Tough Times Tough Choices
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there's the quality of life for their families. Housing is substantially
more expensive in the neighborhood of UCLA than it is in all but
a very few other places in the country. There are concerns also
about the quality of schools and the availability of child care.
All of these things are related to resources. Even though they're
not seeking money for themselves, faculty do seek adequate resources
as they relate to the work environment, graduate students and the
quality of life for their families.
students have similar concerns having to do with resources and support,
and undergraduate students tend to be concerned about things like
class size. Our ratio of students to faculty is about double what
it is in the elite privates. Undergraduates also worry about housing,
its availability on campus and, of course, its cost in the Westwood
area. And senior administrators worry about the same kinds of things
housing, child care and the like, and to some extent salaries,
where we have to be competitive.
what we have going for us is at least as important: superb academic
programs, superb faculty, superb libraries, superb facilities. But
these are not available in all academic fields. And notice that
I was not able to include superb arrangements for housing or superb
schools. We're certainly working to expand and improve child care
on campus, but even that does not meet the demand.
What are the strategies?
A: There are two kinds of things
that one can do: Make the best possible use of the resources available
to us, and expand those resources.
the academic side of things, we're focusing our resources more than
before, concentrating on areas in which we are already excellent
or where we must achieve excellence. We've been investing more,
for example, in the College of Letters and Science there's
no such thing as a great university without a great college. We've
been investing in areas where we are or can be a national leader.
These are areas like genetics and society; the UCLA in LA initiative,
which has to do with the connection between a great public university
and a great metropolitan area; the visual arts; and the California
NanoSystems Institute. And we're concentrating more on interdisciplinary
activities, because that is where UCLA is already a leader and is
an area that is essential if we are going to help solve some of
the major problems that face society.