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News and Announcements from Provost and Executive Vice-Chancellor Elizabeth Watkins

Provost's spring campus update
Dear Campus Community, 
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UC Riverside students. (UCR/Stan Lim)
Grant funds new Native Community Education Promise Program
UC Riverside’s Division of Undergraduate Education is launching a new initiative to support Indigenous student success with the support of a $10,000 grant from the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, or APLU, and Cornell University. The announcement was made Monday, Feb. 12. 
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Interim guidance in addressing discrimination and offering support
Dear Campus Community, 
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Provost's winter campus update
Dear Campus Community, I write this quarter with an update on investments being made to support our research mission at UCR. The campus will make two significant investments in 2024: 1) recurring central funding for a new campus interdisciplinary research center and 2) the purchase of a web-based platform that displays publicly available information about faculty in a searchable database.
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Underground Scholars students gather under a tent at an outdoor tabling event.
UCR’s prison-to-university pipeline program gets $300K grant from California Wellness Foundation
The Underground Scholars Program at the University of California, Riverside has been awarded a $300,000 grant from the California Wellness Foundation, or Cal Wellness, to help young people involved with the juvenile justice system enroll and succeed in higher education.
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UCR Budget Update for Fiscal Year 2023-24
Dear UCR Colleagues,
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Provost's fall campus update
Dear Campus Community,
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Partnership between UCR and City of Hope aims to increase diversity in cancer research
$13.7M grant from National Cancer Institute will support several projects on breast and pancreatic cancers
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PhD/MFA student funding at UCR for 2023-24 and 2024-25
Dear Colleagues: Graduate education is at the core of our mission as an AAU member university. It is our express ambition, as affirmed in the UCR 2030 strategic plan, to grow our doctoral programs. This growth includes not only a larger number of students enrolled at UCR, but also improved outcomes for those students in terms of graduation rates, time to degree, and career placements.
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Resources at UCR amid violence in Israel and Palestine
Dear Campus Community, We were heartbroken to watch as violence broke out in Israel and Palestine this past weekend.
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Yucaipa wildfire
Native nations and UC scientists join together in climate fight
Indigenous land-management strategies have been largely missing from modern attempts to combat the effects of worsening climate change in California. A new $7 million grant aims to change that.
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Campus operations continuing as normal
Dear Campus Community, I am writing to confirm that classes will continue as scheduled tomorrow, Monday, August 21. However, we encourage instructors to practice maximum flexibility and utilize remote options if needed, and to communicate those options to their students.  Similarly, though campus operations will continue tomorrow, we encourage supervisors to exercise maximum flexibility in allowing staff to work remotely.
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CNAS dean stepping down
Dear Campus Community,    Kathryn Uhrich, the longest serving Dean of the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (CNAS) in 40 years, is stepping down effective September 1, 2023.    Dean Uhrich was appointed in January 2016.  For the past seven and a half years, she has remained steadfastly committed to the pursuit of equity and excellence in research, science education, outreach, and public service.   
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Sick child
Salton Sea environment detrimental to respiratory health of local children
UC Riverside-led study focuses on caregivers’ take on how the sea affects their children’s health
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Provost's spring campus update
Dear Campus Community, I am pleased to announce the official launch of our campus strategic plan, UCR 2030. The website is now live! I encourage you to explore the site, which includes links to the strategic plans of our academic and administrative units as well. Progress on initiatives and action items will be updated annually in the spring.
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a drone image of campus.
New Vice Provost & Dean of Graduate Studies named
Lidia Kos has been named UC Riverside’s next vice provost & dean of graduate studies, or VPDGS, effective July 15, 2023.
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Kalina Michalska and community members
Researcher-community partnership uses collaborative process to yield novel insights
Until recently, psychologist Kalina Michalska had never used community-based participatory research, or CBPR, in her work, but now she can’t imagine not using it. CBPR, which dates to the early 1930s, is an intensive research approach that involves partnerships between researchers and community members throughout the research process, giving communities a voice in how the research proceeds and allowing them to make use of the findings more effectually.
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UAW Contracts Updates
Dear Colleagues, As I noted in my winter campus update, the new union contracts with our academic researchers, postdoctoral scholars, graduate student researchers, and teaching assistants provide important salary increases and expanded benefits to these essential members of our academic workforce.
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Edward T. Chang, professor of ethnic studies and founding director of the Young Oak Kim Center for Korean American Studies at UC Riverside. He stands in front of the statue of Korean independence activists, Dosan Ahn Chang Ho in downtown Riverside on May 26, 2021. (UCR/Stan Lim)
Korean American history to become a traveling exhibition
UCR professor receives $850,000 Mellon Foundation grant to share history of American’s first Koreatown.
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Provost’s winter campus update
Dear Campus Community, We start this new year with signed union contracts with our academic researchers, postdoctoral scholars, graduate student researchers, and teaching assistants. The contracts provide important salary increases and expanded benefits to these essential members of our academic workforce, and we all look forward to working together in support of our mission here at UCR.
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Aerial view of dust storm overrunning the Imperial Valley, California. Salton Sea in upper left.
Salton Sea dust triggers lung inflammation
UC Riverside study has health implications for people living around California’s largest lake
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UCR budget update for fiscal year 2022-23
Dear UCR Colleagues, We are writing to give you an update on the final outcome of the fiscal year 2022-23 UC Riverside operating budget. As we noted in last year’s letter, we once again have a lot of information to share, which makes this email a lengthy read.   
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“Compassionate clause” concluding at the end of this quarter
Dear Colleagues: This fall the UC Riverside campus has successfully returned to our most expansive in-person operations since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.   With the wide availability of vaccines and boosters to Californians of all ages, high vaccination rates among employees and students, more COVID-19 treatment options, and continued availability of testing on campus, UCR will continue to pivot from an emergency response mode to more standard campus operations. 
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Provost's Fall Campus Update
Dear Campus Community, Each September, campus leadership kicks off the academic year with a day-long on-site retreat. The group consists of the chancellor’s cabinet and the provost’s cabinet, plus leaders from the Academic Senate and Staff Assembly.   
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Compassionate clause to continue fall quarter
Dear Colleagues:  As we look forward to the start of the fall quarter, we would like to confirm that the compassionate clause will remain in effect. 
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New School of Education dean appointed
Dear campus community, I am excited to announce the appointment of Dr. Joi Spencer as Dean of the School of Education. Her first day will be January 1, 2023.
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New dean of the UCR School of Public Policy named
Dear campus community, I am excited to announce the appointment of Dr. Mark Long as Dean of the School of Public Policy. His first day will be January 1, 2023.
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Spring update on FY22 Budget
Dear UCR Colleagues, While we await news on the final State budget and our allocation from the UC Office of the President for 2022-23, I thought I’d write to inform you about a number of financial decisions recommended by the Campus Finance Committee (CFC) and approved by the Chancellor and me since I last wrote in November about UCR’s 2021-22 operating budget.
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Reinstating indoor masking for two weeks
Dear Campus Community,  In consultation with UC Riverside’s Public Health Advisory Committee, campus leadership, the Academic Senate, and other UC campuses, we have elected to temporarily reinstate UC Riverside’s indoor mask mandate, starting Monday, May 30. From May 30 through June 13, face coverings will be required in indoor spaces on campus and in university owned or operated venues.  
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Provost’s Spring Campus Update
Dear Campus Community, The topic of this spring campus update is strategic planning. 
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UCR 2022-23 faculty salary program
Dear Faculty, I am writing to provide further detail about the UCR 2022-23 faculty salary program. It will include an increase to scale salaries, increases for both off-scale and above-scale salary components, the increases associated with merit and promotion advances, and a special salary equity program that is the first in quite some time at UCR. This program, approved by the UC President, is contingent upon the 5% allocation to the University of California currently in the State budget.
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Student wearing mask holds Tested! sticker.
Students receive Bear Bucks for COVID-19 test results
An incentive program aims to increase testing compliance and improve campus health at UC Riverside.
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Provost Watkins
The new provost is ready to get started
Elizabeth Watkins is UC Riverside's new provost and executive vice chancellor.
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Elizabeth Watkins to be appointed UCR provost and EVC
UC Riverside Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox announced the appointment of Elizabeth Watkins as provost and executive vice chancellor effective May 1, 2021, pending approval by University of California President Michael Drake. Watkins has extensive experience as a University of California administrator, faculty member, and leader in the Academic Senate.
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Provost Past Letters

