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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
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Spring 2005
What's at Stake

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Geoffrey Garrett, Dean of the UCLA International Institute

"It is not a question 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."

— Geoffrey Garrett

Garrett: Let’s talk about the role of graduate education and what is necessary to attract and retain the best graduate students. It is probably hard for the general public to understand Ph.D. education. But those of us on the inside know full well that graduate students are the connective tissue in the research university, working with faculty on research, mentoring and teaching undergraduates.

Boyer: It is essential to a research university to have excellent graduate students and postdoctoral fellows attacking problems of major importance.

A great research university provides an environment that offers the best system society has developed for the creative discovery of new knowledge. High-quality faculty and graduate students are crucial to outstanding discovery. This is an area of concern in the life sciences because we’ve been losing our competitive edge in attracting the best, both in faculty and graduate students.

The need to improve the present state of affairs may not be adequately recognized. An indicative measure of this is the number of UCLA faculty who are members of the national academies. Among universities with 20 or more members in the National Academy of Sciences, for example, UCLA ranks 15th, well behind UC Berkeley and UC San Diego. Over the past several years, the number of Academy members at UCLA has remained relatively stable, around 28, while the numbers for the other campuses have increased.

Faculty quality is thus a very pertinent issue. Funding for named professorships and provision of ways to ameliorate housing costs for both faculty and graduate students are two important ways that private resources can increase faculty and graduate student quality at UCLA.

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2005 The Regents of the University of California