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UCI Student Housing

Response to the Campus Strategic Plan


As Student Housing works on implementation of its departmental Strategic Plan, we are confident that our efforts will provide broad support for campus goals for growth and academic development over the next ten years. Student Housing is well positioned to provide critical resources, leadership, and ongoing support for campus initiatives focusing on enrollment growth, enhancement of academic programs and campus life, expansion of instructional space, and enrichment of UCI’s public role and reputation as a school of first choice and as a vital center of research and cultural activities.


UC Irvine seeks to enhance its standing among the best research universities in the country, and as part of that vision to provide students with outstanding residential experiences characterized by comprehensive academic and co-curricular programs. A rich residential experience supports a number of outcomes targeted in the campus Strategic Plan, including recruitment and retention of a growing student enrollment and making UCI ‘the place to be’ Since a vast majority of our students live in campus housing during their careers at UCI (i.e., 80% of freshmen and 72% of graduate students by Fall 2006), the facilities, support services, and co-curricular programs that we offer in Student Housing have a major impact on our student body and the character of the campus. The goals and initiatives outlined in the 2005 Student Housing Strategic Plan directly support campus priorities for growth, recruitment and retention, academic programs, physical facilities, campus life, and UCI’s public role. 


Expansion of on-campus student housing to support enrollment growth and 45% residency targets. Campus housing has expanded by roughly 4,000 spaces over the last few of years, with the addition of spaces in Arroyo Vista, Palo Verde, and Phases I and II of Vista del Campo (by Fall, 2006).  Meeting residency goals for a projected campus enrollment of 30,000  will entail further expansion of the current planned housing capacity by 3,000 beds over the next decade. Future housing projects will conform to density requirements of 60 beds per acre.

Expansion of Graduate and Family Housing is particularly important to support campus plans to increase graduate enrollment by 96% to 5900.  The addition of almost 900 bed spaces in Palo Verde and 500 graduate spaces on the east campus by Fall 2006 marks a significant increase in our ability to meet graduate housing demand.

Off-Campus Housing Partnerships: Strengthen collaboration with key stakeholders in the Irvine community, including UCI students, the Irvine Company, and the City of Irvine, in an effort to increase affordable housing options for students. Explore creative approaches to expanding off-campus housing options for UCI students through new types of partnerships.

Recruitment and Retention

Housing guarantees for all incoming Ph.D. and M.F.A. students, beginning in Fall, 2006, will support recruitment and retention of graduate students by providing convenient, affordable housing options for all incoming students in targeted groups.

The Two Year Guarantee for incoming freshmen, also beginning in Fall, 2006, will support Admissions’ efforts to increase enrollment and attract high achieving students.

  • First Year Initiative (FYI) programs for both undergraduate and graduate students will create a primary educational support system for incoming residential students. Building on current co-curricular programs, and partnering with other student service units on campus, FYI centers around easing the transition to the University and preparing students for success throughout their educational careers.  Programs crafted to meet the needs of new students should also promote recruitment and retention of high quality students.
  • In freshmen communities, FYI is spearheading the development of new academic theme halls, academic support centers, academic and peer counseling services, spaces for course instruction , residentially-based Freshman Seminars, and new opportunities for informal contact with UCI faculty.
  • In graduate communities, FYI programs planned for 2006-07 will provide transitional support for new students by sponsoring events that promote social networking, familiarity with the campus and surrounding community, successful budgeting on student incomes, and learning how to successfully balance the demands of graduate school.

The First Year Commuter Gateway, a pilot program proposed for 2006-07, will support the retention of freshmen who do not live on-campus, by linking individuals with a specific theme hall, providing them access to the programs, services, and community that residential students benefit from.

Enhancement of Learning Communities and Living Learning Programs for continuing undergraduate students will include the development of a student leadership initiative, student government in campus housing, and exploration of opportunities to engage alumni in residential programs.

Academic Programs: Undergraduate and Graduate Education

Academic support and co-curricular programming in student housing communities directly support some of the goals of the Task Force on Undergraduate Education. FYI hosting of Freshmen Seminars, academic classes and discussion sections, and the expansion of opportunities for informal contact with faculty and student mentors, has enhanced the academic focus of first year communities and promoted exploration a variety of disciplines and intellectual interests.

Academic and co-curricular programming in our residential communities support the campus’ goals of developing new forms of teaching and learning in and outside the classroom and developing instructional facilities to support undergraduate education.  By expanding small group learning opportunities, expanding wireless capability, and reconfiguring public spaces in our communities, Student Housing is finding new ways to facilitate increased faculty-student interaction and access to online resources, and create innovative “mixed use” spaces for residential, recreational, educational, and academic purposes.

