Chancellor's Friday Letters

A paternal dilemma

A paternal dilemma

April 15, 2011

Dear Friends,

Daddy, my neck hurts!

What the heck could this be about?

This week, the beautiful reminder of real life…at a very precious and dependent moment in life…was reflected in an exchange that was officially logged in the Chancellor’s e-mail archive at 4:59 p.m. on April 13, 2011.

The verbatim exchange follows.

His letter:

Dear Chancellor,

As I’m sure you know, parenthood sometimes delivers unexpected and embarrassing situations. For me, the latest of these occurred today in front of your home. After picking up my 3 year old from the CDC with a 102 fever, she told me during our drive down Watkins towards Central, “Daddy, my neck hurts.” This is our code phrase for “Daddy, pull over now ‘cuz I’m gonna toss my cookies!”

So, I did as trained, pulled over, and managed to get her out of her car seat just before she overtopped the spillway. Although this initially seemed like a victory, my feelings of parental proficiency were fleeting when I realized that we were within, well, spitting distance of your driveway.

Though I would have felt badly about this happening in front of anyone’s home, the fact that it was yours made it that much worse. So please accept my apology for the unpleasant odor that may have welcomed you home today, and rest assured that it continues to greet us in our home periodically this evening…


Ken Baerenklau

Associate Professor

Associate Dean

Aspiring Parent

My reply:

Dear Ken

I trust your daughter is feeling better. Parenting is noble and unpredictable…and your kids are welcome to puke at our home anytime.

Thanks for the wonderful note.


Indeed, our faculty, staff and students at the University of California, Riverside, juggle many responsibilities as they give their all to all of their commitments.

As the credit card commercial states: Priceless.

Best wishes,


Tim White, Chancellor

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Green and delicious
The campus will kick off Earth Week with a free “zero-waste” breakfast at 9 a.m. Monday April 18 in HUB 268 (RSVP needed: Samantha Wilson at samantha.wilson@ucr.edu or (951) 827-7739). It will feature organic and locally-grown food, sustainable eating materials and it will showcase students’ projects and outreach to the world.

Elegant environmental design
The first-place team of UCR engineering students accumulated the highest score in the 21-year history of the Waste-Management Education & Research Consortium contest in Las Cruces, N.M. last week. Their winning design could help treat waste more efficiently. Our team, sponsored by the Western Municipal Water District, took home the trophy and a $2,500 prize.

‘We Are Not Alone’
Passion and creativity mark the 24th annual Tomás Rivera Conference, which will include an original musical tribute to the life, struggles and achievements of the poet, scholar and former UCR chancellor. The musical, “We Are Not Alone,” begins at 6:30 p.m.  Friday, April 22, at the Barbara and Art Culver Center of the Arts in downtown Riverside.

Find out what else is going on at UC Riverside: http://www.ucr.edu/happenings/

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