Chancellor's Friday Letters

Faculty shine despite budget woes

Faculty shine despite budget woes

April 22, 2011

Dear Friends,

Potpourri Friday…


Well first, it’s been a memorable couple of weeks here. Our faculty has been recognized for the merit, impact and worthiness of their work.  And this is work that improves our quality of life and contributes to the public good.

The use of the mind to advance society by improving the quality of life for all…This is a public good…It is what we do as one of the nation’s top public research universities.

And second, these achievements stand in sobering juxtaposition to the path California is currently taking, which risks dismantling the greatest public University in the world by lacking the wherewithal to prioritize public investments and spending.

Consider this from the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences . . .

Biology Professor David Reznick studies evolution as a contemporary process and performs experiments on natural populations of organisms, as well as how complex traits evolve in organisms. For his work, following a most discriminating review process, he was just elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies and a leading center for independent policy research.

Consider this from the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences . . .

Matthew Zapruder, an adjunct assistant professor in creative writing, has been named a fellow by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He is recognized not only as one of the most vital voices in American poetry but also one of its greatest teachers.  His colleague Tod Goldberg notes, “He is a relentless and passionate believer in the power of words and I am always struck by his ability to turn the common place things of the world – be it a bicycle or an old football jersey, or even an airport – into the stuff of emotion, conflict, empathy and surprising humor.”

Consider this from the Bourns College of Engineering . . .

Professor of Electrical Engineering Alexander Balandin, the founding chair of the campus-wide Materials Science and Engineering Program, was selected to receive the Pioneer of Nanotechnology Award for 2011. His work holds high promise to have wide-ranging impact on electronic devices.  Only one university professor is selected nation-wide for this award each year.  The award comes from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the world’s largest professional society for the advancement of technology.

Consider this from the School of Business Administration . . .

Professor of Finance and Philip L. Boyd Chair Richard Smith has co-written a new book on entrepreneurial finance, just as the economy shows signs of recovery and the venture capital and initial public offering markets heat up.  Published by Stanford University Press, the book applies the theory and methods of finance and economics to the rapidly evolving field of entrepreneurial finance. Co-authors of the book, Entrepreneurial Finance: Strategy, Valuation, and Deal Structure, are Janet Kiholm Smith and Richard T. Bliss.

Consider this from the School of Education . . .

Assistant Professor of Education Michael Orosco, will receive a national award next month for research that questions the efficacy of a new teaching model that is quickly and perhaps erroneously being adopted by school districts. He reasons that English language learners often don’t respond to Response to Intervention (RTI), a model that provides early assistance to children having difficulty learning, because school personnel often don’t understand the sociocultural experiences of students for whom English is a second language. He provocatively suggests that schools need to slow down and first prepare to meet the cultural and linguistic needs of these students.

Consider this from the emerging School of Medicine . . .

Phyllis A. Guze, M.D., the senior executive dean in the UCR medical school, has been elected 2011-12 Chair-elect of the Board of Regents of the American College of Physicians (ACP), the nation’s largest medical specialty organization.

From evolution to poetry, new materials to the economy, and from education to medicine…consider, for a moment, the societal impact of the creative work and teachings of these five faculty and multiply it by the several thousand members of the faculty across the UC.

And then finally, consider what it will mean to California’s future if there is a significant diminution or elimination of such activities.… Imagine a society without this knowledge and lacking these advances – and ask yourself if this is the type of state that our children and grandchildren will be well-served to live, work, compete and prosper in?

Best regards,


Tim White, Chancellor

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Smooth performer
Jazz great Dianne Reeves will perform on campus at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 28, in the University Theatre, part of UC Riverside Presents. This is an annual musical treat for the area. She is the pre-eminent jazz vocalist of her age, and a Grammy winner.

Food, flowers and music
As the weather heats up, the flowers get ready to show off at Primavera in the Gardens, a fundraising event for the UCR Botanic Gardens, 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 15. This has become a tradition for the time around Mother’s Day.

You bet…Sunday May 1, 2011, 9 pm PDT

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

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