Chancellor's Friday Letters

Staying in Touch

Staying in Touch

March 9, 2012

Dear Friends,

Being connected.

For someone like me, this is important for not only being able to do the best I can as Chancellor – keeping a finger on the pulse if you will – but also because it provides much satisfaction to engage with interesting people on and off campus.

Being connected provides me inspiration and hope, and instills pride in the people of UCR. Many times I have shared such stories with you in the Friday Letter.

But how do I go about staying in touch?

How does one keep a finger on the pulse of a vibrant and dynamic university that is not in equilibrium by design, when there are many “pulses” in many different places?

Let me share with you a glimpse of a typical week in my life.

In addition to the daily flow of phone calls, snail and virtual mail, reports, evaluations, etc., the following activities provide clarity and insight into academic and business matters, identify opportunities, and help detect where we have been clumsy or made mistakes.

Friday 3/2 – Read Dr. Seuss books to students at nearby Hyatt Elementary School as part of Read Across America day; host discussion luncheon with 30 assistant professors; speak at UCR track grand-opening; speak at and enjoy the 40th Anniversary and Alumni Reunion of Chicano Student Programs in the evening.

Saturday 3/3 – Participate in many Homecoming activities: speak at UCR Parents Association meeting, Black Alumni Homecoming reception, and UCR Foundation luncheon; address 750 middle and high school students who were here for the regional Science Olympiad; welcome guests to the Highlander Homecoming Tailgate; cheer as the UCR Men’s basketball defeated UC Irvine; learn from a 10-minute private discussion at 8:30 p.m. with Bill Cosby on education, and then enjoy his two-hour performance at the Fox Theater downtown.

Sunday 3/4 – Re-connect with and enjoy my family; wash the Jeep.

Monday 3/5 – Discuss issues and ideas with two student groups – Middle Eastern and Latino; meet with several direct reports; prepare for Tuesday’s Town Hall.

Tuesday 3/6 -  Present my quarterly Chancellor’s Town Hall that covered budgets, challenges to our learning environment, and progress on our strategic plan (archived web cast and slides at http://chancellor.ucr.edu/webcasts/townhall_mar12.html); meet with community leaders and various direct reports.

Wednesday 3/7 – Take an early flight to Oakland for monthly half-day meeting with all 10 UC chancellors, provosts and UC leadership; write a letter to the campus community denouncing the defacement of the Israeli flag in our Hillel office; contribute to afternoon meeting to discuss the “Rebenching” – a plan to more equitably distribute state resources to the 10 UC campuses; catch late flight home.

Thursday 3/8 – Meet with committees and direct reports on opportunities and the medical school; write the Friday Letter; meet with political leaders, direct reports and students; and host a discussion dinner with UCR’s Distinguished Professors.

Friday 3/9 – I don’t really know yet as I am writing this Letter on Thursday, but it will include final preparations for tomorrow’s departure to London for the Going Global 2012 Conference, where I am giving one of the main lectures in a session with other university presidents from Canada, U.K., and Pakistan.

Connected?  Yes.

But how many more people, programs, and issues are still out there?  Like Robert Frost’s traveler, I have miles to go before I sleep…



Tim White, Chancellor

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