our attitude, aims & actions
Be the top destination for faculty, staff and students who aren’t afraid to try something
- Strengthen efforts to recruit & retain the best of the best – faculty, staff & students.
- Fundraise for endowed chairs, faculty research, and graduate fellowships.
- Fully staff popular, high-enrollment undergrad programs.
- Enhance support for international students through support program continuance and creation.
- Promote inclusive excellence and diversity through programs and hires.
- Become a Hispanic serving institution.
BREAK THE MOLD.
Make a global and local footprint through research and outreach that makes a difference.
[study outside the silos]
- Develop a full research & grant-writing support shop.
- Fundraise for translational research & outreach activities.
- Seek collaborative partnerships with academic initiatives on & off campus.
- Develop & fundraise for student-led community outreach activities.
- Seek out new & leverage existing partnerships with organizations & industry.
- Communicate findings & efforts to expand community knowledge & inclusion.
Anticipate the changing needs of our interconnected world and train our next generation
of leaders to solve some of society’s greatest challenges.
- Launch new degree programs to prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow.
- Bolster core areas of excellence.
- Train graduate students for careers outside of academia.
- Instill leadership and critical communication skills in all students who pass through our doors.
past, present & future efforts that will help us make it all happen. [our plan]
When Layla Shaikley ’07 was an undergrad at UCI, the active Anteater could be found anywhere from the slopes to the surf, soaking in the outdoors when she wasn’t busy with the Associated Students or coming up with new creations for her digital arts minor. After graduating with her poli sci degree, she earned two graduate degrees in architecture – one from California Polytechnic University and one from MIT – in addition to completing various internships for organizations such as NASA. She’s worked as a research affiliate at MIT, co-founded TEDxBaghdad, and held a post with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme. She’s also co-founded Wise Systems – a company that helps businesses make more streamlined and efficient delivery decisions. But one of her most widely publicized ventures has been “Somewhere in America” – a video she produced and styled with the group Mipsterz, an online community of self-proclaimed Muslim ‘hipsters’ who hope to change the perception of Muslims in America.
To say this mipster is bold is putting it lightly.
To continue attracting students, faculty and staff like Layla who aren’t afraid to
throw caution to the wind in pursuit of positive change, we have an equally bold plan
for making our school their #1 choice.
Be the top destination for faculty, staff & students who aren’t afraid to try something new. [seek mavericks]
In just 50 short years, we’ve elevated our core departments into the top rankings. Check out our centerfold infographic to see our stellar standings in U.S. News & World Report, Academic Analytics, National Research Council rankings and more. As a school, we’re ranked in the top 35 social sciences programs in the U.S.
And we got here because of our excellent people – faculty, staff, students, alumni and community supporters – who took a chance on a young school and made their mark.
Our world-class professors in our seven top-ranking departments are experts in their fields, consistently sought by national media to provide perspective on innovative discoveries and pressing social problems. And that impact extends to our students; our faculty are teaching courses within the most popular majors on campus and leading more students to successful graduation than any other academic unit at UCI.
One major in particular, economics, hosts more students than some entire school populations elsewhere on campus.
As the biggest school at UCI, we educate and graduate more students than any other unit on campus. Case in point: we awarded 27% of all BA/BS degrees in 2015. When students leave our Irvine classrooms, they join our growing network of more than 45,000 alumni who have taken their world-class education to the halls of justice in D.C., to international relations work in capitals around the world, to courtrooms across the nation, to boardrooms in some of the world’s top companies, and to schools around the globe.
They are in our brain, behavior and cognitive robotics labs – mapping the structure of the human brain to understand how speech works in order to help restore it in victims of stroke, and building interactive robots aimed at improving social engagement in children with ADHD and autism. Our students are doing fieldwork in India, Africa, China – indeed, everywhere on the planet, exploring fundamental issues of peace, politics, population, migration and cross-cultural communication.
To assist them, we have a highly effective undergrad counseling shop, including remedial tutoring as well as professional development and mentoring activities.
With just under 6,500 undergrads and grads, we are larger than many stand-alone liberal arts colleges. Our students - a quarter of whom come from underrepresented minority groups and a majority of whom are the first in their family to go to college - make up 20 percent of the entire UCI student body. And they are awesome.
