Under “Growth That Makes a Difference,” our 2016 strategic plan committed to:
- Expanding the number and impact of UCI faculty.
- Increasing research expenditures to over $500 million annually.
- Expanding the quality and impact of UCI Health.
- Creating appropriate programs and structures to facilitate interdisciplinary, problem-based scholarship and teaching, especially for convergence science.
- Developing, supporting, and promoting new comprehensive research initiatives that shed light on social problems and address regional and global grand challenges.
- Making pervasive the place of art, culture, creative expression, and humanistic inquiry within our research and educational missions.
While the pandemic slowed the pace of our planned growth of 250 new faculty, we have been remarkably successful in accomplishing many of these goals. Notably, in fiscal year 2020-2021, the campus received the most external funding in campus history – $592 million in grants and contracts. UC Irvine Health continues to expand both its physical footprint and research impact, with the Susan & Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences building and the Sue & Bill Gross Nursing & Health Sciences Hall opening this year. Since 2016, two programs have transitioned to become formal schools: the Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing and the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Our campus will be hiring over one dozen new faculty across the campus in three clusters focusing on Environmental Health Disparities, Infrastructure Equity, and Poetic Justice, as part of the Black Thriving Initiative Cluster Hiring Program. We have built a new Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Building to facilitate interdisciplinary scholarship and teaching. We have created a world-class Team Scholarship Accelerator Lab (TSAL) to support and facilitate interdisciplinary collaborative research. Our campus formed the Center for Complex and Active Materials, a newly established NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC). We have cultivated a campus culture of sustainability. Our academic initiatives program has funded teams of faculty addressing global challenges including improving precision health through artificial intelligence, fueling the development of new knowledge and insights into the dynamics of infectious diseases and drug resistance, and ending family violence. And thanks to the generosity of our community, we are building the Jack and Shanaz Langson Institute and Museum of California Art, which will house two important collections of California art: The Irvine Museum Collection and The Buck Collection. Langson IMCA will offer unparalleled arts and cross-curricular experiences for the campus, region, and beyond.