UC Riverside Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox Announces Plans to Add 300 New Faculty Members, Accelerate Campus Growth

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Receiving the Chancellor Medal from UC President Janet Napolitano at his Investiture Ceremony, Wilcox Calls for Increased Globalization, A Review of Campus Planning for Future Growth, and Creation of New Facilities

By Kris Lovekin on April 24, 2014

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Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox

Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox

Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox at a reception near the bell tower

Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox at a reception near the bell tower

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Praising the enduring value to society of the public research university, Kim A. Wilcox, chancellor of UC Riverside, today announced his intention to expand UCR’s faculty by 300 ladder-rank scholars, provide for the addition of new facilities, and take new measures to achieve increased globalization.

Wilcox’s remarks came at his formal Investiture ceremony on the UCR campus, at which he received the Chancellor Medal from University of California President Janet Napolitano.

“Public universities have literally transformed America,” said Wilcox.  “In many ways, they were a key part of the creation of an American middle class; providing an education that was just as sophisticated but also more practical than that offered at the private universities.”

Wilcox said UCR is “increasingly seen as a model for academic excellence and academic attainment in the twenty-first century; and at precisely the time when our country is struggling to identify new models for higher education that will assist us in achieving our national goals.”

In order to continue the mission of the public research university with the singular quality and reach of the University of California system, Wilcox called for several specific measures at UCR related to faculty growth, campus physical planning, and globalization:

Faculty Growth

Wilcox plans to aggressively expand the number of scholars on the UCR campus, announcing that 300 new ladder-rank faculty members will be recruited in the next five years.  He is beginning to convene discussions about what types of disciplines will see the most growth, he said, adding that diversity will be an important goal.

“Our faculty must increasingly reflect both the demographic composition of our sta

UC President Napolitano officially declares that Kim A. Wilcox is the Chancellor of UC Riverside

UC President Napolitano officially declares that Kim A. Wilcox is the Chancellor of UC Riverside

te and nation and the global nature of today’s scholarship.  Given our past success and abiding values, we have the potential to lead the nation in faculty diversity, just as we do in student diversity.  A national model should aspire to nothing less.”

Campus Planning and New Facilities

Wilcox announced his intention to accelerate planning for a new interdisciplinary research building dedicated to faculty research.  The facility will provide 150,000 square feet of space for as many as 60 research groups.  In addition, the Chancellor noted the need for an events center that would provide indoor space for commencements, convocations, conferences and athletics events.

Wilcox said the campus would also begin a comprehensive review of the Long Range Development Plan, which guides campus growth and physical layout.  Noting that the current campus plan, last revisited in 2008, provides for an enrollment goal of 25,000 students by 2020, he called for the campus to consider adding more students in the future.

“If we are to add 300 faculty members, begin construction of new facilities, and expand our research and graduate programs, then we must also review our enrollment goals and strategies, both for ourselves and for the citizens of California who deserve access to their university,” said Wilcox.

As regards future growth, Wilcox asked the community to consider building future facilities to the south of the campus along the 215 freeway.  The location, he said, would provide “contiguous research and instructional space to our south.”

Globalization

Noting that UCR currently hosts students from more than 60 nations and that the faculty are active with research projects across the globe, Wilcox called for increased measures to create a global culture on campus.

The university is recruiting for a new position – that of Vice Provost for International Affairs, he said.

“In addition to the obvious matters of coordinating international support programs and improving linkages with other nations and universities, the Vice Provost will be charged with helping to define a global agenda for UCR that will both guide our investments and provide us with a means of holding ourselves accountable for achieving our aspirations on the world stage.”

Wilcox noted that the campus has been asked by UC President Janet Napolitano to lead the UC-Mexico initiative, which seeks to broaden academic engagement by the university system with Mexican higher education, increase collaborations with scientific research organizations, and provide for expansion of student and faculty exchange.

In closing his address, Wilcox called for the UCR campus to stay true to the principles of public higher education, providing access to academic excellence with a strong commitment to public service to the state and nation.

“The University of California, Riverside is living the goals and values of the U.S. system of public higher education in a way that few, if any, other universities are today,” he said.

More than 1,000 members of the UCR and UC community were in attendance at the investiture, which was followed by a large public reception near the campus’ iconic Bell Tower.

To celebrate the investiture, the campus has invited three national thought leaders to offer views on “The Future of the American Research University” during the month of May. There will be free public parking and refreshments provided.

• “Innovations in Higher Education,” featuring Arizona State University President Michael Crow, 3 p.m. Friday, May 9, at the University  Theatre

• “Globalization and The University,” featuring University of Washington Vice Provost for Global Affairs Jeffrey Riedinger, 4 p.m., Friday, May 16, at the Genomics Auditorium

• “The Public University of the 21st Century,” featuring Association of Public and Land-grant Universities President Peter McPherson, 4 p.m., Friday May 30 at the Genomics Auditorium

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