Riverside, Ca –

Dear Colleagues,

This time of year, our thoughts turn to the things for which we’re thankful. I am so grateful for the incredible support you’ve shown with the announcement that I will continue serving our campus as provost. This is an exciting time for UCR and we’re on a great trajectory. We have wonderful faculty and staff and amazing students, 23,278 as of Fall 2017, a new record for our campus. Our improved graduation rates have received national attention. And we have several exciting building projects in process or on the horizon – MRB1, the North District and the Student Success Center.

We also face some real challenges that I’m looking forward to working on with you. UCR is no longer a small campus, but many of our ways of doing things haven’t kept pace with our growing size and needs. Over the past several months, people have come to me about a wide array of issues that impact their progress in research and teaching. It seems that our processes are more risk-averse and difficult to navigate than necessary and often more cumbersome than those at our sister UC campuses.

We’re working on this issue ourselves by striving to make the provost’s office more user-friendly with timely, transparent communications, clear forms for our various initiatives, and lots of opportunities for feedback. I encourage you to do the same in your own units and to examine each process from the perspective of someone going through it for the first time or whose request does not fit squarely within the existing process. If we work together, we can better facilitate our research and teaching missions and become a campus where the answer to almost every request is “yes” or “I’ll find a way!”

WASC Town Hall


On Tuesday, November 14th from 12:00-1:30 in HUB 302, please join the Reaccreditation Workgroup for a campus-wide meeting to give input on UCR’s accreditation self-study report. The accreditation process is an opportunity to take stock of where our campus is and where we want to go. This meeting will focus on smaller round-table conversations around four key topics: (1) educational quality, (2) student success, (3) assessment and innovation, and (4) budget and planning. You can find a draft of the self-study here: http://wasc.ucr.edu/timeline_reaccre.html


Even if you don’t have time to read the document, your perspectives about our strengths and weakness in these areas are still welcomed at the campus wide meeting. Please RSVP here: https://ucriverside.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_4IvETLLqcTrMGvr?amp%3BQ_JFE=0


UCR Teaming Mini-Grant Program


I’m pleased to announce a call for proposals for a new “Teaming” Mini-Grant program. These grants are designed to support activities that will promote new faculty research collaborations and team development. Some of the toughest challenges we face require multi-disciplinary solutions and these grants are intended to help our faculty members begin to build the teams that will address those complex problems. Grants of $3000 are available. Applications are due by December 8, 2017 and require a UCR Academic Senate member to serve as the PI. Please see our Ongoing Projects Page for a full call for proposals: http://provost.ucr.edu/searches/private/projects.html


Online Learning


On Monday, November 20th from 10:00-11:30 AM in the Genomics Auditorium, Dr. Tom Fikes, principal researcher for EdPLus (ASU Online) at Arizona State University, will give a talk entitled “Efficacy, Equity and Continuous Improvement Cycles in Digital Teaching and Learning.” If you’re interested in trying out online or hybrid teaching, or if you remain skeptical of these instructional modalities, this discussion is a great opportunity to learn more about the effectiveness of online learning.


If you’re ready to develop an online class, the next round of ILTI (Innovative Learning Technology Initiative) grant review will happen on December 31, 2017. UCR has been very successful in competing for these grants, and I encourage you to take a look at the request for proposals: http://www.ucop.edu/innovative-learning-technology-initiative/proposals/index.html

UCR’s Instructional Design team has been essential to our success with ILTI, so if you are considering developing a proposal, don’t hesitate to contact them at engage@ucr.edu early in the development of your project.


Healthy Campus Initiative


The Healthy Campus Initiative (HCI) competition for all faculty members runs from November 1, 2017 through April 30, 2018 with points awarded to units based on participation in the initiative. There are $500 awards for the units with the greatest participation and I’ll be preparing dinner (!) for the top five participants. Please see the HCI Faculty Competition page for details: http://wellness.ucr.edu/hci_faculty_competition.html