Exploring Possibilities: Playa Vista and Silicon Beach

Message from the President
December 9, 2015

Dear LMU Community:

In my inaugural address, I observed that Los Angeles is the most creative city in humankind’s history, and I sketched out an ambition to strengthen the connection between Loyola Marymount University and L.A. I called on the community to be bold and imaginative. Today, I share an initiative that fits this model.

We are exploring the possibility of relocating LMU’s School of Film and Television to facilities in or proximal to Playa Vista in order to become part of the Silicon Beach vibe and experience while remaining near enough to LMU to ensure that students and faculty continue to be connected and engaged with campus life.

This initiative was among recommendations from the Playa Vista Working Group I appointed last August. I charged them with finding ways to involve LMU with the culture and companies thriving below the bluff. The report includes three pathways:

  • initiatives that LMU can enhance or create from our campus;
  • initiatives that may require a physical presence in Playa Vista;
  • initiatives that may require the relocation of current programs to Playa Vista.

On Monday, I briefed the Board of Trustees on the working group’s report. Earlier today, at the urging of Dean Stephen Ujlaki, I met with the School of Film and Television’s faculty. A move of this magnitude is a complex proposition requiring us to assess impacts to our academic programs, examine financial models, and explore many other logistical considerations. I have asked Dean Ujlaki to form a group of faculty and staff to discuss these factors and report back to me. 

This is an exciting prospect for LMU, just as when we purchased University Hall. It will enhance our School of Film and Television; it will expand our reach into Los Angeles; it will magnify our reputation for academic excellence. In Provost Hellige’s convocation speech, he envisioned a “game changer” to address our constrained resources and physical spaces. I believe this move offers that potential because it allows us to expand the university’s and SFTV’s academic programs and facilities.

While this initiative will provoke many questions, it offers sufficient potential benefits to compel us to address them, collegially, in light of our Jesuit and Marymount mission. Your willingness to consider our path forward in ways previously unimagined assures future generations of LMU Lions that we did not permit strategic opportunities to pass us by.

I will share periodic updates to keep the community apprised of our progress on this forward-moving initiative.

With sincere appreciation and thanks,

Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D.