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Winter 2000
The View from Murphy Hall
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The 21st century promises great challenges and opportunities for UCLA. Success, says Chancellor Albert Carnesale, will depend on bolstering student diversity, strengthening the university’s ties to the community and continuing the achievements of Campaign UCLA.

After 3½ years at UCLA, Chancellor Albert Carnesale is very much at home. His office has a comfortable, informal air to it now, filled with such Bruin mementos as a game ball from the 66-3 victory over Texas in 1997, a team-signed basketball and photographs with legendary basketball Coach John Wooden, quarterback Cade McNown and the Spirit Squad. On a tabletop there is a new centerpiece of which he's proud: a large, laminated acrylic sphere by internationally known sculptor and UCLA Professor of Design Mihich Vasa.

The campus not only is where he works; it is where he lives. From The Residence off of Sunset and Charles E. Young Drive, the chancellor takes a brisk walk on weekend mornings to Drake Stadium for a jog. "I pretend to exercise," he says with a laugh. "Mostly it's walking with a small circle of people who show up at the same time, a little bit of jogging and a lot of talking. It's very good for my jawbone." He has yet to attempt the knee-jarring run up and down the Drake steps.

When he has a chance to relax during the workday, he might linger at the Inverted Fountain between Schoenberg Music Building and Knudsen Hall. "That's my favorite spot. The combination of the water flowing over the rocks and listening to what sounds like a babbling brook makes it a wonderful place." Other favored spots on campus are Royce Hall and the top of Janss Steps with the view across the athletic fields to the residence halls. "Those are the places I like to take visitors to," he says.

His reading these days is voracious and eclectic. Recent books have included California: The Great Exception by Carey McWilliams ("A terrific book," he says, one that has helped him to gain fresh perspectives on his adopted state) and The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory by Brian Greene, a somewhat weighty tome on physics that nonetheless managed to make it onto the best-seller lists. On deck is Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt.

At the hectic start of a new academic year, Chancellor Carnesale was a tireless man on the run, meeting with student journalists, faculty leaders, union representatives, foreign dignitaries and a steady stream of visitors. He took time out to talk with UCLA Magazine Editor David Greenwald and Associate Editor Cynthia Lee about issues ranging from the role of a research university in today's society to the extraordinary success of Campaign UCLA.


2005 The Regents of the University of California