University of California, Irvine

October 8, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


The University of California, Irvine, is
a public research university located in Irvine, California, and one of the 10
general campuses in the University of California system. UC Irvine is
considered a Public Ivy and offers 80 undergraduate degrees and 98 graduate
and professional degrees. The university is designated as having very high
research activity in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher
Education, and in fiscal year 2013 had $348 million in research and development
expenditures according to the National Science Foundation. UC Irvine became a
member of the Association of American Universities in 1996, and is the
youngest university to hold membership. The university also administers the UC
Irvine Medical Center, a large teaching hospital in Orange, and its affiliated
health sciences system; the University of California, Irvine, Arboretum; and a
portion of the University of California Natural Reserve System.
UCI was one of three new UC campuses established in the 1960s to accommodate
growing enrollments across the UC system. A site in Orange County was
identified in 1959, and in the following year the Irvine Company sold the
University of California 1,000 acres of land for one dollar to establish the new
campus. President Lyndon B. Johnson dedicated the campus in 1964. Fifty
years later President Barack Obama spoke at UCI’s 2014 commencement ceremony,
held at Angel Stadium. The UC Irvine Anteaters compete in 18
men’s and women’s sports in the NCAA Division I as members of the Big West
Conference and the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. The Anteaters have
won 28 national championships in nine different team sports, 64 Anteaters have
won individual national championships, and 53 Anteaters have competed in the
Olympics. History
=Early years=The University of California, Irvine was
one of three new University of California campuses established in the
1960s under the California Master Plan for Higher Education with the San Diego
and Santa Cruz campuses. During the 1950s, the University of California saw
the need for the new campuses to handle both the large number of college-bound
World War II veterans and the expected increase in enrollment from the post-war
baby boom. One of the new campuses was to be in the Los Angeles area; the
location selected was Irvine Ranch, an area of agricultural land bisecting
Orange County from north to south. This site was chosen to accommodate the
county’s growing population, complement the growth of nearby UCLA and UC
Riverside, and allow for the construction of a master planned
community in the surrounding area. Unlike most other University of
California campuses, UCI was not named for the city it was built in; at the
time of the university’s founding, the current city of Irvine did not exist.
The name “Irvine” is a reference to James Irvine, a landowner who
administered the 94,000-acre Irvine Ranch. In 1960, The Irvine Company sold
1,000 acres of the Irvine Ranch to the University of California for one dollar,
since a company policy prohibited the donation of property to a public entity.
The University purchased an additional 510 acres in 1964 for housing and
commercial developments. Much of the land that was not purchased by UCI is
now held under The Irvine Company. During this time, the University also
hired William Pereira and Associates as the Master Planner of the Irvine Ranch
area. Pereira intended for the UC Irvine campus to complement the neighboring
community, and the two grew in tandem. Soon after UC Irvine opened in 1965, the
City of Irvine became incorporated and established in 1971 and 1975,
respectively. UC Irvine’s first Chancellor, Daniel G.
Aldrich, developed the campus’ first academic plan around a College of Arts,
Letters, and Science, a Graduate School of Administration, and a School of
Engineering. The College of Arts, Letters, and Science was composed of
twenty majors in five “Divisions”: Biological Sciences, Fine Arts,
Humanities, Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences. Aldrich was also
responsible for implementing the wide variety of flora and fauna on the campus
that fit the local Mediterranean climate zone, feeling that it served an
“aesthetic, environmental, and educational [purpose].”
On June 20, 1964, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson dedicated UC Irvine before a
crowd of 15,000 people, and on October 4, 1965 the campus began operations with
1,589 students, 241 staff members, 119 faculty, and 43 teaching assistants.
However, many of UCI’s buildings were still under construction and landscaping
was still in progress, with the campus only at 75% completion. By June 25,
1966, UCI held its first Commencement with fourteen students, which conferred
ten Bachelor of Arts degrees, three Master of Arts degrees, and one Doctor
of Philosophy degree. In 1965 the California College of
Medicine became part of UC Irvine. In 1976, plans to establish an on-campus
hospital were set aside, with the university instead purchasing the Orange
County Medical Center around 12 miles from UC Irvine, in the City of Orange.
=Present day=As the largest employer in Orange
County, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $4.2 billion with an
operating budget of almost $1.9 billion for 2008 including $328 million in
extramural research funding. Numerous other educational and training
opportunities are offered in numerous areas ranging from physician residency
programs at UC Irvine’s Medical Center to community certificate programs and
other coursework through University Extension.
In 2011-2012, UC Irvine awarded 8,443 degrees: 6,766 bachelor’s degrees 1,105
Master’s degrees, 413 Ph.D.s and Ed.D.s, 102 M.D.s, and 57 J.D.s.