In support of UCI’s goal of enhancing international and area-studies programs, Student Housing has played a central role in the development of an International Village on the east campus. The village will open in Fall 2006, and will occupy four theme houses (104 bed spaces) in the Arroyo Vista housing community.

The establishment of  a Careers in Teaching theme house in Arroyo Vista and developing plans for the creation of a “Future Teacher” cohort program in undergraduate housing communities support the campus goal of affirming and expanding commitment to K-12 teacher preparation.

Student Housing is working toward integrating comprehensive process and outcomes assessment plans into new academic support and co-curricular programming, This effort will support the campus goal of more systematic procedures for assessment and outcomes measurement.  We recognize that the value of our programs must be demonstrated by their impact on the student experience, including academic success.

The development of residential life and professional development programs for graduate students on the UCI campus will provide a valuable enhancement to graduate academic programs and increase students’ ability to secure distinguished professional positions when they complete their degrees.

Physical Facilities

As noted above, expansion of housing supply and the development of new facilities and programs to support student needs will support the Physical Facilities goals of improving housing for graduate students, housing 45% of undergraduates by 2010, and conforming to the 60 beds/acres density targets for the campus.

Student Housing will also demonstrate support for the development of ‘mixed use’ space on the campus as we work on the reconfiguration of public spaces in our residential communities to better support a variety of student needs and the campus need for additional “instructional” space.

Student Housing has a major role to play in making UCI the place to be. Students spend a lot of their time on campus in their housing community, and their base of social support and activity is usually found there.  Our residential communities provide many resources to support campus life—the community of students that live there, programs and activities to enrich their college experience, meeting space for clubs and organizations, dining facilities, as well highly skilled professional and student staff. Student Housing will support campus efforts to enliven campus life by bringing more of it to our communities.  We aim to make our communities more of a place to be by enhancing public spaces, creating flexible use space, expanding co-curricular programming, and sponsoring more events that reflect students’ strongest interests.

Student Housing has created a new leadership group, The Community Climate Team, which will meet regularly to share knowledge, discuss emerging issues, and promote a rich residential experience for UCI students. The team includes directors and associate directors from all six housing communities, as well as the Housing Cabinet. The group will invite students and campus partners to present on specific issues to promote discussion and understanding among our staff.

Student Housing will play a central role in the development of a campus Visitor’s Center. The current UCI Information Center, Campus Tour Program and Student Housing Tour Program will merge to become a new Campus Visitor Center in the Student Center expansion. In collaboration with Admissions and Relations with Schools and other campus partners, we will ensure that the Visitor Center design, staff training, and programs provide an outstanding visitor experience, personalized service, and support for campus outreach goals.

Expansion of alumni programs is another way that Student Housing will contribute to the enhancement of campus life.  We will explore opportunities to work with UCI Advancement and Alumni Relations to reach out to former resident populations. Alumni engagement could provide valuable resources for funding, community access, and leadership in housing-sponsored programs, and building important bridges between the department, the campus, and the community.

Campus Life and Co-curricular Activities UCI’s Public Role

  • Student Housing will contribute to campus efforts to enhance its public role and image in a number of ways.  
  • Co-curricular service projects sponsored by our residential communities will provide positive outreach to local communities.
  • Program development in an International Village will tap into interests and concerns of our diverse Southern California population.  
  • The launch of a campus cable channel, and exploration of a possible cable television studio in one of our housing communities could open the door to possible collaborations with public television proposed by the campus.  
  • Professional development programs in our graduate communities would create possibilities for partnerships with local area leaders in education, business, and the professions.


  • Develop and support network services, as well as other information technology services, at a level comparable in scope and quality to those offered at the best research universities in the country, and scale them with campus growth objectives.
  • Steps are underway to upgrade the Residential Network to full wireless capability, along with 100 mbs port speeds through the network.  
  • With the introduction of Cisco Clean Access, great strides have been made to make the Residential network secure and clean of virus activity.
  • The Residential Broadcast Initiative is developing broadcast capabilities for campus-based educational and entertainment programs to residential communities via the cable television network.  
  • We plan to provide graduate students with a network capable of meeting the research and teaching needs of the University.


The Student Housing strategic plan supports the vision and goals of the campus strategic plan in a number of ways We look forward to partnering with our colleagues to pursue these worthy goals and further realize the great potential of UC Irvine.

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Last Updated: June 27, 2007