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The University of California, Irvine (UCI or UC Irvine) is a public coeducational research university founded in 1965, located in Irvine, Californiamarker.

UC Irvine's name originated from the Irvine Company, which donated for a single dollar and sold another to the University of California. In 1971, the University of California and the Irvine Company planned a city around the campus, which was incorporated as the city of Irvine.

UC Irvine's location is in the heart of Orange County, Californiamarker, serving the fifth most-populous county in the United States. UCI also maintains the UC Irvine Health Sciences system with its flagship UCI Medical Centermarker in the city of Orangemarker, the University of California, Irvine, Arboretum, and a portion of the University of California Natural Reserve System. UC Irvine is also a Public Ivy.


Early years

The University of California, Irvine was one of three new campuses established in the 1960s under the California Master Plan for Higher Education with the San Diegomarker and Santa Cruzmarker campuses. During the 1950s, the University of California saw the need for the new campuses to handle both the large number of college-bound World War II veterans (largely due to the G. I. Bill) and the expected increase in enrollment from the post-war baby boom. One of the new campuses was to be in the Los Angeles area; the location selected was Irvine Ranch, an area of agricultural land bisecting Orange Countymarker from north to south. This site was chosen to accommodate the county's growing population, complement the growth of nearby UCLAmarker and UC Riversidemarker, and allow for the construction of a master planned community in the surrounding area.
One of two identical UCI signs that face the main campus' Bison Avenue entrance.
Unlike other University of California campuses, UCI was not named for the city it was built in; at the time of the university's founding (1965), the current city of Irvinemarker (established in 1975) did not exist. The name "Irvine" is a reference to James Irvine, a landowner who administered the Irvine Ranch. In 1960, The Irvine Company sold of the Irvine Ranch to the University of California for one dollar, since a company policy prohibited the donation of property to a public entity. The University purchased an additional in 1964 for housing and commercial developments. Much of the land that was not purchased by UCI (which is now occupied by the cities of Irvine, Tustinmarker, Newport Beachmarker, and Newport Coastmarker) is now held under The Irvine Company. During this time, the University also hired William Pereira and Associates as the Master Planner of the Irvine Ranch area. Pereira intended for the UC Irvine campus to complement the neighboring community, and the two grew in tandem. Soon after UC Irvine opened in 1965, the City of Irvine became incorporated and established in 1971 and 1975, respectively.

UC Irvine's first Chancellor, Daniel G. Aldrich, developed the campus' first academic plan around a College of Arts, Letters, and Science, a Graduate School of Administration, and a School of Engineering. The College of Arts, Letters, and Science was composed of twenty majors in five "Divisions": Biological Sciences, Fine Arts, Humanities, Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences (which transformed into the present-day "Schools"). Aldrich was also responsible for implementing the wide variety of flora and fauna on the campus that fit the local Mediterranean climate zone, feeling that it served an "aesthetic, environmental, and educational [purpose]."

On June 20, 1964, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson dedicated UC Irvine before a crowd of 15,000 people, and on October 4, 1965 the campus began operations with 1,589 students, 241 staff members, 119 faculty, and 43 teaching assistants. However, many of UCI's buildings were still under construction and landscaping was still in progress, with the campus only at 75% completion. By June 25, 1966, UCI held its first Commencement with fourteen students, which conferred ten Bachelors of Arts, three Masters of Arts, and one Doctor of Philosophy degree. In 1965 the formerly osteopathic California College of Medicine, the oldest continuously operating medical college in the southwestern US joined to UCI. Over the protests of faculty, the University bowed to pressure from Governor Brown and bought the Orange County Medical Center from the government ending ambitions for an on campus teaching hospital. Intermittent attempts over the years to bring a full medical center to the school itself have been frustrated by many factors.

Present day

Since opening in 1965, UC Irvine's growth has contributed to growth in the surrounding communities and made UC Irvine the educational, economic and cultural center of Orange County. It has also spawned a popular translation of the abbreviation "UCI" to mean "Under Construction Indefinitely". As the largest employer in Orange Countymarker, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $4.2 billion with an operating budget of almost $1.9 billion for 2008 including $328 million in extramural research funding. Numerous other educational and training opportunties are offered in numerous areas ranging from physician residency programs at UC Irvine's Medical Center to community certificate programs and other coursework through University Extension.

In 2009, UC Irvine offered (B.S. & B.A) degree programs in 81 undergraduate majors and 59 minors. On the graduate student level, UC Irvine offered 98 advanced degree programs campus-wide; i.e., 51 master's, 44 Ph.D., an M.D., an Ed.D. and the J.D. degree programs. UC Irvine conferred 6,887 undergraduate and graduate degrees during its 2008 Commencement Ceremonies.

Future growth

As a part of its long-term efforts to "attain flagship status," UC Irvine has implemented construction projects (estimated to cost $1.3 billion over the next decade) that will accelerate the campus build-out and employ the remainder of the university's land grant. The exponential increase in construction activity is a part of the Strategy for Academic Development at UCI through 2015, a master plan that outlines the vision of making UCI a first-choice university for college applicants nationwide. The university announced the "Shaping the Future Campaign" on Oct. 4, 2008 that focuses a $1 billion fund raising effort on four major strategic initiatives: the environment and sustainable energy, health care, training tomorrow's leaders, and global business and cultural partnerships.


The layout of the core campus resembles a rough circle with its center being Aldrich Park, initially known as Central Park, and lined up by the Ring Road and buildings surrounding the road. To further emphasize the layout, academic units are positioned relative to the center, wherein undergraduate schools are closer to the center than the graduate schools.

Within Aldrich Park, there are numerous thickly-wooded trees indigenous to the local Mediterranean climate. The very center of the park features a garden and a memorial plaque of UCI's founding. The park itself has a network of paved and dirt pathways shared by pedestrians and cyclists.

Ring Road is the main pedestrian road used by students and faculty to travel around the core campus. The road measures up to a perfect mile and completely encircles Aldrich Park. Most schools and libraries are lined up by this road with each of these schools having their own central plaza which also connects to the Aldrich Park.

Other areas of the university outside of the core campus such as the College of Medicine and the School of Arts are connected by four pedestrian bridges. Beyond the core campus and the bridges, the layout of the campus is more suburban.


Anteater sand sculpture.
Although the campus is located in the city of Irvinemarker, it is located very close to the city of Newport Beachmarker; in fact, the campus itself is directly bounded by the city of Newport Beach and Newport Coastmarker on many sides. The western side of the campus borders the San Joaquin Freshwater Marsh Reserve, through which Campus Drive connects UCI to the 405 freeway. The northern and eastern sides of UCI are adjacent to Irvine proper; the eastern side of the campus is delineated by Bonita Canyon Road, which turns into Culver Drive at its northern terminus and offers links to the San Joaquin Hills Toll Road and 405 freeway, respectively. Additionally, UCI's southern boundary is adjacent to the San Joaquin Transportation Corridor.

There exists a "North Campus" that houses the Facilities Management Department, the Faculty Research Facility, Central Receiving, Fleet Services, the Air Pollution Health Effects Laboratory, and numerous other functions. It is located next to the UCI Arboretum; both the North Campus and the arboretum are located about from from the main campus.

William Pereira's original street layout for the region surrounding the University had a wingnut-shaped loop road as the main thoroughfare, which twice crossed the campus. However, the Irvine Company's development plans expanded before it could be completed, and portions of California, Carlson, Harvard and Turtle Rock roads today constitute segments of what would have been the Loop Road.

Despite the suburban environment, a variety of wildlife inhabits the University's central park, open fields, and wetlands. The university has bobcats, mountain lions, hawks, golden eagles, great blue herons, peregrine falcons, rabbits, raccoons, owls, skunks, weasels, bats, and coyotes. The UCI Arboretum hosts a collection of plants from California and Mediterranean climates around the world. The small rabbits in particular are very numerous and can be seen across campus in high numbers, especially during hours of low student traffic.


The first buildings were designed by a team of architects led by William Pereira and including A. Quincy Jones and William Blurock. The initial landscaping, including Aldrich Park, was designed by an association of three firms, including that of the famous urban-landscaping innovator Robert Herrick Carter. Aldrich Park was designed under the direction of landscape architect Gene Uematsu, and was modeled after Frederick Law Olmsted's designs for New York Citymarker's Central Parkmarker. The campus opened in 1965 with the inner circle and park only half-completed. There were only nine buildings and a dirt road connecting the main campus to the housing units. Only three of the six "spokes" that radiate from the central park were built, with only two buildings each. Pereira was retained by the university to maintain a continuity of style among the buildings constructed in the inner ring around the park, the last of which was completed in 1972. These buildings were designed in a style which Pereira called "California Brutalist", combining sweeping curves and expressionistic shapes with elements of classic California architecture such as red tiled roofs and clay-tiled walkways. These buildings featured an innovative structural design that freed the interiors from support columns in order to allow future alterations of their floor plans.
Engineering complex
Construction on the campus all but ceased after the Administration building, Aldrich Hall, was completed in 1974, and then resumed in the late 1980s, beginning a massive building boom that still continues today. This second building boom continued the futuristic trend, but emphasized a much more colorful, postmodern approach that somewhat contradicted the earthy, organic designs of the early buildings. Architects such as Frank Gehry and Arthur Erickson were brought in to bring the campus more "up to date". This in turn led to a "contextualist" approach beginning in the late 1990s, combining stylistic elements of the first two phases in an attempt to provide an architectural "middle ground" between the two vastly different styles. Gehry's building was recently removed from campus to make way for a new building, with a design that has been called a "big beige box with bands of bricks."

As of 2005, the campus has more than 200 buildings and encompasses most of the university's 1,500 acres (6 km²). The campus is in the midst of a $1.1 billion construction campaign.

Libraries and study centers

Langson Library is the main repository for most of UC Irvine's research materials and hosts many study areas.
It is one of four central libraries maintained by UC Irvine.
Science Library

Jack Langson Library Resources for the Arts, Humanities, Education, Social Sciences, Social Ecology, and Business & Management disciplines
Science Library One of the largest consolidated science and medical libraries in the nation. Resources for the schools of Biological Sciences, Engineering, Information and Computer Science, Physical Sciences, portions of Social Ecology, and the College of Medicine
Grunigen Medical Library Located at UCI Medical Centermarker, contains 43,000 volumes of material
Libraries Gateway Study Center Located across from the Langson Library
Law Library Located on the bottom two floors of the Law Building

UCI is noted for having many excellent special collections and archives. In addition to holding a noted Critical Theory archive and Southeast Asian archive, the Libraries also contain extensive collections in Dance and Performing Arts, Regional History, and more. Additionally, Langson Library hosts an extensive East Asian collection with materials in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

Nearly all departments and schools on campus complement the resources of the UC Irvine Libraries by maintaining their own reading rooms and scholarly meeting rooms. They contain small reference collections and are the choice for more intimate lectures, graduate seminars, and study sessions. There is also the large Gateway Study Center (across from Langson Library), one of the university's original buildings and under the custody of UC Irvine Libraries. Having served formerly as a cafeteria and student center, it is now a dual-use computer lab and study area which is open nearly 24 hours.

The UCI Student Center offers a large number of study areas, auditoriums, and a food court and therefore is one of the most popular places to study on campus. UC Irvine also has a number of computer labs that serve as study centers. The School of Humanities maintains its Humanities Instructional Resource Center, a drop-in computer lab specializing in language and digital media. Additionally, UCI maintains five other drop-in labs, four instructional computer labs, and a number of reservation-only SmartClassrooms, some of which are open 24 hours. Other popular study areas include Aldrich Park, the Cross-Cultural Center, the Locus (a study room and computer lab used by the Campuswide Honors Program), and plazas located in every School.


An underground network of tunnels runs between many of the major buildings on campus and the Central Plant, with the major trunk passage located beneath Ring Road. Smaller tunnels branch off from this main passage to reach individual buildings, carrying electrical and air-conditioning utilities from the Central Plant. These tunnels have been the subject of much campus lore, the most popular story being that the tunnels were constructed to facilitate the safe evacuation of faculty in the event of a student riot. The main tunnel actually appears above ground in the form of an unusually thick bridge near the Engineering Tower, in an area where Ring Road crosses between two hills.


Like other University of California campuses, UC Irvine is governed by a Chancellor who has significant authority over campus academic and planning affairs. The Chancellor, in turn, is nominated by and is responsible to the Regents of the University of California and the UC President:

After the Chancellor, the second most senior official is the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost. He serves as the university's chief academic and operating officer. Every school on campus reports to the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost through a Dean, and all other academic and administrative units report to his office through a Vice Chancellor or chief administrator. A partial list of these units includes Campus Recreation, Intercollegiate Athletics, Planning and Budget, Student Affairs, UC Irvine Libraries, UC Irvine Medical Center, and University Advancement. The Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost also governs the faculty senate.


The School of Social Sciences from Aldrich Park.
UC Irvine's academic units are referred to as Schools. There are eight undergraduate Schools, two graduate Schools, one Department, and one field of Interdisciplinary Studies. The most recent academic unit, the College of Health Sciences, was established in 2004. On November 16, 2006, the UC Regents approved the establishment of the School of Law, which opened in fall 2009. The remaining academic units offer accelerated or community education in the form of Summer Session and UC Irvine Extension. Additionally, UCI's Campuswide Honors Program is implementing an independent study program, which will allow students to develop their own curriculum across Schools and graduate with their own self-created major.

The Engineering Tower, located in the Henry Samueli School of Engineering, is the tallest building on campus.

