Dear Colleagues,

I hope you all enjoyed a restful long weekend. Winter Quarter is in full swing and we have a lot ahead of us, so let’s jump in:

Strategic Planning: Forums & Update
We had our fourth Strategic Planning Steering Committee meeting this past Thursday, February 13th. Here is a brief summary of the meeting:

  • Approval of Minutes: The January 14th minutes were approved and are posted here.
  • Working Group Presentations: For this meeting, each working group was tasked to give their regular updates and present a visioning statement to the group for discussion. We heard visioning at different altitudes but rich discussion helped align the working groups’ efforts and deepen cross-cutting ideas and common themes.

Strategic Planning Community Forums: Attending the upcoming Strategic Planning Community Forums is a great way to get involved and have your voice heard in the next UCR Strategic Plan. Here is more information on the upcoming events: 

  • Research and Scholarly Distinction Community Forum: February 27th, 1:30 -3:30 pm  RSVP HERE
  • Unparalleled Student Experience Community Forum: April 1st (Time TBD)
  • Contributions to Public Good Community Forum: April 2nd (Time TBD)

Invitations for Strategic Planning Community Forums will be sent to campus via Please contact that account with any questions about these events.

As a reminder, the UCR 2020: The Path to Preeminence, Strategic Plan Progress Report is available online and we are still welcoming additional feedback. If you find anything in need of further updates, additions, or corrections. Please email your feedback to Thank you to those who have already submitted feedback.

Additional Seats for AY 2020-21
As our campus grows, we work to accommodate the need for additional classroom seating. For Fall 2020-21, we anticipate an additional 700+ seats through University Extension and University Housing. University Extension will supply approximately 400 seats through the University Village classrooms. University Housing offers classroom space in the Pentland and Dundee Glasgow dorms. Pentland has two large classrooms providing up to 200 seats. Dundee Glasgow provides 4 rooms totaling 150 seats. For comparison, the new Student Success Center (expected to open 2021) will provide 1100 additional seats; these additional 700+ seats are significant and the impact will be noticeable.

UCR Qualifies as a ‘Military Friendly School’ and Earns a No. 1 Ranking
UCR has earned the #1 ranking on VIQTORY’s Top 10 list of ‘Military Friendly Schools’ and was the only university on the West Coast to make the Top 10 list. This estimable designation is a direct result of the incredible efforts of our Veterans Resource Center. Three years ago, our Veterans Resource Center had less than 100 student-veterans identified and today it serves more than 330 student-veterans. We thank the Veterans Resource Center and Student Affairs staff for their commitment to our student-veterans and we would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank our student-veterans for their service. Read more on this story in the Inside UCR Article: UCR receives 'Military Friendly Schools' designation and earns No. 1 ranking.

“Things Change” Art Project
You may have already noticed UCR’s first major outdoor art sculpture between the Arts and CHASS buildings. The Roy McMakin art installation by the Arts Walk corridor features bright yellow kinetic steel signs that read “Things Change” or “Change Things” depending on perspective. With a fun variety of concrete seats and benches and blossoming green and yellow plants, this will be a colorful community gathering space. Read more about the project in the Inside UCR Article: Art Sculpture Nearing Completion.

CIO Search Update
The search for the Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Information Officer is well on its way. We are building up a strong pool of applicants and evaluations will begin later this month. The recruitment will remain open until filled, but candidate materials should have been received by yesterday, February 18th, 2020, to ensure full consideration via the UCR jobs board. Information on the position, search committee, and contact information for questions regarding this search are available on the  AVC/CIO Search Page.

Provost Town Hall March 11th
Finally, I hope you’ll join me at the Winter Quarter Provost Town Hall meeting on March 11th from 12:00 -1:00 pm in HUB 302. Town Hall meetings are a valuable opportunity to address significant projects and progress around campus and this next event will focus on Strategic Planning.



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