Chancellor's Friday Letters

A Forward-Looking Campus

A Forward-Looking Campus

October 16, 2009


Since I last wrote to you, it has been an inspiring and enriching week for me. Ideas, inspiration, innovation. A sense of forward leaning that is often not visible to the outside.

During the week and over the past weekend, half day sessions were held with leadership, alums and friends of UCR on how to better connect the passions and points of excellence of our university with those who wish to invest their time, ideas and resources to build upon and expand that excellence through private philanthropy.

In weekly Cabinet meetings, senior leadership discussed the power, relevance and importance of our campus and its diverse people and ideas to the economic development and social progress in the Inland Southern California region and beyond.

At a subcommittee I chair for the strategic planning process, I had discussions with faculty and staff about how we further inspire, execute and reward academic excellence on our campus.

I attended an evening session with faculty organized not around any academic, administrative or governance structure, but rather a gathering of colleagues whose time and tenure with the University varies from just starting out to a lifelong career. We engaged in an unabashed and inspiring set of conversations about their work, their engagement with students, their optimism and aspirations for the future, and their concerns about organizational issues that seem to hold us back on executing both the simple and the complex. I learned how our new facilities have opened up another level of intellectual opportunity for the new among us, as well as the most seasoned and accomplished.

Noticeably absent in all of these settings was the lack of bemoaning current economic conditions. These conditions were not seen as something to gripe about or point fingers to, nor were they something to hide behind and use as an excuse to lower our sights on an aspirational future. Nevertheless, our faculty and staff have no naivety about the gravity of the situation, as they recognize the hardships it is causing many of our employees and friends and the slowing of progress on some key initiatives.

People have been generous with their time with me, and there is a growing sense of comfort and candor with me as the not-so-new-guy anymore. This comfort level gives me chances to “learn truth” about both the achievements and warts of this great place at this amazing time.

I plan to engage similarly throughout the year with students, faculty, staff, alums and stakeholders… it gives me insights about the greatness of who we are, and the palpable spirit and advantage we have for tomorrow. As an organization with over 8000 employees and 19,500 current students at all levels, plus 80,000 alums and countless stakeholders… my work is cut out.

I wish each of you could have been with me during this stunning week. These conversations personify and personalize for me the ambition and spirit of our campus which inspires an overall confidence that while we are very proud of our achievements to date, indeed, the best is yet to come for UCR and the communities and stakeholders we serve.

Best regards,


Tim White, Chancellor

I was honored to sit at the same table as astronaut Buzz Aldrin Thursday at a science outreach event that UCR has been co-sponsoring for the past decade. I am grateful to Pam Clute for how she expertly engages the area’s young people with math and science.

Mark your calendars for the afternoon of Tuesday, Nov. 3 when we will rename our Science Library in honor of former chancellor, Raymond L. Orbach. We are holding a 2 p.m. symposium, “Science-based Solutions for the 21st Century: The Legacy of Raymond L Orbach” and at 4 p.m. we will hold the naming ceremony. See: http://events.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/display.cgi?comp_id=30395:20091103140000

Carol Tomlinson-Keasey has passed away. She spent 15 years as a psychology professor and administrator here at Riverside before she was at Office of the President and then founding chancellor of UC Merced. There is a page to post a memory here: http://www.ucmerced.edu/about_ucmerced/10112009-remembering-ctk.asp

The President’s Task Force on Post-Employment Benefits is holding open forums at UC Riverside on October 19, 2009 to give faculty, staff and retirees the opportunity to ask questions and learn about the immediate and long-term effects of fiscal pressures on the University’s pension and retiree health programs. Details are available at: http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/ucrpfuture/emp_task.html.

Wondering what else is going on at UCR? It’s all listed at www.happenings.ucr.edu

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Career OpportunitiesUCR Libraries
Campus StatusDirections to UCR

Department Information

Office of the Chancellor
4108 Hinderaker Hall

Tel: (951) 827-5201
Fax: (951) 827-3866

E-mail: chancellor@ucr.edu