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UCLA Magazine Spring 2005
From Murphy Hall
Living La Vida 'Lorca'
Stress Fractures
What's at Stake
The Importance of Being Elma
House of Cards
The Quest
Through Women's Eyes
Dynamic Duo
Bruin Walk

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Spring 2005
What's at Stake

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Henry Samueli, CTO of Broadcom Corp.

"[Being] the best attracts the best talent, which in turn creates the innovation that translates into creating jobs, creating industries, creating wealth. … Wealth creation translates into philanthropy that comes back to the university."

— Henry Samueli

Garrett: One thing that sometimes goes underappreciated is the incredibly strong connection between UCLA and the community college system. Today, roughly one-third of the students in each graduating class at UCLA began their college careers in community colleges. Indeed, UCLA is No. 1 among major research universities in Pell Grant recipients from low-income families. Warren, how do you view this linkage between elite institutions in the California higher education system such as UCLA and the community colleges?

Furutani: For me, the community college is a bridge to get students into the university. There are many different steps along the way to arriving at a flagship school like UCLA. For some people there will be off-ramps as they pursue different educational goals. They may go straight into business, they may go into different kinds of educational or job-training programs. But the issue is making sure that those bridges exist from one sector of the public education system to the next. And if the bridge turns out to be a drawbridge — if we take the best and bring them in and then lift the bridge so that no one else can enter — then we have a problem. We have to bring in not only the best and brightest, we also need to have diversity within the class. UCLA can be elite, as long as it is not elitist.

Garrett: It is not a question, then, of either excellence or access — both are necessary for us to be competitive and successful. These twin goals that were front and center in the creation of the University of California, the leading public university system in the world, are still the right goals.

Furutani: Absolutely. Let me use my own son as an example. He goes to school at UCLA, which we are very pleased and proud of. But candidly, he was lucky to get in. He was an average student. And you know what an average student at UCLA is: He had a 4.2 GPA and a 1300-plus SAT. And that made him average. To me, that speaks to the necessity to make sure that we have a public higher education system that operates along a continuum. The issues that face education at the lower end of the spectrum are equally important as those at the top end.

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