Dear Bruin Community:
By nearly any measure, UCLA is a remarkable engine of positive change in California and across the globe. Our university opens the doors of opportunity to tens of thousands of students each year, pushes the boundaries of knowledge in countless disciplines, fosters an incredible level of economic activity, and supports the health and vitality of one of the most dynamic and diverse cities in the world.
Yet in a time of transformation within our broader society, within Los Angeles and within our university, how can we deepen UCLA’s impact — and do so in a way that is more inclusive of the diverse communities we serve?
That is the question at the heart of Creating the Future: UCLA’s 2023–28 Strategic Plan, which launches today.
Our new strategic plan — which was developed with extensive input from faculty, staff, students, alumni and community partners — provides a framework, overview of campuswide investments and set of guiding principles that will provide high-level institutional direction for UCLA over the next half-decade. The plan centers on five goals:
- Goal 1: Deepen our engagement with Los Angeles: How can UCLA double down on its connections and service to the dynamic and diverse megacity in which we are located?
- Goal 2: Expand our reach as a global university: How can UCLA expand its international influence, taking on global problems, producing globally minded students and better connecting alumni and partners around the world?
- Goal 3: Enhance our research and creative activities: What infrastructure and initiatives are needed to help us advance scholarly inquiry and creative achievement in service of the public good?
- Goal 4: Elevate how we teach: How can we capitalize on new approaches and technology to enhance teaching, better support instructors and better serve learners?
- Goal 5: Become a more effective institution: What adjustments to UCLA’s processes, systems, resources and organization will help us meet our ambitious aims, given our fiscal realities?
Importantly, our new strategic plan looks at these goals through the lens of inclusive excellence. This concept asks us to recognize that the excellence UCLA has achieved and produced in its first 100 years has not been shared in equal measure by people of all backgrounds and identities. But in the years ahead, by centering inclusivity, we can more meaningfully serve our communities and more fully meet our university’s public mandate. Many of UCLA’s existing initiatives — like our efforts to achieve federal designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) and an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution , (AANAPISI) build a more diverse faculty, develop our thriving Black Bruin community, and better support Native Americans and Pacific Islanders on our campus — fall under the inclusive excellence umbrella.
UCLA’s strategic plan, of course, is not meant to consist only of top-down projects. We invite campus community members to consider how their own work and priorities ladder up to the plan’s five goals. We will also extend opportunities for Bruins to get involved through grant opportunities, service on committees, and related initiatives — for example, students, staff and faculty members can now submit proposals for project space in the UCLA Downtown building (PDF).
Our world is in a critical period of change, as we emerge from a generation-defining pandemic that changed how people think and feel, interact with one another and engage with the institutions around them. Other important trends mark this moment as well, among them increasing attention to longstanding racial and social injustices, changes to urban environments, demographic shifts in California, the launch of new technology with world-changing implications, and a rise in climate change-related challenges as well as much-needed investments in global sustainability.
It is a crucial time for UCLA, too, as we evaluate the most effective use of campus space, determine how to incorporate emerging modes of pedagogy, expand our physical presence within Los Angeles, grapple with new political and economic pressures, and navigate changes to the higher education and research spheres. Several milestones are in our near future, too, most notably the arrival of the Metro Purple (D Line) in Westwood in 2027, which will help open up our university’s offerings to the rest of Los Angeles. UCLA will also host the Olympic Village in 2028 and celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Westwood campus in 2029, drawing spotlights to our institution and the many ways we serve the world.
Our strategic plan endeavors to chart a path for UCLA that accounts for these trends and milestones, positioning us to surmount the challenges and capitalize on the opportunities that we face at this important moment. With greater impact as our goal, and inclusive excellence as our means of achieving it, we will do these things with equity and justice at the forefront.
UCLA’s century of success offers us a strong foundation on which to build our institution’s future. We warmly invite you to help us envision, take part in and create that future.
Gene D. Block
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost