Chancellor's campus update for April

April 27, 2022
Kim A. Wilcox
Chancellor
April 27, 2022

Dear Campus Community, 

If I were to choose one word to describe this month’s update, I’d choose “celebrate.” As we head toward the end of the school year, events to honor students and scholars typically fill the calendar. This year, like most, we have many planned in May and June. But there are a few other items to acknowledge—an anniversary, progress, and staff—before we land at commencement.

Celebrating Sustainability
Last Friday, we celebrated Earth Day. And the week before that, I attended an event to commemorate 30 years of CE-CERT and acknowledge achievements in air quality, climate change, energy, and transportation research since the center’s founding in 1992. Over the last year, we have built on this legacy. We’ve welcomed the headquarters of the California Air Resources Board (CARB). And, we’ve begun development of OASIS (Opportunities to Advance Sustainability, Innovation, and Social Inclusion). 

Years from now, when people hear the word Riverside, we hope they think “sustainability.” Thank you to everyone who is contributing to the efforts to further our research and commitment to environmental sustainability as well as the other forms of sustainability.

Update on Campus Health, Well-being, and Safety
For several years, we have actively worked to redefine campus safety in a way that best meets the needs of the diverse UCR community. In September 2020, we formed the Campus Safety Task Force. And last March, we began implementing their recommendations. By May 2021, we had announced the formation of a newly organized division that brought together several departments including UCPD, CARE (Campus Advocacy, Resources & Education), Basic Needs, and those departments previously organized under Student Health & Wellness Services.

Since that time, the Campus Safety task force has continued their work under the leadership of Provost Watkins while the Health, Well-being, and Safety division led by Dr. Denise Woods has worked to streamline access to services and develop tangible partnerships across departments. As one example of their work, CARE and UCPD recently worked together to develop training about red flags and staying safe when using dating apps. This type of activity shows how interdivisional collaboration benefits our entire community.

The model we have adopted is groundbreaking, not only for the UC system but across higher education. In future monthly updates, we will share more examples of how the new division is changing and improving health, wellbeing, and safety at UCR, and setting a new standard for others to follow.

Thank Goodness for Staff
Every day of the year, I thank goodness for the staff at UCR who not only keep our campus wheels in motion but embrace our mission of creating and sharing knowledge. However, there is one week of the year during which UCR Staff Assembly and UCR Wellness organize a fun series of events to show appreciation. This year they even put goat yoga and free donuts on the schedule! You can find more details and the full listing from the UCR Events Calendar

Commencement Volunteering
The 68th Commencement Ceremonies at UC Riverside will take place June 3-4 and June 10-13, 2022. Ceremonies will be held in both the Student Recreation Center and on Pierce Lawn. 

To create a memorable experience for our students—many of whom are the first in their family to graduate—and their guests, we are seeking staff and faculty volunteers. Roles can include assisting with graduate check-in and line-up, regalia distribution, and greeting and directing guests, among many others.

To register or learn more, please visit: https://commencement.ucr.edu/volunteers

Some employees may be eligible to receive a day off during a regular work week for each weekend day (Friday evening through Sunday) in which they are staffing a UCR commencement ceremony, at the discretion of individual units. 

We look forward to celebrating our graduates as they take this step forward and hope you can join us.

UCR in the Spring
Finally, at the beginning of Spring Quarter, we released a video of yours truly exploring some of our newer campus spaces while “spider-sitting” a tarantula named Harry. As more students, staff, and faculty returned to our physical location, we wanted to showcase some of what UCR has to offer. What can be difficult to make visible is the spirit that each of you bring to your work. Thank you for your dedication to UCR, our students, and our research. Your efforts are one more reason to celebrate this great campus.