Administrative VC Beck leads our team; submit your questions to him via email to [email protected] and check back here next month for an answer.
Alex Norris, Senior Safety Specialist at Environment, Health & Safety, was fascinated to learn about implicit bias from Jerry Kang’s TEDx video a few months ago and asks
"Has learning more about implicit bias impacted the way you do and view business here at UCLA?”
I am glad that you found the training fascinating. I have taken previous trainings on the topic and found Vice Chancellor Kang’s training and the others to be insightful and beneficial, which is why I assigned them to all employees within Administration. It is important to recognize that we all have implicit biases that may have been developed by various experiences throughout our lives. In many cases we aren’t even aware that those experiences have shaped our thinking to form those biases. The point of the training is to help us recognize our own biases and how they can improperly influence the way we interact with coworkers and others we encounter. These biases can inadvertently cause us to jump to conclusions about someone’s ability, misinterpret their actions, and create a work environment where people do not feel safe, included, or respected.
We are very familiar with the explicit biases that we are able to clearly regulate, such as a manager who is accustomed to only working with other men and regularly passes over qualified women for the role. However, implicit biases are more subtle and may not be self-evident, but can have similar negative results in the workforce. The intent of the implicit bias training is to become more aware of our individual biases so that we can overcome them.
If we are to reach our true potential as an organization, we must attract, retain, and support employees with diverse backgrounds and ideas. Embracing diversity within our workforce will make us stronger and more successful. Understanding our own implicit biases will also help us better serve the campus community by not arriving at certain conclusions about people based solely on their appearance or background.
All the best,
Immaculate perception: Jerry Kang at TEDxSanDiego (2013)
In the late 1970s, Chancellor Young had a vision to take the five disparate campus ticket offices-ASUCLA, Athletics, Performing Arts, Music/Dance, and Theater Arts–and merge them into one centralized office. In 1979 the idea came to fruition and the structure of the Central Ticket Office (CTO) was created with four of the five ticket offices located under one roof. In 1990, the vision was fully realized with all five offices serving the UCLA community from one centralized location-the James West Alumni Center.
Since 1979, CTO has distributed over 45 million tickets for over 22,000 events and remains one of the few truly centralized ticket offices on a university campus in the country.
The success of CTO is rooted in the dedicated career and student employees. The 13 current career staff have an average of 15 years of service to CTO and to UCLA. In 40 years, there have been only 78 career employees, which illustrates the dedication and commitment of those who have worked at CTO.
Central Ticket Office Student Staff
Of the 78 career employees, half started as student employees. Students have clearly been the backbone of the CTO. The versatile office offers student positions, which provide new and exciting opportunities guaranteed to teach and train the young professionals as they prepare to graduate and begin a career. Positions can vary from day to day allowing student workers to experience what it’s like to immerse themselves in positions from customer service, operations, and event management for events ranging from performing arts to sporting events.
CTO distributing tickets at the Rose Bowl
"CTO has provided an opportunity for many students to learn basic customer service, how to work with many different supervisors and personalities, and how to interact with a very diverse base of customers,” shares Danielle Bagnas, third year. “CTO has provided me with an immense amount of experience and truly taught me how to work in an office environment. Having many supervisors who we interact with regularly, each student is able to take away advice on how to act in certain situations or improve interactions. I know that in my future endeavors, supervisors will not be as loving, caring and kind as they are here, but I will always have their advice and tips on how to present myself in any given situation.”
For more information on UCLA’s Central Ticket Office, please visit https://tickets.ucla.edu.
Director Paul Abramson, Central Ticket Office
After graduating from UCLA in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in economics, self-described “behind-the-scenes kind of guy” Paul Abramson has spent more than 30 years at Central Ticket Office. His tenure began as a student employee, distributing tickets for the Army-Navy game at the Rose Bowl. CTO still has a proud tradition of hiring student staff who segue into career positions, and Paul notes that student employees are critical to operations.
Students on Bruin Walk in the 1960s from the UCLA Library Digital Collection
Paul muses that UCLA has changed over the years but a lot has stayed the same, including Bruin Walk and the sense that Bruins can change the world. According to Paul, this fight for a greater good doesn’t stray far from customer service interactions at CTO, where staff take pride in serving customers and striving to meet their needs.
