Chancellor Kim A. WilcoxCARRIE ROSEMA
University of California, Riverside Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox closed out the academic year with an end-of-year report on May 31 at the HUB. Around 180 members of the UCR community participated in the conversation, during which Wilcox highlighted achievements of the past year and laid out a vision and priorities for the year to come. The discussion can be viewed here in its entirety.
Wilcox kicked off the conversation by highlighting UCR’s progress and prestige as a public research university based on multiple milestones, including:
- Eleven students were awarded the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research fellowship, the preeminent award program recognizing NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics students pursuing research-based graduate and doctoral degrees.
- Total enrollment at UCR surpassed 23,000 for the first time last fall. Likewise, UCR received 60,285 applications for fall 2018, its largest-ever number of applicants. The 12.4 percent increase compared to the previous year was the largest of any UC campus.
- Six-year graduation rates have surpassed 75 percent.
- The Education Trust recognized UCR as a national leader for African American and Latino student success. UCR was one of three schools to be named top-performing institutions in both reports.
- UCR was one of two recipients nationwide to be awarded the American College Health Association Healthy Campus for 2018.
“This serves as a reminder of the breadth of the university, its impact, and the quality of everything on the campus. It’s truly impressive,” Wilcox said. “Across the spectrum we are doing things to make a difference to the state and to the nation.”
Wilcox announced expansion efforts on campus and around the world. On campus, construction is nearing completion on the state-of-the-art Multidisciplinary Research Building 1, or MRB1, at the intersection of Aberdeen and North Campus drives. The five-story building will house laboratories for around 50 faculty principal investigators and their teams to collaborate on research in computational, life and chemical sciences, engineering, and medicine beginning in early 2019.
The expansion of The Barn is expected to be completed with a grand re-opening in early 2020 and the Dundee Residence Hall and Glasgow Dining Hall projects are scheduled for completion in fall 2020. The Student Success Center and Phase I of the North District project will complete construction in 2021.
Overseas, UCR has cultivated new relationships with government officials, researchers, and educators from medical, science, and technology universities in Anhui Province in eastern China. Additionally, UCR and the Korea Institute of Materials Science (KIMS) established the UC-KIMS Center for Innovative Materials for Energy and Environment to foster collaboration between researchers and students with scientists.
Wilcox used the remainder of the conversation to provide updates on the redesign of new campus communications, including the university’s website, ucr.edu and newsletter, Daily Digest. The website’s new homepage, which is one of several university pages built on the new Drupal content management system, optimizes content for display across devices and quickly guides visitors, particularly prospective students, to the sites and resources they need to effectively engage with our campus. The Daily Digest has an enhanced design and easier access to post the latest happenings and updates across the campus community. Other updates provided by Wilcox included:
- Project Moving Forward, founded by Linda Navarrette, a researcher at UCR’s Graduate School of Education, was honored by the California School Boards Association. The program supports English-language learners and students with limited English proficiency.
- David Patrick became the new head coach for the men’s basketball team. Patrick, a former Division I assistant coach at Texas Christian University, is known for his recruiting record, enlisting future No. 1 NBA draft pick Ben Simmons to Louisiana State University. He has also coached current NBA stars Patty Mills and Matthew Dellavedova.
- The Chancellor’s Task Force on Staff Engagement was established to review the UC-Staff Engagement Survey results and make recommendations by the end of the year.
- UCR received two awards for campus safety at the UC-wide Risk Summit last summer.
Wilcox concluded the town hall by answering questions, which included a discussion about the enrollment target of 25,000 students and how many of them would take courses online.
“UCR currently has one full-time online program, the Master of Science in engineering. There is interest in creating more graduate online programs as well as offering more undergraduate online courses,” said Cynthia K. Larive, provost and executive vice chancellor.
Larive said faculty are working with Innovative Learning Technology Initiative, or ILTI, a grant program to increase online courses for undergraduates. “The goal of this offering is not to replace in-person classes, but to offer more options for students,” said Larive.