Dear Campus Community,
For the first time in several years, winter quarter at UC Riverside began on campus as planned. After nearly three years of adjustments, I recognize that starting the year together is a privilege that is not guaranteed.
But a pandemic isn’t the only challenge our world faces. Earlier this month heavy rains brought flooding to our state, impacting sister campuses in Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, and Merced, along with some members of our community.
Then, just as Lunar New Year celebrations were beginning, mass shootings rained grief from Monterrey Park to Half Moon Bay to Oakland. In Riverside County, two sheriff’s deputies were killed by gun violence. In Memphis, an innocent young man named Tyre Nichols was beaten to death by police.
In any year, the dark days of winter can feel heavy. But this January, there were many days when the world felt like it was coming apart, providing all the more reason to embrace the opportunities we have to be together. My topics for this month’s update recognize our strengths, celebrate opportunities to spend time together, look to the future, and include resources for those who need help.
UC Board of Regents Visit UCR
Last Friday, the University of California Board of Regents held two committee meetings at UCR. The day kicked off with a public comment period. Leaders from local government, business, and education sectors described how UCR supports access, inclusiveness, and the Inland Empire economy while also advocating for programs and support that further our mission.
During the Special Committee on Innovation Transfer and Entrepreneurship, Regents learned about the work UCR is doing to build innovation infrastructure and opportunity. At a product showcase in the afternoon, Regents met entrepreneurs, listened to pitches about new technology, and asked questions.
To cap the day, the Public Engagement and Development Committee heard from Senator Richard Roth and speakers from the School of Medicine who highlighted the important work of healthcare education for and in the Inland Empire. A spotlight on the UCR Science to Policy Program elevated the importance of connecting science with public policy.
Thank you to everyone involved in giving the Regents a flavor for our university. Regent Janet Reilly summed up the day by saying, “It has been so inspiring to hear how UC Riverside has made such a gigantic impact on your community, and on the greater Inland Empire….UC Riverside truly is the future of California.”
The 46th UCR Writers Week Festival is February 13-17, 2023. As the longest-running free literary festival in California, the annual event celebrates diverse perspectives across genres.
On Tuesday, February 14, author Percival Everett will receive one of the UCR Department of Creative Writing/Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB) Lifetime Achievement Awards. Mike Davis will also be honored posthumously.
All events are free and open to the public, but registration is required. A full calendar is available online.
Speaking of Events…
From lecture series to musical performances, UCR hosts a wide variety of education and arts programs as part of our public service mission. Looking for ways to cultivate a new interest, network with other community members, or participate in physical recreation? Be sure to check out the full calendar of opportunities or explore the list of performing arts options. Some ideas to get you started:
Feb 9: California’s Elephants: Mammoths and Mastodons, and other Megafauna, UCR Palm Desert
Feb 13: Primera Generación Dance Collective, Culver Center
How about those Highlanders?
Join me in celebrating our UCR Highlanders by attending a game or match. Upcoming possibilities include:
Feb 4: Women’s Basketball vs. Cal State Fullerton at SRC Arena
Feb 9: Men’s Basketball vs. UC Davis at SRC Arena
Resources, if needed
As I mentioned at the top of this message, we have services available to support the mental health needs of our faculty, staff, and students. The events of the last month may be especially difficult for some. We encourage anyone needing additional support to seek the services available.
UCR employees can connect with the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program for confidential counseling, referrals, and other resources.
We also provide services for students through Counseling and Psychological Services team at 951-827-5331.
Thank you for all of the things you do to support our community, our mission, and one another.