=Future growth=As a part of its long-term efforts to
grow to full size, UC Irvine has implemented construction projects that
will accelerate the campus build-out and employ the remainder of the university’s
land grant. The exponential increase in construction activity is a part of the
Strategy for Academic Development at UCI through 2015, a master plan that
outlines the vision of making UCI a first-choice university for college
applicants nationwide. This increase also spawned a popular backronym of UCI:
“Under Construction Indefinitely.” Campus
The layout of the core campus resembles a rough circle with its center being
Aldrich Park, lined up by the Ring Mall and buildings surrounding the road. To
further emphasize the layout, academic units are positioned relative to the
center, wherein undergraduate schools are closer to the center than the
graduate schools. Aldrich Park is planted with over 11,120
trees, including 33 species of eucalyptus. Two ceremonial trees were
planted in 1990, one for Arbor Day and the second for former chancellor Daniel
Aldrich who had died that year. On the first anniversary of the September 11th
tragedies, the chancellor planted a bay laurel tree in remembrance of the heroes
and victims of the events of September 11, 2001. The tree itself was a gift
from the UCI Staff Assembly. Aldrich Park is the site for “Wayzgoose,” a
medieval student festival held each year in conjunction with the “Celebrate UCI”
open house. It also hosts many extracurricular activities.
Ring Mall is the main pedestrian road used by students and faculty to travel
around the core campus. The road measures up to a perfect mile and
completely encircles Aldrich Park. Most schools and libraries are lined up by
this road with each of these schools having their own central plaza which
also connects to the Aldrich Park. Other areas of the university outside of
the core campus such as the School of Arts are connected by four pedestrian
bridges. Beyond the core campus and the bridges, the layout of the campus is
more suburban.=Surroundings=
Irvine, California consistently ranks as the safest city in America. UCI is close
to the beaches, mountains, and attractions of Southern California.
Disneyland is approximately 20 minutes away by car. While the university is
located in Irvine, the campus is directly bounded by the city of Newport
Beach and the community of Newport Coast. The western side of the campus
borders the San Diego Creek and the San Joaquin Freshwater Marsh Reserve,
through which Campus Drive connects UCI to the 405 freeway. The northern and
eastern sides of UCI are adjacent to Irvine proper; the eastern side of the
campus is delineated by Bonita Canyon Road, which turns into Culver Drive at
its northern terminus and offers links to the San Joaquin Hills Toll Road and
405 freeway, respectively. Additionally, UCI’s southern boundary is adjacent to
the San Joaquin Transportation Corridor. There exists a “North Campus” that
houses the Facilities Management Department, the Faculty Research
Facility, Central Receiving, Fleet Services, the Air Pollution Health
Effects Laboratory, and numerous other functions. It is located next to the UCI
Arboretum; both the North Campus and the arboretum are located about 1 mile from
the main campus. William Pereira’s original street layout
for the region surrounding the University had a wingnut-shaped loop
road as the main thoroughfare, which twice crossed the campus. However, the
Irvine Company’s development plans expanded before it could be completed,
and portions of California, Carlson, Harvard and Turtle Rock roads today
constitute segments of what would have been the Loop Road.
Despite the suburban environment, a variety of wildlife inhabits the
university’s central park, open fields, and wetlands. The university is home to
mountain lions, hawks, golden eagles, great blue herons, squirrels, opossums,
peregrine falcons, rabbits, raccoons, owls, skunks, weasels, bats, and
coyotes. The UCI Arboretum hosts a collection of plants from California and
Mediterranean climates around the world. The rabbits in particular are very
numerous and can be seen across campus in high numbers, especially during hours
of low student traffic.=Architecture=
The first buildings were designed by a team of architects led by William
Pereira and including A. Quincy Jones and William Blurock. The initial
landscaping, including Aldrich Park, was designed by an association of three
firms, including that of the noted urban-landscaping innovator Robert
Herrick Carter. Aldrich Park was designed under the direction of
landscape architect Gene Uematsu, and was modeled after Frederick Law
Olmsted’s designs for New York City’s Central Park. The campus opened in 1965
with the inner circle and park only half-completed. There were only nine
buildings and a dirt road connecting the main campus to the housing units. Only
three of the six “spokes” that radiate from the central park were built, with
only two buildings each. Pereira was retained by the university to maintain a
continuity of style among the buildings constructed in the inner ring around the
park, the last of which was completed in 1972. These buildings were designed in a
style which combined sweeping curves and expressionistic shapes with elements of
classic California architecture such as red tiled roofs and clay-tiled walkways,
and distinctive white railings evoking the deck of an ocean liner. These
buildings featured an innovative structural design that freed the
interiors from support columns in order to allow future alterations of their
floor plans. Construction on the campus all but
ceased after the Administration building, Aldrich Hall, was completed in
1974, and then resumed in the late 1980s, beginning a massive building boom
that still continues today. This second building boom continued the futuristic
trend, but emphasized a much more colorful, postmodern approach that
somewhat contradicted the earthy, organic designs of the early buildings.
Architects such as Frank Gehry, Robert Venturi, Eric Owen Moss, James Stirling
and Arthur Erickson were brought in to bring the campus more up to date. The
recession in the early 1990s along with internal politics led to a change in
direction, due to the reduced capital budget, and changing attitudes towards
architectural innovation at the university. This in turn led to a
“contextualist” approach beginning in the late 1990s combining stylistic
elements of the first two phases in an attempt to provide an architectural
“middle ground” between the two vastly different styles. Gehry’s building was
recently removed from campus to make way for a new building, with a design that
has been called a “big beige box with bands of bricks.” In 2009 the Humanities
Gateway building, designed by Curtis W. Fentress, was opened. Its curvilinear
design marked a return to the sculptural treatment of concrete begun by Pereira.
