UC President Mark G. Yudof announces selection for ninth chancellor of UC Riverside

Kim A. Wilcox nominated to lead UC Riverside

Kim A. Wilcox PHOTO BY CARRIE ROSEMA

Kim A. Wilcox PHOTO BY CARRIE ROSEMA

News from the University of California Office of the President

University of California President Mark G. Yudof announced today (July 25) that he has selected former Michigan State University Provost and Executive Vice President Kim A. Wilcox to serve as the ninth chancellor of the University of California, Riverside.

Wilcox, 59, professor of communicative sciences and disorders at Michigan State University, announced late last year that he would step down as provost and executive vice president on July 1 after serving in those positions since 2005. Previously, he had served as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas, from 2002 to 2005, and as president and chief executive officer of the Kansas Board of Regents from 1999 to 2002.

“Kim Wilcox brings to the University of California distinctive expertise and interests that will serve the Riverside campus and the larger community exceedingly well,” Yudof said. “He has been a dedicated teacher, scholar and researcher who also excelled as an academic leader and chief executive, always maintaining his commitment to diversity and access to higher education.”

The UC Board of Regents will act on details of the appointment, including compensation, on  Aug. 8 during a special meeting in Riverside and other locations, with regents connected by telephone. The effective date of the appointment to be considered by the regents is Aug. 19.

Interim Chancellor Jane Close Conoley, who has served in the role since Chancellor Timothy White left to become chancellor of the California State University system at the end of 2012, called Wilcox an excellent choice who will have her full support as he prepares to lead the Riverside campus.

“Kim Wilcox is a stellar scholar and leader who has initiated major programs at one of the nation’s other top land grant universities, with direct relevance to UCR,” she said. “His experience with medical education is a special strength.  UCR deserves the best and will continue to prosper with his leadership.”

As provost and executive vice president at Michigan State University, Wilcox oversaw more than 200 academic programs, some 49,000 students and almost 5,000 faculty and academic staff. He helped lead a capital campaign that raised $1.4 billion and implemented major institutional restructuring and strategic initiatives, and expanded the university’s two medical colleges into Grand Rapids and the Detroit area.

While he was the chief academic officer at Michigan State, the percentage of students from underrepresented groups increased, academic credentials of entering freshmen rose, the average time to degree decreased, the graduation rate increased, and the percentage of students graduating with debt decreased.

UC Board of Regents Chair Bruce Varner, who served on the search committee, said: “Kim Wilcox emerged as the top choice from an outstanding group of candidates. He has everything it takes to be not only a strong leader and advocate for the students, faculty and staff on campus, but also a positive force for the larger community.”

Wilcox, a first-generation college graduate, said he was honored to have been selected as chancellor during a particularly exciting time on the Riverside campus with the opening of its new medical school, expanding research opportunities and the potential to broaden the campus’s international reach.

“My values and interests align perfectly with UC Riverside, one of the nation’s great research universities,” he said. “I look forward to meeting with students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the larger community, to learning and exchanging ideas and to working toward making Riverside the best it can be.”

Founded in 1907 as the UC Citrus Experiment Station, UC Riverside today has almost 22,000 students and a faculty of 700 scholars recognized internationally for teaching, research and public service in a wide variety of fields. The campus has launched a new school of medicine – California’s first new public medical school in four decades – and announced a new school of public policy.

UC Riverside’s student body is among the most diverse in the nation. Nearly 60 percent of undergraduate students are the first in their families to pursue college degrees. The campus offers 80 bachelor degree programs, 46 master’s programs, 38 Ph.D. programs and 17 California teaching and administrative credential programs; roughly one of every eight students is involved in faculty-mentored research.

Wilcox began his academic career as a faculty member at the University of Missouri. His subsequent years on the faculty of the University of Kansas included 10 as chair of the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing. From 1991–99, he directed the Native American Training Program, which he created in collaboration with the Haskell Indian Nations University, whose students and alumni represent indigenous nations from across the United States and its territories.

He graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in audiology and speech sciences in 1976. He earned master’s and doctoral degrees in speech and hearing science from Purdue University in 1978 and 1980, respectively.

Since early 2013, Wilcox has been on leave from Michigan State, serving in Washington, D.C., with the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa, a nonprofit organization focused on contributing to a more sustainable agricultural future for African countries. He and his wife, Diane Del Buono, have been married for 36 years.

(NOTE: Out of respect for the appointment process, Wilcox and UC officials will have no further public comment until the Board of Regents acts on Aug. 8. Further details about the special meeting will be made public at least three days before the special meeting of the regents.)

Kim A. Wilcox: Biography

The top candidate to become UC Riverside’s ninth chancellor was only the second in his family to graduate from college, marking the start of a distinguished academic and administrative career that has spanned decades of teaching, research, fundraising, strategic planning and international development work.

A native of northern Michigan, Kim A. Wilcox, 59, is the former provost and executive vice president of Michigan State University and a professor of communicative sciences and disorders. As provost from 2005 to July 2013, he oversaw more than 200 academic programs with some 49,000 students and almost 5,000 faculty and academic staff.

During his time as MSU’s chief academic officer, he implemented major institutional restructuring and strategic positioning initiatives, and helped lead a capital campaign that raised $1.4 billion. The university’s external grant and contract activity rose to just over $500 million annually under his stewardship, a reflection of new research and outreach initiatives across the East Lansing campus. Among the highlights of his tenure were an increase in the percentage of students from underrepresented groups, a rise in the academic credentials of entering freshmen, a decrease in the average time to degree, an increase in the graduation rate and a decrease in the percentage of students graduating with debt. He also added 100 new faculty positions, expanded the university’s two medical colleges, and created the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities and the College of Music. He championed issues of access and diversity, and encouraged new global partnerships.

Since the beginning of 2013, Wilcox has been on leave to serve with the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa, a Washington-based nonprofit coalition of U.S. and African universities, public companies and private organizations whose mission is to advocate for, and facilitate the creation of, a more sustainable agricultural future for Africa.

Wilcox graduated from Michigan State with a bachelor’s degree in audiology and speech sciences in 1976, and earned master’s and doctoral degrees in speech and hearing science from Purdue University in 1978 and 1980, respectively. He returned to his alma mater from the University of Kansas, where he served as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and vice provost for general education coordination from 2002–05.

Among the most unexpected turns in his career was his oversight of the creation of an integrated higher education system for the state of Kansas, where he served as president and chief executive officer for the Kansas Board of Regents. It was a time of massive change in Kansas with the state legislature mandating that the board, which had overseen six state universities, reorganize to include an additional 19 community colleges, 10 technical schools and colleges, and one municipal university – for a combined enrollment of more than 150,000 students. In addition, Wilcox served as the board’s interim director of academic affairs.

Wilcox began his academic career as a faculty member at the University of Missouri. His subsequent years on the faculty of the University of Kansas included 10 as chair of the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing. From 1991–99, he directed the Native American Training Program, which he created in collaboration with the Haskell Indian Nations University, whose students and alumni represent indigenous nations from across the United States and its territories.

Wilcox also has served as chair of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation since 2011 and recently was elected chair of the Council on Academic Affairs of the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities. He credits his entire success to the education he received at land grant universities and strongly believes in the value of providing broad and diverse access to a world- class education.

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