Review of Research Administration at UCLA

September 30, 2009

UCLA Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

To:  Vice Chancellors, Deans, Directors, Department Chairs, Administrative Officers and Faculty

Dear Colleagues:

Last summer, we commissioned a comprehensive review of research administration at UCLA.  We engaged the Huron Consulting Group to evaluate the Office of Research Administration (which includes the Office for the Protection of Research Subjects and Extramural Fund Management), the Office of Intellectual Property and Industry Sponsored Research, and the School of Medicine Office of Clinical Trials.  Huron interviewed more than 250 individuals, surveyed 696 faculty and staff, met with campus oversight and administrative committees, and compared UCLA to other top research universities.  The result is the most comprehensive assessment of our research administration in more than two decades.  Many of you participated in this assessment, and I want to thank you for your time, insights and forthright communications.  A summary of the findings of the study is now available for you to read at

We asked our consultants to focus on the efficiency and effectiveness of our research administration and improvements that would help us better support our research mission.  You will find that the report offers a range of suggestions for changes in processes, systems and procedures.  These recommendations offer us great opportunities to improve services to faculty, increase operational efficiency and mitigate compliance risk.  Chancellor Block, Vice Chancellor Peccei and I are committed to achieving these goals through implementation of the recommendations.  To do so, we will call upon the support and expertise of staff and faculty across campus.

Some projects to implement Huron recommendations already are underway, and others to revamp research administration will start in the near future.  I want to assure you that I am fully aware that this work will require an enduring commitment from faculty and staff.  The next 6 to 18 months will be a challenging time of change for us all, and I have great confidence that our collective efforts will result in more effective research administrative support for our world-class research program.

We have established a best-practices project management structure to support implementation.  I will serve as executive project sponsor and will chair a steering committee.  A faculty committee will advise the steering committee on priorities and key decisions for strengthening research administration.  I am very pleased that Professor Andrew Leuchter, associate dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine and professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences, has agreed to chair the Faculty Advisory Committee.

Vice Chancellor Peccei and I want to ensure that faculty and staff are informed about plans and progress as we revamp research administration.  We are committed to maintaining open channels of communication, and we encourage your ongoing input.  If you have comments on the report, suggestions for improvement or questions about the implementation process, please contact me directly at


Scott L. Waugh
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost