Our Guiding Principles

Healthy living is a choice and a lifestyle, but unless you’re in a supportive environment, it can be challenging. In 2013, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block announced the Semel Healthy Campus Initiative (HCI), a vision of Jane and Terry Semel and supported by them. As a result of Semel HCI’s success in fostering a culture of physical, emotional and social wellbeing, Chancellor Block announced on May 9th, 2018, the establishment of the Semel HCI Center at UCLA.

  • Vision

    To make UCLA the healthiest community to work, learn, and thrive and to inspire others both locally and beyond.

  • Mission

    Semel HCI aims to build a culture of health as the foundation for a resilient, equitable, and thriving community for over 85,000 students, faculty, staff and visitors at UCLA.

  • Goals

    • Support the enhancement and expansion of current health and well-being efforts;
    • Offer new and interesting approaches to exercise, mental health, and eating well;
    • Encourages the creation of new projects, academic programs, policies, and a healthy built environment;
    • Foster synergies and coordination among the myriad groups and programs that support and educate about well-being at UCLA; and
    • Provide students, faculty, and staff with fun and exciting ways that make it easy to live well.
  • Strategy

    Semel HCI acts as a spark plug and home for health-related innovation on campus, helping bridge diverse departments and stakeholders, and leverage the strengths of individuals and institutions on and off campus. Its seven thematic subcommittees work to create academic, experiential and structural approaches to living well through curricula, programming, communication and branding, research, operations and service. In doing so, Semel HCI aims to reduce health inequities, in turn building a more socially just community. The initiative draws on UCLA’s world-renowned research and teaching to find new and innovative ways to promote living well on campus, and to share that work with other communities. Through this strategy, Semel HCI makes the healthy choice the easy choice, by enhancing access to information and opportunities and by working to meet individuals where they are at.

  • Core Values

    The Semel Healthy Campus Initiative Center at UCLA continues to innovate towards building a culture of physical, mental, and social well-being on UCLA’s campus. Identifying and mobilizing the strengths and assets of the UCLA community is one of the key ingredients in building a culture of well-being from the inside out. Aligned with UCLA’s True Bruin Values, we are guided by our core values:

    • Foster health and well-being – Create an environment that fosters health and well-being and maximizes human and planetary health by illuminating the interdependence of human and environmental systems and advancing holistic solutions
    • Encourage responsibility – Educate individuals and communities about the impact of their actions and empower them to make positive change
    • Celebrate diversity – Foster an inclusive environment that prioritizes empathy and embraces differences in values and approaches to health and well-being
    • Strive for equity – Identify health disparities and generate solutions for equitable access to health resources and a healthful environment
    • Be integrative – Drive empathetic change by integrating approaches across disciplines, departments, and stakeholders, and take an integrated approach to mind and body well-being

Additional Ingredients for Success

  • Semel HCI Center’s housing in the Chancellor’s office (this has resulted in the acceptance of and cooperation with Semel HCI Center from diverse campus constituents);
  • The engagement of our Steering Committee, that includes Vice Chancellors, Deans, administrators, faculty, and student leadership;
  • The identification of faculty and senior administrators with expertise in pod subject areas for leading each of the seven pods;
  • The convening of monthly pod meetings with stakeholders (faculty, senior administrators, students, community members, and staff) who help facilitate team-building and trust, trigger creative discussions and resource-sharing, and initiate program implementation;
  • Pod membership that is determined by a philosophy of being “inclusive not exclusive”;
  • The adherence to the pod leaders’ mission to incubate, prioritize, and lead their pods in the direction identified by the pod members and guided by the philosophy of “making the healthy choice the easy choice”;
  • The creation of a home for ongoing campus-wide and systemwide health and wellness efforts, such as the campaign to make UCLA a tobacco-free campus and the initiative to combat students’ food insecurity, launched by the UCOP Global Food Initiative; and
  • Jane and Terry Semel’s vision and ongoing support for Semel HCI Center that continues to cultivate innovative and creative ideas about living well on campus and beyond.
“This initiative is about helping members of the campus community and beyond make informed choices. Whether it’s about diet, exercise, transportation, or sustainability, our goal is to leverage our unique strengths in health sciences and as a leading research university to encourage healthier outcomes for individuals and for society as a whole.”

– Chancellor Gene Block