As of 2005, the campus has more than 200 buildings and encompasses most of the
university’s 1,525 acres. The campus is in the midst of a $1.1 billion
construction campaign.=Libraries and study centers=
UCI is noted for having many excellent special collections and archives. In
addition to holding a noted Critical Theory archive and Southeast Asian
archive, the Libraries also contain extensive collections in Dance and
Performing Arts, Regional History, and more. Additionally, Langson Library
hosts an extensive East Asian collection with materials in Chinese, Japanese, and
Korean. Nearly all departments and schools on
campus complement the resources of the UC Irvine Libraries by maintaining their
own reading rooms and scholarly meeting rooms. They contain small reference
collections and are the choice for more intimate lectures, graduate seminars,
and study sessions. There is also the large Gateway Study Center located
across from Langson Library, one of the university’s original buildings and
under the custody of UC Irvine Libraries. Having served formerly as a
cafeteria and student center, it is now a dual-use computer lab and study area
which is open nearly 24 hours. The UCI Student Center offers a large
number of study areas, auditoriums, and two food courts, and therefore is one of
the most popular places to study on campus. UC Irvine also has a number of
computer labs that serve as study centers. The School of Humanities
maintains the Humanities Instructional Resource Center, a drop-in computer lab
specializing in language and digital media. Additionally, UCI maintains five
other drop-in labs, four instructional computer labs, and a number of
reservation-only SmartClassrooms, some of which are open 24 hours. Other
popular study areas include Aldrich Park, the Cross-Cultural Center, the
Locus, and plazas located in every school.
=Tunnels=An underground network of tunnels runs
between many of the major buildings on campus and the Central Plant, with the
major trunk passage located beneath Ring Mall. Smaller tunnels branch off from
this main passage to reach individual buildings, carrying electrical and
air-conditioning utilities from the Central Plant. These tunnels have been
the subject of much campus lore, the most popular story being that the
tunnels were constructed to facilitate the safe evacuation of faculty in the
event of a student riot. The main tunnel actually appears above ground in the
form of an unusually thick bridge near the Engineering Tower, in an area where
Ring Mall crosses between two hills. Governance
Like other University of California campuses, UC Irvine is governed by a
Chancellor who has significant authority over campus academic and planning
affairs. The Chancellor, in turn, is nominated by and is responsible to the
Regents of the University of California and the UC President:
1962 Daniel G. Aldrich 1984 Jack W. Peltason
1993 Laurel L. Wilkening 1998 Ralph J. Cicerone
2005 Michael V. Drake 2014 Howard Gillman
After the Chancellor, the second most senior official is the Executive Vice
Chancellor and Provost. He serves as the university’s chief academic and
operating officer. Every school on campus reports to the Executive Vice
Chancellor and Provost through a Dean, and all other academic and
administrative units report to his office through a Vice Chancellor or
chief administrator. A partial list of these units includes Campus Recreation,
Intercollegiate Athletics, Planning and Budget, Student Affairs, UC Irvine
Libraries, UC Irvine Medical Center, and University Advancement. The Executive
Vice Chancellor and Provost also governs the faculty senate.
Academics=Academic units=
UC Irvine’s academic units are referred to as Schools. As of the 2013-2014
school year, there are twelve Schools, two Programs, one Department, and
various interdisciplinary programs. The College of Health Sciences was
established in 2004, but no longer exists as a separate academic unit. On
November 16, 2006, the UC Regents approved the establishment of the School
of Law, with an expected opening in fall 2009. The School of Education was
established by the Regents of the University of California in 2012.
Supplementary education programs offer accelerated or community education in
the form of Summer Session and UC Irvine Extension.
Currently, the academic units consist of:
Claire Trevor School of the Arts Francisco J. Ayala School of Biological
Sciences Paul Merage School of Business
School of Education Henry Samueli School of Engineering
School of Humanities Donald Bren School of Information and
Computer Sciences School of Law
School of Medicine Program in Nursing Science
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences School of Physical Sciences
Program in Public Health School of Social Ecology
School of Social Sciences=Research organizations=
To complement its mission as a research university, UCI hosts a diverse array of
nationally and internationally recognized research organizations. These
organizations are either chaired by or composed of UCI faculty, frequently draw
upon undergraduates and graduates for research assistance, and produce a
multitude of innovations, patents, and scholarly works. Some are housed in a
school or department office; others are housed in their own multimillion-dollar
facilities. These are a few of the more prolific research organizations at UCI:
Beckman Laser Institute California Institute for
Telecommunications and Information Technology
Center for Complex Biological Systems Center for Global Peace and Conflict
Studies Center for Cognitive Neuroscience
Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious
Disease Center for Unconventional Security
Affairs Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Institute of Transportation Studies National Fuel Cell Research Center
Reeve-Irvine Research Center Center for the Study of Democracy
Center for Health Policy Research W. M. Keck Center for Accelerator Mass
Spectrometry Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research
Center Institute for Genomics and
Bioinformatics Center for Machine Learning and Data
Mining University of California Transportation
Center=Rankings and distinctions=
UC Irvine is considered a Public Ivy. Money Magazine ranked UC Irvine 13th in
the country out of the nearly 1500 schools it evaluated for its 2015 Best
Colleges ranking. The Daily Beast ranked UC Irvine 39th in the country out of the
nearly 2000 schools it evaluated for its 2013 Best Colleges ranking. For
2015-2016, U.S. News & World Report ranked UC Irvine tied for 39th among
national universities and tied for 9th among public universities in the U.S. In
addition, many of UCI’s graduate programs consistently receive top-50
rankings from U.S. News & World Report, earning distinction in literary
criticism and theory, criminology, law – clinical training, organic chemistry,
English, chemistry, sociology, computer science, physics, psychology, law,
education, biological sciences, earth sciences, history, engineering, business
part-time MBA, political science, mathematics, medicine-research, and
economics. Times Higher Education ranked UCI 4th in
the world and 1st in the US among the top universities under 50 years of age
in 2012. UCI was ranked 7th in the world and 1st in the U.S. again for 2014.
