Chancellor's Update -- November 2023

November 27, 2023
Kim A. Wilcox
November 27, 2023

Dear Colleagues,

In the first week of November, we celebrated the groundbreaking of a collaborative housing project between UC Riverside and Riverside Community College District, hosted the U.S. Department of Energy for the first ever DOE to the People event, and held a Homecoming weekend for alumni. These events symbolize our work to support Highlander success—before, during, and after someone has become a UCR student—as well as our commitment to the local region, economic development, and research in sustainable energy.

As a public university, about a quarter of our funding comes from the State of California. But the rest of our budget comes from other sources, including philanthropy. The generous gifts of donors are used to help UCR provide scholarships, create endowed professorships, support student health and well-being, develop needed facilities, pursue discovery, and much more.

Tomorrow, November 28, from midnight to 11:59 pm PST, UCR will be participating in the global event known as Giving Tuesday. There are three easy ways to get involved this year.

First, thank you for considering a gift to UCR. 

Next, you can register to be a UCR champion. Champions create their own personal share link, set their own personal fundraising goals, and track their success on a dedicated personal page while spreading the word on social media and with their personal networks about giving to UCR. Everyone who signs up to become a Champion will be automatically entered to win two Breeze Airways tickets from San Bernardino International Airport to San Francisco. The two fundraisers who bring in the most donors will win AirPods.

Finally, you can encourage your friends, family, and colleagues to make a gift or become a Champion!

A decade of health resources and advocacy

This year marks two unique but similar 10-year anniversaries that also show how UCR is not only dedicated to its primary mission of creating and sharing knowledge but also providing important resources for the Inland Empire. 

In 2013, the UCR School of Medicine (SOM) officially opened its doors, becoming the first public M.D.-granting medical school to open in California in over 40 years.

Since graduating its first class in 2017, 386 graduates have earned their medical degrees, with over 40% staying in the region to complete their residency training. 

While the school was founded in 2013, it was built upon a foundation of nearly 40 years of medical education and biomedical sciences research through the UCR/UCLA Thomas Haider Program in Biomedical Sciences. Today, biomedical sciences remain an integral part of the school’s mission. With the UCR Health enterprise functioning as the clinical branch serving over 46,000 patients annually, the SOM proudly cares for individuals and families facing some of the region’s most pressing health problems.

For 10 years, the UCR School of Public Policy (SPP) has also been creating needed resources for our region. Though SPP wasn’t fully established as a school until launching its Master of Public Policy program and enrolling students in 2015, the founding dean was hired ten years ago. 

Researchers at SPP study how policy impacts our lives and how changing policies might improve our lives and region. As a professional school, graduates are prepared to work in government, politics, and public affairs. Some go on to work in areas related to healthcare, an inherent connection with SOM. 

We celebrate both schools and their contributions to our campus and region as well as all those who were a part of their past and present progress.

Riverside’s nationally acclaimed light show

The Riverside Festival of Lights is again illuminating the night and returns with an old favorite, the ice skating rink. Please join the Highlander community on Friday, December 8 for UCR Night at the Festival of Lights. At the UCR “Bold Hearts. Brilliant Minds” booth (near UCR ARTS), you can get your photo with Scotty. Additionally, if you wear your blue and gold UCR gear, you can participate in an opportunity drawing. We hope to see you there.

The only one

This year as UCR became a member of the AAU, we joined a prestigious group of institutions. But even within that membership, UCR is unique in its commitment to research excellence, access, and student success. In fact, UCR is the only university in the U.S. to be in the AAU, both HSI and AANAPISI, a recipient of the Seal of Excelencia and Fulbright HSI leader, and count two Nobel Laureates among our faculty. You can be proud that your university is the only one and we hope you enjoy this video that highlights these accomplishments.

Thank you for all your efforts to make UCR an incredible place with a continuing impact on our region.