Chancellor's Friday Letters

Readers reflect change

Readers reflect change

June 3, 2011

Dear Friends,

As I reflect on the soon-to-end academic year, I realize that more than anything, that this has been a year of uncertain change and challenge.

There has been joy and laughter, tears and sorrow.  We have enjoyed celebrations and coped with hardships. But the one thing that remained constant was the uncertainty of certain change.

You tell this story better than I, so below are excerpts from the more than 400 letters you have written me in response to 34 editions to-date of this year’s Friday Letter (http://fridayletters.ucr.edu/?page_id=15).  Your letters provide a patchwork of our joint experiences during this period of upheaval, change, uncertainty and adventure.

Discourse (10.8.11)
“Thank you for a spot-on message! This speaks to the very reason for a University system’s existence: to bring light, and to examine ideas impartially under that light. We cannot improve our existence without a clear view of what’s wrong, and there are simply no other institutions in our society with such a clear mandate to do exactly that in a positive and productive manner. This message is both timeless and timely.”

Staff Heroics (1.7.11)
“I was out of town, with family, gorging on tamales while you all were going the extra mile for us. You guys are truly awesome … I have to shout: THANK YOU SO MUCH.”

Future (3.4.11)
“As a parent of a freshman at UCR, I am outraged, frustrated, perplexed, annoyed, worried…. about the future of California’s colleges.  I really don’t understand how UCs will be able to make the needed cuts and still educate the deserving students who have worked so hard to get there!”

Disaster in Japan (3.18.11 and 4.1.11)
“This week’s letter surely gave me goose bumps! As a UCR alumnus reading this email, it makes me feel so proud of the UCR students and UCR for all of the relief efforts, contributions, acts of kindness, and generosity, in both time and monetary aid. Keep up the great work, guys! And let us pray for the people who have been affected by this catastrophic event.”

Work-life Balance (4.15.11)
“This is the BEST Friday letter I have read in some time! It brought a smile to me early on a Friday morning….and was so heartwarming in the sense that so many of us are constantly trying to find a work/life balance that is manageable… It is also heartwarming to know that our Chancellor does not mind if our children puke outside his front door.”

Faculty (4.22.11)
“This one is on target. Imagine a world without music and musicians, visual art and artists, literature and writers, science and scientists, humanities (broadly speaking) and humanists. Once having lived in a world with these people and their contributions, I could not live in a world without them. Great institutions and the teachers who make them great are necessary conditions of civilization of any value whatsoever. The lunacy in California is not confined to your state, unfortunately. This battle is being fought in every state and the intergenerational consequences of its outcome are perhaps the most important of any social conflict in our generation. Unfortunately, you and I and other like-minded citizens are losing, today.”

Holocaust Survivor (5.1.11)
“I wish I had been there to hear Mr. Rubin share his amazing story of survival.  Thank you, Chancellor White, for your beautifully written letter, capturing the essence of the story, and perhaps most importantly, extending the message that protecting human dignity is paramount around the globe.”

Loss of Student (5.20.11)
“Thank you for taking the time to acknowledge Sharon. She was exceptional and inspirational. I believe you respectfully and accurately represented our hearts in this Friday’s letter.”

Student Service (5.27.11)
“This is not only surprising data, it’s inspiring. At the root of many of our nation’s economic woes is a lack of ethics and community awareness. The answers to our troubles are going to come from research and study by a populace that is not only educated, but also actively concerned and motivated to seek positive change. It’s nice to know how well we’re doing with that right here at home! This is a snowball that needs to keep rolling. Thanks for another great message.”

Best regards,


Tim White, Chancellor

Share your thoughts: http://fridayletters.ucr.edu/leavefeedback

Time to Help Again – Crunch Time Actually
The legislature has already approved $500 million in cuts to the University of California. Today they are in the final throes of discussing a state budget.  Ask your lawmakers to reach a budget agreement without making additional cuts to UC.  And ask them to please find a reliable, long-term funding source for the university.

Media Abuzz About UCR
UCR’s expertise on mosquitoes is getting great coverage in the media this week. Anand Ray’s research paper on what attracts mosquitoes is on the cover of Nature. A BBC story is offered below. And listen to NPR’s “Science Friday” today and you will hear another mention.

Prepping For Commencement
UCR is saying congratulations and goodbye to the class of 2011 between Friday, June 10, and Monday, June 13. Help us get a head start on commencement weekend by wishing your favorite graduate well. We will use some of your wishes online.

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

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