October 17, 2023:  PhD/MFA Student Funding for 2023-24 & 2024-25

Note:  This letter was updated on October 30 to clarify ambiguities about funding levels for 2024-25.

April 6, 2022: Emily Engelschall AVCES 

March 28, 2022: Shaun Bowler Grad Division 

March 17, 2022: MarkoPrincevac_VPIA.pdf

March 9, 2022: DeanSOE_ Search.pdf

March 2, 2022: KenBaerenklau_IVP_EducationDean.pdf

February 15, 2022: DeborahDeas_DeanSOM.pdf

January 28, 2022: CompassionateClause.pdf

January 27, 2022: Matthew Gunkel_AVCCIO.pdf

January 25, 2022: JenniferBrown EducationDean.pdf

January 24,  2022: Remote to In Person.pdf

January 24,  2022: InPersonReturn.pdf

January 14,  2022:  WinterCampusUpdate.pdf

November 22, 2021: AnilDeolalikar_PublicPolicy.pdf

November 15, 2021:  Operating Budget

Provost Liz Watkins Headshot on Campus

OFFICE HOURS

Provost Elizabeth Watkins holds weekly office hours to get to know and hear from faculty, staff, and students at UCR. Instead of gathering in a large forum, office hours are opportunities to chat one-on-one or in small groups. Campus members can bring any questions or concerns to the meeting or use the meeting time to share perspectives and ideas. 

The office hours are offered by campus affiliation on a rotating basis, one week for faculty, the next for staff, the following for students, and so on. You can sign up for a 15-minute time slot below. 

 

FACULTY

Friday, April 12th, 10:00 - 11:00 am

Tuesday, May 7th, 9:00 - 10:00 am

Friday, June 14th, 10:00 - 11:00 am

 

STAFF

Friday, April 19th, 10:00 - 11:00 am

Wednesday, May 15th, 10:00 - 11:00 am

Friday, June 28th, 9:00 - 10:00 am

 

STUDENTS

Friday, April 26th, 1:00 - 2:00 pm

Thursday, May 23rd, 9:00 - 10:00 am

Friday, June 7th, 9:00 - 10:00 am