University of California, Merced
Seal of the University of California, Merced
|Motto||Fiat lux (Latin)|
Motto in English
|Let there be light|
|Type||Public research university|
|Endowment||$35.8 million (2014)|
|Chancellor||Dorothy Leland (July 1, 2011-present)|
|Provost||Tom Peterson (Dec. 3, 2012-present)|
|Students||6,268 (Fall 2014)|
|Undergraduates||5,884 (Fall 2014)|
|Postgraduates||384 (Fall 2014)|
|Location||Merced, California, USA
|Campus||Rural, 810 acres (330 ha); 7,045 acres (2,851 ha) total |
|Colors||Royal Blue & Gold|
|Athletics||NAIA – Cal-Pac|
|Affiliations||University of California
The University of California, Merced (also referred to as UC Merced or UCM), is the tenth and newest of the University of California campuses. It is located in the San Joaquin Valley in unincorporated Merced County, California, near Merced. UC Merced is the first American research university to be built in the 21st century. Most UC Merced students are from California with enrollment nearly evenly divided between Southern California, the Central Valley, and Northern California.
UC Merced claims to be the only institution in the United States to have all of its buildings on campus to be LEED certified. Its Triple Net Zero Commitment is expected to create zero net landfill waste and zero net greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2020.
As the San Joaquin Valley was the state's largest and most populous region without a UC campus, on May 19, 1988, the Regents of the University of California voted to begin planning for a campus in the region, in response to increasing enrollment and growth constraints at existing UC campuses. On May 19, 1995, the Regents selected the heart of the Central Valley at the Merced site, mid-way between Fresno and Modesto, as the location for the University of California's tenth campus. An $11 Million Packard Grant for 7,030 acres of land was donated by the Virginia Smith Trust, adjacent to Lake Yosemite, making it the largest acreage the University of California has acquired for one of its campuses. The university planned to conserve 5,030 acres from the sensitive vernal pool habitations. A public golf course known as the Merced Hills Golf Course had been constructed at the site in the early 1990s. This course was shut down to make way for the new campus when the original site for the campus was made unavailable due to the discovery of fairy shrimp - an endangered species - on the originally proposed site. Since the construction of the golf course had negated concerns about wetland and vernal pool environment considerations it made building the campus on top of course easier than fighting to save the original construction site. Two small bridges on campus date from the time of the golf course.
UC Merced established a satellite campus in Bakersfield, California in 2001 in its downtown University Square. The satellite campus advocated a UC education to prospective college-bound students of Kern County and the southern San Joaquin Valley before UC Merced opened its official campus in Merced. Classes and counseling were also provided at the Bakersfield center to newly admitted UC students. In 2011, UC Merced closed its Bakersfield campus in a cost-cutting effort. An administrative building was then planned to be located in downtown Merced.
The campus groundbreaking ceremony was held October 25, 2002, and the first day of class was September 6, 2005. Four years later, on May 16, 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama gave the commencement address for the university's first full graduating class.
In 2010 the United States Census Bureau made UC Merced its own separate census-designated place. Later that same year, the new student housing facilities, The Summits, opened to provide two additional residential halls for incoming students. The two, four-story buildings, Tenaya Hall and Cathedral Hall, are reserved primarily for incoming freshmen students. Three years later, UC Merced another housing facility, Half Dome, next to the existing Tenaya and Cathedral Halls. Half Dome houses both freshman and continuing students.
Organization and governance
UC Merced is headed by a chancellor. After a nationwide search, on May 24, 2011, the Regents of the University of California named Dorothy Leland, President of Georgia College & State University, to be the university's newest chancellor. Sung-Mo (Steve) Kang, Dean of the University of California, Santa Cruz, Baskin School of Engineering held the position immediately prior, from 2006 to 2011, and stepped down so he could return to research and teaching. Carol Tomlinson-Keasey held the position from 1999 until she resigned on August 31, 2006. She returned to teaching and research in psychology in 2007 and later died of breast cancer in 2009. On September 21, 2006, the Regents named Roderic B. Park, a former interim chancellor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, as the acting chancellor for UC Merced. Park remained acting chancellor until Kang took office in early March 2007.
Although UC Merced is located in a rural area associated with agriculture, it emphasizes cutting edge interdisciplinary research grounded in natural science, math, engineering and social sciences. The campus takes advantage of the surrounding environment by investigating issues relating to environmental systems of the Central Valley and Sierra Nevada, and of its youth by having programs in genetic research conducted in state-of-the-art research labs. It also benefits from proximity to Silicon Valley and other major universities. Research in fields like language acquisition and cultural issues is facilitated by the highly diverse ethnic makeup of the Central Valley.
