MYTHBUSTERS: UCLA’s Influence Outside Of Westwood


UCLA’s campus resides in Westwood, but faculty, staff, and students strive to be a part of the greater community, and do so in a number of ways.

Here is a small sampling of how the university makes an impact locally, statewide, nationally, and even globally.



MYTH: UCLA is an island unto itself, with limited impact on the community at large.


The university reaches into the local community, impacts the state economy, contributes to national research, and tackles global issues.

There are more than 200 programs partnering with over 1,600 local community partners in Greater Los Angeles:

More than 1,000 K-12 students benefit from the UCLA Community School in Koreatown. The Nursing Health Clinic has paired with the Union Rescue Mission for over 30 years of service to the Skid Row homeless population in downtown.

The university promotes arts and culture through numerous programs and propels conversation through the Hammer and Fowler museums, and the Centers of Chicano, African American, American Indian, and Asian American studies. With the Center for Community Learning, students become civically engaged throughout the city.

UCLA faculty, staff, and students make sure they are in the Community.

UCLA Volunteer Day leaves no City Council District untouched. In 2015 — the seventh annual event — almost 5,500 volunteers helped at 48 community partner sites spanning all 15 districts, impacting schools, parks, senior centers, veterans’ facilities, food banks, and shelters. Volunteers, who were mostly incoming new students, provided $724,952.60 of total service value in one day.


UCLA’s innovation, research and business savvy impacts the entire state of California:

According to the Center for Strategic Economic Research, UCLA generates $34 in economic impact for every $1 received from the state, with more than $12 billion total statewide economic impact and about $2 billion in taxes paid to the state and country. The 42,000 jobs at UCLA make it a Top 5 employer in the Southern California Region.

UCLA is a top research institution, receiving approximately $1 billion in research funds each year. That funding goes to thousands of projects with nationally spanning influence — working with paralyzed patients to avoid invasive surgery, analyzing bedrock for safe building zones, and creating new methods for screening cancer. In 2014, UCLA’s research proposal count total was 5,385.

Across the country UCLA makes its presence felt at its Center for American Politics and Public Policy office in Washington DC and Operation Mend provides state of the art surgeries and treatments for military personnel and veterans nationwide.

And across the ocean UCLA has set up shop in Cameroon as partners in the Congo Basin Institute to address the global issues of food and water security, climate change, biodiversity loss, public health and emerging diseases.

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