Pillar 1: Growth That Makes a Difference

In UCI’s short existence, its scholars have made groundbreaking contributions in many areas of research – contributions that have changed both how we look at the world and how we act in the world. Professor F. Sherwood Rowland’s Nobel Prize-winning exploration of the dangers of chlorofluorocarbon use, which ultimately led to the worldwide ban on CFCs and inspired national and global scientific inquiry into the effects of mankind’s actions on our living planet, is one example of UCI’s research leadership. The challenges facing our region and our world are many and complex. UCI must expand in strategic areas to meet societal needs and the evolving interests of our students.

Expand the number and impact of UCI faculty

  • Grow UCI’s research and teaching capacity by 250 additional faculty over the next five years
  • Acknowledge, reward, and retain our best current faculty by using salary incentives to keep UCI competitive with outside offers; establish campuswide and school-based committees to nominate candidates for major awards, fellowships, academies, and other honors; and maintain a supportive campus climate
  • Extend innovative and high-impact hiring procedures to recruit extraordinary individuals or teams whose presence will have a catalytic effect on UCI’s reputation and impact
  • Develop new interdisciplinary faculty hiring programs that make the most of existing strengths in one or more units and have promise for significantly elevating the profile of these areas
  • Develop alternate academic personnel review pathways for interdisciplinary faculty

Increase research expenditures to over $500 million annually

  • Building on various disciplinary models of research, substantially increase the number of grant proposals submitted by UCI faculty
  • Streamline grant, contract, and partnership submission processes
  • Substantially increase pre- and post-award administrative support for funded research, including advanced writing and editorial skills for grant proposals
  • Incentivize multi-collaborator grant and contract initiatives
  • Maintain our collaboration with the UC system to educate state and federal legislators about increasing needs for grant funding to support research
  • Build new research facilities that will support faculty in the relevant schools and disciplines

Expand the quality and impact of UCI Health

  • Develop a new strategic plan for the UCI Health combined enterprise
  • Establish new schools of nursing, pharmacy and population health to train and produce academic leaders in these health science fields
  • Expand the health enterprise for broader clinical impact in the region
  • Optimize the synergy between the clinical and academic missions in an effort to leverage the strategic goals of the main campus in support of UCI Health

Create appropriate programs and structures to facilitate interdisciplinary, problem-based scholarship and teaching, especially for convergence science

  • Develop opportunities to address significant societal challenges – related to health, energy, food, climate and water – through the convergence of research from traditional academic fields, such as medicine, biology, physical science, engineering and information and computer science (known as convergence science).
  • Invest in academic and administrative structures that promote interdisciplinary practices
  • Accelerate faculty hiring in academic areas with the highest potential for establishing UCI’s leadership in convergence science
  • Create a campuswide program for faculty who aspire to offer exploratory or innovative convergence science and other interdisciplinary courses
  • Educate UCI faculty, staff and administrators about implicit biases that may create barriers to building diverse and interdisciplinary teams
  • Promote team science as an area of excellence at UCI
  • Build a large donor-supported research and education building devoted to the convergence of science and engineering

Develop, support, and promote new comprehensive research initiatives that shed light on social problems and address regional and global grand challenges

  • Support faculty in the exploratory phases of high-risk, transformative, interdisciplinary and international research on pressing social issues
  • Ensure faculty growth in social and behavioral sciences, humanities, education, law and business is appropriately balanced relative to the increasing student body
  • Establish and sustain seed funding programs to promote comprehensive research initiatives that promise to chart new territory in these disciplines
  • Grow academic, professional and self-supporting programs in a way that maintains the integrity of UCI’s teaching mission and does not compromise our ability to pursue aggressive research

Make pervasive the impact of art, culture, creative expression, and humanistic inquiry on our broader research and educational missions

  • Grow arts engagement initiatives to more prominently spread UCI arts events and performances across campus and throughout the region
  • Increase opportunities for arts and humanities scholars to engage and collaborate with colleagues campuswide on research and academic initiatives
  • Pursue opportunities to develop art collections and exhibition spaces to house them, and identify and secure new performance venues
  • Use visiting scholar programs to bring prestigious and highly visible thinkers to campus and to engage them with UCI on a continuing basis