Dear Colleagues,

Welcome back! I hope you all had a wonderful break and enjoyed time with friends and family. Time away from our work can be remarkably restorative. 

The start of the new year provides an ideal time to jump back into things with a fresh perspective. With that in mind, here are a few updates:

UCR 2020 Progress Report Feedback
In 2010, UC Riverside created “UCR 2020”, a strategic plan for the following decade. As that decade nears an end, we have created a progress report to summarize related data and evidence. The draft progress report is available here: UCR 2020: The Path to Preeminence, Strategic Plan Progress Report. The draft incorporates feedback received-to-date but we welcome additional feedback if you find anything in need of further updates, additions, or corrections. Please email your feedback to

As for our ongoing strategic planning process, our next steering committee meeting will be on January 14th and the campus will receive an update shortly thereafter.

Bullying and Abusive Conduct Guidance
Each year, faculty and staff are reminded of our Principles of Community by the Chancellor. These principles outline our collective responsibility to support and show consideration for each other. Yet, on our campus, as in every other workplace, there are occasional lapses in interpersonal behavior that may detract from the positive working environment we strive to maintain. In the extreme, this behavior could be considered bullying or abusive conduct. As colleagues, it is our duty to model behaviors that encourage civil discourse and interaction. From time to time, it may also be our duty to help a coworker realize when they’ve had the “occasional lapse”.  However, when the behavior becomes extreme, bullying, or abusive conduct, every employee should know the many ways in which they can report the behavior to keep themselves and others safe and in a positive working environment. For more, please review
Individuals who report bullying or abusive behavior are protected from retaliation.

Non-Academic Program Reviews
As I mentioned in my fall update, this year my office is conducting external reviews of multiple non-academic (non-degree granting) programs/units. The external review team for the University Library visited on December 5-6 and we are awaiting their report. On January 16-17, we will host the external team for the review of Summer Sessions. And in late May, we will host a team to review Undergraduate Academic Advising. Thanks to everyone who participated in the Library review, and please lookout for opportunities to participate in the two upcoming reviews.

Student Engagement on Campus
Winter brings many new opportunities for students to become engaged on campus in research, internships, teaching, and service in the community. Keeping abreast of our many student engagement and enrichment opportunities can help us to encourage students’ participation whenever possible. Whether students are interested in applying for a prestigious scholarship, meeting with an advisor to discuss healthcare professions, pursuing an internship in D.C. or Sacramento, presenting their original research at the Undergraduate Research Symposium, or creating, designing and teaching their own R’Course, the Office of Student Engagement can help them get started this winter.

The Office of Student Engagement is also looking for ways to engage faculty and staff who are First Gen and invite you to join their First-Gen Community Listserv to stay updated. Additionally, they are rolling out the new UCR Community Service Portal this winter as a way to engage students with the local community. If your office has student volunteers, hosts events that need student volunteers, or if you are a faculty member interested in teaching a Service-Learning course, the Office of Student Engagement can help.

Best wishes to everyone for the new year, 


Thomas M Smith, Ph.D.
Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Professor of Education
4148 Hinderaker Hall
University of California, Riverside