One Day at a Time: A UCLA Oral History

Cultural and Athletic


Gene Block, UCLA Chancellor
He issued safer-at-home directives and calming statements throughout.

Early in March, as COVID-19 crept into Southern California, it became clear that many of the ways we’re so used to connecting with our fellow Bruins — in classrooms or at events — could also put us at risk. Guided by safety concerns, alongside a desire to keep UCLA moving forward, on March 10 we made the decision to move to remote work and instruction, putting 5,000-plus classes online.

Helping to shepherd UCLA through this pandemic is the biggest challenge I’ve faced in my 40-plus-year career. The scope of the problem is enormous, from sorting out how lab work should be conducted to reenvisioning how we teach online. The pandemic has affected members of our community unevenly, depending on factors like age, race, socioeconomic status and access to child care. And the evolving shape of the virus’s spread, along with changing public health directives, means we must be flexible in our planning.

Still, I’m heartened by and grateful for all the ways in which members of our Bruin community have responded, showing the kind of ingenuity and resilience that will help us get through this together and emerge stronger.