Students on Bruin Walk in 2015 from UCLA Images
CTO has about 150,000 customer interactions each year, including ticket sales, ticket distributions, providing event information as well as trouble-shooting any customer service needs. Annually one of the largest endeavors CTO staff coordinates is the distribution of approximately 100,000 commencement tickets to over 9,000 students for more than 40 ceremonies across campus. To provide the best possible service to students, CTO staff put in extra work behind the scenes sorting and organizing ticket requests ahead of time in order to minimize student wait time. Paul takes pride in CTO's commitment to customer service and the extra work staff puts in to improve the student experience.
On the weekend, you’ll likely find Paul with his wife at a baseball game. Paul is an avid fan who respects time-honored traditions, cheering on the Bruins and Dodgers while snacking on peanuts and enjoying a hot dog dressed with ketchup, mustard, and relish. He enjoys travelling to Arizona to watch spring training and aspires to see a game in every major U.S. ballpark.
Why is so much effort in Administration focused on managing performance and optimizing our environment to ensure success?
Explaining performance can be as simple as describing a goldfish swimming in its environment. The mere movement of its tail alone does not guarantee swimming (or performing). What happens to a goldfish when you remove it from the water? The goldfish can no longer swim. Like the goldfish, employees need an effective environment that enables successful performance. The water does not guarantee swimming, but without it, the swimming (or performing) cannot occur. And just swimming aimlessly around in circles, without a direction, is not very productive.
Of course, our work environment is more complex than just water. Then again, there are a few basic elements that are essential to creating an effective work environment that are often overlooked:
Communicating clear goals, outlining departmental work plans, and setting clear expectations helps to establish priorities and focus areas which provides direction for employee efforts.
Providing the necessary tools, resources, and processes enables employees to perform their jobs. A continuous focus on process improvements helps to reduce rework, remove wastes, eliminate roadblocks and simplify workflow. A number of process improvement tools have been recently introduced to help us focus on removing inefficiencies from our processes. Gemba Academy is an online resource for learning about continuous process improvement tools. “Gemba” is the Japanese word for “shop floor” or “where the work takes place.”
Use the link and login information below to access Gemba Academy and Lean content library: https://www.gembaacademy.com/products/school-of-lean
- Username: OEDLean
- Password: uclaadmin
What are the consequences and incentives for employees for doing a good job? Providing appreciation for good work is the best way to ensure that it’s repeated. Personalized notes and “Thank You Thursday” efforts are just some ways to show employees that their work is truly appreciated. Other opportunities being used across Administration include: STAR Award, Extra Mile, Hats Off, and On the Spot awards.
TESTING THE WATER
So what does our Work Environment currently look like? Every other year, employees are asked to evaluate their work environment by responding to a full-length Work Environment Survey. In the off years, we take a “pulse” of key survey items from the year before to measure our progress. Highlights from the 2019 Pulse Survey include:
- Showing appreciation for good work exhibited an improvement over the 2018 results
- Current work processes and communication continue to be areas where we have opportunities to make improvements.
Full results for the 2019 Administration Work Environment “Pulse” Survey results can be viewed at: https://tinyurl.com/2019pulse2. Departmental results can be obtained through individual departments.
All of these efforts are designed to create an environment where employees can thrive in their roles and in their careers.
The next time you attend one of the over 600 athletic, performing arts, or academic events hosted by the University, think about how you secured your seat. UCLA’s Central Ticket Office (CTO) is responsible for servicing, processing, selling, and distributing tickets for on-campus and off-campus events. CTO also sells theme park admissions, public transit passes, and other items to the campus community. In this issue, we’re turning the spotlight on a student customer service position.
Student Customer Service Representative
Central Ticket Office
Customer Service Representatives perform key frontline duties, and are responsible for handling walk-up customers, working at the call center, placing ticket orders, and answering questions about ticketed events. They are also an essential part of staffing the box offices at various venues, including the Rose Bowl in Pasadena for home football games.
These representatives play an integral role in the processing of the almost 1.2 million tickets distributed by CTO every year. Clear communication skills, problem-solving abilities, knowledge about UCLA happenings, patience, and attentiveness are needed for this position.
Genesis Ramirez, Undergraduate student and CTO staff member.
Genesis Ramirez is a True Bruin and a rising star at the Central Ticket office. She is a Sociology major at UCLA and wants to enter into the Healthcare field. People are her passion, which explains why she demonstrates such exemplary customer service in her job as a Student Supervisor at CTO.
