UCLA Administration

News & Views

January 2019

A bimonthly celebration of our ten administrative units, their dedicated staff and our successes as a team. In this issue we highlight ENVIRONMENT, HEALTH & SAFETY, which supports stewardship of the campus environment and assists UCLA in providing for the health and safety of the campus community. 

Ask Michael

Administrative Vice Chancellor Michael BeckAdministrative VC Beck leads our team; submit your questions to him via email to [email protected] and check back here next month for an answer.

Kyrie Bass, Director of Organizational Performance at Housing & Hospitality Services, submitted a question regarding the recent UCLA Administration Leadership Forum.

 " I was excited to attend the recent Leadership Forum and learn about Lean Six Sigma and process improvement. Will additional training be offered in Lean Six Sigma such as green belt or black belt? "

I am glad that you found the UC San Diego Lean Six Sigma (Lean) presentation valuable to you. The concept of improving our processes is critical to creating greater efficiency for our customers and reducing wasted efforts within our operating units.  It is not uncommon to find someone undertaking a task that is no longer necessary or without understanding how the task is related to an overall process, but these efforts continue because “we have always done it that way.”  Lean is a collaborative method used to examine a process and incrementally reduce wasted time or effort.  

UCLA Administration’s office of Organization Effectiveness and Development (OED) is available to provide basic Lean training to departments that have identified specific processes they want to improve. OED will guide the department through the application of Lean concepts to identify and implement process improvements.

Advanced levels of Lean Six Sigma training, such as green and black belts, relate to more complex efficiency efforts and are not necessarily needed to effectuate process improvements. Many departments already have employees with green belt certification and you may wish to tap into their expertise for more complex process improvement needs. Departments that have identified a process for improvement may choose to ask those with a green or black belt to lead the effort or utilize the process improvement effort to aid employees in achieving a higher certification level.  Truly, a broad awareness and use of lean concepts across our organization may ultimately be more impactful and valuable than a handful of more highly trained experts. 

If you would like to know more about the Lean method, are interested in basic training, or are ready to explore implementing a process, please contact Gerrie Zvara in OED at 310-794-6775.  

It is important to note that Lean Six Sigma represents just some of the tools that can be used for process improvement. The main focus of our efforts should be to continually improve our processes in order to deliver tangible benefits to the organization. 

All the best,


Learn more about the Leadership Forum




UCLA Transportation offers reduced prices for shared ride services. Learn more at transportation.ucla.edu

Behavior-based Safety

Environment, Health and Safety (EH&S) is successfully using behavior-based safety programs to help reduce workplace injuries. Through collaborations with management and front line staff, these programs target areas where employees can proactively increase their own knowledge, evaluate habits, perform physical inspections of a work area and make changes to reduce risk and provide a safer environment for all.

Staff from Dining Services at Housing and Hospitality Services participate in a stretching program.

Since 2015, the Dining Services division of Housing & Hospitality Services, has worked with EH&S to target the root causes of job-related injuries. Looking at past injuries, it was clear that activities related to moving things-reaching, lifting and carrying as well as slipping, tripping and falling-were among some of the more frequent injuries. A proactive safety program was put into place to help prevent these types of injuries. Team members and their managers participated in stretching sessions, targeting muscle groups that help prevent sprains and strains; completed regular safety related trainings around areas of workplace health and safety; and performed regular safety inspections of kitchens and storerooms. Since the successful implementation of this program for Dining Services, additional programs have been implemented in Housing & Hospitality Services and Facilities Management. 

This proactive, collaborative approach has helped to increase training participation, promote UCLA Recreation Fitwell programs, identify workplace hazards and reduce injuries. EH&S is now able to more effectively manage workplace safety and provide periodic rewards for departments that successfully complete the requirements of the program.

Period rewards reinforce the safety culture and encourage staff to participate.

If you are interested in learning more about behavior-based safety or implementing a program for your department, please contact the EH&S Training Program Manager, Karin Wasler, at [email protected].

Learn about EH&S training opportunities



Join us for an open house with Environment Health and Safety on Thursday, March 7, 10:00 a.m. at the Strathmore Building, Room 200.

Goblins, ghosts and ghouls

Colin Dimock, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Environment, Health and Safety, has spent much of his life evaluating and mitigating risk. Prior to coming to UCLA almost twenty years ago, Colin worked as an environmental chemist in radioactive source manufacture, constructing radioactive components for industrial use. You might say that he has mastered the ability to manage the unfamiliar and dangerous. With such serious responsibilities at work, you may suspect that his love of board games and game design provides a welcome break from an intense routine, but it’s a little more complicated than that.

When Colin was in fourth grade, his brother introduced him to war simulation games, which led Colin to his local library where he learned about H. G. Wells who wrote a set of rules for playing with toy soldiers back in 1913. The book, Little Wars, provided simple rules for miniature wargaming. Colin was hooked. By seventh grade, he had created his first game that could be played by his friends.