In 2014 Washington Monthly ranked UCI 7th out of the top 100 Affordable Elite
colleges and universities. In 2015 Kiplinger ranked UCI 30th out of
the top 100 best-value public colleges and universities in the nation, and 4th
in California. In 2015, Sierra Magazine ranked UCI 1st
in its “Coolest Schools” in America list for campus sustainability and climate
change efforts. According to The Daily Beast UCI ranked
16th among “The 100 Happiest Colleges in 2010.” In 2013 CBS News MoneyWatch
listed UCI as the 11th happiest public university, based on the greatest
percentage of freshmen who remain for their sophomore year.
Notable faculty and Nobel Laureates Three researchers from UCI’s faculty
received the Nobel Prize during their tenure at UCI: Frank Sherwood Rowland,
Frederick Reines, and Irwin Rose. Dr. Rowland’s Nobel-winning research was
conducted exclusively at UC Irvine, along with fellow prize-winner Mario J.
Molina. Irwin Rose received the Nobel Prize for his work on biological
proteins. F. Sherwood Rowland helped to discover the harmful effects of CFCs on
the ozone layer, while Frederick Reines received the Nobel Prize for his work in
discovering the neutrino. UCI is the first public university to have two
Nobel laureates who received their prizes in the same year.
Additionally, three faculty members have been named National Medal of Science
recipients. Lester Walter Millbrath, a professor of
political science and the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the
American Political Science Association, spent three winter quarters teaching and
lecturing at UCI. Thomas Keneally was a visiting professor
at UCI where he taught the graduate fiction workshop for one quarter in
1985. From 1991 to 1995, he was a visiting professor in the writing
program at UCI. He is most famous for his book Schindler’s Ark, which won the
Booker Prize and is the basis of the film Schindler’s List that was directed
by Steven Spielberg. In January 2009, UCI Professor Reg
Penner won the Faraday Medal for his research with nanowires.
Henry W. Sobel was awarded the Bruno Pontecorvo Prize in 2009 by the Joint
Institute for Nuclear Researchin Dubna, Russia for his work on Neutrino
Oscillations. Evolutionary Biologist Francisco J.
Ayala received the 2010 Templeton Prize for exceptional contribution to
affirming life’s spiritual dimension.=Learned societies affiliations:=
American Academy of Arts and Sciences American Association for the Advancement
of Science American Philosophical Society
American Physical Society Howard Hughes Medical Institute
American Psychological Association Institute of Medicine
National Academy of Engineering National Academy of Sciences
National Academy of Education=Admissions=
UC Irvine is categorized by U.S. News & World Report as “more selective” for
college admissions in the United States. It was the sixth-most selective
University of California campus for the freshman class entering fall 2015, as
measured by the ratio of admitted students to applicants. UC Irvine
received 71,768 applications for admission to the Fall 2015 incoming
freshman class;27,764 were admitted. Fall 2015 enrolled freshmen had an
average high school GPA of 3.94, while the middle 50% range of SAT scores were
490-620 for critical reading, 550-690 for math, and 510-620 for writing. The
incoming 2015 freshmen were predominantly from Los Angeles County,
followed by Orange County, the Bay Area counties, San Bernardino County,
Riverside County, and San Diego County. The choice to offer admission is based
on the University of California’s comprehensive review program. It
considers a candidate’s personal situation, community involvement,
extracurricular activities, and academic potential in addition to the traditional
high school academic record, personal statement, and entrance examination
scores. While residency is not a factor in admission, it is a factor in tuition
expenses, with out-of-state residents spending more annually than California
residents. State law prohibits UC Irvine from practicing affirmative action in
its admissions process. The most popular major for freshmen in
2012 was a major in Biological Sciences, followed by Engineering,
Undecided/Undeclared, Social Sciences, Physical Sciences, Humanities, Business,
Information and Computer Sciences, Social Ecology, Arts, Pharmaceutical
Sciences, Health Sciences, Other, and Nursing.
Student life=Greek life=
UCI’s Greek Life began in 1973 with three sororities and three fraternities.
Today it is a community with over 2,200 students in 26 sororities and 21
fraternities representing a wide range of ethnicities, cultures, and
backgrounds. There are three major overhead bodies on
the campus that govern Greek Life: Inter Fraternity Council, The Panhellenic
Association, and The Multicultural Greek Council. The IFC governs over the
thirteen chapters which are considered Greek by the National Inter Fraternity
Council. The Panhellenic Association has ten NPC chapters and two local chapters.
