Chancellor's Friday Letters

A Whirlwind Week

A Whirlwind Week

October 14, 2011

Dear Friends,

A week in the life of your Chancellor – one in which I benefited from a thought-provoking opportunity to consider the impact, value and importance of the University of California, Riverside from the perspective of the East Coast.

I was a keynote speaker at a large national meeting in Pittsburgh on sustainability. I visited with alumni and business leaders in New York City. Finally, I attended an event with the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as he recognized three individuals for their humanitarian contributions, one of whom is closely tied to UCR.

Let me touch on each of these three events briefly.

First, about 2,000 students, faculty and staff from universities and colleges across the nation attended the 2011 Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Conference where I delivered a keynote address. Sustainability derives from the Latin “sustinere” where “tenere” means to hold, and “sus” means up. Hence, the root word “sustain” means to hold up, to maintain, to endure.

While I tried to weave a story that mattered and inspired, I also reflected on the vital role of higher education in creating solutions to the multi-faceted problems that include social, environmental, political, technological, intellectual, cultural, practical and economic elements.

From community colleges and small private institutions to public research universities like UC, we have a unique role in dispelling the myths, discovering the facts, developing solutions, and providing leadership to the complicated dimensions of sustainability.

The efforts of our students, faculty and staff encompass not only research and teaching, but engagement with our region and world. Sustainability efforts at UC Riverside include business and plant operations that energize our buildings and reduce our waste. For all of this and our myriad of other efforts to preserve our planet, our campus receives respect and appreciation from colleagues and society.

You can find my remarks at: http://chancellor.ucr.edu/messages/aashe_keynote.html

Second, we hosted two alumni events and had many one-on-one conversations with graduates of UCR who have found their way to New York and surrounding communities.

It is impressive to see the impact our alumni are each having in law, dance, finance, medicine, science, pharmacology, biotech, education and information technology…just a partial list.

Unsolicited and in quiet conversations, so many offered that they owed their careers and quality of life to the experiences (mostly good, some bad, a few ugly) they had at UCR.  I believe I speak for the entire faculty and staff at UCR, it feels good to hear that feedback.  From my experiences at many different campuses, I understand how true their assessments are about UCR.

It goes beyond the campus; these men and women have taken their UCR degrees and worked hard to achieve high levels of accomplishment for themselves, their families and importantly for their communities and country.  The public good of public higher education is profound and widespread.

Third, I concluded my trip last evening at an event hosted by the United Nations Association of New York with Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon.

As the UN was celebrating its 66th Anniversary, this specific event was for the 2011 UN Day Humanitarian of the Year Awards and Inaugural Award for Social Entrepreneur & Philanthropist of the Year.

One of three recipients was Winston Chung, Chairman of Winston Global Energy.

Mr. Chung is also the Inaugural Fellow of the Bourns College of Engineering at UCR and has made significant investments in UCR by establishing the Winston Chung Global Energy Center and Winston Chung Endowed Professorships in Energy Innovation and Sustainability.

Mr. Chung was recognized last evening by the UN for championing clean and sustainable energy, innovative social entrepreneurship and commitment to global citizenship.  Last evening’s recognition of Mr. Chung followed his receipt of the 2011 Award for Corporate Social Responsibility at the South-South Awards in New York City on September 19, 2011.

I’m traveling home today, filled with pride and inspired by our opportunities, and I am looking forward to being back on campus and with my family.

Warmly (and only a bit weary),


Tim White, Chancellor

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Drop It!… the Great California ShakeOut is Oct 20th from 10:20-10:21 AM
The correct thing to do when the shaking starts is Drop (to your hands and knees), Cover (underneath a nearby sturdy table or desk), and Hold On (until the shaking stops).  UCR will again participate in the 2011 Great California ShakeOut, the largest earthquake drill in American history.  I encourage all members of the UCR family to take part by dropping, covering, and holding on for 60 seconds starting at 10:20 AM next Thursday.  Recognize that a large damaging earthquake in our future is inevitable and with proper preparedness, it doesn’t have to be a tragedy for you.

Dancing on water?
For the island nations of Kiribati, Tokelau and Tuvalu, climate change is a visible threat. A touring performance group uses harmony, dance and poetry at 8 p.m. Tuesday in the University Theater to inspire us to be better stewards of the environment.

A piano in her kitchen
We are so very grateful to learn of a dance studio and endowed scholarships in music, dance and theater in the name of the late MaryLu Clayton Rosenthal, guarantee that her love of music and dance will live on.  Her family made this decision, and said that her piano resided in the kitchen because it was the heart of the house. There MaryLu would play the tunes of Gershwin, Porter, and Rodgers and Hammerstein.

What else is happening on campus?  View: http://www.ucr.edu/happenings/

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