Academic units:

Research organizations

Calit2, UCI
To complement its mission as a research university, UCI hosts a diverse array of nationally and internationally-recognized research organizations. These organizations are either chaired by or composed of UCI faculty, frequently draw upon undergraduates and graduates for research assistance, and produce a multitude of innovations, patents, and scholarly works. Some are housed in a school or department office; others are housed in their own multimillion-dollar facilities. These are a few of the more prolific research organizations at UCI:

  • Beckman Laser Institute
  • California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2)
  • Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies
  • Center for Unconventional Security Affairs
  • Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • National Fuel Cell Research Center
  • Reeve-Irvine Research Center
  • Center for the Study of Democracy
  • Center for Health Policy Research
  • W. M. Keck Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry

Rankings and distinctions

Many of UCI's graduate programs received top-50 rankings from U.S. News & World Report, earning distinction in literary criticism and theory (1), criminology (4), behavioral neuroscience (5), creative writing (6), health care management (9), organic chemistry (9), information systems (11), drama and theater (12), third-world literature (12), cognitive psychology (13), English (16), psychology – neurobiology and behavior (16), chemistry (18), experimental psychology (19), gender and literature (19), executive M.B.A. (20), cell biology/developmental biology (21), 19th- and 20th century literature (22), psychology – cognitive science (22), sociology (27), aerospace engineering (29), computer science (29), physics (29), mechanical engineering (30), civil engineering (31), biological sciences (32), history (32), environmental engineering (34), fine arts (34), political science (35), business (38), biomedical engineering (40), engineering (41), medicine (41), materials science engineering (45), mathematics (47), psychology and social behavior (47), economics (48), and electrical engineering (49).

UCI's Master of Fine Arts degree program in creative writing has graduated such authors as Richard Ford, Michael Chabon, and Alice Sebold. The graduate program in philosophy was ranked 17th in the English-speaking world by the Philosophical Gourmet Report, while Chemical and Engineering News ranks UCI fifth (tied with, among others, Harvard Universitymarker) in conferring doctoral degrees in chemistry. The Wall Street Journal ranks UCI's Paul Merage School of Business fourth in the nation for information technology.

National Acclaimed Faculty and Nobel Laureates

Three faculty members have been named National Medal of Science recipients. Additionally, three researchers from UCI's faculty received the Nobel Prize during their tenure at UCI: Frank Sherwood Rowland (Chemistry, 1995), Frederick Reines (Physics, 1995) (deceased), and Irwin Rose (Chemistry, 2004). Dr. Rowland's Nobel-winning research was conducted exclusively at UC Irvine, along with fellow prize-winner Mario J. Molina. Irwin Rose received the Nobel Prize for his work on biological proteins. F. Sherwood Rowland is known for helping to discover CFCs and their harmful effects on the ozone layer, while Frederick Reines received the Nobel Prize for his work in discovering the neutrino. UCI is the first public university to have two Nobel laureates (Rowland and Reines) who received their prizes in the same year (1995).

In January 2009, UCI Professor Reg Penner won the Faraday Medal for his research with nanowires.

Learned societies affiliations:


UC Irvine is categorized by U.S. News and The Princeton Review as "most selective" for college admissions ratings within the United States. It is the fourth-most selective University of California campus on the ratio of admitted students to applicants (behind UC Berkeleymarker, UCLAmarker, and UC San Diegomarker).

The choice to offer admission is based on the University of California's comprehensive review program. It considers a candidate's personal situation, community involvement, extracurricular activities, and academic potential in addition to the traditional high school academic record, personal statement, and entrance examination scores. While residency is not a factor in admission, it is a factor in tuition expenses, with out-of-state residents spending more annually than California residents. State law prohibits UC Irvine from practicing affirmative action in its admissions process.

Of the 44,116 high school students who applied to UC Irvine for fall 2009 admission, 18,676 (or 42.3%) were offered admission. UC Irvine for fall 2009 attracted the third largest applicant pool of all UCs. In fall 2008, 95.8% of those students identified with "Eligibility in the Local Context," a statistical indicator that identifies the top 4% of all California high school graduates as eligible for admission to the University of California, who applied to UC Irvine were admitted.

Incoming freshmen predominantly represent the San Francisco Bay Area and the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Imperial. The most popular major for freshmen is a major in the School of Biological Sciences (23.2%), followed by Undecided/Undeclared (16.0%), Social Sciences (15.9%), Engineering (14.5%), Physical Sciences (7.6%), Humanities (7.3%), Arts (4.5%), Information and Computer Sciences (3.7%), Social Ecology (3.5%), and Health Sciences (1.9%). The average high school GPA for accepted freshmen was 4.01. The average SAT I scores were 1866, while the average ACT composite score was 27.

Ethnicity of 2008 enrolling freshman class

Ethnicity Percent
Asian/Asian American 55.3%
Caucasian (includes Middle Eastern) 21.7%
Mexican American 11.5%
Spanish American 3.6%
No response or Unknown 3.5%
African American 2.0%
Other 2.2%
American Indian <1%

Student life

UCI's history as part of a preplanned suburban community, combined with the tendency for some students to go home on the weekends, gives Irvine a reputation as a quieter college town or a commuter school. However, there are a number of opportunities for vibrant and exciting social outings, as long as students take the initiative and have access to an automobile. In fact, most of the students live on or around campus. There are also many storied traditions at UCI, which have helped the young university develop a strong sense of campus spirit and personality.

