Provost Update - July 2017 (or how we’re spending our summer vacation)

 

Dear Colleagues,
 

I hope that your summer is going well.  While many faculty members spend the summer deeply focused on their research, others are helping our students by teaching in summer session. For me, the slightly slower pace that summer brings offers a chance to do some bigger picture thinking, read, connect with friends and family, and recharge a bit after the school year. We traveled to Memphis over the July 4th holiday to visit our daughters and spend time with our grandson --- the energy of a two-year old boy is amazing to behold!

The Provost office is busy over the summer preparing for the next academic year and beyond. To help you stay connected, we have developed an “Ongoing Projects” page on the Provost website (accessible on the UCR network or through web VPN) where you can view materials related to projects we’re leading and supporting across the campus. Here you’ll find campus-wide survey results and periodic updates on long-term projects. The page will be constantly evolving with new information and I hope you’ll check back often and provide regular feedback as we work together to advance UCR.
 

2:1 Freshmen to Transfer Ratio Goal

UCR is committed to reaching our 2:1 Freshmen to Transfer goals to help make sure that a UC education remains accessible to Californians. A number of efforts are underway across campus to help us meet this goal, but we need your help. Advice from professors and staff members has a huge impact on where students choose to transfer, and we’d like to get the word out to our many alumni working in community colleges about the opportunities for transfer students here at UCR. If you have any former students who are currently teaching or employed at a community college, please share their contact information with us using this quick survey.
 

African American Student Success in the LA Times

UCR’s ongoing efforts to support African American students and the graduation rates our students have achieved were recently the subject of an LA Times article. The article highlighted UCR’s Black Graduation ceremony, held annually since 1999, which celebrates black students and their families and includes performances by a variety of black student groups. African Student Programs organizes Black Graduation and provides a host of support services and community building activities which are a fundamental part of black student success at UCR. There’s been so much to celebrate this year as UCR has been recognized nationally as a leader in graduation rates, with 73% of black UCR students graduating in 6 years, compared to 40.9% nationally. The article also highlights UCR’s commitment to providing financial aid for students and our emphasis on diversity in faculty hiring.
 

Classroom Renovations

This summer, 45 classrooms and class labs located in four buildings (Sproul, Watkins, Olmstead and Life Sciences) are undergoing renovations. This is the first phase of a campus-wide initiative to upgrade existing teaching spaces while addressing modifications for class spaces to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The project includes both minor and major renovations to classrooms and class labs to create a better learning environment for students and establish a variety of multifunctional spaces for engaged teaching and learning. These renovations include selective demolition of existing case work; integrating new finishes, painting, flooring and ceilings, upgrading lighting; multimedia upgrades; and the installation of new furniture. We appreciate your patience over the summer during construction.
 

Student Success Center

I’m pleased to report that Capital Asset Strategies completed the draft project proposal for the Student Success Center and submitted it to UCOP in early July. The proposal was built on the advice and feedback we received from the campus both at the April 2017 Visioning Workshop and in the subsequent campus survey. We have proposed a building that will provide capacity for large and mid-size lectures (the most needed classroom size based on campus feedback and data from the Registrar), smaller flexible classrooms that more easily adapt to a range of teaching styles, colocation of some advising functions, and multi-use student affairs space. Our draft proposal is currently under preliminary review with UCOP and we are expecting feedback shortly. Once finalized, the proposal will be formally submitted to UCOP later this summer. While the project proposal is relatively general, the next phase of planning (pending approval from the Regents and the State) will be much more detailed and we’re looking forward to your help and input as we build innovative classrooms to serve UCR students for many years to come.

 

Course Scheduling Work Group

This spring, the Provost’s office convened a work group on Course Scheduling chaired by Associate Provost Ken Baerenklau to evaluate our current course scheduling policy and the 2016-17 addition of limitations to “prime” hours course requests. The group will work throughout the summer and fall and has already completed two campus-wide surveys. Almost 400 faculty members and more than 2400 students participated in the surveys gauging campus needs around course scheduling. For summaries of those surveys, please visit the Ongoing Projects page on the Provost website. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us and please keep an eye out for more opportunities for feedback on other projects.
 

ILTI/Online Learning

As we think creatively about instruction and providing a robust range of course offerings to meet the needs of our students, I encourage you to consider applying for the next round of Innovative Learning Technology Initiative (ILTI) funding. ILTI 6 has just been announced and all UC ladder-rank faculty, LSOEs and LPSOEs are eligible to submit proposals for developing online courses. The maximum award amount is $110K for online quarter courses and there are three deadlines: 9/30, 12/31 and 4/2. You can find the short call for applications here and the full call on the UCOP website.  Funding priorities for ILTI 6 include:
 

  • Transforming a face-to-face course to a fully online version
  • Developing a new online course
  • Revising an existing online course

More limited funding will be available for hybrid courses.
 

UCR was very effective in competing for funding through ILTI 5 receiving funding for online or hybrid courses including Physics for Life Sciences (PHYS 002ABC), Organic Chemistry (CHEM 008ABC), Introductory Biochemistry (BCH 100), Minerals and Human Health (GEO 007), Introduction to Discrete Structures (MATH/CS 011), Calculus for Life Sciences I & II (MATH 007AB), and Pricing Strategy and Management (BUS 116).  Six more UCR proposals submitted under ILTI 5 are currently in review.
 

In addition, UCR received a grant from ILTI 5 to fund our Instructional Design team as they further develop their faculty support model to serve the rapidly growing interest in online, hybrid, and technology enhanced teaching. This grant will also fund classroom studio technology for two general assignment classrooms that will be capable of capturing digital content and server hardware to deliver reliable streaming content. The assistance of the Instructional Design team have been critical to UCR’s success with ILTI and if you are considering developing a proposal, I encourage you to contact them at engage@ucr.edu early in the development of your project.

 

Sincerely,

 

Cindy Larive

Interim Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor

University of California, Riverside

4148 Hinderaker Hall

900 University Ave., Riverside, CA  92521

(: 951.827.1129 | 7: 951.827.4364| *: provost@ucr.edu