The University of California, Irvine Alumni Association has chosen William T. Um ’90 to represent all UC alumni as a two-year member of the UC Board of Regents, effective July 1.
In addition to promoting awareness of alumni concerns among the regents, he will serve as secretary to the Alumni Associations of the University of California – the umbrella organization acting on behalf of all UC alumni groups – during his first year as regent-designate and then become president of the AAUC and a full regent with voting rights.
The selection of an alumni regent rotates among UC campuses. The last one named by UCI was Bruce Hallett ’78, who held the position from 2010 to 2012.
“I am deeply honored to represent the UC system and UCI specifically,” Um said. “As a former student, guest lecturer, board member and delegate at several AAUC conferences, I believe my diverse perspective will help me be a more effective alumni regent.”
Um is a nationally recognized trial attorney and litigator with Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP in Beverly Hills. He has 25 years’ experience handling complex commercial disputes, arbitrations and mediations throughout the United States. He has advised corporate boards, company executives, risk managers and in-house counsel on a variety of legal issues and sophisticated business conflicts. Included in the 2017 and 2018 editions of The Best Lawyers in America for insurance law, he has also been featured as a Southern California Super Lawyer in Los Angeles magazine.
Um earned bachelor’s degrees in economics and psychology at UCI in 1990 and a J.D. cum laude at Boston University in 1993. For the last five years, he has served on the board of directors of the UCI Alumni Association. In addition, he belongs to the UCI School of Social Sciences’ Dean’s Leadership Society and is a board member of Inner City Law Center, a nonprofit tackling homelessness in Los Angeles.
“Now, more than ever, we need a representative who understands the challenges that many of our UC students face,” said Brian Hervey, UCI vice chancellor for university advancement and alumni relations. “With his legal background and passion for college affordability and accessibility, William Um is that representative.”
As alumni regent, Um hopes to address major issues facing the University of California, including the rising cost of education and the protection of free speech on campus. He believes that the UC system must continue to balance its goal to attract only the best and brightest throughout the world with its commitment, as a public university, to providing a high-caliber educational experience for all qualified California students, regardless of background or circumstance.
-Janna Parris, UC Irvine