Colin Dimock from Environment, Health and Safety designs board games as a hobby.

Colin explains that "art is full of happy accidents" and the development of his game Bump in the Night is a testament to his willingness to accept a challenge, adapt and persevere. He hadn't intended to create a horror-themed game, but a chance series of events at a gaming convention in San Francisco opened that crypt. At the convention, Colin and a friend couldn't join one of the horror-based, role-playing games because there weren't enough games scheduled to accommodate all of the players. Rather than wallow in disappointment, Colin offered to run games for the program the following year. Even though Colin didn't read or watch horror, his reputation had been made-he still runs this annual event each year.

Games pieces in play in Bump in the Night, a game designed by Colin Dimock.

Colin suggests that, when done right, games are a form of storytelling-similar to novels, plays, and film. His game, Bump in the Night, conjures a story of monsters competing for control in a haunted house. One of the most exciting elements of the game is its modular board, which has graphics on both sides and can be reconfigured to provide several different haunted house layouts. This means that the setting is different each time you play, increasing the challenge of out-smarting your opponents. As smart as this feature is, it was a fortunate accident. Colin's original design for a set board was too expensive to produce so the manufacturer recommended breaking it up into smaller segments. This change made it possible to have graphics on both sides of each board segment, resulting in almost endless possibilities.  

Colin says that game design has been "a positive influence for me professionally" and has helped to develop and accent his business skills. He has acquired many transferable skills, including problem solving, social skills and developing proficiency in Excel and Photoshop. He jokes that running a meeting seems easy after years of hosting teams of players and managing games. 

Inaugural Leadership Forum

The very first UCLA Administration Leadership Forum was held on November 13-14, 2018. The Forum was the outcome of a project from the Leadership 2027 Program and allowed about 600 administration managers from all levels of the organization to gather in the same location to hear about the organizational direction and discuss opportunities to collaborate, communicate, and create change through process improvements.

Leaders from UCLA Administration listen to the keynote address at the inaugural Leadership Forum.

Administrative Vice Chancellor Michael Beck gave the keynote speech, which provided for many an insight to the state of the organization that may not have been discussed in their normal operational functions. In addition to VC Beck, members from UCSD’s Operational Strategic Initiatives (OIS) team provided an overview of the LEAN concept to improve processes and services.

Vice Chancellor Michael Beck engages with forum participants.

In a post assessment, over 80% of respondents committed to personally taking responsibility to use the information provided to improve their workplace efficiency.

When asked what they liked about the event, over half of the responses mentioned AVC Beck’s keynote speech showing the impact of communication from senior leadership to all levels of the organization.

Participants indicated, in the future, they want more individual interactions, communication, and participation.

Watch the presentations

Only Rain Down the Drain

Did you know that the majority of the water than flows into our street gutters goes directly into Santa Monica Bay?

UCLA is home to miles of underground storm drains that direct untreated water into the City of Los Angeles drainage system along the Sepulveda Channel and Ballona Creek on its way to the Bay. The drains collect water from many different sources, including rain events, discharge from lawn sprinklers and other outdoor activities like washing a car or hosing down a sidewalk. Unfortunately, this water is often polluted as it washes over chemicals and debris illegally dumped into campus streets or tossed into storm drains. Since the water is never treated, all of these toxic substances and trash items ultimately end up in the Santa Monica Bay.

Here at UCLA we take protection of our waterways very seriously.  Not only must we be good environmental stewards to keep our water free from pollution, but we must also comply with many State and federal laws.  To help UCLA comply with storm water rules, EH&S is working with Facilities Management to design a capture system that would prevent any trash from getting into the storm drains. Of course, the culture at UCLA encourages more than compliance so EH&S is also looking at more forward-thinking solutions.

To progress towards UCLA's sustainability goals, EH&S is also evaluating systems that would capture the storm water and then clean it for use at the Co-Generation power plant (Co-Gen), located on Kinross at the Transit facility.  Currently, the Co-Gen produces eighty-five percent of the electrical power needed at UCLA. Ultimately, the goal is to collect enough storm water to supply the Co-Gen cooling tower, reducing our reliance on purchased water.  


Learn more about the storm water program


Sustainability All Around

Each of us has a role to play in helping UCLA achieve its goal of Zero Waste by 2020. It's easier than you may think. You can contribute by supporting current initiatives such as sorting your trash into the appropriate bins or identifying ways to reduce resource use in your unique corner of campus. 

On our way to zero landfill waste, the reduction or elimination of single-use materials used for routine tasks in our daily operations will be critical. In the United States, less than 5% of plastic waste is recycled and over 40% of it is packaging that was used once and then thrown away. 

UCLA Grounds Services recently joined Housing and Hospitality Services in its efforts to reduce plastic bag waste by switching to reusable bags to collect landscaping waste. For Facilities Management alone, this will eliminate the disposal of approximately 50 jumbo bags a day.

