From pursuing cures for infectious disease to developing a new math program for undergraduates, UCI researchers are engaging in a range of projects funded by the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act. Enacted by Congress in February 2009, ARRA had awarded more than $45 million to UCI as of Jan. 31, including: $1.5 million to principal investigator Dr. Frank Meyskens Jr. for the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center; $1.9 million to neuroscientist Leslie M. Thompson for her work on using stem cells to treat Huntington's disease; $3.9 million to Dr. Alan G. Barbour for infectious disease research; and $1.9 million to Jack Xin, mathematics professor, for a new undergraduate math and computation program.
UCI students, faculty members and staff protested state budget cuts to higher education as part of the March 1-5 Week of Action on California campuses.
About 800 people chanted and waved picket signs during a March 4 rally on Ring Mall, then gathered near Aldrich Hall to hear speeches on various topics, including recourse for students who have had to drop out because they couldn’t afford fee increases. Some demonstrators marched around campus calling for students to leave class. They temporarily blocked traffic on Campus Drive, but the event ended peacefully with no damage, injuries or arrests reported.
On March 3, about 50 members of UCI's Black Student Union stood in front of the Student Center with duct tape over their mouths. "Do UC us?" was written on the strips of tape. The silent rally was, in part, a show of solidarity with black students at UC San Diego, roiled by three racist incidents in less than three weeks.
A medical education building that opened in January on the main campus features innovative simulation and telemedicine facilities to ensure doctors trained at UCI will be on the forefront of advancing healthcare. At the heart of the $40.5 million structure, supported by Proposition 1D funds, is a telemedicine center for teaching students to diagnose and treat patients unable to come to a medical facility in person. The 65,000-square-foot building also has a 60-seat interactive auditorium where students can watch live medical procedures at UC Irvine Douglas Hospital in Orange.
A group of students and labor organizers occupied the fifth floor of Aldrich Hall on Feb. 24, disrupting business and presenting a wide-ranging list of demands. Offices on the floor were locked down, and after two hours, police arrested 17 protesters inside the hall, citing them with unlawful assembly and refusal to disperse.