Summer 2019 Update
Last month, UCLA graduated our first Centennial Class, forever linking those graduates to this important moment in the history of our campus. A few weeks earlier, we launched our yearlong Centennial Celebration with a series of events on Alumni Day that culminated in a magnificent projection show onto Royce Hall. We also took our celebration to Downtown Los Angeles, where City Hall lit up in blue and gold, and to Sacramento. The festivities continue throughout the next year and I encourage you to learn more at our Centennial Celebration website.
At the same time, I want to assure all of you, following our announcement about the arrest of a former physician last month, that UCLA remains dedicated to improvement, transparency and accountability.
As we begin the summer, there are also many exciting and noteworthy things to share about our efforts to make UCLA more accessible, our pioneering work in music education, and the departure of a great UCLA leader.
In this issue
Expanding Student Housing
As a public institution, UCLA has always been dedicated to making this campus accessible and available to exceptional students from all backgrounds. Despite all of the wonderful benefits of being in a diverse and culturally rich city, housing in Los Angeles can be very expensive.
That is why UCLA is planning to expand the housing options we offer to students, all below current market rents in Westwood. Over the past five years, we have increased the number of students housed on or near campus by 4,000, totaling 18,500 students today. New housing projects currently under construction will add space for 5,300 more students over the next five years. This should allow UCLA to expand guaranteed housing from three years to four years for freshmen and from one year to two years for transfer students.
By 2021, a new apartment building on the corner of Le Conte and Gayley and an additional residence hall on The Hill (artist rendering above) will accommodate 3,100 more undergraduates. In 2022, a new complex adjacent to Weyburn Terrace will house 2,200 undergraduate and graduate students.
Providing living space on or close to campus not only makes a UCLA education more attainable, it means that students don’t sit in traffic or burn fuel traveling to and from campus. It also lets students become more involved with groups and activities on campus, so that everyone can make the most of their UCLA experience.
A Pioneer in Music Education
As we reflect on our past 100 years, there are many ways to celebrate UCLA’s pioneering spirit. One of them is our dedication to the arts. In fact, educating music teachers was one of UCLA’s founding academic programs in 1919. Today, the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music is the first — and only — standalone school of music in the University of California system.
Our vibrant, innovative professional school blends the study of music performance with research, composition and music education. Most nights during the academic year, free performances of Western classical music, jazz and world music by students, faculty and guest artists bring our community together at the Schoenberg Music Building and the Evelyn & Mo Ostin Music Center.
Beyond incredible performances, UCLA musicologists also present their research at lectures, challenging our assumptions and interpretations of music. The school has also collected more than 950 instruments from around the world — one of the largest university collections of its kind.
Here in Los Angeles, our music education students teach basic music theory or direct choruses in public school classrooms, and volunteers perform at senior centers and libraries. This allows our students to further their development while also serving communities that welcome live music performances.
This month, the school’s founding dean, Judith Smith, passed the baton to inaugural dean Eileen Strempel, an accomplished scholar, opera singer and administrator. I look forward to seeing all that the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music continues to accomplish in our second century.
Paying Tribute to Scott Waugh
Last month, Scott Waugh stepped down as UCLA’s executive vice chancellor and provost — a position he has held since 2008 — to return to his scholarly research. I am so grateful to Scott for his more than 40 years of distinguished service to UCLA. He has always been a champion for UCLA’s best values, including our commitment to excellence, inclusion and accessibility. Scott has consistently empowered and supported other leaders with his wise counsel and innovative ideas, often reaching across disciplines to advance this great institution. His leadership has also benefited the entire University of California, as his expertise and advice has been sought by several UC presidents.
The EVC/Provost serves as our chief academic officer, and is the most critical partner a chancellor can have on his or her leadership team. Whereas chancellors set priorities and the vision for an institution like UCLA, sharing that with others and making key decisions, the EVC/Provost works with other leaders across campus, like our deans, to execute that vision and ensure that every part of our campus is held to UCLA’s high standards. Scott’s is one of the most challenging and meaningful roles at UCLA and one that he has always approached with equal parts rigor and grace.
Our entire campus community owes so much to Scott for his tireless efforts, valuable insights and incomparable knowledge. His accomplishments are too many to list, but a few that deserve special recognition include strengthening our system of shared governance, prioritizing equity and diversity, facilitating interdisciplinary research, increasing international partnerships and managing crises and numerous leadership transitions.
A UCLA alumnus, Scott previously served on the faculty of our history department and later as dean of the College’s Division of Social Sciences for 14 years. He has received numerous accolades for his teaching and research in medieval history, including grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Philosophical Society.
Scott’s astute leadership and partnership have positioned us well as we move into our second century. He has set a firm foundation for our new EVC/Provost, Emily Carter, who arrives in September. Vice Chancellor for Academic Personnel Michael S. Levine is serving as interim executive vice chancellor and provost through August 31.