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Spring 2003
The Challenge
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The Price of Excellence
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Spring 2003
The Challenge
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Ultimately it is people who make a university — people who want to be a part of a great institution and who, through their commitment and achievements, make it even greater. In our efforts to attract the finest faculty, students and staff, UCLA’s reputation, location and academic and research programs are seldom at issue. When we do fall short in recruitment and retention, the reasons are usually financial.

Last fall I established a Competitiveness Task Force to help us meet head-on the challenges posed by the financial-resource gap. The task force is looking at ways in which we can ensure that we continue to recruit and retain the very best faculty and students. We are also looking to ensure that we make the kinds of investments in our capital programs that relate most to attracting and retaining the best people, such as increasing the amount of student housing, ensuring that quality child care is available, modifying our libraries and building state-of-the-art laboratory facilities.

In addition to maximizing the resources that we already have, we must also attract new resources. There is ample cause for optimism, given recent successes in both research funding and in private fund-raising. In Fiscal Year 2002, UCLA received a campus record $767.8 million in extramural research contracts and grants, keeping us among the top five universities in the nation for total research funding from all sources. UCLA jumped from 12th in the nation in 1997 to third in 2000 in federal funding for science and engineering research.

Last year was also a banner year for philanthropic contributions to UCLA; we raised a record total of $509.4 million, highlighted by David Geffen’s gift of $200 million to the School of Medicine, which was renamed the David Geffen School of Medicine to honor his remarkable pledge. Even if we had not had the great fortune of receiving David Geffen’s gift, last year would have been the second-best fund-raising year in UCLA history. We have developed a remarkably strong private-giving program, and Campaign UCLA, which is so vital to us because of the versatility of the funding it generates, now stands at close to $2.2 billion. Our campaign goal of $2.4 billion is well within sight. These successes reflect the strong support that UCLA enjoys throughout California and beyond. And they demonstrate that despite the resource constraints we face, greatness is within our grasp.

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