good example of UCLA’s research-oriented, cross-disciplinary
entrepreneurial initiative, says Neuman, is the Department of World
Arts and Cultures in the School of the Arts and Architecture, which
is considered unique not just in the country but around the world.
It evolved out of the dance department in the mid-1990s, and offers
a curriculum in culture and performance studies leading up to the
Ph.D. “It’s a new, emerging field that may well serve
as a model for other universities in this century,” says Neuman.
As with any research-based program, it’s impossible to predict
the department’s eventual direction, but as Neuman perceptively
stresses: “What is interdisciplinary today becomes disciplinary
tomorrow.” He adds, with a smile: “How’s that
for a bumper sticker?”
ALL THE TOP CAMPUSES in the nation, UCLA, with 419 acres,
is among the smallest in land mass. This has profound implications
for long-term planning, making space one of the keys to competitiveness.
“Without space, your program can’t grow, so in certain
ways it is more important than money,” says Judith L. Smith,
vice provost for undergraduate education and, as of July 1, interim
executive dean of the College of Letters and Science. Smith is the
head of the task-force group entrusted with space planning, including
how UCLA has developed in the past and what kind of programs it
should develop in the future. Besides long-term planning, Smith’s
group is also monitoring ways in which faculties can continue to
do quality work without the prospect of building much more on the
is power,” says Smith. “I don’t know if you can
have a dialogue about that, but space is certainly something that
the faculty understands very well. It kind of transcends everything.”
Many campus buildings, adds Smith, were built in the 1950s and ’60s,
and renovating them is monumentally expensive, especially since
state funds for renovation as well as new buildings are scarce.
“We are looking at models in other universities to see how
they have dealt with these important issues,” she says.
one way of tackling UCLA’s budget woes may be to instill a
dose of administrative reorganization. That, at any rate, is the
view of William Ouchi, holder of the Sanford and Betty Sigoloff
Chair in Corporate Renewal at The Anderson School, who has offered
a course for UC managers titled, “What Will Our University
World Look Like?” The course includes responses to the challenge
of dwindling state support for UC campuses. As Ouchi sees it, “having
a difficult economy is no more or no less a disadvantage to UCLA
than any private university.” That, he explains, is because
private campuses are having trouble raising tuition fees and are
faced with diminished endowments, plus ever more requests for scholarship
money by students whose families have been hit hard by the economy.