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Mr. Stevens Goes to Washington
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Winter 2000
The View from Murphy Hall
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Q: If that is the case, how should we address it?

A: The most important thing we can pass on to students is the capacity to learn how to learn, because that's what they'll be doing for the rest of their lives. We, as educators, have to maintain a balance and to help young people and their families understand the value of a broad education. That breadth is enhanced by having students interact with one another extensively.

One of UCLA's great advantages is the breadth of disciplines and professions that we offer. Students don't just learn in the classroom. If, for example, your roommate is an artist and you're a mechanical engineer, you'll come out of this university having a much better appreciation for art because you've been exposed to friends who are artists.

Q: A key initiative of yours is to strengthen UCLA's long-standing ties with the Los Angeles community. What new relationships need to be created?

A: UCLA is in a unique position of being an excellent public university in a global city. That presents opportunities for both the city and the university, and I want to make sure we take full advantage of that. There's already a great deal of interaction between Los Angeles and UCLA, so the first step is to develop an inventory of these activities. Once these are identified, we then can decide how we can become more productive. What new synergies can we create? And how should our outreach efforts be coordinated? Only then can we assess where the gaps are.

We will do better simply by coordinating our efforts. Clearly, we need to have a greater presence in the communities, and we're doing that, starting this year with five Community Education Resource Centers (CERC) located throughout Los Angeles. From these centers, we will be providing wide-ranging support - educational, social, health-related - to children and families right in their communities.

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