She has performed almost every job function in the ticket office and still wants to learn more. Genesis started as a Customer Service Representative in the CTO Call Center, where she quickly became a key contact for situations that required trouble shooting and sensitivity in handling customer concerns. She is known for being a good listener and a quick learner- very important skills to have in CTO’s line of business.
Genesis realizes that the student workers are the “bloodline of CTO.” She takes great pride in her longevity as a student worker. This is her fifth year, helping in varying aspects of the department, including the vault area, call center, window service and general operations.
Genesis considers Central Ticket Office a great place to work and would like to be a career employee one day. She has learned exceptional business skills, including people interaction, conflict resolution, assertiveness as a supervisor, and that there is always room for improving your performance. She is determined, resilient, committed to professional growth, and very patient. She sees herself as flexible and agile, showing grace under pressure situations.
There have been a few lessons learned along the way, too, that have helped her strive for increased satisfaction from customers. She has learned how to create “service recovery”, not to take things personally, and that one tough day does not dictate your next day. “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” Genesis says. And, oh yes, it always pays to “smile and say thank you.”
We couldn’t agree more. Thank you, Genesis, for your insight. If you are in the vicinity of CTO please stop by and say “hi” to Genesis and experience that inviting smile for yourself.
This month, UCLA Transportation launches the Bruin ePermit system, where your license plate becomes your permit. Bruin ePermit will be a hassle-free system that allows UCLA permit holders to park on campus with the click of a button, eliminating the need to come to the Transportation lobby to pick-up their parking permit.
The Bruin ePermit system works similar to a supermarket scanner with your license plate functioning as the barcode. When read, the numbers of your plate are automatically referenced against the parking database to verify a valid permit for the lot location.
Jonnah Llamas (left) and Tirzah Nuno (right) display Bruin ePermit promotional items.
The new system will decrease countless pounds of paper and plastic waste produced by the physical parking permits. The plastic gate cards will be collected for recycling, with proceeds from their sale benefitting the UCLA Food Closet. Moving to a virtual system comes with countless benefits, including less cost and better convenience for the department, commute coordinators, and customers.
Parking can be purchased and managed, all online, eliminating the need for physical hangtags and gate access cards. Starting this month, employees can register their vehicle and pay for their permit at transportation.ucla.edu/bruin-epermit-system.
The newly formed UCLA Administration Communications Council has officially launched. Representatives gathered together in January for the inaugural meeting and will continue to meet on a monthly basis moving forward. Councilmembers are responsible for sharing important departmental news (employee benefits, events, program updates, etc.) with the Council via an online platform in order to facilitate better communication across Administration. To date, several dozen announcements have been submitted to the Council and subsequently shared by representatives with employees in their respective departments.
Councilmembers determine the frequency and method of communication to their departments based on their employees’ needs, and share information with the Council when it’s timely and relevant. This initiative has led some departments to create internal working groups to formalize departmental communications for sharing information. Councilmembers have already reported sharing news and updates with their departments via a number of communication channels, including departmental emails, news bulletins, newsletters, oral briefings, and on digital TV screens. Staff can start to build a stronger connection to the campus community and better serve our shared clients.
This initiative is spearheaded by a group of graduates from the Leadership 2027 program in an effort to create a more informed and engaged workforce within UCLA Administration.
Communication Councilmembers 2019-2020: Zandy Eckrich (FM); Andy Pei (E&T); Kevin Kilgore (UCPD); Gerardo Galeano (CTO); Jamal Johnson (CTO); Karen Hallisey (E&T); Lauren Berghell (E&T); Allison Akbaroff (EH&S); Tiffany Chen (H&HS); Erika Fujitani (H&HS); Casandra Huff (CHR); Lamar Brown (BTO); Jessica Doty (CHR); Cynthia Franco (CHR); Neil Mansky (EH&S).
Not pictured: Jennifer Friedman (E&T); Brenda Garland (F&OS); Deanna Hamilton (CHR); Nurit Katz (FM); Rai Pollard (Administration); Gayle Sanford (ITS); Susan Shahoda (CHR); Val Trullinger (ITS); Jessica Vierra (EH&S); Gerrie Zvara (F&OS).
