Chancellor's Update -- December 2023

December 15, 2023
Kim A. Wilcox
December 15, 2023

Dear Colleagues,


In December, I bump into a list every time I turn around. Critics, experts, and celebrities weigh in on the best books, songs, movies, or TV of 2023. The Los Angeles Times has a comprehensive curation of those as well as a list of best albums and museum exhibits. Other lists offer just one “best of” in a large category of options, like TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year. 


Some lists dive into subgenres like the Washington Post’s list of best classical music of 2023. Rolling Stone has a list of best memes. National Geographic Magazine offers best photos. Google provides a recap of what the world was searching. When I used Google to search “best of 2023,” I learned there are also lists for best board games, best cookbooks, and best places to travel.


All this annual recapping has me wondering what I might include if I were to create the 2023 Best of UC Riverside list. 


For starters, the invitation to join AAU was a major highlight. Our induction into the top echelon of research universities was the result of years-long efforts to develop a comprehensive university profile that includes exceptional book and publication count, research, and student success within one of the most diverse campuses in the country.


Another standout moment that went on for many days was our first-ever commencement at Toyota Arena where we hosted 54,000 guests along with 6,000 graduates. The new venue gave our students, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college, a chance to celebrate their important achievement with more friends and family than in previous years.


In research, the Luna UCR avocado was big news--so big that it made it onto TIME’s Best Inventions of 2023. 


But as I think of what matters for 2023, I know that the one thing that stands out above all else is…you. As individuals and as a community, you bring your bold hearts and brilliant minds to UCR to find new discoveries and share them with the world. You educate students and our community. You maintain a beautiful campus for residents and visitors. On my list, you are the tops.


As 2024 begins and we start the year as an AAU university, I cannot wait to see how you will write the next chapter for UCR. Wishing you peace, joy, and relaxation during the break as we prepare for what is sure to be an amazing new year.