Warm Wishes and a Look at the Year Ahead
Chancellor Block shared the following message with the UCLA campus community.
Dear Bruin Community:
Just like that, the start of the academic year is underway at UCLA!
I want to take a moment to welcome — or welcome back — all of our students, staff and faculty members. I hope that the first day of instruction is going well, and that you are settling in for another transformative year at our wonderful university.
The beginning of the fall term at UCLA is always exciting, and this year is no exception:
This month, we welcomed an extremely diverse and academically excellent class of new students from 49 U.S. states and 65 countries around the world. Our newest Bruins bring to our community boundless energy, immense curiosity, a range of talents, and an eagerness to reshape our institution and the world.
We have in place a fantastic new executive vice chancellor and provost, Darnell Hunt, a scholar of race and media who was previously our dean of social sciences. I encourage you to read this interview on UCLA Newsroom to learn more about EVCP Hunt’s path and the leadership philosophies he brings to his role.
UCLA is celebrating incredible success on the research front, having broken records in the amount of external research funding our scholars have brought in for five successive years. This year our faculty (supported by excellent staff) were awarded an astounding $1.72 billion in external funding for groundbreaking research across the disciplines.
We are deepening our connections to Westwood Village, hosting block parties on Broxton Avenue on the first Thursday of each month and launching a new performance space — the UCLA Nimoy Theater — in early 2023.
And to top it off, of course, last week UCLA was ranked the number one public university in the nation for the sixth year in a row!
In truth, such rankings can be a nice feather in our cap, but they are not how UCLA measures success. What we really care about is the impact we have on our state and world, and on the lives of the students we serve. In the coming months, we will share more about how we’re deepening our impact through efforts to grow and bring greater diversity to our faculty body, meet our goal of becoming a Hispanic-Serving Institution by 2025, thoughtfully evolve instruction at UCLA, and grow our ties to the City of Los Angeles.
Aside from exciting news and events, the start of the school year also provides an opportunity to reaffirm our Bruin values of mutual respect, open-mindedness, compassion, integrity and inclusivity. These values may be of greatest importance in an election year like this one, when tensions can be particularly high.
Living up to these values enables members of our diverse community to feel supported in sharing differing perspectives, exploring new ideas, and engaging in healthy debates — activities that are essential to our intellectual growth and the pursuit of knowledge and truth. UCLA’s Principles of Community provide an excellent framework and set of expectations for us to follow both inside and outside of the classroom.
In closing, I want to invite every member of our community to participate in a few activities this week:
- The first is UCLA Spirit Day this Friday, Sept. 23, part of our True Bruin Welcome. I encourage everyone on campus and off to show their UCLA pride by wearing blue and gold!
- Second, all community members are invited to join Serve LA, our annual volunteer day, on Saturday, Sept. 24. Sign up to get involved in service work or beautification projects at more than 45 community sites on campus and throughout Los Angeles. This year’s volunteer event is a partnership with USC — public service is one thing both USC President Carol Folt and I can agree on!
- Finally, to celebrate the new academic year, we want to know why you love UCLA. Create a video answering that prompt and include the hashtag #iloveucla for a chance to be featured on the UCLA TikTok page.
Last week, I went up to the hill to watch the beautifully choreographed chaos of move-in. Even then, I could see new bonds being formed among our newest Bruins. I could see connections to the campus growing. I could see excitement building for the wonderful year to come.
I wish all of you nothing but success in what I know will be a great year ahead. Good luck, take care and Go Bruins!