Interim Chancellor Cites Progress at Annual State of the Campus Address

Interim Chancellor Jane Close Conoley gave an update on UCR developments at the Citizens University Committee breakfast meeting

Jane Close Conoley greets Bill DeWolfe, an attorney who graduated from UCR in the pioneer class.

Interim Chancellor Jane Close Conoley highlighted recent faculty and student accomplishments, continuing community support, and overall campus progress in her annual “State of the Campus” address to the Citizens University Committee on April 24.

“A few days ago, the University of Leiden in the Netherlands published a ranking of the 500 top universities worldwide,” said Conoley. “The great news is that UCR was ranked 10th in the world in its impact on the natural sciences and engineering – excelling above [schools such as] Princeton, Yale and Caltech.”

The Leiden ranking was based on the frequency with which UCR faculty members’ published research has been cited by other scholars around the world in their own scholarly studies.
Conoley also celebrated the fact that several UCR faculty members have brought in more than one million dollars in extramural research funding during the past year. She told the audience of about 150 that she hosted a special party at the UCR Chancellor’s Residence – and the room was packed.
“I like having million-dollar friends!” she quipped, while noting that the research funds “support individual research — but often address community problems and are a key support for graduate student education.”

She noted also that UCR students continue to excel, with the most recent admissions cycle showing strong demand for a seat at UCR – and continually rising academic qualifications in the pool of applicants for fall 2013.

UCR students are also highly active in community outreach and service, she said. She noted that the student group “Healing Highlanders,” which supports people in addiction recovery, has won the UC President’s Award for Outstanding Student Leadership. The award will be presented to the campus at the May 15 meeting of the UC Regents.

None of the progress made on the campus, she said, would have been possible without strong community support and connections. The Inland Southern California community was instrumental in helping UCR receive approval for the new School of Medicine, she said. The School has had 2,400 applications for the 50 spots available for the class that begins this August.

The School of Medicine still needs community support, she said, thanking California State Sen. Richard Roth and Assemblymember Jose Medina, who have proposed legislation to provide $15 million in annual support to the school. Similar annual support is received by all the other UC medical schools.

“But even if we are successful in the Legislature, we still need the governor to support the UCR medical school,” Conoley said. “’As we approach the May revise, it will be important for us to lobby the Governor’s Office unceasingly.”

Before closing, Conoley gave an update on the new C-Center, the proposed arena that is planned to host UCR convocations, commencements, court sports, and community events. The campus is now asking for statements of interest from potential developers. The arena is planned to be created on the West Campus, at the northwest corner of Iowa Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard.
The Citizens University Committee started in the late 1940s to lobby the UC Regents for a campus in Riverside. It still meets regularly.

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