To Get Better, UCR has to Grow Bigger

Provost Paul D’Anieri announces plans for UCR’s multiyear faculty hiring

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Paul D’Anieri photo by Peter Phun

“These interdisciplinary hires will enhance UCR’s vibrant intellectual community and elevate our reputation in the nation and the world.”

That’s the message that Provost Paul D’Anieri delivered at the Town Hall held on Tuesday, May 12, at the HUB, where he announced the process and timing for UCR’s multiyear faculty hiring plan.

D’Anieri presented the subject areas of the successful proposals. Hiring multiple people in the same discipline is key, he said, because it makes prospective faculty more likely to accept an offer. “The quality of UCR’s faculty is already very high,” he said. By focusing on excellence and diversity, the campus has a chance to enhance UCR’s vibrant intellectual community and elevate its reputation in the nation and the world.”

Working with the deans, Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development Michael Pazzani and two review teams of 17 faculty members each, D’Anieri approved 33 clusters, totaling 130 positions, spread across all seven areas of emphasis in the UCR 2020 Strategic Plan. All submissions were carefully vetted, D’Anieri said.

The team received 128 proposals with requests for 768 positions, representing all of the schools and colleges and a broad diversity of fields. He said proposals were evaluated according to the potential of attracting exceptional recruits; the likelihood of increasing performance; the potential to put UCR at the leading edge of emerging fields; the likely contribution to faculty diversity and synergy with existing programs.

During the Q&A, Tim Lyons, professor of earth sciences, said that there was a lot of dissatisfaction with the choices. He mentioned that campus leadership is so new that they might not be familiar with all of the clusters of excellent faculty around the campus.

D’Anieri said he is making a concerted effort to go to every department, and acknowledged that some good proposals did get turned down. He also said that the team reviewing proposals focused on excellence and diversity. “If we don’t [do that], we have failed.”

Over the coming months, D’Anieri said, he will create a plan that will enable the start of the faculty searches in the fall.

To a question about the impacts on staff, D’Anieri said work will need to be streamlined. “We are making our systems more efficient,” D’Anieri said.

Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox at the May 12, 2015 Town Hall  photo by peter phun

Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox at the May 12, 2015 Town Hall photo by peter phun

The Town Hall was also a chance to announce new developments at UCR:

  • Bill Kidder, who has served as the assistant provost, will be taking on new responsibilities as the campus’ chief compliance officer. The provost will open a search for an assistant provost from the faculty.
  • Vice Chancellor Ron Coley announced there will be no increase in parking fees in the coming year.
  • There is a new website to report water waste on campus. “Pipes and fittings may be broken. If you see things let us know. We will correct it,” said Coley. The address is
  • Chancellor Kim Wilcox announced that searches are on for new deans for CHASS and CNAS. Visits of the dean candidates will take place in the first weeks of June.

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