Town Hall Oct. 10 Outlines Progress Toward Strategic Goals

The campus is growing, and indicators of excellence continue to rise

UCR Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox at the Town Hall on Oct. 10. photo by Sandra B. Martinez

Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox provided the UCR community with an update on progress toward the campus strategic plan – “UCR 2020” – at a Town Hall meeting Oct. 10 at the HUB.  Among the topics discussed, here’s a quick run-down of progress:  [To watch the session, please click here.]

Campus enrollment and faculty:

  • The campus this fall enrolled approximately 23,000 students.
  • Each year, more and more undergraduate applicants accept UCR’s offer of admission – clearly indicating great interest in the campus.
  • Academic hiring has continued apace, with the goal of achieving a faculty of 971 scholars by the year 2020. During the past three years, the faculty has already grown from 617 to 842 positions.

Quality indicators are up:

  • Overall research grants are annually growing larger, with a total of about $140 million in grant funding for the last academic year.
  • UCR research is cited frequently, and those citations are comparable to the top universities, as evidenced by the Leiden Ranking.
  • UCR is serving as a national exemplar for diversity among its undergraduate population. Meanwhile, Wilcox said that more needs to be done to diversify the graduate student population, faculty, and staff demographics.
  • UCR is this week launching a multimillion-dollar fundraising campaign to increase the endowment.

Organizational Excellence efforts continue to improve the campus:

  • The budget process is more streamlined so there are fewer individual financial transactions.
  • Deans have much more spending authority than they used to have, as a new budgeting approach is now in use which better empowers academic leadership to manage college, school, and department finances.
  • The campus will be replacing older housing units with newer construction, trying to house more students as the campus grows. The chancellor acknowledged that many will miss the space for outdoor play that exists currently at Family Student Housing – but that the facility is at the end of its useful life cycle.
  • Future plans for the Family Housing parcel will greatly expand student housing capacity, and also include more amenities such as shops and restaurants and an event center large enough to accommodate commencement, convocation, and other major events.

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