Summer 2022 Update
As late summer sets in, I hope you are finding time for relaxation and renewal. In my Summer 2022 Update, I highlight arts and entertainment offerings at UCLA this season, celebrate the 10th anniversary and accomplishments of Startup UCLA, and reflect on the importance of bringing greater diversity to our faculty body.
In this issue
Arts and Entertainment at UCLA This Summer
At UCLA we celebrate summer by doing more than just soak up the sun. Even with most students on break, our campus is a hub of music performances, art exhibitions, cinema features, block parties and other opportunities to find culture and community. Here are a few arts and entertainment highlights that are free and open to the public:
Live outdoor music is the sound of the season and the Hammer Museum is a trove of special musical performances. Upcoming shows include the Tina Raymond Trio’s musical exploration of American politics (8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 11) and compositions from multi-reed composer, performer and cinephile Philip Greenlief (8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 18). All performances will be held in the museum courtyard.
Also at the Hammer is a retrospective of approximately 60 works by Los Angeles-based artist and activist Andrea Bowers, on view until Sept. 4. Bowers’ work examines social inequities and contends with issues such as women’s rights, immigration rights, climate justice and workers’ rights. I attended the grand opening of the exhibition and was struck by the power of her art.
In other exhibitions, the Fowler Museum has extended Gosette Lubondo’s “Imaginary Trip” series through Sept. 18. The exhibition examines memory, architecture, colonial constructs and contemporary life in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Summer cinema beats the heat and the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s line-up of screenings at the Billy Wilder Theater in the Hammer Museum runs through Sept. 30. Standouts from the vaults include programs highlighting women in silent film, a spotlight on writer and activist Amiri Baraka, recently preserved local TV programs produced in response to the 1965 Watts Rebellion, and the family-friendly film “Wadjda,” about a 10-year-old girl in Saudi Arabia.
With the aim of forging deeper connections with our Westwood neighbors, UCLA’s First Thursdays program was launched in March. It features daytime activities coinciding with the Westwood Village Farmers Market on Broxton Avenue, and caps off with nighttime block parties for the full community. While First Thursdays is taking a break next month, it will return on Oct. 6
UCLA is not just an academic institution for students; it is a resource for the public. We strive to be embedded in the life of the city of Los Angeles, engaged with the community, spreading knowledge, steeped in the arts — and, yes, having a good time.
For more information about arts events at UCLA, visit the GoArts site.
Startup UCLA: Celebrating a Decade of Entrepreneurial Thinking, Innovation and Mentorship
Bruins are natural problem-solvers who possess relentless curiosity, optimism, creativity, resolve and a deep desire to improve the world around them. It’s no wonder that they make remarkably good entrepreneurs. When they see a need in the world, they have the perfect mindset and set of skills to address it.
Our university’s role in this equation is to provide the structure and support that will allow students, alumni, staff and faculty to get their ideas off the ground. And for a full ten years, Startup UCLA has been the thriving center of these efforts.
Established in 2012, Startup UCLA has helped members of our community develop and launch their business ideas through its many programs, free workshops and events as well as through the connections it provides to campus and community partners, industry experts and established Bruin entrepreneurs.
In its first 10 years, Startup UCLA has supported more than 3,000 entrepreneurs, helping to raise $100+ million in funding and bringing more than 1,100 business ventures to life. These include duffl, a student-led delivery service company for college communities that can get groceries delivered in 10 minutes; FIL2R, a company aimed at reducing filter waste by selling reusable cases designed for most PUR and Brita water pitchers; and Mara Moja Beauty, a hair care products company with a wide array of product essentials for textured hair.
A few years ago, I had the opportunity to visit a cohort of participants in Startup UCLA’s Summer Accelerator — a program that provides a workspace, legal services and mentorship to UCLA students building early-stage companies — and was amazed by the passion our students displayed when talking about their product prototypes.
I am deeply impressed by the entrepreneurship ecosystem that Startup UCLA has helped develop and continues to strengthen here in Los Angeles. The program is truly a gem, and I am confident that in its next decade it will shine even more brightly, empowering thousands of Bruins to imagine — and create — a better future.
Growing our Faculty with a Focus on Diversity
Many of UCLA’s current priorities and initiatives — including our Rising to the Challenge, Hispanic Serving Institution and Native American and Pacific Islander Bruins Rising initiatives — have the important through-line of growing and further diversifying UCLA’s faculty.
This goal is critical for several reasons. Given recent increases in student enrollment, we must grow our faculty body so that we have the right number of instructors, mentors and researchers needed to support our students. We must also diversify our faculty body because studies have shown that students benefit from having teachers and role models who look like them, that having a diverse faculty expands the types of research subjects our scholars take up, and that bringing in a greater range of perspectives aids administrative decision-making.
In the past decade, the percentage of UCLA’s ladder-rank faculty from underrepresented ethnic groups has increased, and we are committed to building upon that trend. From 2011 to 2021, the percentage of Hispanic/Latinx faculty within our total faculty body increased from 6.1% to 8.7%. The percentage of Black faculty increased from 3.2% to 4.3%. The percentage of American Indian and Native Hawaiian faculty increased from 0.5% to 0.8%. And the percentage of Asian faculty increased from 15.7% to 19.9%.
Since the 2019-20 academic year, progress has come even quicker, with some 40% of UCLA’s new ladder-rank faculty hires coming from historically underrepresented groups. While this change is notable, we must continue this progress as well as create a campus culture that will sustain it.
To that end, through various initiatives including those mentioned above, we are endeavoring to add 125 faculty lines over the next five to 10 years. Beyond simply growing our numbers, though, we are also investing in changes to our culture and processes to ensure these scholars feel at home at UCLA, that they are able to contribute to the intellectual life of the campus, and that we support their professional development.
Recruiting an ever-more talented and diverse body of faculty is critical to UCLA’s success in the university’s second century. I will share more about our faculty growth and faculty diversity goals in the coming academic year.