Follow the Leader: Kim Wilcox Arrives at UC Riverside

Campus opens its arms to welcome ninth chancellor

two people sitting and chatting

Chancellor-designate Kim Wilcox meets with Interim Chancellor Jane Close Conoley on Friday, August 9, 2013. Photo by Cindy Giorgio

Check back as this post will be updated regularly as we follow Chancellor-designate Kim Wilcox during his first two days at UC Riverside. You can also check out our photo gallery on the bottom of this page, on which we will add new photos throughout his visit.

Monday, 10:00 a.m.

A few more comments about first-impressions of Chancellor-designate Wilcox reached our inbox this weekend. Here they are.

“The UC Riverside Staff Assembly was invited to meet with Chancellor-designate Kim Wilcox on Friday August 9th.  Almost all the members of the current executive board were present.  I found Chancellor-designate Wilcox to be both engaging and interested in staff and staff issues.  We spent 45 minutes with him and during that time he listened and asked probing questions that truly showed his desire to better understand both where we are as a staff here at UCR and where we want to be.”

—Robert Wolfer, Staff Assembly president and information and technology manager, School of Education.

“I had the opportunity to meet Chancellor Wilcox and hear him articulate his vision for the university on Thursday evening at his welcome reception, and I ‘m excited about what he’s got planned and the passion he’s going to bring to the position of chancellor. We’ve got a lot to look forward to over the coming years, with a dynamic, approachable and responsive leader to guide the way.”

—Jim Wooldridge, interim athletics director

“In his remarks to the deans, one of the points Chancellor-designate Wilcox stressed was the importance of bringing some coherence to all of the great international work that is going on at UCR. This resonated with me, because I have always felt that although several faculty members at UCR are engaged in some wonderful research around the world, almost all of it takes place on a one-on-one basis and few other people on campus even are aware of it. It would be great if we had an office of global or international affairs that could play a coordination role for all international research, field-work, collaborations, and study-abroad experiences taking place at UCR. It would allow us to build institutional alliances with other great universities around the world, and help UCR become a truly global university.”

—Anil Deolalikar, dean of the School of Public Policy

9:30 p.m.

Here’s a one more comment, this one from junior Bianca Freeman.

“I really appreciated Chancellor-designate Kim Wilcox’s words about enhancing the community of scholars that UCR embodies.  He spoke on the importance of student involvement in the on-going dialogue about issues that will impact the future of UCR and the UC system. I was encouraged by Chancellor-designate Wilcox’s leadership, and am hopeful for the direction of UCR.”

5:45 p.m.

We’ll cap off a busy two days with a gallery of photos from tonight’s White Coat Ceremony. Congratulations to all the men and women starting their medical school careers tonight! We’re proud of you and proud to be Highlanders.

5:15 p.m.

A busy two days is rapidly coming to an end, but not before tonight’s historic White Coat Ceremony at the Student Recreation Center. In front of media, dignitaries, friends and family, the 50 men and women that make up the first class of the School of Medicine will receive their white coats, officially signaling the start of their medical school education.

5:00 p.m.

With Chancellor-designate Wilcox’s meetings with students, staff and faculty wrapped up, we have received comments from some of the individuals who met with him. Here’s what they have to say.

“I was impressed by Dr. Wilcox’s enthusiasm and willingness to serve the campus. He seems like an intelligent person with huge goals for the university. Although he’s new to UC Riverside, he already seems understand what matters to students most. I’m glad I had the chance to meet him to discuss some of the most pressing issues facing the university, and I look forward to getting to know Dr. Wilcox more in the future.”

—Michael Rios, senior English major and editor in chief of the Highlander newspaper

“I enjoyed the chance to speak to Chancellor Wilcox.  We all had an opportunity to talk about things we are passionate about as members of the Staff Assembly board, but more importantly, things that we are passionate about in our day-to-day jobs.  Chancellor Wilcox listened to us all, and I think we all appreciated the chance to have our voices heard.”

—Seana Nunez-Grider, senior employment and development analyst, Human Resources and Staff Assembly director of professional development

“There are great things happening & there are great people serving at this university. However, conducting business as usual will not lead this university to greatness.”

—Tim Willette, manager, administrative policies & delegations, conflict of interest coordinator, Business & Administrative Services and Staff Assembly past president

“He is someone who listens well and has a sense of what he can contribute to the growth of UCR. He’s very good at assessing the university’s areas of strength and the areas that need strengthening. What caught my attention as a faculty member was his observation that we as a university celebrate the diversity of our students, but that diversity is not reflected in our faculty. He will be looking for concrete ways to build faculty diversity, and that is something I think many of us in the Senate strongly support.”