Greek life

UCI's Greek Life began in 1975 and continues today as a very active and growing community. There are two major overhead bodies on the campus that govern the Greek Life, Inter Fraternity Council and The Panhallenic Council. The IFC governs over the thirteen chapters which are considered Greek by the National Inter Fraternity Council (NIC).

The UCI IFC is composed of a board of an executive board and two delegates from each of the chapters represented on the campus. The executive board is intended to keep track of changes and take care of bureaucratic matters, while the delegations as a group make final decisions on everything done within the IFC.

Major events in the Greek system include Rush Week (Welcome Week), Greek Songfest, and Greek Week.

Fraternities and sororities


North-American Interfraternity Conference

National Panhellenic Conference

National Pan-Hellenic Council


Clubs and Organizations

UCI has over 400 student clubs representing the following categories: multicultural, performance, political, religious, service, social, recreational, special interest, academic and international.

Residential accommodations

UC Irvine has a number of residential options for students interested in living on campus. Approximately 36% of UCI students are housed in university accommodations; 3,300 live in freshmen residential dormitories, approximately 4,000 other undergraduates live in apartment/theme community housing, and 1,542 living units are available for graduate students and their families. Part of UCI's long-range development plan involves expanding on-campus housing to accommodate 50% of all UCI students.

The on-campus housing communities for undergraduates are: Mesa Court, Middle Earth, Campus Village, Arroyo Vista, Vista Del Campo, and VDC Norte. Graduate students are able to live on campus in Palo Verde, Verano Place, Vista Del Campo, and VDC Norte.

Mesa Court is a housing community for freshmen. Mesa Court was the first housing community at UCI, has many trees and plants, a volleyball court and a basketball court. Students living in Mesa Court have a mandatory meal plan, and can eat at the Mesa Commons. Mesa Court also has a community center, a recreational center, and the Mesa Activities Center(MAC). The housing community is crossing the bridge from the Arts to Humanities, or crossing the street towards the Student Center.

The Middle Earth housing community is home to about 1,700 students. The community is comprised of 24 halls, two dining facilities (Brandywine and Pippin Commons), a student center, and several resource centers. The name of each building is named after J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Middle Earth was built in three phases. The first phase was built in 1974 with the opening of seven halls: Hobbiton, Isengard, Lorien, Mirkwood, Misty Mountain, Rivendell, and The Shire. The second phase was built in 1989 with thirteen more halls: Balin, Harrowdale, Whispering Wood, Woodhall, Calmindon, Grey Havens, Aldor, Rohan, Gondolin, Snowbourn, Elrond, Shadowfax, and Quenya. And finally, the third phase was built in 2000 with four halls: Crickhollow, Evenstar, Oakenshield, and Valimar. Each hall houses about fifty to eighty students. The hall Quenya was built with sixty single suite rooms and mainly houses graduate students. The hall Rivendell was been a single gender suite for women since its opening. However, in Fall 2009, the hall has become coed and the all-women's hall has been moved to Oakensheild hall.

There are 42 houses located in Arroyo Vista and 38 are currently in use; 4 are under renovation and will be open again in the summer. There are 8 sorority and 4 fraternity houses that are located in Arroyo Vista. The sorority houses are Alpha Phi, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma, Gamma Phi Beta, Pi Beta Phi, Alpha Chi Omega, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and Kappa Alpha Theta. The fraternities in Arroyo Vista are Sigma Phi Epsilon, Phi Gamma Delta, Kappa Sigma, and Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Some of the themed houses include the Rosa Parks House, Casa Caesar Chavez, International Peace and Conflict Studies, International Village, and Sage. Arroyo Vista also has many academic themed houses such as Campuswide Honors Program, Engineering, Information and Computer Science, Humanities, and Sociology, and has three Second Year Experience Program houses.

Before the 2009-2010 school year, Arroyo Vista housed first, second, third, fourth, and fifth-year undergraduates all in the same community. Beginning Fall 2009, however, Arroyo Vista does not house first years. Students living in Arroyo Vista live in complexes that may be called houses, but have dorm-like qualities. For instance, there are H.A.'s present and the rooms are all doubles, but meal plans are not mandatory and there are no suites. Vista del Campo and Vista del Campo Norte are just up the road from AV, and are apartment-style, but still run by UCI, so there are still many regulations and C.A.'s make rounds at night daily. VDC Norte, or simply "Norte" for short, has single rooms and double rooms for undergraduates; one common layout in an apartment in Norte has one double and two singles to an apartment. VDC has single rooms for undergraduates in the form of single, double, triple, or quad room occupancy with shared bathrooms in one apartment. Within every eight minutes, ASUCI Shuttles transport student residents to and from the UCI campus.

