UC Irvine Vice Chancellor Manuel N. Gomez Announces Retirement
The following email was sent to the UC Irvine community today from Chancellor Michael Drake. What it means in terms of impact for the Jewish students on campus or the school’s relations with the Jewish Community at large remains to be seen.
Vice Chancellor Manuel N. Gomez has announced his retirement at the end of August, capping an exemplary 38-year career at UC Irvine.
In multiple capacities since 1972, Vice Chancellor Gómez has consistently demonstrated an unwavering commitment to students, equity, and access to higher education. Initially a social ecology student at UC Irvine, he has since served as a counselor in the Educational Opportunity Program, a program director for the U.S. Department of Education, an adjunct faculty member in the UCI Department of Education, and interim vice president for educational relations for the University of California. For the past fifteen years, he has served as vice chancellor of student affairs, which is internationally recognized for co-curricular student service and support.
An innovator in educational collaboration, Vice Chancellor Gomez helped establish numerous partnership programs, including Project STEP, which over the past 20 years has substantially broadened access to higher education. He established the Center for Educational Partnerships, a systemwide model for educational outreach that currently serves more than 24,000 students in 200 school districts. In addition to overseeing UCI’s NSF-funded CAMP program in the sciences, Vice Chancellor Gómez developed and served as principal investigator for numerous grants from the Carnegie Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, Pew Foundation and the Ford Foundation’s Difficult Dialogues Program.
Vice Chancellor Gomez has maintained an unflinching commitment to the whole student, pursuing collaborative initiatives aimed at enriching student life on campus. He supported student projects across disciplinary and ideological spectrums, and developed numerous mentorship and student leadership opportunities, including the UCI Dalai Lama Scholarship. He established the Silk Road student exchange with China, and has been an instrumental sponsor of UCI’s Olive Tree Initiative, which addresses critical and sensitive issues in the Middle East. He is a nationally recognized leader on issues of academic freedom and free speech.
In addition to his impressive list of contributions to our campus, he has been a valued colleague for all who have had the privilege of working with him. Details regarding a campus event on the occasion of his retirement will be forthcoming. In the meantime, please join us in thanking Vice Chancellor Gómez for his extraordinary service to the university.
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