Regents Approve Appointment of Kim Wilcox as UC Riverside Chancellor

Former Michigan State University provost will begin his tenure as the ninth chancellor of UCR on Aug. 19


RIVERSIDE, Calif. — The University of California Board of Regents today (Aug. 8) appointed Kim A. Wilcox, former Michigan State University provost, executive vice president and professor of communicative sciences and disorders, as the ninth chancellor of the University of California, Riverside.

Selected by UC President Mark G. Yudof after a nationwide search, Wilcox, 59, succeeds Chancellor Timothy White, who left the post in late 2012 to become president of the California State University system. Jane Close Conoley, dean of the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at UC Santa Barbara, has served as UC Riverside interim chancellor for the past seven months.

“Becoming chancellor of the University of California, Riverside, is a dream come true,” Wilcox said. “I’m immensely honored to join the thousands of great individuals who have helped shape the university over the past decades. I look forward to helping make this great institution an even greater one in the years to come.”

Wilcox will begin his tenure, which also includes an academic appointment, on Aug. 19. The regents approved his selection during a special meeting in Riverside and other locations, with regents connected by telephone.

“As UC Riverside’s ninth chancellor, Kim Wilcox promises to be a dynamic leader, both on campus and in the larger community,” said Board of Regents Chair Bruce D. Varner, who lives in Riverside and served on the search committee. “I look forward to working with him.”

As provost of Michigan State from 2005 to July 2013, Wilcox had oversight responsibilities for more than 200 academic programs, nearly 49,000 students and almost 5,000 faculty and academic staff. During that time, he implemented major institutional restructuring and strategic positioning initiatives, and helped lead a capital campaign that raised $1.4 billion. He 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.

“Kim Wilcox is particularly well suited to become UC Riverside’s new chancellor,” said Yudof. “He’s a hands-on teacher, scholar and researcher with an exceptional record of leadership, a forward thinker who greatly values diversity and an administrator devoted to broad access to public higher education.”

While serving as Michigan State’s chief academic leader, Wilcox, a first-generation college graduate, oversaw 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.

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 earn  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.

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.

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

The UC regents approved an annual salary of $354,000 for Wilcox, which represents an increase of $29,000 (8.9 percent) over the previous chancellor’s salary. The increase of $29,000 will be paid with non-state funds. Like his predecessor, Wilcox will receive an annual auto allowance of $8,916. Consistent with past practice, the university will provide him with a house on campus that is suitable for duties such as fundraising. This residence is maintained with non-state funds.  Because Wilcox will join the university after July 1, 2013, his post-retirement benefits will fall under the new tier of the UC Retirement Program.

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 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.

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