fact, it was UCLA’s diversity of disciplines and its “tremendous
intellectual resources” that brought Dorr to UCLA from USC
in 1981 — she took a substantial salary cut and lost a full-time
secretary to make the switch. A specialist in child welfare, Dorr
says she joined UCLA because “there are faculties all over
campus that are related to my interest.” Dorr’s school
works with a remarkably wide range of faculty encompassing just
about every field, from the social, physical and life sciences to
the schools of engineering, law and management. These faculties
carry out research and public-outreach programs on common projects,
besides sending students to each other’s classes. According
to Dorr, this interdisciplinary approach, or the grouping of diverse
subjects within one program for students, is UCLA’s greatest
strength, and one that it has already exploited.
it comes to collaborative research and teaching, says Executive
Vice Chancellor Neuman, “UCLA is better in this regard than
example of such collaboration is the California NanoSystems Institute
(CNSI), which broke ground in February for its new facility on campus.
The CNSI is focused on developing the nanotechnological advances
in information, biomedical and medical technologies that will dominate
science and the economy in the 21st century, drawing on the expertise
of physicists, molecular biologists, chemists, engineers, medical
scientists and other scholars. Another collaboration is the new
Institute for Cell Mimetic Space Exploration, which brings together
researchers from engineering, physical and life sciences and medicine
to develop machines for space that will mirror both the adaptability
and intelligence of human beings.
ACADEMIC INTEGRATION IS TESTIMONY TO THE “ENTREPRENEURIAL
RISKS WE UNDERTAKE IN INTELLECTUAL ENDEAVORS,” SAYS NEUMAN,
“WHICH COMES OUT OF UCLA’S YOUTH.
Older campuses would find it much more difficult to do this because
they have embedded in them traditions dating back scores of decades,
if not centuries.”