William Schonfeld

William R. Schonfeld is former Dean of the School of Social Sciences at UC Irvine – a position he held from 1982 until 2002, making him the longest serving academic dean in UCI history. Under his leadership, new departments were created while maintaining the School’s interdisciplinary nature, including cross-departmental, interdisciplinary Organized Research Units – most notably the Institute of Mathematical Behavioral Sciences and the Center for the Study of Democracy. His leadership accomplishments led to his selection as Extraordinarius, the highest honor given by the UCI Alumni Association. During his career at UCI, Schonfeld has been a devoted teacher whose teaching distinction has been recognized both by the UCI Alumni Association (Distinguished Teaching Award) and the Academic Senate (Distinguished Faculty Lectureship Award). He was also awarded the Daniel G. Aldrich Jr. Distinguished University Service Award by The Academic Senate. In addition to UCI, Schonfeld has also taught at UC Berkeley, Sciences Po of Paris, and the University of Paris II. Schonfeld received his B.A. from the University Heights College of New York University, cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa. He studied for a year at the University of Bordeaux, France under the auspices of a Fulbright Fellowship, before returning to the United States for graduate study as a Danforth Fellow. He obtained his M.A. and his Ph.D from Princeton University, where he taught briefly before joining UCI in July 1970. William R. Schonfeld is now retired, but he continues to teach and remain active at UCI; including recent service as Director of the Center for the Study of Democracy and President of UCI’s Phi Beta Kappa Chapter.


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