April 2018

This is a special time of year in homes all across California as high school seniors and community college transfer students find out if their dream college has accepted them. With more than 116,000 applicants last fall — the third-highest total in the nation — UCI ranks high as many students’ first choice. Our admissions staff has been working hard and making difficult choices, and now the notifications are going out. You can see the joyful reactions of some happy new Anteaters here. I look forward to welcoming the members of the UCI Class of 2022 to campus this fall.

Departure of Vice Chancellor Thomas Parham

I am very proud that Thomas A. Parham, vice chancellor for student affairs, has been selected as the next president of California State University, Dominguez Hills. Vice Chancellor Parham, who earned a bachelor’s degree in social ecology at UCI, has been a mainstay of our campus for 33 years, influencing generations of students to make the most of every opportunity and achieve to their potential. Known to everyone as “Dr. P,” he has been a fierce advocate for our students, working tirelessly to make their experiences on campus a compelling part of their education. I shall miss his wise counsel, steady hand and good humor, and I have every confidence that under his leadership, CSU Dominguez Hills will build on its achievements and advance to the next level as one of the premier teaching universities of our state and our region.

Passing of Professor Emeritus Donald McKayle

Donald McKayle
Modern dance icon Donald McKayle, who taught and mentored UCI dance students for decades, has passed away. Michelle Kim/UCI

Sadly, longtime faculty member Donald McKayle died earlier this month at the age of 87. An iconic dancer, choreographer, director, writer and teacher, he was celebrated for works that explored and reflected the African American experience, works that are part of the canon of modern dance, performed around the world. Virtually every accolade in the dance profession was bestowed upon him, and here at UCI, he earned the Balasaraswati/Joy Ann Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching; was the only artist ever to be recognized with UCI’s Distinguished Faculty Lectureship Award for Research; and, in 2000, received the UCI Medal, the university’s highest honor. He was a Bren Fellow and one of just three UCI instructors to have been given the title of Claire Trevor Professor, an endowed chair. His passion for teaching and inspiring young, talented dancers remained unabated throughout his long life, and one of his greatest legacies is the hundreds of professional dancers he mentored.

Passing of Donald McKayle 

New books from UCI faculty

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Distinguished Professor of English and comparative literature, has over the past six decades written a long line of novels, plays, essays, short stories and memoirs that illumine the human condition, focusing on Africa and Africans. He is a perennial favorite for the Nobel Prize in literature. His latest book, Wrestling with the Devil, is a memoir of his 1978 imprisonment in Kenya, when he was held without trial in a maximum security prison for a year.

English professor Julia Reinhard Lupton, associate dean for research in the School of Humanities, co-director of the Shakespeare Center, and founding faculty director of Illuminations: The Chancellor’s Arts and Culture Initiative, is one of the country’s foremost Shakespearean scholars. Her latest book is Shakespeare Dwelling: Designs for the Theater of Life, in which she examines how the worlds we live in shape our beliefs, experiences, actions and opportunities.

Richard Hasen, Chancellor’s Professor of Law and political science, is a nationally recognized expert in election law and campaign finance regulation. His op-eds and commentaries have appeared in many publications, and he also writes the influential Election Law Blog. In his newest book, The Justice of Contradictions: Antonin Scalia and the Politics of Disruption — which he discusses here — he explores the late Supreme Court justice’s complex legacy as a conservative legal thinker and public intellectual.

Graduate programs ranking

Constance Iloh, assistant professor of education, teaches doctoral students.
UCI’s School of Education placed 14th among public universities and 24th overall in U.S. News & World Report’s annual graduate school rankings. Here, Constance Iloh, assistant professor of education, teaches doctoral students. Steve Zylius/UCI

Our campus is consistently recognized as a trailblazer in a broad range of fields. Our faculty and graduate students continue to create new technologies, explore innovative approaches to research challenges and foster excellence in scholarship. Our graduate students become leaders in their fields — paving the way for tomorrow’s generation of researchers, entrepreneurs, teachers and mentors. All this is confirmed in the recent U.S. News & World Report ranking of graduate schools, in which seven of our graduate programs were listed in the top 10 among public universities and 16 in the top 25. These outstanding placements are yet another illustration of UCI’s stature as a world-class research university.

Graduate programs rankings 

Honor for Dean Frances Leslie

Frances Leslie
Frances Leslie, vice provost and dean for graduate studies and professor of pharmacology and anatomy & neurobiology. Steve Zylius/UCI

Frances Leslie, vice provost for graduate education and dean of the Graduate Division — who is UCI’s senior leader responsible for the growth and advancement of our graduate programs — was recently recognized by Orange County Connected Women of Influence with its highest honor, the Lifetime Legacy Award. It celebrates women who have demonstrated superior leadership over several years and who have a significant track record of long-term achievements in their field. Congratulations, Dean Leslie, on this well-deserved honor!

Frances Leslie to receive 2018 legacy award from Orange County Connected Women of Influence 

High ranking for delivering value, upward mobility

In its annual college rankings, the influential business magazine Forbes ranks UCI No. 4 in the nation for delivering the best value for the money and No. 2 in the nation for its upward mobility rate. It is wonderful to once again be recognized as a leading campus in the U.S. for providing unparalleled opportunities for all of our students to succeed, no matter their background. We are proud to offer California’s brightest young people a world-class education and the means to pursue the lives they want to lead as productive and informed citizens.

UCI ranks 4th for 'best value' 

UCI Giving Day

On Wednesday, April 25, just one week from today, UCI will hold its second annual Giving Day. All the money raised goes to scholarships, groundbreaking research, medical services and innovative programs across campus. Our inaugural Giving Day last year was a tremendous success, with more than 1,600 alumni, faculty, staff, parents and friends contributing. This year we hope to make an even bigger impact. Our goal is to receive 2,400 gifts in just 24 hours. I hope you will consider participating in this ambitious effort in support of this great institution. When everybody gives, we all gain.