Off-campus housing options vary widely, given a student's preferred living arrangements and budget. However, a common denominator for off-campus apartment housing in Irvinemarker and nearby Newport Beachmarker, Tustinmarker, and Costa Mesamarker is the fact that most accommodations are maintained by The Irvine Company. UCI offers off-campus housing search assistance and roommate listings through its student housing office.


A prominent UCI sign at Crawford Hall, part of the Crawford Athletic Complex.
UC Irvine Anteaters logo

UCI's sports teams are known as the Anteaters. They participate in the NCAA's Division I, as members of the Big West Conference and the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. Their traditional rivals are Cal State Fullertonmarker, Long Beach Statemarker, and UC Santa Barbara.

UCI fields nationally-competitive teams in cross country, track and field, basketball, baseball, volleyball, water polo, and soccer. UCI's renowned baseball program recently returned to UCI, after a period of state funding crises led to its temporary retirement.

UCI athletics has won 26 national titles. The most recent NCAA Division I national title was won by the men's volleyball team on May 9, 2009 against USC (3-2) at Provo, Utah. Prior to that, the most recent championship was won also by the men's volleyball team, on May 5, 2007 against IPFW (3-1) at Ohio State. Other national titles include three Division I men's water polo titles, two baseball Division II titles, three men's swimming titles (Div. II), and six men's tennis titles (Div. II). The 2007 men's baseball team impressed the nation, the Anteaters being one of the Final Four teams left in the College World Series, just six years after the baseball program had been formally re-instated after a ten-year absence. The week of April 20, 2009 was a historical milestone for the UCI athletics program, as both school’s Men’s Volleyball and Baseball squads were simultaneously ranked No. 1 nationally in NCAA Division I polls. This marked the first time ever that UCI possessed two teams ranked No. 1 in the nation, as Baseball garnered the ranking based on Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball polls, while Men’s Volleyball earned the top spot on the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll.

The anteater as mascot

anteater was chosen in 1965 when students were allowed to submit mascot candidates, which would be voted on in a campus election. An undergraduate named Schuyler Hadley Basset III is credited with choosing the anteater and designing a cartoon representation, having been disappointed with other mascots such as a roadrunner, unicorn, and golden bison.

The anteater was inspired by "Peter the Anteater" from the Johnny Hart comic strip, "B.C." Before the voting took place on campus, it is said that the men’s water polo team highly encouraged the students to vote for the anteater as the school mascot. The men’s water polo team promoted the anteater at one of their games, which is said to have increased student’s interest in voting for the anteater. Since it was "original and slightly irrelevant," it became the mascot of UC Irvine after winning 56% of the vote, beating a close second with the choice of "none of the above". The anteaters are not to be confused with the aardvark, an African animal that also eats ants. The anteater has grown to become a beloved mascot, and is the inspiration for many of UCI's athletic and campus spirit traditions.

Since the return of baseball in 2002 (the sport was eliminated in 1992 due to state budget cuts), UC Irvine has been ranked as high as #1 in the country in 2009, and has been at the top of the Big West Conference standings, which is considered by some to be one of the top Division I Baseball Conferences outside the major conferences in the country. In June 2007, the UC Irvine baseball team participated in the College World Series for the first time ever in school history. The Anteaters shocked the nation, and made Series history, becoming the first team to ever win two extra-inning College World Series games back-to-back, by beating (and eliminating) Cal State Fullerton (5-4, F/13), followed by nationally ranked Arizona State (8-7, F/10), only to lose their next game to defending National Champions, and well rested, Oregon State, having played a record 31 innings in three days to finish in the Final Four. Furthermore, 8 of the players from the current roster have been selected by major league teams in the 2007 MLB Draft.

School chants and cheers feature the word "zot" which was the noise Johnny Hart's "Peter the Anteater" made while eating ants. A hand signal of the anteater is done by touching the tips of the two middle fingers with the thumb, and sliding the thumb back, making the pinky and index finger the ears and the fingers in the middle the snout of the anteater.

In August 2007, a small stuffed Peter accompanied astronaut Tracy Caldwell on the Space Shuttle Endeavour mission STS-118.



UC Irvine is the last UC campus that subcontracts its food services. In summer of 2004, UCI signed a contract with Aramark, a food services corporation, granting it control of nearly all residential dining facilities and restaurants on university property. This includes UCI's three dining halls (Brandywine, Pippin Commons, and Mesa Commons) and three on-campus restaurants (Phoenix Grille, B.C.'s Cavern on the Green, and Bistro by the Bridge). ASUCI, which is partially responsible for negotiating UCI's food services contract, has justified the decision to offer Aramark its business with the argument that Aramark has pledged to invest millions of dollars into the university's food service infrastructure.

Critics argue that offering one corporation the university's food services contract is a de facto monopoly. It is also argued that the management of food services by Aramark leads to low-quality food and poor customer service, and that support of Aramark condones its poor employee relations record. Many full time Aramark employees qualify for public assistance and rely on Medi-Cal, low-income housing, and other social programs. Though these workers prepare and serve food on the UC Irvine campus in residential dining halls, they are not afforded the same rights as UC service employees. Aramark Corporation prohibits its workers from unionizing to fight for higher wages.

Proponents argue that maintaining one entity for food service lowers costs for the University, which in turn lowers costs for students. Also, the fact that food service workers are not UC employees further lowers costs for the university. Furthermore, UCI notes the large investment Aramark is making is in dining infrastructure, which will outlast its current contract and support UCI's long-range development plan.

Law school dean

In hiring an inaugural dean of the School of Law, which opens in 2009, the University approached Professor Erwin Chemerinsky, a well known legal scholar in constitutional law and liberal commentator. After signing a contract with Chemerinsky on September 4, 2007, the hire was rescinded by UCI Chancellor Michael V. Drake because he felt the law professor's commentaries were "polarizing" and would not serve the interests of California's first new public law school in 40 years; Drake claimed the decision was his own and not the subject of any outside influence. The action was roundly criticized by liberal and conservative scholars who felt it hindered the academic mission of the law school, and disbelief over Chancellor Drake's claims that it was the subject of no outside influence.

The issue was the subject of a New York Times editorial on September 14, 2007. Details emerged revealing that UCI had received criticism on the hire from California Chief Justicemarker Ronald M. George, who criticized Chemerinsky's grasp of death penalty appeals as well as a group of prominent Orange County Republicans and Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, who wanted to derail the appointment. Drake traveled over a weekend to Durham, North Carolinamarker, and the two reached an agreement late Sunday evening. On September 17, Chemerinsky issued a joint press release with UCI Chancellor Michael V. Drake indicating that Chemerinsky would head the UCI law school, stating "Our new law school will be founded on the bedrock principle of academic freedom. The chancellor reiterated his lifelong, unqualified commitment to academic freedom, which extends to every faculty member, including deans and other senior administrators."

UCI Extension

From 2002 to 2007, Capella Universitymarker, a for-profit, on-line institution, paid $500 per student to UCI Extension for each of the 36 students who transferred to Capella. This undisclosed financial arrangement resulted in a total payment of $12,000 to UCI. The payments, first reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education, were inadvertently revealed when Jeffry La Marca, a former student of UCI Extension and Capella, filed a public records request for correspondence between UCI and Capella.

UCI continuing education dean Gary Matkin announced the school would end the arrangement by October 31, 2007 and plans to place $12,000 into a scholarship fund for needy students. UCI officials represented that the agreement was legal per Department of Education regulations, however, UCI had tried to hide the payments and the arrangement was frequently criticized as unethical because it raised the possibility that school counselors might make recommendations to students based on financial incentives rather than the student's best interests.

Alleged antisemitism

On November 30, 2007, the Office of Civil Rights of the United States Department of Education issued a report finding "insufficient evidence" in support of allegations that Jewish students at UCI were harassed and subjected to a hostile environment based on their national origin. The federal agency investigated a total of 13 alleged incidents of harassment that occurred between Fall 2000 and December 2006, and determined that 5 were "isolated acts" that could not be addressed because they were reported more than 180 days after they occurred. Further, the agency considered these acts, which included a rock thrown at a Jewish student, the destruction of a Holocaust memorial display, and various threatening or harassing statements made to individual Jewish students, substantially different in nature as to be unrelated to the 8 other recurring acts it investigated, which included graffiti depicting swastikas on campus, events during an annual "Zionist Awareness Week," exclusion of Jewish students during an anti-hate rally, and the wearing of graduation stoles signifying support for Hamas or Palestinian. The agency ultimately found that none of the incidents leading to the allegations qualified as "sufficiently severe, pervasive or persistent as to interfere with or limit the ability of an individual to participate in from the services, activities or privileges" provided by UCI, and that university officials had acted appropriately in response to each incident. In December 2007, UCI Administration has been cleared of anti-semitism complaints by the US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights.

Following a speech by Chancellor Michael Drake at the national Hillel meeting in Washington, D.C. in March 2008, Anteaters for Israel, along with three other Jewish organizations, issued a press release defending Drake and claiming that anti-Semitic activity was "exaggerated." Since then, 20 current and former students issued a statement expressing concern over ongoing issues and Drake's handling of them. UC Irvine's Muslim student association has the reputation of being one of the most conservative in the county.

