The first goal in Creating the Future: UCLA’s 2023–28 Strategic Plan, which launched last month, is to deepen our engagement with Los Angeles. One significant way we will achieve this goal is through physical expansion within our city and region. We write today to share the latest information about UCLA’s expanded presence in downtown L.A. and the South Bay.
Since acquiring the historic Trust Building in downtown Los Angeles, UCLA teams have been hard at work on preliminary planning to determine office, meeting, classroom and event space needs within the building. A small amount of building space is currently available for active use during this planning period, with the expectation that much more space will be available in 12–18 months. UCLA Extension, which will be an anchor tenant in the building, has already relocated some of its staff to offices in the building.
To help guide the use of building space decisions, the EVCP’s Office has commissioned the UCLA Downtown Programming Board, chaired by Professor Eric Avila. The board’s goal is to make UCLA Downtown a dynamic and flexible space that will serve as a community hub, emphasize inclusivity, and help us fulfill our public mandate by positively impacting the health and vitality of our diverse city.
Last month, the board initiated a Request for Proposals for use of space in the UCLA Downtown building. Proposals may be submitted by faculty, staff, students or UCLA affiliates, and senior leaders are asked to encourage participation. All proposals should align with the aims of UCLA’s strategic plan and foster community engagement in downtown LA. Cross-campus collaboration is also encouraged.
Proposals are due Thursday, Nov. 30 and can be submitted via Google Forms.
UCLA South Bay
The UCLA South Bay campus in Rancho Palos Verdes and UCLA South Bay Villas in San Pedro are situated close to the Pacific Ocean and near the largest port complexes in the world, creating significant opportunities for education and research relating to sustainability. This is why we are excited to share that the academic focus of our new South Bay campus will be sustainability, climate change and environmental justice.
The selection of this unifying theme for the campus builds on recommendations from the 2022–23 Joint Task Force on the Academic Mission of UCLA Campus Expansion. Now that the theme has been set, a UCLA South Bay Implementation Committee has been charged with designing the academic programs and ensuring physical spaces are ready for use. Two subcommittees — one focused on academics and another on operations — will work towards the goal of having programs operating by fall of 2024.
Both subcommittees are co chaired by Steve Yu, chief operating and financial officer for UCLA South Bay. The academic implementation subcommittee will be co-chaired by an academic senate faculty member and will include faculty, staff, students and administrators. The operations implementation subcommittee is co-chaired by Charles Turner, executive director for financial and administrative services, and members will include representatives from relevant campus departments such as administration, facilities, IT, sustainability, transportation and others.
While planning remains underway on the long-term use of the South Bay properties, UCLA has already used the spaces to host a summer Student Leadership Academy — bringing together current UCLA students for weekend-long visits built around leadership skills development — as well as leadership retreats and other events. We are also in the process of exploring strategic community partnerships with groups including AltaSea, the Port of Los Angeles and other San Pedro and Rancho Palos Verdes neighborhood community organizations.
We look forward to continuing to strengthen our ties to the Los Angeles region, in part through our institution’s physical expansion. These facilities will help us foster stronger community engagement beyond our existing campus footprint, continue to produce applied scholarship that improves our communities, and increase the opportunities for research and learning collaboration.
Gene D. Block
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost