UCR

Chancellor's Friday Letters



Year races to a close


Year races to a close

June 17, 2011

Dear Friends,

“Careening to the end of the academic year!”

No better characterization can be made for student, faculty and staff activities in June.

I first heard this characterization of the end of a school year from a colleague in Idaho, Kenton Bird.  Every year I recall it as June approaches.

Students, of course, careen to finish the year with exams, papers and projects, as well as perhaps losing some sleep while “bidding adieu” to new friends.

Faculty members, in addition to their research and creative activity, have courses to close out, graduate student exams and thesis defenses to engage, etc.

Staff members are consumed by academia’s end-of-year details: processing of course grades, registrars’ activities, commencement festivities to mention just a few.  In addition, at the end of June, we close our fiscal year, so all the financial books need to be reconciled and put to bed.

And of course, for the wonderful folks who take such good care of the grounds and buildings, post-commencement is the time to undertake potentially disruptive major maintenance activities, timed to minimally impact the student experience and faculty activities.

So, careening indeed.

We finished the academic year with a wonderful set of commencement ceremonies for our schools and colleges, and you can view the ceremonies or see still shots at http://commencement2011.ucr.edu/.  Nothing is more rewarding than seeing the sense of accomplishment, pride, and joy – peppered with a little worry about what is next for them – in our graduates’ eyes and in those of their proud families.

Because we webcast each of the seven commencement ceremonies in real-time for the first time in our history, it meant that a soldier stationed in Iraq saw his brother’s graduation and wrote: Sup Gonzalo, Just letting you know that I was able to see your ceremony live online. & wishing a very HAPPY moment towards your career. From Joint Base Balad, Iraq…your bro JR “OEF 2010-2011″ —Fausto Gonzalez, family/friend.

At the time of writing this Letter, we also continue to have our work cut out for us in Sacramento, as the state continues to develop a budget that is adequate for California including the University of California writ large.  And, of course, there is a special effort underway to secure ongoing state funding for the UCR School of Medicine, which is so very important to the future of Inland Southern California.

This is my 36th and final edition of the Friday Letter for this academic year – the next one will be in late September.  I trust that you will enjoy pleasant, productive and memorable summer months, and I thank you for your interest, support, advice and great accomplishments throughout the year.

During the summer, the faculty, graduate students and post-docs typically focus on research and scholarship. Some faculty engage in summer-school teaching. Other researchers conduct field work. Many undergraduate students enroll in summer session, or work with faculty and their research programs.  Other students head home for summer jobs and some well-deserved R&R.  The campus administration will continue work on implementing the campus’ new strategic plan, which has us on course to much higher levels of achievement, impact and national recognition.

I hope you choose to continue receiving my Friday Letter, even if you are graduating. Please update your e-mail information at http://ucr4life.ucr.edu/ or input new e-mail information at https://advancementservices.ucr.edu/EmailPreference/subscribeEmail.aspx

With personal best wishes for a healthy and productive summer,

Tim

Tim White, Chancellor

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Plant doc scores a first
Professor of plant cell and molecular biology Xuemei Chen has been named an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute – Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Chen is the first UCR faculty member to receive this appointment, which provides research support for select researchers who lead independent labs for basic plant science.
http://newsroom.ucr.edu/2657

Business serving the community
More than fifty students from UCR’s School of Business Administration got themselves out of the classroom and into the community to paint, repair and landscape mobile homes for Habitat for Humanity. Lessons learned in community service are life-changing.
http://soba.ucr.edu/news/?news=67

Graduate student to study Holocaust
Congratulations to Jennifer Weed, one of 10 graduate students in the nation selected by the Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation to study the implications of the Holocaust. A trip like that can shape an academic career, and influence the course of one’s life.
http://newsroom.ucr.edu/2660

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


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