UCLA Administration


December 2017

Ask Michael

Michael BeckAdministrative VC Beck leads our team; submit your questions to him via email to adminvc@ucla.edu and check back here next month for an answer.


Bethany Lucas, Faculty Support Services Manager at UCLA Anderson School of Management asks two terrific questions. First, "What is the single most important advice that anyone has given to you during your career? "

Early in my career, I received advice that was very helpful and can be summed up in a quote from John Maxwell: “People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.” It's natural to think about personal goals, but if people know that you put your personal ambitions and interests behind those of coworkers, customers, and organization, they are more apt to trust your judgement and accept your advice. If we truly care about the people we work with and serve, we will listen to their interests and needs. When we do that, we can share knowledge and ideas that are in the best interest of the organization, and we are more likely to achieve success in what we do.

"During your tenure at UCLA, what have you noticed that UCLA does well, and where and how do you feel we need to improve? "

What has impressed me the most about UCLA is the quality and dedication of its employees. I continue to meet people across our organization who are extremely talented in their field and committed to making UCLA the best it can be. In that regard, I would like our organization to focus on continuous improvement. UCLA is regularly ranked as either the #1 or #2 public university in the U.S. and in the world. We achieved this recognition through the amazing work and dedication of our employees, past and present. However, if we are to continue to lead, we must focus on how to evolve our programs and services–making them more affordable, easier to access, and even more responsive to the changing demands of our customers. We need to be innovative and ask ourselves if are we are doing all we can to assist in advancing UCLA as a model for program and service delivery. I am confident that Administration can continue to lead the campus and our peers across the country in innovative programs and services. Go Bruins!

All the best,


PDP & SEP Develop Tomorrow’s UCLA Leaders Today

In today’s competitive work environment, many employers have recognized that providing professional development opportunities is a major factor in retaining talent.  But how many can say that 35 percent of participants in their development programs will get reclassified or promoted within a year of completing the program? Campus Human Resources Professional Development Program (PDP) and Staff Enrichment Program (SEP) can. There are many reasons why these two programs have established themselves as a key resource for nurturing UCLA’s future talent. Career advancement is just one of them.

PDP members celebrate with Chancellor Block at the 2017 Staff Honors’ Reception.

There is a ‘buzz’ that this is a special experience that can’t be replicated anywhere else,” says Julia Sanchez, Manager, Training & Development, who has been overseeing the PDP since 2011. “Participants change dramatically during the time they are in the PDP. They gain confidence, get more motivated, develop campus-wide relationships and get committed to making a difference at UCLA.

More about PDP

2017 SEP participants enjoy a bonding experience at UCLA’s Challenge Course.

Megan Eigenbrod, SEP Training & Career Development Coordinator for the past three years, adds that “The SEP connects people to a bigger network and opens doors—and ideas—for different career opportunities they might not have thought about previously. The program gives participants a sense of belonging on campus and gets them excited about their future here.

More about SEP

For many, a favorite component of both programs is the pairing of members with mentors and/or buddies. This collaborative relationship gives participants a unique perspective on real-life management decisions, invaluable business insight, access to a broader network, functional expertise and often a comforting voice of reason. Judging by the number of “repeat” mentors and buddies, it’s not clear who benefits more, the teacher or the student.

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Coping with Loneliness During the Holidays

A solitary walk through the woods.

The holiday season often underscores how alone people feel. Loneliness may seem more acute during this time because of overwhelming media coverage that depicts the season as a time for carefree social gatherings with friends and family. In fact, approximately 33% of Americans report feeling lonely during the holidays.

When in Doubt, Reach Out

Strategies to Cope with Loneliness During the Holidays

Make a Plan
Don’t let a false sense of helplessness keep you in a negative emotional cycle. Consider what your stressors are (family, money, recent loss), and think about how you can best cope. Write down some coping strategies and put them somewhere easily accessible. Consider using the following self-soothing techniques to govern your emotions: meditative breathing; guided imagery; progressive muscle relaxation.

Honor your feelings
Our fantasies of the holiday season can raise expectations for joy and togetherness, setting you up for increased sadness about being alone. Anticipate, recognize, and plan for your loneliness instead of denying it. Be courageously honest about how you’re really feeling and give yourself permission to cry.

Limit your alcohol intake
Holiday events and parties can provide beneficial social interaction. However, they often come with a culture of alcohol consumption. Alcohol is a depressant and can magnify your feelings of sadness.

Practice self-care
Do what you can to reduce stress and connect with people, as well as activities you enjoy. Get some rest, eat healthy and delicious foods, engage in gentle exercise, take a bath, visit a place of worship, go to a museum or a movie – do whatever feels safe and brings you a sense of comfort. If being home or attending family events is a source of distress, take a trip. If you find yourself upset by using social media sites, limit or stop use them during the holidays.

Talk to a Counselor
The UCLA Staff & Faculty Counseling Center offers free, confidential short-term therapy and can help you devise a plan to incorporate coping strategies into your life, or to connect you with additional resources.

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Going from Good to GREAT

Many leaders in UCLA Administration are reading the #1 bestselling book Good to Great  by Jim Collins which explores how a good company becomes a great company. As the campus environment changes, we must recognize how our strengths and talents can be fostered and utilized to meet evolving customer expections and focus on achieving results that will benefit our customers and the campus. One of the book's major findings is that greatness does not happen by accident, but is the result of making conscious choices and acting with discipline. UCLA Administration chooses to be great!

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A quotation from author Stephen Covey

Making Healthy Snack Choices

Whether you've skipped breakfast in a mad dash to leave for work or just need a mid-afternoon boost, the urge to snack can be overwhelming! Fortunately, UCLA Vending, a division of Housing & Hospitality Services, redesigned the outside of vending machines containing healthier snacks which are consistent with the Health Campus Initiative guidelines. Look for the new designs and the bold blue labels reminding us to make healthy choices.

Eat well. Move well. Mind well. Be well - LIVE WELL!

New labels identify vending machines with healthy snack alternatives.

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Caught in the Act: Kindness through Customer Service

First-rate customer service for all our campus clients is a top priority. In each issue of News & Views, we'll honor one UCLA Administration employee caught in the act of providing exemplary customer service. Kindly submit photos with a brief description via email to adminvc@ucla.edu.

Officer John BerkelandIn late October 2017, Officer John Berkeland handled a criminal terrorist threats case from beginning to end–taking the initial report, beginning the investigation, coordinating surveillance, and ultimately apprehending the suspect. This arrest was vital in protecting our community and the sanctity of the hospital environment at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. John is a hard worker who never hesitates to help and can be consistently relied upon to provide outstanding service and do great work. John's contributions to the department include working with the medical center; providing training to newly hired hospital employees; and conducting numerous investigations resulting in arrests that help to protect patients, physicians, staff, and the wider campus community.  In addition to his regular duties, John serves on the strategic planning committee and contributes to the Crisis Intervention Program. ​​

Thank you, Officer Berkeland! In recognition of his outstanding service we are sending John and a companion to cheer the Bruins at a UCLA Men's Basketball home game.