Nearly 70,000 students have applied to UCI for the fall 2012 quarter, a record number that reflects the campus's success at maintaining academic quality in the face of plummeting state support. Systemwide, 160,939 applicants — the most ever — are vying for spots this autumn at the University of California's nine undergraduate campuses, an increase of 9.8 percent over last year. UCI saw a 10.5 percent jump in those seeking admission.
UCI recently received the 2011 Award for Institutions from the Open Educational Quality Initiative, acknowledging its outstanding open education resources. In the five years since launching its OpenCourseWare initiative — which makes high-quality, university-level courses available for free online — UCI has captured five prestigious awards. "Colleges and universities worldwide are increasingly recognizing the benefits of providing free and open educational resources for students, teachers, self-learners, businesses, governments and other organizations anywhere in the world," said Gary W. Matkin, the campus's dean of continuing education, distance learning and summer session. "This international recognition honors UCI's contribution to open education."
The team behind construction of UCI's Engineering Hall has won the esteemed 2011 Design-Build Institute of America award for design excellence in educational facilities, which honors projects in which all services are provided under one contract with a single point of responsibility. Engineering Hall, in combination with the campus's energy efficient infrastructure, outperforms California's energy code standards by 55 percent. "DBIA doesn't give this award for projects that just meet expectations. They have to exceed expectations in every way," said campus architect Rebekah Gladson, associate vice chancellor for design & construction services. "The design-build concept brought huge savings in both cost and energy usage."
It's a simple pleasure: the ability to open a conference-room window and let in the afternoon breeze. But operable windows are also a good energy strategy and just one of the many green features and amenities that earned UCI's Sue & Bill Gross Hall: A CIRM Institute its second LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. A platinum designation is the agency's highest honor; the campus has received eight LEED Gold certifications.