Oral history video between Julian Feldman & Debra Richardson
Julian Feldman & Debra Richardson
About the Interview
Julian Feldman left a tenured position at UC Berkeley in 1964 to join the original faculty of 25 at the fledgling campus at Irvine. It was his vision that led to the 1968 creation of an information and computer sciences department, which he twice chaired and would become – nearly four decades later – the first ICS school in the University of California system. He received the Extraordinarius Award which recognizes an individual who has prominently contributed to the UCI campus and exemplifies the spirit and purpose of the university. From 1969 to 1976, Feldman was the campus’s inaugural assistant chancellor for computing, a precursor to today’s position of assistant vice chancellor for information technology. In that role, he oversaw campus-wide computer resources, procuring state-of-the-art technology that facilitated both research and education. By the end of the 1960s, UCI’s ICS program was one of only a handful in the country offering graduate coursework in artificial intelligence – a decade ahead of most universities. Such forward-thinking innovations by Feldman won the young campus national recognition. Feldman graduated from high school during his junior year and was accepted directly into the University of Chicago. As a senior there, he got a perfect score on the GRE, then earned an M.A. in political science before pursuing a Ph.D at Carnegie Mellon University’s Graduate School of Industrial Administration.
Debra J. Richardson is a Professor of Informatics and founding dean of the UCI Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS). She has been on the UC Irvine faculty since 1987. Under her leadership as chair, the ICS department was promoted to the first and only computing-focused school in the University of California system in December 2002, after which she was named Dean. Richardson was instrumental in securing a transformational $20 million endowment for the school, resulting in naming the school after philanthropist Donald Bren. In addition, he has served on the leadership team of the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) since its inception; NCWIT’s overarching goal is parity in the professional IT workforce through education, dissemination, advocacy, and a national, multi-year implementation plan that generates tangible progress within 20 years. She leads the NCWIT hub at UC Irvine, a NCWIT PaceSetter focused on developing and evaluating best practices to increase the participation of women at the undergraduate level, and also throughout the academic pipeline. Richardson currently chairs the Computing Research Association (CRA) Deans Group, which was established to provide leadership and community to emerging and established schools and colleges of computing and interdisciplinary "IT" academic organizations.