- School of Engineering
- School of Natural Sciences
- School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts
The School of Medicine and School of Management are planned to be integrated on campus soon.
The site for the Science and Engineering Building 2, opened in 2014, is the most recent new building on campus. The Classroom and Office Building 2 is scheduled to open in 2016.
For graduate-level study, UC Merced Graduate Division offers programs in 11 emphases: Applied Mathematics, Biological Engineering and small-scale technologies, Cognitive and Information Sciences, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Environmental Systems, Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, Physics and Chemistry, Psychology, Quantitative and Systems Biology, Social and Cognitive Sciences, and world cultures. The various programs within the Graduate Division have produced PhDs and Masters-level graduates. Some have found work in faculty positions at different colleges and universities, while others have chosen to enter government service.
Admissions and enrollment
|*SAT out of 2400|
UC Merced received 16,261 undergraduate applications for admission for the Fall 2014 incoming freshman class; 9,780 were admitted (64.0%).
Undergraduate enrollment in Fall 2014 was 50% women and 50% men; approximately 99% were from California.
- Health Sciences Research Institute (HSRI)
- Sierra Nevada Research Institute (SNRI)
- University of California Advanced Solar Technologies Institute (UC Solar)
The campus is bounded by Lake Yosemite on one side, and two irrigation canals run through the campus. The campus master plan was developed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, its initial infrastructure by Arup, and its first buildings were designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Thomas Hacker and Associates, and EHDD Architecture. The library and central power plant have been classified as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold structures in terms of their high energy efficiency and low environmental impact. The campus is located about seven miles (11 km) north of downtown Merced in the middle of a cattle ranch.
Rather than build on 40 acres (16 ha) of protected land east of Lake Yosemite, where endangered fairy shrimp hatch in vernal pools, the school has built on a 230-acre (93 ha) parcel of grazing land south of campus, under a revised layout. The revised plan covers a total of 810 acres (330 ha) rather than the original 910 acres (370 ha) proposed in 2000. The new design was expected to impact a total of 81 acres (33 ha) of native wetlands in the region compared to the 121 acres (49 ha) forecast in the 2000 footprint.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the University is a census-designated place (CDP) that was uninhabited at the 2010 census and covers an area of 1.126 square miles (2.916 km²), all of it land.
The library was the first building to open on campus. During the Fall 2005 semester, while construction of the Classroom and Science/Engineering buildings was still taking place, all academic courses were conducted in the library. Its official motto is "Not what other research libraries are, what they will be."
The Library building is named after Leo and Dottie Kolligian. Leo served as the Chairman of the UC Board of Regents in 1988 when the Board decided to explore building a 10th campus, in the San Joaquin Valley. The first floor of the library was dedicated by Ed and Jeanne Kashian. The McFadden-Willis Reading Room is located on the fourth floor and named in honor of the McFadden and Willis children by Christine McFadden. The Library also has a technology classroom dedicated by Doris Gonella in honor of her late husband Louis, The Gonella Discovery Room.
The library offers 10 public workstations for students, faculty, staff and visitors to access electronic resources. The library contains more electronic holdings than print holdings, consisting of about 70,000 online journals and 3,965,000 electronic books (including 3,150,000 HathiTrust full-text books), compared to 102,000 print books. In addition, the library provides access to 580 databases.
UC Merced's recently established an intercollegiate athletic program presently competes in the California Pacific Conference of the NAIA. It fields officially sponsored teams in men's and women's basketball, men and women's cross country, women's soccer and women's volleyball; men's soccer and men's volleyball will begin competition during the 2013-2014 season. UC Merced hopes to join the NCAA in the near future. The school's goal is to compete at the NCAA Division II level as part of the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA).
On November 13, 2006, the University opened its gymnasium. The Joseph Edward Gallo Recreation and Wellness Center, named after the rancher and dairy farmer who donated money for the facility's construction, features a "NCAA-sized basketball court, workout facilities, room for performances, wellness and fitness education and the Rajender Reddy Student Health Center". At the opening of the facility, In November 2010 the university announced its intentions to join the NAIA for the 2011-2012 academic year, in the NAIA's California Pacific Conference.
