Chancellor's Update -- May 2024

May 28, 2024
Kim A. Wilcox
May 28, 2024

Dear Colleagues, 

Later this week, students in the UC Riverside School of Medicine graduating with their medical degrees will take the Hippocratic Oath, a common set of ethical principles intended to guide their actions and decisions in caring for patients and their communities. One of the commitments each graduating MD will make is to “be a strong advocate for patients in need and strive for justice in the care of the sick and underserved.”

When the School of Medicine was proposed 18 years ago, a conscious decision was made to develop a community-based school which would create a pipeline of physicians for the region. The School of Medicine has been a great success, including the establishment of five new degree programs.

But in the time since the school was first approved, the Inland Empire population has continued to grow at a rapid pace. In California, each primary care physician supports an average of 1,230 patients. But in San Bernardino, the average patient number rises to 1,700. And in Riverside County, it’s worse. Each primary care doctor supports 2,160 patients on average. The need for clinical care continues to be great.

While our research and educational programs are thriving, it is clear that in order to meet our healthcare goals for the region we must redouble our commitment to clinical engagement.  I look forward to working with partners on campus and off campus to help make that happen.  

Commencement 2024

Each year at commencement, we get a chance to observe how meaningful our work is not only in the lives of our students but also for their friends and families. For many attendees, this may be the first time they’ve been to this kind of ceremony. Last year, more than 60% of the graduates receiving a bachelor’s degree were among the first of their generation to attend college. Not surprisingly, parents, siblings, partners, and others arrive at ceremonies proud to watch their graduates achieve a significant milestone. 

After last year’s successful events at Toyota Arena, we will again host ceremonies there for those receiving their bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or teaching credentials. Events will occur Monday, June 17 and Tuesday, June 18, organized according to school or college.

Similar to last year, two ceremonies will be held on campus at the Student Recreation Center North main gymnasium. The School of Medicine Hippocratic Oath Ceremony takes place Friday, May 31 at 3:00 p.m. The Graduate Division Hooding Ceremony for all Ph.D. and M.F.A. degree candidates follows on Saturday, June 1 at 9:00 a.m. 

For more information, including exact dates and times of ceremonies, please visit the Commencement website

2024-25 Budget

Earlier this month, the Governor’s Office issued the May Revision budget. With a portion of the 2024-25 deficit addressed by the early action budget, the May Revision is solving for a $27.6 billion budget gap. Potential impacts to the University of California and UCR were addressed in a March message to employees. This budget will pose a challenge for us, but I’m confident that we will find a way to manage that challenge and be all the stronger for it.  

Thank you for the work you do to support our education mission and celebrate our graduates. I am grateful for your efforts in the final stretch of the academic year.