A New Era of Educational Innovation at UCLA

October 8, 2021

Dear Colleagues:

While our transition to widespread remote learning in 2020 and 2021 had its share of challenges, one silver lining was a substantial and commendable rise in faculty and instructor interest in new pedagogical approaches, technological tools, and teaching modalities that might enable UCLA to better serve its educational mission. Alongside this increased interest, we also saw an attendant rise in demand for resources and institutional support related to instruction.

In recognition of these trends, last summer I established the Administration of Teaching, Learning and Services (ATLAS) Committee — co-chaired by Dean Tina Christie and Dean Eileen Strempel and composed of faculty and staff from across campus — to help us improve the coordination and delivery of UCLA’s teaching and learning resources. I encourage you to read the most recent version of the ATLAS committee’s report (PDF).  Its key recommendations include creating a Vice Provost for Educational Innovation position; organizing a campus-wide teaching and educational innovation center with discipline-specific teaching support; designing a training curriculum to help instructors navigate new learning environments; transforming physical classrooms to accommodate advancements in educational technology; revising the incentive and accountability structures to reward instructors’ teaching innovation and experimentation; and reorganizing academic technology support to provide consistent levels of service.

While the ATLAS committee is awaiting additional feedback on its recommendations from the Academic Senate, both campus and Senate leadership agree that we should begin advancing this critical work now. As a first step toward achieving these long-range objectives, I have appointed a Special Assistant to the EVCP for Educational Innovation on a six-month assignment. Professor of Geography and Vice Provost of International Studies Emeritus J. Nicholas Entrikin will take up this role on Monday, October 11. Professor Entrikin is a longtime faculty member and widely respected campus leader who shepherded UCLA’s International Institute through its transformation into a campus-wide hub for international teaching and research as well as the center of global strategic planning for our institution. He also recently served as UCLA Chief Liaison for Veterans Affairs.

As Special Assistant to the EVCP for Educational Innovation, Professor Entrikin will work with colleagues across UCLA to devise and implement a reorganization of our teaching and learning structures. As the ATLAS committee report recommends, his prime areas of focus will be the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and the Online Teaching and Learning Initiative. His efforts will lay the groundwork for a comprehensive program of improvements to the delivery of teaching and learning resources at UCLA.

Please join me in thanking the ATLAS committee, particularly Dean Strempel and Dean Christie, as well as Professor Entrikin for their service to the campus through this work. I have no doubt that these efforts to transform the educational landscape at UCLA will have a profound and reverberating impact on multiple generations of teachers and learners to come.


Emily A. Carter
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost