UCI’s 175,000 alumni have become leaders and contributors in all walks of life, regionally and throughout the world. Our goal is to maintain strong ties to our alumni family, creating an ethos that celebrates UCI pride and affinity for decades after graduation. Currently, a small percentage of alumni are engaged through volunteerism, event participation, philanthropy or other means. We aim to double the number of engaged alumni, approximately 10% of UCI graduates, by 2019-2020. In 2016-2017, 6.6% of alumni were engaged with UCI (up from 6% in the prior year), bringing the total to 13,161.
Community engagement is about building mutually beneficial relationships that ultimately strengthen UCI and the surrounding communities. Since Fall 2016, we have made significant strides towards this goal, in large part due to the Academic Planning Group Engagement Task Force (APG-ETF). The APG-ETF developed a proposal for a new initiative that aims to build UCI’s culture of engagement by highlighting, coordinating, and amplifying faculty engaged research and teaching. A large part of the proposal was approved by the Provost in Spring 2017 and the UCI Engage initiative was launched in the summer.
In Summer, 2017, we hired a Faculty Director, Professor Gilberto Q. Conchas, to serve as the intellectual lead for our new hub. Professor Conchas will work with the leadership and administrative staff from the Office of Academic Planning as well as identify an internal advisory board in Fall 2017. One main goal for this year is to offer faculty opportunities to participate in engaged teaching and research workshops in Winter and Spring 2018.
One of the other major accomplishments is the newly launched UCI Engage website that showcases over 180 UCI programs and initiatives from all across the UCI campus that are making an impact in the community. The website allows users to search by school/unit or by area of engagement, making the website an tool for community members who are looking for ways to connect to our campus efforts, as well as for faculty to connect and collaborate across campus. UCI Engage will be working this year to continue to build a strong culture of community engagement and reinforce our dedication to working collaboratively with our community to solve some of the world’s grand challenges.