On the weekend of March 23, 2019, the UCPD Systemwide Running Team traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada, for the annual Baker to Vegas (B2V) Challenge Cup Relay. The B2V Challenge Cup Relay started in 1985 as a race designed to encourage law enforcement officers to remain physically fit. The first relay was 119 miles long, starting in front of Baker High School on California Highway 127 and finishing at the intersection of Blue Diamond on Nevada Highway 160, just 13 miles short of the Las Vegas strip. This year, the 120-mile course began north of Baker, California, traveled through the desert and mountains of California and Nevada, and concluded inside the Las Vegas Convention Center. The relay's popularity among law enforcement agencies has resulted in its growth, increasing from 19 teams in 1985 to nearly 300 teams in 2019. Today, it is the largest law enforcement event of its kind, with teams participating from agencies around the world as they battle it out for their chance to win a coveted B2V Challenge Cup Relay mug.
B2V Plaque Presentation by Chief Tony Lee
Left to right: Chief Tony Lee, Ofc. Fabiola Leon, Ofc. Adrian Anderson, Ofc. Luis Mercado
Throughout the years, the UCPD systemwide running team, made up of runners and support staff from throughout the UCPD system, has moved up the ranks significantly. This year’s team finished 1st out of the 22 teams in the Mixed Division and ranked 27th among the 284 teams overall. Not only did the team accomplish the amazing feat of winning their division, but they finished with a commanding 34-minute lead ahead of the team behind them. Of the 20 runners on the UCPD Systemwide Team, 7 runners and 1 alternate runner were UCLA officers.
Officer Adrian Anderson
Officer Daniel Bradbury
Officer Camille Brox
Officer Fabiola Leon
Officer Luis Mercado
Officer Sean Mizokami
Officer Adam Penner
Officer Monica Valdes
Records Admin Assistant Adriana Archuleta
Dispatcher Alma Chavez
Records Admin Assistant Taleen Chobanian
Dispatcher Erica Ramos
Lieutenant Kevin Kilgore
Lieutenant Scott Scheffler
Congratulations to our UCLA PD personnel and to the UCPD personnel from our sister campuses of UC Riverside, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, UC Santa Cruz, and UC Santa Barbara.
In preparation for the new Bruin ePermit system, many entry gates have been removed from on-campus parking areas. Because you will no longer need a gate access card*, we have placed multiple recycle bins across campus and ask that you keep the cards out of the landfill and recycle your card for a good cause. Proceeds from the recycling efforts will benefit the UCLA Food Closet, which provides food for students in need.
Simply drop your gate access card in a recycle box at one of the following locations:
- Transportation Lobby (555 Westwood Plaza, suite 100)
- Structure 8 Information Kiosk (Westwood Plaza)
- Structure 4 Information Kiosk (Sunset/Westwood Plaza)
- Structure 2 Information Kiosk (Westholme/ Hilgard)
- Facilities Management Lobbies (731 Charles E Young Dr. South)
- Covel Commons Front Reception Desk (200 De Neve Dr.)
- De Neve Plaza Front Reception Desk (351 Charles E. Young Dr. West)
- Hedrick Hall Front Reception Desk (250 De Neve Dr.)
- HRPC North (Sproul Hall, 360 De Neve Dr., Suite 162)
*Please note that you should keep your Gate Access Card if you park in the following areas:
- Luskin Conference Center
- Ronald Reagan Medical Center
- Lot 35
- Lot 39
For more information regarding Bruin ePermit please visit our frequently asked questions page at https://transportation.ucla.edu/campus-parking/bruin-epermit-faqs or contact (310) 794-7433.
Murphy Hall hosted its second annual Safety Fair on April 16. Several campus units-UCLA Police; Environment, Health and Safety; Office of Emergency Management; UCLA Fire; Emergency Medical Services; Center for Pre-hospital Care; UCLA Blood and Platelet Center-hosted stations, providing meaningful interactions to support Murphy Hall’s efforts to encourage a proactive culture of safety. The activities at each station were engaging and informative and provided an opportunity to learn new skills and practice others.
The Office of Emergency Management offered hands-on training on the 2-person carry technique. (No mannequins were harmed in this exercise.)
Participants thought about critical items to keep in emergency packs and go-bags.
UCLA Blood and Platelet Center was on hand to talk about how critical blood is during an emergency and to answer questions about donating blood.
The Center for Prehospital Care provided an opportunity to practice CPR skills.
UCLA Police provided practical tips to help you avoid scams and other fraudulent activities.
If you are interested in hosting a safety fair, contact Lorraine Schneider, Office of Emergency Management, at [email protected].
