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Historical Review

Universidad Central de Chile, UCEN, was created due to the initiative of a visionary group of personalities and professionals, related to different areas of our national affairs.

Its foundation followed the enactment of Decree Law N. 1, on December 30, 1980, of the Ministry of Education, which allowed the creation of higher education institutions by private non-profit and legal individuals.

The statutory provision that enables the creation of universities without state support, in the early eighties is, without doubt, a fact of great importance for the country, which generates the most remarkable change in Chilean higher education, in the second half of the twentieth century. In this context, three universities including ours are incorporated into the promising and institutional group. On March 4, 1982, a few personalities from different fields (Carlos Blin Arriagada, Omar Mendoza Palominos, Vicente Kovacevic, Hugo Gálvez Gajardo, Gonzalo Hernández Uribe, Luis Flores Vera, Enrique Martin Davis, Luis Castañeda Carrasco y Pedro Cruzat Fuschlocher), but united in the ideal of a new educational project, met in Santiago to sign the Act of Foundation of the University, and then discuss its future name, among "Universidad Americana", "Universidad del Pacífico", "Universidad Gabriela Mistral", and finally opted for "Universidad Central".

The corporation decided that the Universidad de Chile would be the "examiner" institution" of our early programs (Business Administration, Public Administration, Accounting and Auditing, Psychology, Law and Architecture). And in the disciplines that the Universidad de Chile could not cover, we would have academic sponsorship by the Universidad de Talca (Early Childhood Education) and the Universidad de Santiago (Civil Construction).

On March 18, 1993, full autonomy was granted to the University, and together with the Universidad Diego Portales, were the first private institutions to receive such a credit. This autonomy empowered the University to confer academic degrees, approve and establish study programs, as well as other professional degrees, among new contributions.

Since the enactment of the Constitutional Law of Education N. 18.962, of March 10, 1990, UCEN was submitted to the accreditation system, leaving behind testing system to develop its own institutional project. The granting of full autonomy is a milestone in the history of the organization which led to state recognition, its academic project and commitment to higher education in Chile.

Gradually the University consolidated, first in the facilities located at Carmencita 59, Las Condes, then leased the grounds of La Perla stadium in San Bernardo, and after being remodeled according to the requirements of a higher education institution, it became the its first university campus.

As part of the growth and as a result of hard work, the corporation was able to purchase land and build its own facilities.

As we grew in infrastructure and number of students, schools and faculties were created. The first schools were Public Administration, Architecture, Construction, Law, Economics and Management, Preschool Education and Psychology, and the first faculties were: Legal Sciences in 1985, with Professor Fidel Reyes Castillo as Dean, and Architecture and Arts with Dean Rene Martinez Lemoine in 1986.

With this background the first Board of Directors was created, chaired by Vincente Kovacevick and Carlos Francisco Blin Arriagada as Rector.

The University started with an academic staff of 87 teachers, figures that show the great performance and evolution of the University, which currently has over 12,000 students, nine faculties, 31 careers, and a staff over a thousand people.

In recent years the University has grown considerably in infrastructure, bought and built the regional headquarters of Antofagasta and La Serena in 2003, the building Vicente Kovacevic II was inaugurated in 2004, the Sports Center in 2007, the new building Almagro in 2008, plus several additions and renovations that have been implemented in the headquarters. The creation of two new faculties: Communications (2007) and Health Sciences (2011) along with the gradual incorporation of a wide range of postgraduate degrees, and the establishment of centers of studies and research institutes.

Milestones in the Central University of Chile from 1982 to the present:

1982. October 11. Foundation and constitution of the University and its statutes.

1982. November 9. UCEN is part University Records of the Ministry of Education, which marks its official foundation.

1983. Classes begin on campus San Bernardo, first headquarters. Carlos Blin Arriagada assumes as Chancellor. Several schools are founded, such as Architecture, Political and Administrative Sciences, Construction, Law, Economics and Management, Preschool Education and Psychology.

1985. Hugo Gálvez Gajardo Assumes as Chancellor. Faculty of Law is created.

1986. Faculty of Architecture and Arts was born, which included the School of Architecture, School of Ecology and Landscape (current Landscape Architecture) and the Center for Housing Studies for academic research and outreach.

1987. Campus La Reina starts to operate.

1988. The Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences and the Faculty of Physical and Mathematical Sciences were created, and later the schools of Civil Construction, Civil Engineering in Civil Engineering and Civil Engineering and Computer Science. The School of Landscape Ecology welcomes its first students.

