Dear Campus Community,
This morning, I am sending you an exciting update while attending a ceremony in Washington, D.C. where UC Riverside has just received the Seal of Excelencia. This certification recognizes our institutional commitment as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) to serve Latinx students and support their success. Today’s announcement follows news earlier this week that we were also named a U.S. Department of State Fulbright HSI Leader. As the only UC school to receive both honors, I am grateful to the faculty and staff whose decades-long dedication to serving Latinx students has elevated UCR to an elite category of HSIs. This month’s update contains more information about this week’s news as well as other notes on the importance of diversity and commitment to students.
UCR receives Seal of Excelencia
Excelencia in Education, the organization that certified UCR with the Seal of Excelencia, is an organization focused on accelerating Latinx student success in higher education by promoting Latinx student achievement and changing the narrative about what it takes to be an HSI. UCR participated in an extensive application process and was one of just 10 colleges and universities to earn the Seal for 2021.
UCR has long championed the importance of access along with the other schools receiving certification, but we also know that it takes more than enrollment and graduation rates. For decades, hundreds of staff and faculty have worked to build programming and an environment where Latinx students—and all students—can thrive in their educational pursuit and post-graduation lives. Thank you to the individuals whose efforts are directly responsible for Seal certification as well as all employees, past and present, who made today’s milestone possible.
UCR named US Department of State Fulbright HSI Leader
As mentioned above, we also learned this week that UCR has been designated a 2021 Fulbright HSI Leader by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). The Fulbright Program offers a variety of grants and scholarships to students, scholars, teachers, artists, and other professionals to conduct research or study abroad. As part of its commitment to diversity and inclusion, the Fulbright Program recognized UCR for “noteworthy engagement with the Fulbright Program, including through its promotion of Fulbright Program opportunities on campus.”
Principles of Community
Each year, we invite everyone in our community to review and reflect on the UCR Principles of Community. These principles are a written declaration of our shared values and fundamental to a campus environment based on personal growth, equity, and mutual respect; and foundational for UCR’s education, research, and public service missions. The Principles are more than words; they should serve as a description of our actions. UCR is proud of being a diverse and welcoming place for students, faculty, staff, and visitors, who represent a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.
At UCR, we are working to combat the barriers to a more inclusive experience. We actively seek to create a culture that promotes, supports, and advocates for diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice at all levels of the university.
A university requires an environment where students and scholars can freely express ideas and pursue knowledge. Respect and free speech and free expression of ideas are not exclusive of one another. We support difficult and challenging, yet respectful, dialogue among individuals or groups with opposing viewpoints.
We ask you to read the Principles of Community and consider how each of us can embody the values they define.
Beyond Brilliant and Giving Tuesday
This month, we launched a new fundraising initiative to support student success. Titled “Beyond Brilliant,” the new initiative raises funds for undergraduate and graduate scholarships, experiential learning, and health and well-being. Scholarships will provide greater access for education. Experiential learning through mentorships and internships builds job skills for post-graduation success. And for those students facing food and housing insecurity or other needs, donations for health and well-being guarantees support of students’ basic needs.
To kick off our fundraising toward a $50 million goal, the UCR Foundation Board of Trustees has established UCR’s first-ever Trustee Student Support Challenge Fund. Started with a $5 million dollar gift from Trustee Erik Anderson through Anderson Community Partners, the matching fund will double the value of gifts (up to $500,000) until all money in the challenge fund is spent.
We are grateful to all employees who give to support a wide range of needs across the university. Another way employees provide support is through Giving Tuesday promotion and programming. We invite everyone to help us raise awareness as we participate in Giving Tuesday on November 30. Any campus department or program interested in participating this year should complete a project page submission form using this link and the Office of Annual Giving will respond to you.
A Farewell Celebration for Vice Chancellor Peter Hayashida
As we launch a new fundraising initiative, we must also say goodbye to an individual who has overseen University Advancement for 12 years and led the successful completion of our first comprehensive campaign. All faculty and staff are invited to attend a farewell celebration for Vice Chancellor Peter Hayashida on Friday, November 19, 2021, from 4–6 p.m. at the UCR Alumni and Visitors Center. Please visit the events calendar to register and obtain additional details.
To each of you, thank you for all you do to support our students and their success. Your work continues to inspire admiration and show what an incredible place UCR is.