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Spring 1996 | | |
A Student, A Teacher, A Place to Learn

University Communications

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Spring 1996

A Student, A Teacher, A Place to Learn
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Because itís incomplete, the term "research university" -- a familiar way of describing an institution like UCLA -- may not be helpful for this task of persuading. Why donít we say "research and teaching university"? Not just because four words are too many for snappy copy. The fact is that our great research universities, through much of their dramatic growth since mid-century, have not always worked hard enough at teaching. A more salient fact is that universities are working hard at it now, and UCLA is leading the way.

UCLA faculty leading our Science Challenge are applying new media and -- more important -- new thinking to the reform of the undergraduate science curriculum. Their colleagues in marine science are extending these innovations to the schools and to the city through the Ocean Discovery Center at the Santa Monica Pier. Other faculty and students are serving on a work group planning an even broader improvement of general education. Deans and chairs are finding ways to bring new excellence and efficiencies to the curriculum. Assisting these efforts, the Academic Senate has reorganized the faculty governance of undergraduate education in a new Undergraduate Council, which has just launched a series of faculty conferences devoted to the improvement of teaching. These initiatives for better learning and teaching take strength from the context of discovery that only a research university can provide.

Weíre doing a better job of learning and teaching at UCLA because we do it as a research university.

To make their work in the classroom and laboratory more compelling, UCLA faculty draw on the creativity that research requires. The passion that fuels research fires passionate teaching, the eagerness to help others learn in a climate of discovery. Discovery keeps UCLA faculty at the edge of inquiry, the best vantage point from which to see knowledge advancing. UCLA students -- working in a laboratory through the Student Research Program, participating in a class taught by someone whose research defines the field -- can learn in the context of discovery because our faculty create that context.

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