1989. Inauguration of the Building Almagro I. One of the university founders Luis Flores Vera dies.

1990. The Faculty of Social Sciences was created.

1991. Inauguration of the Building Almagro II.

1992. The Main Building moves to Toesca.

1993. The Higher Education Council granted institutional autonomy to the University.

1994. Hugo Galvez Gajardo Outreach Center was inaugurated.

1995. The Chancellor and founder Hugo Galvez dies and was succeeded by Vicente Poklepovic Kovacevic.

1997. Former Chilean President Eduardo Frei Ruiz- Tagle was awarded with the Honorary Doctorate Degree.

1998. Inauguration of the Building Vicente Kovacevic I.

1999. The Civil Engineering Construction program was created.

2000. The Chancellor and founder Vicente Kovacevic dies. Gonzalo Hernández Uribe assumes as Chancellor and was succeeded in the same year by René Martínez Lemoine. The Faculty of Educational Sciences, and the Faculty of Political and Administrative Sciences are founded. The Internal Research Fund was also created.

2001. The Faculty of Social Sciences Sociology starts the program of Higher Level Rehabilitation Technician of Persons with Drug Dependence.

2002. Luis Lucero Alday was elected as Chancellor.

2003. Inauguration of the headquarters in Antofagasta and La Serena. The University acquired the Training Center Zipter. Successful accreditation processes in Architecture and Preschool Education were obtained. UCEN21 Academic Administration Project was initiated. The University changed its corporate image. Antonio Augusto Cançado Trindade, Brazilian judge of the International Court of Justice was granted with the Doctor Honoris Causa Distinction.

2004. Opening of the newest and modern building Vicente Kovacevic II. The UCEN starts redesigning the curricula of all its careers.

2005. Universidad Central is institutionally accredited until December 2008. All buildings and campuses have IP technology and free access to wireless Internet connection.

2006. Carlos Castresana Fernández, former international Commissioner Against Impunity in Guatemala and the outstanding Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón Real, were granted with the Doctor Honoris Causa Distinction, and both of them offered master classes in our university. The Faculty of Education grows with the addition of the programs in Biology and Science Education. The Faculty of Mathematics and Physical Sciences implemented the Master in Computer Security and Information Protection, the first program of its kind in Chile. There is an expansion of infrastructure at the headquarters of La Serena, housing the academic programs of Sociology,
Advertising. The Faculty of Mathematics and Physical Sciences starts the program of Industrial Engineering. The founder member, secretary general, academic Pedagogy in Physical Education and Special Education.

2007. The Sports Center Universidad Central and a new building in La Serena were inaugurated. The School of Communications welcomes its first students in Journalism and vice chancellor, chancellor, member and honorary president of the Board Gonzalo Hernandez Uribe passed away. The Heritage Studies Center was created. Eusebio Leal Spengler, a relevant Cuban historian was awarded with the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa.

2008. The School of Architecture is internationally accredited for five years. On 9 December, the National Accreditation Commission resolved institutional accreditation for four years to the areas of Governance and Teaching Leading to Professional Degree. The Faculty of Physical and Mathematical Sciences opened two modern laboratories of Hydraulic Structures. New facilities indicate an investment of $230 million. Pedagogy in Basic Education was given accreditation for four years. In 2008, for the second time the programs of Civil Engineering in Computer and Information Technology were accredited. Additionally, the program of Construction Engineering was accredited.

2009. Inauguration of the new Building Almagro Norte which reaches a surface area of 24,000 m2 and houses the faculties of Economic and Administrative Sciences, Social Sciences, Communications, Law and Social Sciences and Health Sciences. Beside these, labs, multimedia rooms, a library, television and radio studios, among others, are part of the new building (in November 2012 the building is called after Gonzalo Hernandez Uribe). Preschool Education was accredited for five years. In April of that same year, Pedagogy in Physical Education and Special Education obtained a-three- year accreditation, while Pedagogy in Language and English Culture was accredited for two years. Finally, in December 2009, the School of Biology and Science Education was accredited for three years. The School of Nursing welcomes its first students.

2010. The Heritage Tourism Institute was founded. The Faculty of Health Sciences was founded.

2011. In February, Ignacio Larraechea Loeser was appointed as Interim Chancellor. In September, the General Assembly elects new partners, with two representatives from each of the faculties. In September, Luis Merino Montero assumes as Deputy Chancellor. In October, the new Board of Directors assumes, chaired by Ricardo Napadensky Bauza. The Faculty of Health Sciences is fully operational. The headquarters in La Serena starts its expansion, with an investment of about $550 million.

2012. Rafael Rosell Aiquel was elected as Chancellor. Accounting, Auditing and Business Administration and special Program of Continuing Education for Business Administration begins in the headquarters of the Universidad Central in La Serena.

2012. In the celebration of 30 years since its foundation, authorities decide to name the building Almagro I after Gonzalo Hernández Uribe. And the Founders Medal was created, for distinguishing who represents in Chilean society the UCEN values each year.