Chancellor's Friday Letters

Taking Our Message to DC

Taking Our Message to DC

November 13, 2009


I, along with two members of my senior staff, have spent the latter part of this week in Washington, DC. Several times a year I come to DC to speak with members of Congress, their staff, and representatives from organizations, agencies, and the media about the strengths and aspirations of our University.

It is a chance to listen carefully as they speak about their interests and opportunities, and to think of ways to align those opportunities with the strengths and interests of our faculty. My trips to DC complement those of faculty, staff, and volunteer and elected leaders from our community, who also make strategic visits throughout the course of the year.

We had 15 meetings and events spread over yesterday and today.

I visited with the 19 UCR students who are participating this term in the UCDC program, with majors ranging from business to anthropology and political science. These students intern daily in a variety of activities, from the Smithsonian to the Holocaust Museum, the White House, Homeland Security, Congressional and Senatorial offices, and the Wildlife Alliance, to name a few.

You would be as impressed as I am with these students’ abilities, the priceless experiences they are gaining, and their personal aspirations as well as hopes for America. In a word – inspiring! Katelyn Cowan, a business administration student from Phelan, CA, proudly said it best, “I’m going to everything and learning everything.”

During our many visits we spoke of the great progress we have made in establishing the medical school, as well as the needs that lie ahead. Other issues included federal support for need-based financial aid for our students; federal opportunities that exist for UCR as an Hispanic Serving Institution, one of America’s few major national research universities to achieve this status; and the research programs of some of our most prominent faculty – programs that affect the environment, safe and bountiful food supplies, communications and security, energy, electronics, technology transfer, and healthcare as it relates to our emerging medical school.

As I travel this great country of ours, I enjoy spending time with alumni, who are immensely proud of their University of California, Riverside, and eager for information on how we are doing really – which is, in fact, different than how the east coast media paint California and UC these days.

I am very grateful to Eddie Allen (’73, BA History) and his wife Wendy, who very graciously opened their lovely home to me and a group of area UCR alums for dinner. We had a delightful and engaging evening.

We have many friends in Washington, DC. They, too, care deeply and understand the critical role the University of California plays as a driver of the economy and a developer of human potential for the good of society.

These friends share our concern about the state’s continued disinvestment in higher education; they understand how vital UC – the world’s greatest public university – is for California, and thus for the nation.

On a lighter note, traveling to the northeast in November from beautiful, sunny and temperate southern California reminds me that there are indeed four seasons elsewhere. As we sloshed through yet another puddle, with the wind blowing our umbrellas, one of my staff quipped that the seasons can be overrated and they are not always all they are cracked up to be!

Best wishes from our nation’s capitol,


Tim White


Just how important is university based research? The winter issue of the UCR magazine explores the impacts of research in a format that includes video.

Congratulations to Anil Deolalikar on the launch of a Global Health Institute, in partnership with other UC campuses. Our piece of it will relate to campus expertise in water quality and food production.

Student Affairs has created a new campus tours Web site that is not only an excellent resource for prospective students, but any visitor to our campus.

Wondering what else is going on at UCR?

It’s all listed at http://www.happenings.ucr.edu

More Information

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