexico are of vital strategic and economic importance to the United States, and no one knows that better than Californians. For example, in this decade U.S. trade with these Pacific countries has exceeded that with any other region of the world; four-fifths of California's trade is with the region.
UC President David Gardner asked his campuses to consider undertaking the program. UC San Diego responded, building on a base of interest that already existed on the campus. Its program will start on a small scale in 1987 and expand to full strength by 1992. The University of California has taken a bold step toward recognizing the realities of the 21st Century--a move that deserves the widest possible state and private financial, political and academic cooperation.