UC Irvine is hosting a two-week event titled "Israel: The Politics of Genocide", hosted by the school's Muslim Student Union. Scheduled speakers include Cynthia McKinney and George Galloway. Opponents of the event have described it as anti-Semitic, and have called for Chancellor Drake to condemn both the event and the sponsoring organization. He has declined to do so. One outdoor demonstration at this event included a display with an image of Jewish Holocaust victim Anne Frank wearing a keffiyah, in an apparent attempt to draw an analogy between her sufferings and the plight of the Palestinians in the Palestinian territoriesmarker. The pro-Israel campus advocacy group StandWithUs has described this image as offensive.

Notable UC Irvine alumni

As of 2005, UCI has more than 85,000 alumni. As with any major university, many UC Irvine alumni have achieved fame after graduating. These people include athletes (Steve Scott, Greg Louganis and 34 Olympians), Broadway, film, and television actors (Bob Gunton, Jon Lovitz), and technological innovators (Roy Fielding and Paul Mockapetris).

The UC Irvine writing program has produced a number of authors, such as Michael Chabon, James McMichael, Robert Peters, Alice Sebold, Aimee Bender, Richard Ford, Yusef Komunyakaa and T. Jefferson Parker. The renown of these writers has contributed to the national reputation of the school's creative writing program. More recent alumni include Glen David Gold, Maile Meloy, Alex Espinoza and Joshua Ferris.

Several members of the faculty have been honored with the Nobel and Pulitzer.

In 1995, two UCI Professors earned the Nobel Prize:

In 2004, UCI earned its third Nobel:

Claude Yarbrough (aka Jonathan Pendragon), class of '76: two-time winner of the Academy of Magical Arts Magician of the Year Award. Named by Magic Magazine as one of the most influential magicians of the 20th and 21st centuries. He has starred with his partner/wife and UCI graduate, Charlotte Brown (aka Charlotte Pendragon) known together as The Pendragons in over 14 Prime Time TV specials on ABC, NBC and CBS.

Ralph Cicerone, an earth system science professor and former chancellor, is currently president of the National Academy of Sciencesmarker. Cicerone has been vocal in raising awareness on the issue of Global Warming. An article in Rolling Stone Magazine, described Cicerone as " The Hardballer" on the controversial issue.

Faculty members who have taught literary criticism and critical theory at UCI have included Jaques Derrida and Wolfgang Iser, and visiting professors in these fields have included Judith Butler, Slavoj Zizek, Giorgio Agamben, Barbara Johnson, Frederic Jameson, Elizabeth Grosz, and Étienne Balibar.

Joseph McGinty Nichol, of the class of 1990, is responsible for directing the Charlie's Angels films and is the executive producer of the television series The OC.

Aras Baskauskas graduated with a degree in Philosophy in 2002 and an MBA in 2004, and played for the UC Irvine men's basketball team. Aras is the winner of Survivor: Panama. He was the youngest male winner in the history of the show at the time of the taping.

Media references

  • Neuroscience labs and exteriors of UCI were featured in the science fiction/comedy film Creator.
  • Several of the Futurist buildings at UCI were involved in the production of the movie Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.
  • The Engineering Tower is used as the STRATA Headquarters exterior in Saul of the Mole Men, an Adult Swim TV show inspired in part by the Planet of the Apes film series.

  • The school was featured in the production of Ocean's Eleven. In the movie, the building where the crew steals the EMP device is actually the Gillespie Neuroscience Research Facility located in the College of Medicine.

  • Exterior shots of the Langson library were used in the film Poltergeist.

  • Commander Chuck Street, a helicopter pilot, traffic reporter for KIIS-FMmarker and KTLAmarker, and local celebrity, landed in front of UCI's Gateway Study Center next to the Administration building lawn to participate in 2004 Wayzgoose celebrations. This stunt was made riskier in light of an unexpected rainstorm that occurred during his landing, which eventually led to the event's cancellation. Commander Chuck also made an appearance at UCI Medical Center in 2006.


  1. Garrett Therolf and Henry Weinstein, UC Irvine aborts hiring Chemerinsky as law school dean , Los Angeles Times, September 13, 2007.
  2. Garrett Therolf and Henry Weinstein, UC Irvine aborts hiring Chemerinsky as law school dean, Los Angeles Times, September 13, 2007.
  3. Dana Parsons, Excuse for UCI's fumble on law school dean not good enough, Los Angeles Times, September 13, 2007.
  4. A Bad Beginning in Irvine - New York Times
  5. Garrett Therolf, Chemerinsky returns to UC Irvine post, Los Angeles Times, September 17, 2007.
  6. OC Blog: Statement From Chemerinsky & Drake
  7. "Denounce Muslim group, UC Irvine chancellor urged." Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 12 May 2009. 12 May 2009.
  8. "Creating Hate at UC Irvine." 13 May 2009. 15 May 2009.
  9. Moehring, John (August 1999), “The Century: The Pendragons”, Magic Magazine Vol.8

External links

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