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On March 10, 2020, UCLA students, staff and faculty received an email stating that in-person classes would be suspended the next day in response to the increasingly concerning COVID-19 outbreak. What university administration thought would be a short-term closure, ended up being over a year-long.
Embracing a collaborative and community-driven approach, UCLA created the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force to lead it’s response to the pandemic. Consisting of 12 work groups, the task force included staff, faculty and students across the campus and UCLA Health.
Join us for a special conversation with co-chairs of the Task Force, Administrative Vice Chancellor Michael Beck and Immediate Past Chair of the Academic Senate, Dr. Michael Meranze. Keep listening to learn about what happens behind the scenes at a university with over 80,000 community members when faced with a pandemic.
Michael J. Beck began his UCLA service as the Administrative Vice Chancellor in March 2016. With senior management responsibility for a broad spectrum of administrative, operational and service units in UCLA Administration, he is responsible for developing policy, monitoring compliance and overseeing campus operations in the following areas: Business Transformation Office; Campus Human Resources; Central Ticket Office; Environment, Health and Safety; Events and Transportation; Facilities Management; Financial and Organizational Services; Housing and Hospitality (including student and faculty housing, dining services and UCLA conference centers); Information Technology Services; UCLA Police Department; and PreK-12 Programs and Schools. UCLA Administration has an annual operating budget of nearly $900 million and more than 5,200 employees.
Since he arrived in 2016, Mr. Beck has led initiatives focused on enhanced campus safety and security programs, service enhancements, operational efficiencies, customer-centric service, system automations, strong fiscal management and an expansion of 5,200 new beds of student housing.
Prior to arriving at UCLA, Mr. Beck served as the City Manager for the City of Pasadena (2008-16) with responsibility for the overall operation of the city’s government and an annual operating budget of approximately $685 million. Additionally, Mr. Beck has served as assistant city manager (2004-08) and deputy city manager (2001-04) for the City of Riverside. Mr. Beck also worked in various capacities at UC Riverside, where he earned a BA in business economics as well as an MBA.
Mr. Beck isn’t the only UC grad in his family—his wife, Brigid, and all four of their sons attended UC campuses. Their eldest graduated from UCLA, second-born from UC Davis and the twins will soon graduate from UC Berkeley.
Michael Meranze joined the department as Professor of History in 2006. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and has taught in the history department at the University of California, San Diego since 1989. Previously, he was an Assistant Professor of History at the College of William and Mary and a fellow of the Institute of Early American History and Culture from 1987-1989. Meranze has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies among others.
Meranze specializes in United States intellectual and legal history with an emphasis on early America. He published Laboratories of Virtue , an examination of the birth of the penitentiary in the context of the contradictions of the American Revolution and early Liberalism, edited a volume of Benjamin Rush’s essays, and has written on the history of the body, the death penalty, conscience, and the relationship between the European Enlightenment and the present. His is completing an essay on the criminal law and the colonial project for a forthcoming Cambridge History of Law in America and is currently working on two long-term projects: one, an analysis of sensibility and violence in the Revolutionary Atlantic and the other an attempt to rethink the history and meaning of the American death penalty from the eighteenth-century to the present.
Currently working on two long-term projects: one, an analysis of sensibility and violence in the Revolutionary Atlantic and the other an attempt to rethink the history and meaning of the American death penalty from the eighteenth-century to the present.