Chancellor’s Update—March 2023

March 27, 2023
Kim A. Wilcox
March 27, 2023

Dear Campus Community, 

This year, March has served up two opposing realities. On one hand, we’ve had more rain (and even snow) than normal. On the other hand, the change in daylight had become more pronounced, even before Daylight Savings Time took effect. 

A period of transformation with brighter days ahead is underway. That sounds like a good metaphor for the work we do at UC Riverside. 


One way we can transform the future together is by participating in UC Riverside’s first standalone Give Day. This year’s event leverages the Highlander history by aligning with National Tartan Day. Give Day will also commemorate the university’s founding year, 1954, by starting at 12 a.m. PST on April  6, 2023 and running for 1 day, 9 hours, and 54 minutes —ending at 9:54 a.m. PST on Friday, April 7.

Alumni, students, parents, faculty, staff, and friends are invited to participate in this special day in support of UCR students, research, and programs. 

I recorded a video message highlighting the spirit of giving that I see present every day on campus. Please join me in supporting Give Day with a gift or by spreading the word. #UCRGiveDay

For more information and ways to give, visit


Each month, honors and awards by UCR faculty and staff show how we are working to transform the world with research and arts innovation. Here are a few highlights: 

Charles M. Cai, associate research professor, and Arun Raju, CE-CERT associate director, received a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy for a project that turns agricultural and forestry biomass waste into biofuel for marine vessels and aircraft.  

Rickerby M. Hinds’ latest play, Blackbox, has been selected for the 2024-25 season at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C

Giulia Palermo, a UCR bioengineering professor, received a 2023 Sloan Research Fellowship to advance her work in biophysical studies of gene editing tools.

The above are but a few of the many awards and honors this year that inspire great pride in the work taking place at UCR.


Thank you to everyone who came out to support the Men’s Basketball Team earlier this month during their historic season. Congratulations to Coach Mike Magpayo for winning the Big West Coach of the Year. Highlanders Lachlan Olbrich, Jamal Hartwell, Zyon Pullin, and Flynn Cameron also received Big West honors

Thanks and congratulations also go to Athletics Director Wes Malette, who was named to Silver Waves Media’s list of 100 Most Impactful People in Men’s College Basketball.

There are plenty of Highlander student athletes still competing on the field, court, and course. Men’s and Women’s Track & Field, Golf, and Tennis are still in play as well as Men’s Baseball and Women’s Softball. Please join me in cheering on the Highlanders at an upcoming event


In recent years, UCR has received many acknowledgments related to student success. The latest comes from The Chronicle of Higher Education report, “Recruiting and Retaining Students in a Challenging Market.” UC Riverside is the number 1 leader for retention of freshmen at institutions where Pell Grant recipients comprise 50% or more of the undergraduate population.


The UCR Staff Development Conference is March 28 & 29! Held virtually, the event has a terrific lineup of training sessions along three tracks—Driving Your Career Forward, Creating and Nurturing a Culture of Respect, and Self Care/Mental Wellness. To learn more or register, go here.


Recent storms created a lot of cleanup needs and I want to acknowledge the work of UCR Facilities Services for the work they do to make our grounds and buildings look good. Spring is a great time for a walk around campus, in part, because of the work this team does. Thank you, Facilities Services!

And to everyone, thank you for your contribution to UCR and the strides we are making everyday toward a brighter future.