On campus, our current student population comprises nearly 20 percent of the entire UCI student body. Our students are predominantly the first in their family to go to college, and more than one-third are from somewhere outside the U.S. Nearly one-quarter are from underrepresented minority groups and close to two-thirds are female.
Inclusivity and diversity are very important to us, both in terms of student population and in terms of experience. Our students are exceptionally adept at taking advantage of experiential learning programs that take them from the conflict zones of the Middle East and Orange County high schools where they teach global awareness to aspiring change-makers. Our students can be found in our groundbreaking behavioral economics labs, testing new methods to reduce traffic congestion, create better online marketplaces and prevent the spread of disease.
Since the last strategic plan, we’ve revamped the Social Sciences Academic Resource Center and bolstered our academic advising and student activities offices. We’ve also launched programs dedicated to students from underrepresented backgrounds and first-generation students – including our First Gen, First Quarter Challenge, and our Summer Academic Enrichment Program (SAEP). In operation for more than a quarter of a century, SAEP is an academic boot camp for first-generation college students and students from underrepresented groups.
Two initiatives address the challenge of delivering quality in our very large lecture classes: the Economics Learning Center that provides international students and others with enrichment and opportunities for a collaborative learning environment; and a Learning Assistants Pilot, launched jointly this year with the Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning.
We’re also excellent in graduate training; we’re currently tied with physical sciences for the highest number of prestigious National Science Foundation GRFP fellowships.
Many of our core areas of teaching and research strength (racial and ethnic politics, immigration, gender and society, social movements, international studies) lend themselves to furthering the understanding of diversity, and attracting faculty and students from diverse backgrounds.
We have more Latino undergraduates and faculty than any other school on campus. We have also increased the number of full time African-American faculty from 1 to 5 since 2014.
And we continue to work toward diversifying the professoriate to create greater insight and open new questions for social and behavioral research.
In 2013-14, the we launched a visiting scholars program to bring mid-level faculty from other campuses working on diversity issues to UC Irvine. We also established a matching grant program for faculty who receive ADVANCE Career Development Awards.
While we continue to face challenges in broadening our faculty applicant pool in terms of gender, our current efforts have paid off. For example, since 2003, cognitive sciences has recruited 7 women faculty out of 12 total recruitments. At the forefront of this issue, LPS hosted a highly successful conference on gender and philosophy in 2014. And as a whole, we’ve increased faculty from underrepresented groups.
To continue moving forward, we will explore ways, such as our 21st Century Scholars Fellowship Program, to increase the diversity of our applicant pools.
Fully staffing affected undergrad programs will require a resource commitment from the campus.
We will strengthen faculty and staff recruitment and retention efforts by addressing
salary inequities as demonstrated by the outside market.
While we maintain a good success rate in retaining our top faculty, we will continue to require the assistance of the campus. We will work with the campus to devise strategies for our salaries and campus-provided research funds to become more competitive in today’s market. We will rely on the High Impact Hiring Program and the Distinguished Professors program to address the issue of senior and distinguished faculty retirements. We will also accelerate our efforts to nominate current faculty for distinctions and awards to address any potential loss in terms of academy memberships and similar honors with new retirements. Maintaining and enhancing the quality of the faculty is a central goal of our new development structure and engagement vehicles, which provide unrestricted funds to support recruitment and retention packages.
On the student side, our Economic Learning Center represents a first step in providing more instructional support for all in a setting that allows for peer learning and reaches out to international students. Additional programming will be modeled a fter its success.
And as we enhance graduate enrollment and graduate quality, and as we compete with
other institutions, we will work with Graduate Division and other partners to fund
graduate support packages so that we can rely less on TAships, which are subject to
In sum, our planned actions to achieve our aim to be the top destination for faculty, staff and student mavericks include:
- Strengthening efforts to recruit & retain the best of the best – faculty, staff & students.
- Fundraising for endowed chairs, faculty research, and graduate fellowships.
- Fully staffing popular, high enrollment undergrad programs.
- Enhancing support for international students through support program continuance and creation.
- Promoting inclusive excellence and diversity through programs and hires.
- Becoming a Hispanic serving institution.