The Panhellenic community was recently opened up for expansion in Fall 2008,
where they welcome Sigma Kappa to the campus. The Multicultural Greek Council
was first established in 2009, where MGC currently governs 20 Multicultural Greek
Chapters. Major events and programs in the Greek
Community include Songfest, All Greek Conference, Greek Week, BANG, and risk
management programs. Fraternities and sororities
=Clubs and organizations=With over 650 student clubs and
organizations on campus, students can readily find friends who share their
interests whether academic, multicultural, political, religious,
service, social, or athletic. Campus activities throughout the year include
cultural nights, arts performances, and live music at Anteater Plaza—special
events such as Summerlands, Wayzgoose, Shocktoberfest, and Earth Day are held
yearly. The Psi chapter of Phrateres, a non-exclusive, non-profit social-service
club, was installed at UCI in 1967. Between 1924 and 1967, 23 chapters of
Phrateres were installed in universities across North America.
=Residential accommodations=UC Irvine has a number of residential
options for students interested in living on campus. Part of UCI’s
long-range development plan involves expanding on-campus housing to
accommodate 50% of all UCI students. The on-campus housing communities for
undergraduates are: Mesa Court, Middle Earth, Arroyo Vista, Campus Village,
Vista del Campo, Vista del Campo Norte, Camino del Sol, and Puerta del Sol.
Graduate students also have access to the on-campus housing communities: Palo
Verde and Verano Place. UCI’s two freshman dormitory communities
are Mesa Court and Middle Earth. Mesa Court was the first housing community at
UCI, it features a volleyball court, two basketball courts, a community center, a
recreational center, and the Mesa Academic Center. Middle Earth comprises
24 residence halls, two dining facilities, a student center, and
several resource centers. The name of each building in Middle Earth is named
after a character or a place from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and “The Lord of
the Rings”. Middle Earth was built in three phases. The first phase was built
in 1974 and it includes seven halls: Hobbiton, Isengard, Lorien, Mirkwood,
Misty Mountain, Rivendell, and the Shire, along with a separate Head
Resident’s manufactured home called “Bag End”. The second phase was built in 1989
with thirteen more halls: Balin, Harrowdale, Whispering Wood, Woodhall,
Calmindon, Grey Havens, Aldor, Rohan, Gondolin, Snowbourn, Elrond, Shadowfax,
and Quenya. The third phase was built in 2000 with four halls: Crickhollow,
Evenstar, Oakenshield, and Valimar. Each hall houses about fifty to eighty
students, although Quenya was built with sixty single suite rooms which mainly
house graduate students. There are 42 houses located in Arroyo
Vista, of which 9 are sorority houses and 5 are fraternity houses. The
sorority houses located in Arroyo Vista are Alpha Phi, Delta Delta Delta, Delta
Gamma, Gamma Phi Beta, Pi Beta Phi, Alpha Chi Omega, Kappa Kappa Gamma,
Sigma Kappa, and Kappa Alpha Theta. The fraternity houses located in Arroyo
Vista are Sigma Phi Epsilon, Sigma Chi, Phi Gamma Delta, Kappa Sigma, and Sigma
Alpha Epsilon. Arroyo Vista also features many themed houses based on
academic or social interests. As of Fall 2012, Arroyo Vista started the “First
Year Experience” and now houses first year students within six of its houses.
Students living in Arroyo Vista live in complexes that may be called houses, but
have dorm-like qualities. Apartment style on-campus housing at UCI
can be found at Vista del Campo, Vista del Campo Norte, Camino del Sol, and
Puerta del Sol. VDC has single rooms available for undergraduates, while VDC
Norte has both single rooms and double rooms available. Camino del Sol features
single rooms, a community center, a fitness center, and a pool. In fall of
2012, Camino del Sol opened housing to incoming first-year students as an
option instead of dorm living. Each housing community is served by ASUCI
shuttles that regularly travel to the main campus.
UCI off-campus housing options vary, based on a student’s preferred living
arrangements and budget. However, a common denominator for off-campus
apartment housing in Irvine, as well as nearby Newport Beach, Tustin, and Costa
Mesa is the fact that most accommodations are maintained by The
Irvine Company. Athletics
UC Irvine’s sports teams are known as the Anteaters and the student body is
known as Antourage. They participate in the NCAA’s Division I, as members of the
Big West Conference and the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. UC Irvine
fields nationally competitive teams in baseball, basketball, cross country,
soccer, track and field, volleyball, and water polo. The university has won 28
national championships in nine different sports, and also has had 64 individual
national champions, 53 Olympians, and over 500 All-Americans.
The university’s most recent NCAA Division I national championship was won
by the men’s volleyball team on May 4, 2013 against BYU at Pauley Pavilion in
Los Angeles. UC Irvine men’s volleyball has become one of the nation’s most
elite volleyball programs, having won four national championships in 2007,
2009, 2012, and 2013 respectively. UC Irvine has won three NCAA Division I
men’s water polo titles, with championships in 1970, 1982, and 1989.
UC Irvine baseball won back-to-back national championships at the NCAA
College Division College World Series and the NCAA Division II College World
Series in 1973 and 1974. Anteater baseball has since moved to the NCAA
Division I level and has become one of the premier baseball programs on the
west coast. The 2007 baseball team finished 3rd at the College World
Series, and in 2009 the baseball team earned a No. 1 national ranking in NCAA
Division I polls from Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball for the first
time in school history, as well as a national seed and the right to host an
NCAA Regional. The 2014 baseball team returned to the College World Series and
finished 5th after a remarkable postseason run through the NCAA
Regionals and NCAA Super Regionals after being one of the last teams selected for
the NCAA tournament. In 2015, for the first time, UC Irvine
appeared in the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship. It was narrowly
defeated in a first-round tournament game by Louisville, 57-55.
=Anteater as mascot=The anteater was chosen in 1965 when
students were allowed to submit mascot candidates, which would be voted on in a
campus election. Three undergraduates named Pat Glasgow, Bob Ernst, and
Schuyler Hadley Basset III were credited with choosing the anteater and designing
a cartoon representation, having been disappointed with other candidates such
as a roadrunner, unicorn, seahawk and golden bison.
The original anteater design was not based not on the Johnny Hart comic
strip, “B.C.” but on a somewhat less wholesome symbol — the Playboy bunny. In
November 1965, the UCI students officially voted on the anteater, and
many embraced their far-out mascot. In a special follow-up election, students
opted for a mascot based on the B.C. anteater over the Playboy version. Since
it was “original and slightly irrelevant,” it became the mascot of UC
Irvine after winning 56% of the vote, beating a close second with the choice
of “none of the above”. The anteaters are not to be confused with the
aardvark, an African animal that also eats ants. The anteater has grown to
become a beloved mascot, and is the inspiration for many of UCI’s athletic
and campus spirit traditions. School chants and cheers feature the word “zot”
which was the noise Johnny Hart’s “Peter the Anteater” made while eating ants.
A hand signal called “Rip’em ‘Eaters” was created by Blake Sasaki and Dennis
Wisco in 2001. When attacked, an anteater sits in a tripodal position
with its hind feet and tail and tears and “rips” at its predator. The hand
signal is done by touching the tips of the two middle fingers with the thumb,
and sliding the thumb back, making the pinky and index finger the ears and the
fingers in the middle the snout of the anteater.
In August 2007, a small stuffed Peter accompanied astronaut Tracy Caldwell on
the Space Shuttle Endeavour mission STS-118.
Following the 2015 NCAA Basketball Tournament, Peter the Anteater was named
the Mascot Madness 2015 tournament winner, and was even featured on an
episode of Conan, the late-night show hosted by Conan O’Brien.
Controversy=Aramark=
UC Irvine is the last UC campus that subcontracts its food services. In
summer of 2004, UCI signed a contract with Aramark, a food services
corporation, granting it control of nearly all residential dining facilities
and restaurants on university property. This includes UCI’s three dining halls
and three on-campus restaurants. ASUCI, which is partially responsible for
negotiating UCI’s food services contract, has justified the decision to
offer Aramark its business with the argument that Aramark has pledged to
invest millions of dollars into the university’s food service
infrastructure. Critics argue that offering one
corporation the university’s food services contract is a de facto
monopoly. It is also argued that the management of food services by Aramark
leads to low-quality food and poor customer service, and that support of
Aramark condones its poor employee relations record. Many full-time Aramark
employees qualify for public assistance and rely on Medi-Cal, low-income
housing, and other social programs. Though these workers prepare and serve
food on the UC Irvine campus in residential dining halls, they are not
afforded the same rights as UC service employees. Aramark Corporation prohibits
its workers from unionizing to fight for higher wages.
Proponents argue that maintaining one entity for food service lowers costs for
the University, which in turn lowers costs for students. Also, the fact that
food service workers are not UC employees further lowers costs for the
university. Furthermore, UCI notes the large investment Aramark is making is in
dining infrastructure, which will outlast its current contract and support
UCI’s long-range development plan.=Law school dean=
In hiring an inaugural dean of the UC Irvine School of Law, which opened in
2009, the University approached Professor Erwin Chemerinsky, a well
known legal scholar in constitutional law and liberal commentator. After
signing a contract with Chemerinsky on September 4, 2007, the hire was
rescinded by UCI Chancellor Michael V. Drake because he felt the law
professor’s commentaries were “polarizing” and would not serve the
interests of California’s first new public law school in 40 years; Drake
claimed the decision was his own and not the subject of any outside influence.
The action was roundly criticized by liberal and conservative scholars who
felt it hindered the academic mission of the law school, and disbelief over
Chancellor Drake’s claims that it was the subject of no outside influence.
The issue was the subject of a New York Times editorial on September 14, 2007.
Details emerged revealing that UCI had received criticism on the hire from
California Chief Justice Ronald M. George, who criticized Chemerinsky’s
grasp of death penalty appeals as well as a group of prominent Orange County
Republicans and Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, who
wanted to derail the appointment. Drake traveled over a weekend to Durham, North
Carolina, and the two reached an agreement late Sunday evening. On
September 17, Chemerinsky issued a joint press release with UCI Chancellor
Michael V. Drake indicating that Chemerinsky would head the UCI law
school, stating “Our new law school will be founded on the bedrock principle of
academic freedom. The chancellor reiterated his lifelong, unqualified
commitment to academic freedom, which extends to every faculty member,
including deans and other senior administrators.”
=UCI Extension=From 2002 to 2007, Capella University, a
for-profit, on-line institution, paid $500 per student to UCI Extension for
each of the 36 students who transferred to Capella. This undisclosed financial
arrangement resulted in a total payment of $12,000 to UCI. The payments, first
reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education, were inadvertently revealed
when Jeffry La Marca, a former student of UCI Extension and Capella, filed a
public records request for correspondence between UCI and Capella.
UCI continuing education dean Gary Matkin announced the school would end
the arrangement by October 31, 2007 and plans to place $12,000 into a
scholarship fund for needy students. UCI officials represented that the agreement
was legal per Department of Education regulations, however, UCI had tried to
hide the payments and the arrangement was frequently criticized as unethical
because it raised the possibility that school counselors might make
recommendations to students based on financial incentives rather than the
student’s best interests.=Allegations of antisemitism=
On November 30, 2007, the Office of Civil Rights of the United States
Department of Education issued a report finding “insufficient evidence” in
support of allegations that Jewish students at UCI were harassed and
subjected to a hostile environment based on their national origin. The federal
agency investigated a total of 13 alleged incidents of harassment that
occurred between Fall 2000 and December 2006, and determined that 5 were
“isolated acts” that could not be addressed because they were reported
more than 180 days after they occurred. Further, the agency considered these
acts, which included a rock thrown at a Jewish student, the destruction of a
Holocaust memorial display, and various threatening or harassing statements made
to individual Jewish students, substantially different in nature as to
be unrelated to the 8 other recurring acts it investigated, which included
graffiti depicting swastikas on campus, events during an annual Zionist
Awareness Week, exclusion of Jewish students during an anti-hate rally, and
the wearing of graduation stoles signifying support for Hamas or
Palestinian human rights. The agency ultimately found that none of the
incidents leading to the allegations qualified as “sufficiently severe,
pervasive or persistent as to interfere with or limit the ability of an
individual to participate in from the services, activities or privileges”
provided by UCI, and that university officials had acted appropriately in
response to each incident. In December 2007, UCI Administration has been
cleared of anti-semitism complaints by the US Department of Education’s Office
for Civil Rights. Following a speech by Chancellor Michael
Drake at the national Hillel meeting in Washington, D.C. in March 2008,
Anteaters for Israel, along with three other Jewish organizations, issued a
press release defending Drake and claiming that anti-Semitic activity was
“exaggerated.” Since then, 20 current and former students issued a statement
expressing concern over ongoing issues and Drake’s handling of them.
In May 2009, UC Irvine hosted a two-week event titled “Israel: The Politics of
Genocide”, hosted by the school’s Muslim Student Union. Scheduled speakers
included Cynthia McKinney and George Galloway. Opponents of the event
described it as “anti-Semitic” and have called for Chancellor Drake to condemn
both the event and the sponsoring organization. He has declined to do so.
One outdoor demonstration at this event included a display with an image of
Jewish Holocaust victim Anne Frank wearing a keffiyah, in an apparent
attempt to draw an analogy between her sufferings and the plight of the
Palestinians in the Palestinian territories. The pro-Israel campus
advocacy group StandWithUs has described this image as offensive.
In October 2009, students from UCI met with Hamas official Aziz Duwaik on a
university-sponsored trip to the West Bank under a program called the Olive
Tree Initiative, a neutral, apolitical education group that studies the
Arab-Israeli conflict. The meeting was questioned by parties in 2011, and the
initial response from UCI was that the meeting was justified, as the education
group was studying the different narratives that contribute to the
current situation in the middle east. After the Zionist Organization of
America informed UCI about Hamas’ nature and urged UCI to dissociate itself from
the OTI, UCI referred to the meeting as a “misstep.” Many of these accusations
were contradicted by many organizations and members of the group who are of
pro-Israel and Jewish descent. In May, 2010, forty members of the
faculty issued an open letter expressing concern about “hate-promoting actions”
including “a statement that the Zionist Jew is a party of Satan, a statement by
another MSU speaker that the Holocaust was God’s will” that have given UCI “a
growing reputation as a center of hate and intolerance”. Neither of the
speakers had been named nor any students shown to have had any affiliation with
such remarks.=Arrests at Michael Oren lecture=
UC Irvine attracted controversy in February 2010 when students disrupted a
lecture by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren. While the MSU had issued a
statement condemning the university for inviting a man who “took part in a
culture that has no qualms with terrorizing the innocent, killing
civilians, demolishing their homes and illegally occupying their land,” they
denied responsibility for the protests and said the students acted on their
own. According to Kenneth Stern, director of the American Jewish
Committee’s Division on Antisemitism and Extremism “The UCI campus has had a long
history of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incidents, usually tied to its Muslim
Student Union.” Hecklers interrupted Oren’s speech 10
times with many students cheering them in support. Among other slogans, the
hecklers yelled, “Michael Oren, propagating murder is not an expression
of free speech,” “killers” and “how many Palestinians did you kill?” After the
fourth disruption, Oren took a 20-minute leave before returning to the podium.
Before continuing he said, “I’ve spent most of my life living in and studying
the Middle East and one of the great and eternal cultural facets of the Middle
East is hospitality…even if you do not agree with them, even if they’re
ostensibly your enemy. I’m your guest here and I’m asking for the Middle
Eastern hospitality for your guest, I’ve come into your house.” By the end of the
program, 11 UC Irvine and Riverside students were reportedly arrested.
According to New University newspaper, 11 students were charged with section
403 of the UCIPD penal code – disrupting a public event on the University’s
property, for their actions. Nine were enrolled at UCI and three were from UCR.
During the event, UCI Chancellor Michael Drake and political science department
chair Mark Petracca “chided the protesting crowd and called the
disruptions embarrassing.” At one point, Chairman Petracca yelled “Shame on you”
to the heckling crowd. In a statement issued the next day, UCI Chancellor
Drake called the students’ behavior “intolerable,” saying that “Freedom of
speech is among the most fundamental, and among the most cherished of the
bedrock values our nation is built upon.” UCI Law School Dean Erwin
Chemerinsky also condemned the disruptions. He stated, “Imagine if they
had brought their own speaker and that person had been shouted down. There
would be no free speech. There is no right to a ‘heckler’s veto.’”
In response, the university suspended the group for the 2010–2011 school year
and the group will undergo a probationary period for the following
year. In addition, the members will be responsible for completing a collective
50 community service hours before the group can be reinstated. The Muslim
Student Union has appealed the suspension. The punishment was later
modified to one academic quarter, one hundred hours of community service, and
two years probation. The Zionist Organization of America,
describing UCI as “a campus that permitted bigotry”, has called for
college-bound students and financial donors to avoid UCI.
=Student government flag controversy=In March 2015, the legislative branch of
the campus undergraduate student government, the ASUCI, voted in favor of
a resolution that would have banned all flags from a shared inner workroom in
the undergraduate student government’s offices, the text of which partially
stating that “The American flag has been flown in instances of colonialism and
imperialism” and “freedom of speech, in a space that aims to be as inclusive as
possible, can be interpreted as hate speech”. After the student government’s
president expressed his opposition to the resolution in a public social media
post, the resolution became controversial, with criticism and
support from students and non-students. The student representatives who voted in
favor of the ban experienced intense harassment and received numerous death
threats. The university administration called the ban “misguided”, stating “The
views of a handful of students passing a resolution do not represent the opinions
of the nearly 30,000 students on this campus, and have no influence on the
policies and practices of the university”, and the executive branch of
the student council vetoed the ban. During the controversy, California State
Senator Janet Nguyen said that the state constitution could be amended to
prohibit the banning of the American flag at taxpayer-funded campuses.
Numerous professors and students from universities across the state have
signed a letter of support for the students who passed the resolution,
written in response to increasing hostility, death threats, and racial
slurs. UC Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman
initially called the vote “outrageous and indefensible”, and stated that the
campus would install additional flagpoles. After criticism from
students, faculty and others, however, Gillman published a conciliatory op-ed
in the Los Angeles Times, urging a stop to the harassment of students and
stating that criticism of the United States flag “is a feature of university
life and a measure of a free society.” Notable people
As of 2011, UCI has more than 124,000 alumni. As with any large university,
many UC Irvine alumni have achieved fame after graduating. These people include
athletes, Broadway, film, and television actors, international concert pianist
and arts entrepreneur Kevin Kwan Loucks, astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson, and
technological innovators. The UC Irvine writing program has
produced a number of authors, such as Michael Chabon, James McMichael, Ron
Carlson, Robert Peters, Alice Sebold, Aimee Bender, Richard Ford, Yusef
Komunyakaa, Marti Leimbach, Leonard Chang and T. Jefferson Parker. More
recent alumni include Glen David Gold, Maile Meloy, Alex Espinoza, Matt
Summell, and Joshua Ferris. Three faculty members have been honored
with the Nobel Prize. In 1995, two UCI Professors earned the Nobel Prize: Dr.
Frank Sherwood Rowland won in chemistry and Dr. Frederick Reines won in physics.
In 2004, Dr. Irwin Rose, professor at the School of Medicine, was awarded the
Nobel Prize in chemistry, along with faculty from the Technion. In addition,
alumnus Michael Ramirez has twice won the Pulitzer Prize as an editorial
cartoonist. Claude Yarbrough, class of ’76, is one
of the most influential magicians of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Gregory Coleman, Masters in Fine Arts, 2005 was an accomplished classical
guitarist, recording artist, composer, arranger and educator.
Ralph J. Cicerone, an earth system science professor and former chancellor
of UCI, is currently president of the National Academy of Sciences.
Faculty members who have taught literary criticism and critical theory at UCI
have included Jacques Derrida, Murray Krieger and Wolfgang Iser, and visiting
professors in these fields have included Judith Butler, Slavoj Žižek, Giorgio
Agamben, Barbara Johnson, Fredric Jameson, Elizabeth Grosz, and Étienne
Balibar. Movie directors who attended UCI include
McG, Joseph Andrew Mclean and Robert Beaucage, director of Spike. Other
notable alumni include American interdisciplinary artist Kim Victoria
Abeles and Danny Pang, an alleged Ponzi-schemer featured on the CNBC
television show American Greed. Major League Baseball players from UCI
include Brady Anderson, Dylan Axelrod, Christian Bergman, Doug Linton, Sean
Tracey and Gary Wheelock. See also
Anteater Recreation Center References
External links Official website
UC Irvine Athletics website