—Jennifer Hughes, associate professor of history

“I was extremely pleased to hear that he, first and foremost, identified himself as a member of the faculty. He said that when people ask him what he does he first identifies himself as a professor. He listened very carefully to the questions posed and point-by-point answered questions or commented on them. He is focused and responds in such a way that everybody feels like they’ve been heard.”

—Ameae Walker, professor of biomedical sciences

4:30 p.m.

A new photo gallery has been posted, this with images from Chancellor-designate Kim Wilcox’s meetings with faculty, staff and students.

3:30 p.m.

Here are a few news stories on Kim Wilcox’s appointment as chancellor at UC Riverside.

2:30 p.m.

In case you missed it, here’s the comments from Chancellor-designate Kim Wilcox to the UC Regents Thursday.

2:00 p.m.

After a lunch with community leaders, Chancellor-designate Wilcox is now meeting with the Executive Council of the Academic Senate, and will later meet with the board of the Staff Assembly followed by student leadership.

1:10 p.m.

Chancellor-designate Kim Wilcox speaks with David Cunningham, Jr. ('62), immediate past president of the UCR Alumni Association Board of Directors. Photo by Carrie Rosema

Chancellor-designate Kim Wilcox speaks with David Cunningham, Jr. (’62), immediate past president of the UCR Alumni Association Board of Directors at a lunch for community members on August 9, 2013. Photo by Carrie Rosema

11:50 a.m.

sitting at meeting table

Chancellor-designate Kim Wilcox (right) meets with his vice chancellors in the Alumni & Visitors Center Conference Room. From left, Charles Rowley – Business and Administrative Services, Peter Hayashida – Advancement, James Sandoval – Student Affairs, Cindy Giorgio – Associate Chancellor,  Richard Olds – Health Affairs, and Wilcox (white shirt, leaning back). Photo by Carrie Rosema

11:30 a.m.

More comments are coming in:

“Dr. Wilcox clearly has the values of public higher education embedded in his DNA. He is a passionate spokesperson for access and quality teaching in the best tradition of land-grant universities, but also an articulate advocate for the social value of a sophisticated research enterprise. It’s clear he comes well prepared for the kinds of challenges we face at UCR to continue our ascent as an exceptional campus with world-class faculty and students, a deep commitment to inclusion, and a drive to be of service to our region, state, and nation.”
Vice Chancellor, Advancement Peter Hayashida,

“He was warm, charming, thoughtful, inclusive, and yet clearly knows his own mind.  He clearly listened carefully and intently to what the various deans were saying, was very perceptive in understanding the (positive) interpersonal dynamics of the deans and how much of an asset that it is for the university, and repeatedly demonstrated the fact that he has a keen sense of humor as well.

“I came away from the meeting filled with optimism about the future of the university.  Kim Wilcox is definitely a leader who can take UCR to the next level.

“And, finally, he made it very clear that we should address him as ‘Kim’ instead of as ‘Chancellor Wilcox.’  This is not a man who will keep people at arm’s length.”
University Librarian Steven Mandeville-Gamble

“Chancellor Wilcox’s academic background makes him a perfect match for UC Riverside. Both he and his wife, Diane Del Buono, have already made a positive first impression with elected officials and community leaders. I have no doubt they will immerse themselves in the community and create a lasting legacy for UC Riverside.”
Director of State Relations Sue McKee 

11:15 a.m.

Highlights from yesterday’s press conference with Chancellor-designate Kim Wilcox.

10:50 a.m.

Here are some photos from Thursday night’s reception at the UCR Alumni & Visitors Center.

9:50 a.m.

We’ve been posting what people think of Dr. Kim Wilcox. Here’s what Dr. Wilcox himself thinks of UCR.

““Everything I’ve heard is true — the community is enormously welcoming, and the campus community has wonderful aspirations for access and quality, which is consistent with everything I’ve heard.””

Friday, 9:00 a.m.

The morning breakfast with the deans took place at 7:30 a.m., and Dr. Wilcox is now meeting with Interim Chancellor Jane Close Conoley.

We are seeking your thoughts and comments about UCR’s ninth chancellor – you can send them to Here’s one from Tasha Hudson from the Office of the Chancellor.

“The new chancellor is an insightful leader that sees the big picture. He has a genuine affection for the voice and interests of the campus and community. Undoubtedly, he will take UCR to new heights.”