We all know that safety is an important everyday consideration, but vacations add some additional safety concerns. Summer is a great time for travel so here are a few vacation safety tips to kick off this adventurous season. Whether you are planning a staycation, a trip across town, or headed to an international destination, it is important to take certain safety measures before and during your trip.
- Share your itinerary with family or trusted friends
- Make a list of important phone numbers to take with you, including emergency contacts, physicians, credit card companies, etc.
- Inform your bank and credit card companies about your travel plans
- Place a hold on your mail and newspaper deliveries
- Put at least one light on a timer in your home
- For extended trips, make sure your yard is well maintained while you are gone
- Pack a small first aid kit
- For areas with limited potable water, pack a system for water purification
- Research your destination
- For international trips:
- Check the State Department’s website for travel warnings and advice
- Register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
- Make copies of your passport and credit cards as a back-up if they are lost
During your vacation:
- Avoid writing social media posts that publicize the fact that you aren’t home
- Carry extra batteries/power banks and cords
- Have spare cash stored apart from your wallet/purse
- Know your lodging’s emergency exits
- Don’t flash your money or other valuables
- Be familiar with and adhere to local laws
- Don’t look like a tourist (i.e. wear culturally appropriate clothing and don’t stop in the middle of the street to look at a map)
Most importantly, be safe and have fun!
As the success of UCLA Administration and its ten units can be attributed to its dedicated, industrious and innovative staff, it is important that we recognize and honor those across our organization who make noteworthy contributions.
True Bruin Values Award
TheTrue Bruin Values Award provides an opportunity to celebrate remarkable achievements that embody the UCLA True Bruin Values. Award recipients are selected quarterly and enjoy a Beckfast celebration and award ceremony with Administrative Vice Chancellor Michael Beck. Anyone-managers, supervisors, staff, students, clients and customers-may nominate a UCLA Administration employee for this award using the online nomination form.
A hearty congratulations and thank you to the following UCLA Administration staff.
- Richard Bardales, Rooms Division Team, Housing and Hospitality Services
- Abdallah Daboussi, Senior Administrative Analyst, Events and Transportation
- Hector Delgado, Rooms Division Team, Housing and Hospitality Services
- Erika Fujitani, Rooms Division Team, Housing and Hospitality Services
- Anashe Hakopiannik, Administrative Specialist, Campus Human Resources
- Jamal Johnson, Customer Service Manager and Special Events Coordinator, Central Ticket Office
- Pi-Hsuan Kao, Senior Architect, Facilities Management
- Devin Ko, Rooms Division Team, Housing and Hospitality Services
- Jared Meyer, Rooms Division Team, Housing and Hospitality Services
- Junji Toshima, Rooms Division Team, Housing and Hospitality Services
- Barbara Wilson, Rooms Division Team, Housing and Hospitality Services
To read more about the award recipients and their achievements, visit the True Bruin Values Award website.
Service Excellence Award
In each issue of News & Views, we honor UCLA Administration employees who go above and beyond our expectations in demonstrating exemplary customer service. Administrative Vice Chancellor Michael Becks selects award recipients from staff who are nominated for the True Bruin Values Award. Award recipients receive two tickets to a UCLA sporting event, CAP performance, TFT production, or School of Music concert.
Rooms Division Team
Housing and Hospitality Services
During the recent measles outbreak, Housing and Hospitality Services was tasked to provide quarantine accommodations for up to 120 students. Within three hours of the initial request, the Rooms Division Team-Richard Bardales, Hector Delgado, Erika Fujitani, Devin Ko, Jared Meyer, Junji Toshima, and Barbara Wilson-was able to identify the ideal quarantine location, set up several comfortable rooms with mattresses, clean linens, furniture that helped create study and living room spaces, arrange for clean portable showers within proximity to the quarantine location, and set up an organized check-in process to help alleviate student concern and anxiety during an emergency situation. The Rooms Divisions Team truly went above and beyond to ensure that students were comfortable and well taken care of, while observing the privacy and rights of the students. As students arrived, the team worked with campus partners to check students in, track attendance and status, and facilitated testing. Further, throughout the 2-day quarantine period, these individuals put themselves at risk to ensure that the environment our students were staying in remained clean and well-maintained, that the students were comfortable and well-fed (provided updated numbers to our Dining team for food drops), worked double shifts to stay in contact with campus partners and any concerned parties calling in. After the quarantined period was over, the team broke down and thoroughly cleaned the space, returning it to its original state.