UCR Provost Asks About the Structure of Things 

Separate discussions focusing on CNAS, CHASS scheduled Dec. 2 and 9

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Paul D’Anieri hosted a Town Hall on Nov. 12. Photo by Kris Lovekin

*Updated, Nov. 26, 2014*

Provost and and Executive Vice Chancellor Paul D’Anieri would like to continue the conversation about a College of Arts and Sciences, and would like to invite the campus community to the following discussion sessions:

CNAS-Focused Discussion
Tuesday, December 2, 4 to 5 p.m., Tartan and Tweed Room, Student Services Building

CHASS-Focused Discussion
Tuesday, December 9, 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., HUB 302 North

For context, D’Anieri last week sent an update responding to several questions that were raised at the Town Hall discussion. Read it here: http://scotmail.ucr.edu/attach/cas_discussion_update_nov21.pdf.

*Original post, Nov. 19, 2014*

Paul D’Anieri, the provost and executive vice chancellor, led a robust conversation with a large audience of UCR faculty and staff at the Highlander Union Building about how the campus is organized.

He suggested in a forum on Wednesday, Nov. 12 that UCR could combine its two largest colleges into one, called the College of Arts and Sciences.

He said decisions related to undergraduate student advising, academic majors and classroom might be better decided by a college dean, rather than having every issue bumped up to provost. His highest priority, he said, is to make sure UCR students have enough seats available to graduate in four years.

This conversation will continue on Tuesday, Dec. 2. Any change in the university structure would have to be approved by the UCR Academic Senate and the systemwide academic council, a process that would take at least two years.

Provost Paul D'Anieri hosted a Town Hall on the academic structure of UC Riverside on Nov. 12, 2014.

Provost Paul D’Anieri hosted a Town Hall on the academic structure of UC Riverside on Nov. 12, 2014.

Faculty members raised a variety of issues, including how one dean could possibly understand the tenure and promotion needs of the vast number of disciplines that would live all under one college.

Frances Sladek, a professor of cell biology in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, said it might just create more sibling rivalry as more people are competing for the resources for teaching assistants and faculty hires.

Norm Ellstrand, a professor of botany and plant sciences, said it is somewhat radical to include agricultural sciences in the same omnibus college, because the needs of ag research are so specialized. He suggested a straw poll of the faculty to determine if there is any interest in the change.

Kevin Esterling, a political science professor in the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, spoke in favor of keeping more decision-making one layer down.

D’Anieri said that the change in structure, by itself, would not create or diminish resources. He pointed out that he is a political scientist, and he is already making decisions that have to do with all of the academic departments. And he suggested that a dean is more in touch with the department chairs and the students than he is. He said student-related decisions might be better coming from a dean rather than a provost. “It has to do with seamless and continuous student advising,” said D’Anieri. It could eliminate some of the bumps and lead to better graduation rates.”

Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox supported the discussion. “We have an obligation to stop and think about what we want our future to look like.” He and D’Anieri both pointed to UCR 2020 as a guiding document for the future.

D’Anieri also announced that faculty will no longer have to use their sabbatical time to accept a foundation grant, for instance, a Guggenheim award. He also thanked the campus community for a warm welcome since his arrival in July.

D’Anieri complimented UCR staff, saying that the campus has dedicated and quality staff members. “Although there probably aren’t as many as we would want,” he said, referencing a chronic staff shortage.

Read more about the suggestion by the provost: http://scotmail.ucr.edu/attach/college_structure_ucr_final_11_5_14.pdf

Or watch the archive: http://provost.ucr.edu/webcasts/townhall_nov14.html

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-4756
E-mail: john.warren@ucr.edu

Archived under: Inside UCR, ,

Top of Page