Here's Groundskeeper, Jason Brainard, after using the bags to collect trash from planters on Charles E. Young Drive South.

Groundskeeper Jason Brainard has switched to reusable bags to collect waste from the planters on Charles E. Young Drive South.

On campus, plastic use isn’t limited to bags. Our dumpsters are also filled with plastic bottles, straws and cutlery. Recently, UCLA’s new Zero Waste Coordinator, Kikei Wong, led a waste characterization study of Young Research library. Staff and students signed up to hand sort 600 pounds of waste, which was then analyzed. The final tally showed that about 90% of the trash could have been recycled or composted and only about 9% of it couldn’t be diverted from the landfill-items such as Styrofoam, straws, plastic bags and food wrappers.


Learn more about the Zero Waste initiative

Career Spotlight

In an effort to familiarize UCLA Administration employees with the many job positions within the organization, a new Career Spotlight column will feature a different job from one of our business units in each issue of News & Views. The Career Spotlight column and the more comprehensive goal of Administration is to engage employees and help them understand what knowledge, skills, attributes and experience are required for them to progress in their career path, either laterally, through access to promotions, and/or departmental job transfers. 

In 2018, a division-wide career path workgroup was formed within Administration to enhance team member awareness and to support employees in charting their career paths within the organization. Goals set by the career path workgroup include, front line skills training (including general computer and typing skills), job shadowing opportunities, career counseling, and a division-wide career fair.

Referencing the new Career Spotlight column every other month and developing your career path plan with your supervisor and/or mentor will give you, as an employee, a sense of direction on your journey as well as a way to monitor and track your career goals and milestones to reflect your progress and next steps. The Career Pathing Workgroup is developing a division-wide plan to help support you in your efforts through:

  • Monthly and Quarterly Training Classes
  • On-The-Job Developmental Opportunities
  • Job Shadowing 
  • Coaching and Mentoring Programs

There is much that happens within Administration and we’ll be sharing with you the many job positions and people working in those positions that make such a positive contribution to Administration and our campus. Check back in March for our first Career Spotlight.


Contributors to this issue of News & Views

Resolve to Prepare

Start your 2019 year off by resolving to be ready!  The beginning of the new year is a great time to start (and continue) healthy habits.  Let being prepared for emergencies be one of them!  While emergency preparedness may seem overwhelming, we have put together a list of preparedness tips to get you started. 

Don’t forget to include pets in your plans! Take a current photo of you and your pet together in case you get separated during a disaster. Put your name and contact information on your pet’s ID tag in case you’re separated in an emergency. Thank you, Deputy Fire Marshal Jamie Ellazar and Dr. Burger, for providing such an adorable example!

UCLA Deputy Fire Marshal Jamie Ellazar and Dr. Burger, her beloved pup.
Here are a few more important preparedness tips:

  • Snap photos of important documents and save them in a secure place or online, make sure you can access them during an emergency.
  • Set up group text lists so you can communicate with friends and family at the same time during emergencies.
  • Include cash (small bills) in your emergency supply kit.
  • Check-in with neighbors to see how you can help each other out before and after an emergency.
  • Pick an out-of-town person for everyone to contact during an emergency.
  • Get prepared by having an emergency supply kit already stored.
  • Snap some pictures of your property and make an inventory for insurance purposes.
  • Learn how to shut off the utilities where you live, including water, electricity and gas.
  • Plan how you will leave and where you will go if you are advised to evacuate.


Check out emergency preparedness resources

Service Excellence Awards

First-rate customer service for all our campus clients is a top priority. In each issue of News & Views, we'll honor UCLA Administration employees who go above and beyond our expectations in demonstrating exemplary customer service. To nominate an employee, please submit a brief description and photo via email to [email protected]. Award recipients receive two tickets to a UCLA sporting event, CAP performance, TFT production, or School of Music concert.

Dylan Matteson, Lake Arrowhead Conference Center, has been honored with the Service Excellence Award.

Dylan Matteson
Associate Director
Lake Arrowhead Conference Center

On New Year’s Eve, a much-beloved, elderly woman staying with her family at Bruin Woods went into cardiac arrest. While staff jumped in to help care for the younger children, Dylan rushed to the cabin to help render aid as the family waited for the paramedics to arrive. He immediately utilized the AED and performed CPR until paramedics transported her to the hospital. He then went to the Emergency Room, offering companionship, comfort and transportation back to the cabin following the announcement by the doctor that the woman did not survive. Dylan’s loving kindness helped the family cope with a very emotional emergency. A grieving son reflects, “The loss of a parent is an immeasurable pain. The beacon of hope that Dylan and the entire staff at Bruin Woods exuded is one I will be eternally grateful for. I always knew Dylan to be a great respectful leader from the few encounters I had had previously at group activities. But now I know this man to be something much, much greater than that.” 

Although this incident did not end the way everyone had hoped, Dylan's heroic response sets an example for all of us within Administration in what it means when we talk about establishing a culture of caring.