News In Brief

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UC Establishes Center for Free Speech

UC President Janet Napolitano announced that the University of California will be opening a new center for free speech in an op-ed published in USA Today on Oct. 26. The National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement will be located at UCDC in Washington, D.C.

“In the midst of a revolutionary expansion in ways to communicate with each other, we increasingly surround ourselves with those of like mind, pointedly excluding others with a different worldview,” wrote Napolitano. “We say it’s easier, more comfortable, and even less confrontational, that way. Our polarized country is the result.”

The center will also create a fellowship program where an advisory board will choose fellows from among leading scholars, scientists, thinkers, journalists and more.

“We need to bring together people of different backgrounds, experiences and political views from across the country,” Napolitano said, “and apply the best legal, social science, journalistic and other research to inform policies on our campuses, in our state legislatures and in Washington, D.C.”

The fellows will be given a stipend to spend a year addressing free speech issues and will also spend a week in residence on a UC campus. The resulting work will be presented at a national conference in 2018.

UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman and former UCI Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky will serve as co-chairs of the advisory board. Other members include former U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, former U.S. Secretary of Education John King, Anne Kornblut, director of strategic communications at Facebook, UCLA law student Avi Oved, New York Times columnist Bret Stephens, University of Chicago Law School professor Geoffrey R. Stone and Washington Post columnist George Will.

“What I am aiming for in this effort,” said Napolitano, “[is] a coming together in good faith and with open and engaged minds. Our country needs and deserves this. There is no time to waste.”

 

UC Irvine Academy Teacher Identified as Victim of Laguna Car Crash

John Gardiner, a 70-year-old Laguna Beach man, died last week in a car crash. Gardiner taught Shakespeare and poetry at UC Irvine’s Gifted Student Academy.

The Orange County coroner’s office reported that Gardiner’s death was unrelated to the crash and he died of natural causes.

Last Tuesday at 8:33am, Laguna Beach police responded to a call from a driver who spotted a car weaving on Laguna Canyon Road. The car eventually crashed on the side of the road. Witnesses pulled Gardiner, who was unresponsive, from the car and performed CPR until paramedics arrived. He was taken to Saddleback Memorial Medical Center and pronounced dead at 9:13 am.

 

UCI Professor Wins Grant from NASA

Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy Aomawa Shields was awarded a grant from the NASA habitable worlds program to research exoplanets surfaces.

Data from Shields’ research will help examine what lies on the surface of exoplanets and determine if it can support life.

 

UCI Named 12th Best Social Mobility School

UC Irvine was ranked no12 on the CollegeNET Inc. 2017 Social Mobility Index.

Awards are given to schools and institutions that provide first-generation and low-income students with college and career help.

 

UCI Business School Ranked 39th in the Nation

London-based publication The Economist recently ranked the UCI Paul Merage School of Business MBA program 39th in the nation. The program was also named 16th among public schools, 56th in the world, 29th in new career opportunities, 17th in alumnus rating of career services and 13th in salary increase.

Last month, UCI’s business MBA program was also named 41st in the nation by Forbes.

“Our recent rankings reflect the success our graduates and the quality of the students we recruit, combined with the expertise and professionalism of our faculty and staff,” said School of Business Dean Eric Spangenberg, in a statement to Newswise. “With a new curricula focus on the strategies for leadership in a digitally driven world, we expect to climb even higher in the future.”

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