UCI was born 50 years ago to fulfill an audacious goal few had ever considered: improve society through a system of globally preeminent research universities that create knowledge, unearth life-enhancing discoveries, and provide a world-class education to the most talented young people, regardless of background.
The extraordinary faculty, students, and staff who arrived on the rolling hills of the expansive Irvine Ranch had a pioneering spirit. They were committed to creating one of “the truly great centers of higher learning in the land.” But rather than copy their way to the top, they embraced a spirit of innovation and experimentation that would not have been possible at more established institutions.
Whether they were organizing a new campus or choosing a mascot, our founders understood that they would make the biggest difference by thinking differently.
They exceeded everyone’s highest expectations.
There is tremendous pride in what we have accomplished in our first 50 years. But we know we have more to do: strengthen our contributions in research, education, and service; accelerate our ascendency among globally preeminent research universities; marshal our passions, skills, and ingenuity to further improve people’s lives. There is no interest in resting on our laurels or imagining merely incremental improvements. Truly, our bright past is but a prologue.
As we set out to write the story of our next half-century we will take ongoing inspiration from our trailblazing founders. We will reach new heights and social impact by maintaining our culture of innovation, cultivating an enriching and supportive environment for those of all backgrounds and life stories, and embracing the power of “different.” Our commitment to inclusive excellence is deeply rooted, and will continue to inform every decision and every action. We must be bold and creative in both our academic planning and our financial planning.
Our vision – developed with extensive participation by members of the UCI community, and reflecting our fundamental commitment to shared governance – rests upon four pillars:
Growth That Makes a Difference: Expanding Our Capacity to Improve Lives
First in Class: Elevating the Student Experience to Prepare Future Leaders
Great Partners: Making Regional and Global Connections that Enhance Our Mission and Serve the People
New Paths For Our Brilliant Future: Forging Best Practices to Power the Coming Century
Through this vision, we have a clear direction for the foreseeable future that can be revised to adapt to changing circumstances and new information. But the fundamental premise is immutable, echoing the moment of our founding: We will mobilize knowledge to serve the people, and we will educate the best and brightest, regardless of background.
Transforming lives and solving great problems – an inspirational mission for an inspiring institution.
We are proud of our bright past. Let us work together to forge our brilliant future.