Office of the Chancellor


Chancellor Howard Gillman

Chancellor Howard Gillman

Howard Gillman was appointed by the University of California Board of Regents as the sixth chancellor of the University of California, Irvine on September 18, 2014. He is an award-winning scholar and teacher with an expertise in the American Constitution and the Supreme Court. He holds faculty appointments in the School of Law, the Department of Political Science (within the School of Social Sciences), the Department of History (within the School of Humanities), and the Department of Criminology, Law and Society (within the School of Social Ecology) and every year teaches an undergraduate seminar. He also provides administrative oversight to, and serves as co-chair of the advisory board of, the University of California’s National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement.

Under Chancellor Gillman’s leadership, UCI has accelerated its ascendency among globally preeminent research universities. It has been ranked in the top 10 of all public universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report; doubled its annual philanthropic fundraising to an all-time high, including receiving the largest single gift in the campus’s history; increased its annual research support by more than $200 million, also setting a new record; established the Sue and Bill Gross School of Nursing; furthered its national leadership in sustainable practices; demonstrated its status as a “first choice” college for undergraduates by receiving more than 142,000 freshman and transfer applications for fall 2022, including being the top choice among all UC campuses for in-state, first-generation students for the third consecutive year; fostered regional economic development by establishing the premier local entrepreneurial incubator; announced Illuminations, an arts and culture initiative that enhances student exposure to the arts through enhanced regional partnerships; and developed a new strategic plan, Bright Past, Brilliant Future, that sets out a bold and ambitious road map for growth, expanding the university’s capacity to improve lives in our region and around the world.

Chancellor Gillman previously served as provost and executive vice chancellor (from June 2013) and interim chancellor (from July 2014). As provost he established a wide range of multidisciplinary research, teaching, and hiring initiatives designed to ensure campus-wide attention to important global and regional challenges, prioritized an agenda of “inclusive excellence” for faculty hiring and student support, transformed the campus’s approach to technology transfer and commercialization, expanded commitments to fundraising and community engagement, and reformed the campus budget model to prepare the university for an era of diminished state support.

Chancellor Gillman came to UCI after spending more than two decades at the University of Southern California, where he held faculty appointments in the Departments of Political Science and History, and, by courtesy, in the Gould School of Law. From 2005 to 2012 he served as dean of the Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, the largest, oldest, and most academically diverse unit at USC. During his five years as dean he raised approximately $450 million, including playing a central role in securing a $200 million naming gift, the largest single gift in USC’s history, and was credited with promoting innovation in academic programs, securing yearly increases in external funding for research, recruiting more than 100 new faculty, making diversity an institutional priority, developing a new funding model for Ph.D. programs, and expanding undergraduate opportunities in research, overseas study, and service learning.

Prior to his service as dean, Chancellor Gillman also served as associate vice provost for research advancement, chair of the Department of Political Science, and director of graduate studies within the Department of Political Science. 

Chancellor Gillman has long been recognized for teaching excellence and dedication to students. Among his teaching honors are: the Teaching and Mentoring Award from the Law and Courts section of the American Political Science Association, 2013; the USC Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2001 – the highest honor the university bestows on its faculty for career achievement in teaching and dedication to students; the General Education Teaching Award from the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, 2001; and an appointment as a Distinguished Faculty Fellow of the USC Center for Excellence in Teaching, 2001-2013. 

His academic and scholarly honors include  the Law and Courts Service Award, recognizing exceptional service to the Law and Courts Section of the American Political Science Association; the Enlund Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Depaul University College of Law; the American Judicature Society Award for best paper on public law presented in the previous year; the C. Herman Pritchett Award for best book in public law published during the previous year; and the Pi Sigma Alpha Award for the best paper presented at the previous annual meeting of the Western Political Science Association. 

A prolific author of academic papers, articles, and book chapters, and a frequent invited lecturer, Chancellor Gillman’s books include: 

  • The Religion Clauses: The Case for Separating Church and State, co-authored with Erwin Chemerinsky (Oxford University Press, 2020);
  • Free Speech on Campus, co-authored with Erwin Chemerinsky (Yale University Press, 2018);
  • The Complete American Constitutionalism, Volume One:  Introduction and the Colonial Era, co-authored with Mark A. Graber (Oxford University Press, 2015), the first volume of an eight-volume reference series on American constitutional history and politics;
  • American Constitutionalism, 2nd edition, Volume I: Structure of Government, with Mark A. Graber and Keith Whittington (Oxford University Press, 2017, 2013);
  • American Constitutionalism, 2nd edition, Volume II: Rights and Liberties, with Mark A. Graber and Keith Whittington (Oxford University Press, 2017, 2013);
  • American Constitutionalism: Powers, Rights, and Liberties, co-authored with Mark A. Graber and Keith E. Whittington (Oxford University Press, 2014);
  • The Votes that Counted:  How the Court Decided the 2000 Presidential Election (University of Chicago Press, 2001);
  • Supreme Court Decision-Making:  New Institutionalist Approaches, edited with Cornell W. Clayton (University of Chicago Press, 1999);
  • The Supreme Court in American Politics:  New Institutionalist Interpretations, edited with Cornell W. Clayton (University Press of Kansas, 1999);
  • The Constitution Besieged:  The Rise and Demise of Lochner Era Police Powers Jurisprudence (Duke University Press, 1993), which received the C. Herman Pritchett Award for best book in public law published during the previous year and was named a Choice “Outstanding Academic Book” selection for 1993.

A native of Southern California, Chancellor Gillman grew up in North Hollywood and was a first-generation college student.  He earned bachelor’s (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), master’s, and doctoral degrees in political science at UCLA. His wife, Ellen Ruskin-Gillman, earned her bachelor’s degree at UC San Diego and master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology at UCLA. They have two children.


Howard Gillman, Ph.D. full CV

Howard Gillman photos

Chancellor's Role


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Section 4

Chancellor's Cabinet

Chancellor's Cabinet

Chancellor's Advisory Council (CAC)

Chancellor's Advisory Council

Office Staff

Office Staff