UCR endows new chancellor research fellowship to support undergraduate research
Chancellor Kim Wilcox and his wife Diane Del Buono will endow a new Chancellor’s Research Fellowship of $100,000 to UC Riverside. Establishing the 13th fellowship of its kind at UCR, Wilcox and Buono requested that the funds go to support a first-generation college student. The winner of the fellowship will be considered a Chancellor’s research fellow and earn the opportunity to conduct research with faculty members during national presentations and publications.
“Diane and I have felt such a warm welcome from the UCR community, including from our fantastic students, and we noted that about 60 percent of undergraduates are first in their families to seek a degree,” Wilcox said in a press release. “Diane and I want to make sure that we leave a legacy here, and that all of our undergraduate students have access to research opportunities that can transform their personal and professional aspirations.”
UCR Today also reports that more than half of all undergraduates participate in basic and applied research or creative projects with a faculty member.
Advisory committee searches for UC Irvine’s next chancellor
Announced by UC President Janet Napolitano on Feb. 24, an advisory committee — consisting of university faculty, staff, students and alumni — will lead a national search for UC Irvine’s next chancellor, according to a press release. Former Chancellor Michael V. Drake will step down from the university at the end of June to serve as the president of Ohio State University.
As UC Irvine’s fifth chancellor, Drake served from 2005 to June 2014, but worked at the University of California for more than 30 years; UC Irvine Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Howard Gillan will act as interim chancellor once Drake steps down, pending approval from the regents.
“Chancellor Drake has been an aspiring leader and a champion of academic excellence and diversity at UC Irvine,” Napolitano said in a press release. “He has skillfully guided the campus through both challenges and triumphs. I am confident that the advisory committee will help to identify a new leader to build on the tradition of excellence at UC Irvine.”
The committee will discuss the recruitment, screening and interview process during its first closed-session meeting on April 11 at UC Irvine. Napolitano will receive recommendations for a nominee from the committee tentatively by September of 2014. Public comment may be submitted to the committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UCR’s Dance Marathon receives about $50,000 in donations
Organized by the Student Alumni Association and the Golden Key International Honour Society, UCR’s 2013-14 Dance Marathon surpassed its intended goal of $20,000 to receive matching funds from an anonymous donor for a grand total of $49,661 in donations as of press time. All proceeds will go to support emancipated former foster youths in UCR’s Guardian Scholars Program.
In reaction to the news, director of student relations at UCR’s Alumni Association Kristin Seiler said, “I was excited — but not shocked that we raised so much. Because I’m the finance adviser, I had a good idea of the amount that would be raised because I saw all of the offline donations come in. We actually surpassed $20,000 on the Monday before the event took place — but we didn’t tell the student organizers, because we wanted it to be a surprise. Up until the moment they flipped over the numbers, they had no clue!”
Seiler added that the matching donation was beneficial, but even without it, the event raised nearly $30,000 — a 67 percent increase from last year. “The fact that DM is in its third year helps. We spend less time explaining what it is, or who it supports,” she said. “But having support from our campus partners, such as ASUCR, ASPB, the Alumni Association and especially Housing — which has supported this event in every way imaginable — is absolutely vital.” Dance Marathon organizers will be accepting donations until March 14 via crowdrise.com/ucrdancemarathon2014.
UCSA supports new Master Plan for Highlander Education
The University of California Student Association (UCSA) passed a resolution last week to support the creation of a new Master Plan for Higher Education in California for the next 15 years. The 1960s-era master plan serves as a blueprint for higher education in California, with the three major tenets of access, affordability and quality.
The authors of the resolution contest that students were not fully represented when the plan was first established and the demographics in the state have since shifted. They also state that the plan does not take into account how new technologies and online education will be implemented.
“The Master Plan for Higher Education was successful in defining the roles of each segment of higher education, it has not been adhered to fully by the State of California — namely its promise of tuition-free education for all those qualified,” reads the resolution. 2011 historically marked the first year that the total amount that students pay for their education surpasses funds from the state.
The resolution establishes the goal of creating an information survey committee that will assist in providing updated information for a new master plan and urges for the support of UC President Janet Napolitano. Lastly, UCSA resolves to write a letter to Regent Varner, Gov. Jerry Brown, Chair of the Assembly of Higher Education Committee Das Williams and the state legislature to launch a survey committee to renew the state master plan by Feb. 2014.