We’ll have some new photos from last night’s reception at the Alumni & Visitors Center posted shortly.

5:45 p.m.


UC President Mark Yudof shakes hands with Chancellor-designate Kim Wilcox. Photo by Carrie Rosema

It’s been a full day for Kim Wilcox, the ninth chancellor of the University of California, Riverside. After having met with his IT and Financial staffs and taking a much needed breather, Wilcox and his wife Diane have returned to the Alumni & Visitors Center for a reception with campus leadership and community members. Later this evening he will attend a dinner at the chancellor’s residence with Interim Chancellor Jane Close Conoley and her husband, Collie.

His Friday schedule, features a series of meetings with campus constituencies, beginning bright and early with a 7:30 a.m. meeting with the deans. From there he will have a meeting with Interim Chancellor Conoley, then a separate meeting with the vice chancellors followed by lunch with community leaders. After lunch he meets with the executive council of the Academic Senate, the leadership of Staff Assembly and student leadership. Finally, Friday night he will attend the School of Medicine White Coat Ceremony and Reception. This blog will be back in action with coverage throughout the day, including more responses and reactions.

The Los Angeles Times has a story by Carla Rivera about Kim Wilcox’s appointment on their website.

Earlier today, the chancellor-designate sat down for an interview. His answers to these five questions will help you get a feel who he is.

5:30 p.m.

Suzette Lyons, acting executive assistant to the chancellor, tells us “My first impression is that he is very approachable and he’s got a great sense of humor.”

4:15 p.m.

Director of Media Relations Kris Lovekin shares her experience with Kim Wilcox. “He was very comfortable with himself, and very gracious to everyone he met. He took special time to greet the Highlander reporter, Sandy Van, and he agreed to an impromptu interview with the Press-Enterprise’s Mark Muckenfuss, and he even posed for one more set of pictures on campus, which probably made him late for his next appointment. But I sure appreciated the fact that he was willing to do it.

“During the interview with the newspaper, he made it clear that the experience of students will be a high priority. He spoke specifically about focusing on graduation rates, and getting even more students involved in hands-on research. And he talked about the importance of stability in tuition.

4:00 p.m.

A quote from Wilcox’s press conference.

“For me, what is most important, is to find a way to plan for the future with enough security in those predictions, that everyone can plan accordingly,” Wilcox said. “The university can plan for its needs, and the students and their families can plan for the future as far as tuition goes. So it is important for the community to engage that issue. It is the long range planning piece that is crucial.”

3:45 p.m.

trio chatting

Kathy Barton (left), staff advisor to the Regents, Associate Chancellor Cindy Giorgio and Kim Wilcox share a laugh. (Photo by Carrie Rosema)

Kathy Barton, staff advisor to the Regents and executive director for Strategic Initiatives at the School of Medicine, shares her first impression of Kim Wilcox.

“It was a privilege to meet Chancellor-designate Wilcox following the Board of Regents meeting. I was immediately struck by his warmth and how he so eloquently articulated UCR’s special place within the University of California and in higher education nationally and internationally. Already he possesses a great deal of knowledge about the campus and its aspirations, and my impression is he will bring a great deal of energy to our collective efforts.”

3:10 p.m.

Another “first impression,” this one from Margene Mastin-Schepps, UC Riverside executive director, marketing and creative services.

“In terms of first impressions, Dr. Wilcox seems to be a wonderful fit with the culture, values and strengths of UCR.  He is warm and engaging, and his personal commitment to issues such as access, diversity and the unique mission of public universities comes through loud and clear.”

2:22 p.m.

Chancellor-designate Kim Wilcox answers questions from the media during a press conference following his appointment as the ninth chancellor at UC Riverside. Photo by Kris Lovekin

Chancellor-designate Kim Wilcox answers questions from the media during a press conference following his appointment as the ninth chancellor at UC Riverside. Photo by Kris Lovekin

2:13 p.m.

We’ve just added several photos to the gallery at the bottom of this page.

2:01 p.m.

And just like that, it is all over. Kim Wilcox has been confirmed as the ninth chancellor of the University of California, Riverside. A press conference will begin shortly, then Wilcox will walk to Hinderaker Hall to meet with his immediate staff.

1:57 p.m.

Chancellor-designate Kim Wilcox addresses the Regents in this screenshot from the webcast.

Chancellor-designate Kim Wilcox addresses the Regents in this screenshot from the webcast.

Following a vote by the Regents approving his appointment and salary, Chancellor-designate Kim Wilcox will now address the Regents.