Approximately 2,100 students currently live on campus in the Valley and Sierra Terraces and the Summits, which includes Tenaya, and Cathedral Halls, 4.2 miles (6.8 km) away from the city of Merced. The most recent addition is Half Dome Hall which completed the University of California at Merced's first residential square. The Summits include cleaning services, study lounges, a market, and a game room. Student housing, as well as the dining commons, are closed during winter break. Much of the student life in the Residence Halls is run by the Resident Assistants (RAs)and Lead Resident Assistants (LRAs) through various programs and activities.
Due to the United States housing bubble, and high costs of bond-funded student housing ($13,720 on-campus compared to $7,000 off campus), many students choose to live in new housing subdivisions and McMansions outside of campus. The Cattracks transit system serves student-dense developments.
|Hispanic and Latino||46%||12%|
|Two or more races||4%||4%|
The university's Campus Activities Board (CAB) engages students in campus-wide activities such as the annual Treats N' Beats, CAB Cinema, Enchanted Ball, and more. Past guests that have been brought to these campus activities by CAB include Sage the Gemini, J. Holiday, and George Lopez.
Additionally, many students visit nearby Lake Yosemite which includes recreational swimming, fishing, and water skiing. Merced has several artistic venues which host plays, concerts, and art shows. These include The Mainzer Theater, The Partisan, Merced Multicultural Arts Center, and Playhouse Merced. Castle Air Museum is within close driving distance from Merced. Merced is known as the "Gateway to Yosemite" and it is common for students recreational use Yosemite National Park where they may hike, snowboard, rock climb, and camp overnight.
Student publications include 'The Prodigy, student newspaper, 'Bobcat Radio, student radio station, The Undergraduate Research Journal (URJ), The Undergraduate Historical Journal, and literary journals The Kumquat and Imagination Dead Imagine.
The founding graduate students, who joined the Graduate School of UC Merced in early 2004, initiated the Graduate Student Association (GSA) in that year, before the university officially opened its doors to undergraduate students in the fall of 2005. The constitution and by-laws were prepared by them. They were then approved by all the graduate students.
The undergraduate students of UC Merced have initiated and established their own student government. The Committee on Constitution and By-Laws was established in fall 2005 and was responsible for writing the constitution for the Associated Students of UC Merced (ASUCM). Elections for the ratification of the constitution were held in April, 2006. The constitution was approved by a majority of the student body, officially establishing ASUCM, which serves as the official representative and voice of students.
There are approximately 200 student run clubs, including: The Prodigy, Bobcat Radio, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), Sports Shooting, Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE), Merced Pre-Law Society, Business Society, National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), American Women Making A Difference, Black Student Union (BSU), Society of Women Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Math Society, Amnesty International, American Medical Student Association, Colleges Against Cancer, Chinese Student Association, Circle K International, Hermanas Unidas de UCM, Korean American Coalition, Hmong Student Association (HSA), Nikkei Student Union (NSU), The UC Merced Historical Society, Dance Coalition, Distinguished Ladies, Student Transfer Outreach and Mentor Program, Democrats at UC Merced, Bobcat Band, HHM (Hip Hop Movement), Society of Freethinkers, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, Martial Arts Club, Muslim Student Association, NORML, Persian Student Association of UC Merced (PSAUCM), Pilipino American Alliance (PAA), Anime Club, League of Legends Club at UC Merced (UCMLoL), College Republicans at UC Merced, South Asian Student Association, Taekwondo (TKD), Rotaract, UCM Symphonics Acapella Group (UCMSA), UNICEF at UC Merced rock climbing, Yosemite Leadership Program, bakery clubs, archery clubs, and frisbee golf clubs.
There are currently seven social Greek organizations and four professional Greek organizations. The social Greek organizations are all governed by one council known as Fraternity Sorority Council. Collectively, fraternities and sororities constitute one of the largest student groups on campus. They are affiliated with large national organizations that are founded upon principles of leadership, scholarship, service and brotherhood or sisterhood.
- Professional Co-ed Fraternities
- Delta Epsilon Mu ΔΕΜ, Theta chapter
- Phi Delta Epsilon ΦΔΕ, Lambda chapter
- Alpha Kappa Psi ΑΚΨ, Psi Upsilon chapter
- Theta Tau ΘΤ, Mu Delta chapter
- Alpha Phi Omega ΑΦΩ, Alpha Eta Gamma chapter
Phi Alpha Delta ΦΑΔ
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- UC Merced Graduate Division
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