Luskin Center Transition

January 19, 2010

UCLA Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

Administrative Officers, Deans, Department Chairs, Directors, and Vice Chancellors

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce an organizational change that enhances UCLA’s civic engagement while consolidating university resources.  UCLA’s Luskin Center for Innovation, which has been housed within the Chancellor’s Office, has moved to the School of Public Affairs under the leadership of Dean Franklin Gilliam.

The Luskin Center for Innovation, devoted to applied research and policy development relevant to the needs of Los Angeles, recently celebrated its first anniversary.  Under its inaugural director, Professor William Vega, the Luskin Center’s accomplishments achieved to date include:

  • The selection, in consultation with faculty and community members, of the theme “pollution in L.A.” to guide the first two years of research;
  • The appointment of four Luskin scholars with support to enable collaborative, interdisciplinary research; and
  • The formation of the founding Luskin Center advisory committee of faculty, administrators and community leaders.

At this time, Professor Vega has returned to his full-time work in Family Medicine.  Chancellor Block and I are grateful to him for bringing the center from a start-up project within the Chancellor’s Office to a stable unit poised to make significant contributions to UCLA’s civic engagement and academic excellence.

J. R. DeShazo, associate professor of public policy, is the new director of the Luskin Center.  In accepting this responsibility, J.R. will ensure that the Luskin Center complements and extends the work of the Ralph and Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, which he also directs.  Please join me in welcoming J.R. to this role.

Moving the Luskin Center to the School of Public Affairs advances UCLA’s efforts to increase the quality, visibility and coordination of research related to civic engagement.  We also are strengthening opportunities for students to participate in such research.

This organizational change enables us to strengthen our network of research centers and projects focused on the needs of Los Angeles.  I am confident that the Luskin Center will thrive within the School of Public Affairs.


Scott L. Waugh
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost