Office of the Chancellor

Vice Chancellor for Research Announcement

April 7, 2015

Dear Colleagues: 

It is with regret that I announce that John Hemminger has decided to step down from his position as vice chancellor for research and return full time to the faculty as a professor of chemistry, effective July 1, 2015. During his nearly five years as vice chancellor, the entire university has benefited greatly from John’s steadfast commitment to increasing our research effort across all our schools and programs, his dedication to the highest standards of compliance, and his national advocacy of greater federal support for basic research. 

Among the highlights of his tenure, John significantly increased the campus investment in research infrastructure by providing campus financial support for major facilities that are used by large numbers of faculty and students as they carry out state-of-the-art research. 

Working with the Office of University Advancement, John greatly increased the interactions that UCI faculty, staff, and students have with the federal government, both at the policy level with the administration and Congress, and at the agencies that provide the preponderance of funding for the research carried out at UCI. He has recently expanded UCI federal advocacy aimed at the development of major new research funding for the campus. This has resulted in a significant increase in UCI’s reputation among government decision-makers in our nation’s capital. 

John led the planning for and launch of the newly established UC Irvine Institute for Innovation, the focal point of spurring the use of our academic research into innovative products and applications that benefit the world, and initiated a strategic plan to increase the level of annual extramural funding for UCI research from $300 million to $500 million, a central pillar of our plans to advance as a globally preeminent university. 

An alumnus of UCI and Harvard University, John joined the UCI faculty in 1978. A nationally recognized surface chemist, his research has yielded significant advances in nanotechnology manufacturing, efforts to combat atmospheric pollution, and solar fuels. In addition to serving as vice chancellor for research, he has, among other roles, served as chair of the Department of Chemistry, director of the Institute for Surface and Interface Science, co-director of the Center for Solar Energy, dean of the School of Physical Sciences, and chair of the federal Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee. He has won major research awards and fellowships from the American Chemical Society, American Vacuum Society, National Science Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, American Physical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. 

John Hemminger is an exceptional scientist, a talented leader, and a valued campus collaborator. I know all of you join me in thanking him for his years of extraordinary service. We will soon undertake a search for his successor.

Chancellor Howard Gillman