He will begin work on August 19. We’ll be posting a link to his comments later on today.

1:53 p.m.

UC President Mark Yudof is now speaking about Kim Wilcox, acknowledging that he – like many UCR students – is a first generation college student.

1:47 p.m.

The live webcast of the Special Regents Meeting is underway. Included on the call is Governor Jerry Brown. No public comments were made during the scheduled comment period.

12:50 p.m.

The live webcast of the Special Regents Meeting should begin shortly.

12:40 p.m.

Another first impression, this one from Lindy Fenex, director of the Student Recreation Center.

“It was a sincere pleasure to meet Chancellor Wilcox this morning. My first impression was very positive; he was warm, approachable and genuine, and he asked insightful questions about our Student Recreation Center Expansion project. His partner Diane was equally warm and friendly; they both smiled a lot! It was a true delight to meet them both!”

12:20 p.m.

Following a lunch with UC President Mark Yudof, Regent Bruce Varner, Chancellor Jane Close Conoley and her husband Collie, UC Office of the President staff and Associate Chancellor Cindy Giorgio, Wilcox and company will go to the special meeting of the Regents in the Arts Building. The meeting will be held via teleconference, with regents calling in from nine different locations across the country, including the UC Offices in Oakland, UCLA, UCSB, UCSD, and the state capitol in Sacramento.

We’ll be posting a link to the broadcast of the teleconference at about 12:45. The public portion of the meeting will begin at about 1:10 p.m.

11:50 a.m.

Kim Wilcox in front of UCR statue

Chancellor-nominee Kim Wilcox and his wife Diane Del Buono stand with campus tour guides Alexis Madrigal and Gabriel Hernandez prior to their tour of the campus on August 8, 2013. Photo by Carrie Rosema

As Kim Wilcox gets to know the campus, the members of the campus community are also getting to know him. Here are a couple of “first impressions” of the man who will be UCR’s ninth chancellor.

“Kim Wilcox seems to be a good fit for UCR.  He is personable, articulate, and has a passion for all the things we represent – diversity, excellence, and the land grant tradition.” – Cindy Giorgio, associate chancellor.

“My impressions of the new chancellor is that he has a personality. He isn’t extremely serious and he has a sense of humor.” – Stasean Washington, sophomore theater major.

If you have the chance to meet Kim Wilcox, we’d love to hear what you have to say about him. Send your thoughts to

11:30 a.m.

Time for a deep breath for everyone. With the campus tour and photo and video sessions in the books, the Wilcoxes will visit the Arts Building in advance of lunch and the Regents meeting, scheduled for 1:00 p.m. We hope to post a video interview shortly, along with the first impressions of Wilcox from people across the campus.

10:20 a.m.

Kim Wilcox looks at the Rec Center expansion.

Kim Wilcox looks at the Rec Center expansion. Photo by Cindy Giorgio

The first photos are coming in as Chancellor-nominee Wilcox and his wife, Diane Del Buono, tour the campus for the first time.

After some pictures at the Bell Tower, Wilcox visited the Student Recreation Center and had looked at the expansion construction project. He met with SRC Director Lindy Fenex and Associate Director Wanda Murphy.

Following the tour of the construction site, Wilcox went on a tour of the campus before returning to the Recreation Center. Later this morning Diane will visit the Chancellor’s Residence for the first time.

9:45 a.m.

There is a great deal of formality that goes along with the appointment and approval of the university’s chief executive, and some of that is reflected in the titles that go with the various steps towards becoming the next UC Riverside chancellor.

When his name was announced by UC President Mark Yudof, Kim Wilcox became “Chancellor-nominee.” He will hold on to that title until he is approved by the Regents at a special meeting scheduled for Thursday, at which point he will become “Chancellor-designate.” Then, assuming all goes as planned, when he comes to work on Monday, August 19 he can drop the hyphen and just be “Chancellor.”

9:00 a.m.

scoreboard with welcome

The scoreboard at the UCR Soccer Stadium welcomes Kim Wilcox to campus. Photo by John Maxwell

In an article in the Press-Enterprise newspaper last week, Mark Muckenfuss wrote of Chancellor-nominee Kim Wilcox that he is a “people-oriented administrator famous for his ability to listen and for his laugh.” You can read more about Wilcox and what his peers had to say about him on the Press-Enterprise website.

Meanwhile, the scoreboard at the UCR Soccer Stadium has a welcome for Kim Wilcox.

This afternoon the Regents will meet by teleconference to discuss Wilcox’s appointment. You can see more information about the meeting here:

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