High Impact Hiring Plan Results

June 11, 2014

Re:      Results of First Phase of High Impact Hiring Plan

I am pleased to announce the results of the first phase of our High Impact Hiring Plan (HIHP).

As explained in the call last October, the current phase is just the first step in what will now become an on-going program that will accept and review new proposals at any time.  My intention is to act on the best proposals as they emerge over the next few years, ideally moving from submission of a new proposal to a decision on funding within six weeks. By the time the program concludes, I hope to have appointed 6-10 prominent senior faculty supported by a total of 10-15 additional hires at lower levels.
In response to the call, thirty-four HIHP proposals were submitted and reviewed by the Academic Planning Group, the deans, and the ADVANCE Program Advising Committee.  There was close agreement among those three groups in their initial rankings, and extended deliberations about the highest-ranked proposals produced detailed recommendations that were extremely helpful in my final selection of three proposals for funding at this time:
A Transformative and Comprehensive Approach to Integrating Air Quality and Climate Change – an interdisciplinary cluster hire designed to enhance campus strengths in the intertwined areas of air quality and climate change.
Integrating In Vivo and In Vitro Molecular Evolution at UC Irvine – spans five departments to transform research at the intersection of basic and applied molecular evolution and coalesce interdisciplinary in vivo and in vitro research.
Neuroimaging – designed to advance our standing in neuroscience imaging and make UCI the epicenter for functional MRI methods with impacts across seven schools.
These proposals all embody the central goal of the HIHP program, which is the further development of a university as innovative and transformative as was imagined at the establishment of our campus, but with even higher aspirations supported by the past half-century of achievement and distinction.  Each proposal will advance UCI’s enduring commitment to inclusive excellence.
I will begin work immediately with the authors of these proposals and the pertinent deans to develop a recruitment plan for the principal appointments and refine plans for the attendant clusters.  The scope and process of implementing the proposals will vary among these projects, but they will all conform to our campuswide standards of excellence and inclusion as well as our usual search policies and practices.
The proposals received in this process were inspiring and creative, and I want to thank everyone for the time, effort and thought that went into them.  Senior Vice Provost Clark will provide feedback on the review to anyone who wishes to revise and resubmit or to develop a new proposal for consideration as the HIHP moves forward.  As delighted as I am with this first group of funded projects, I regret that more areas of the campus are not represented in this first phase of the program, and  I want to encourage development and submission of high-quality proposals from all areas of the campus.  By the time the HIHP is concluded, my intention is to have the broadest possible range of disciplines represented in a truly campuswide set of initiatives.
As we continue work on the HIHP, we must make sure to coordinate those efforts with the other hiring programs under way across the campus.  Those programs include the much more extensive on-going recruitment of faculty in the academic units and the more specialized hiring conducted through the Distinguished Professor Program and the Career Partner Program. By integrating the objectives of those separate programs, we will ensure comprehensive yet strategic progress toward our collective goal of global preeminence among the best research universities of the twenty-first century.
Howard Gillman, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor