Kim A. Wilcox has announced that he is stepping down as chancellor of UC Riverside to become the head of the International House of Pancakes (IHOP) by midnight on Friday, April 4.

“I just can’t help myself,” Wilcox said. “I love making pancakes and waffles more than anything, even education itself.”

It is well-known that Wilcox had previously worked with University of California’s “Promise for Education” program to raise $10,000 in scholarship funds. Wilcox had sworn an oath that if the total funds were met, he would host a free pancake breakfast for the campus at the former upper HUB Plaza. With some assistance from UC Riverside’s Dining Services, an estimated 900 meals, including over 1,800 pancakes, were served to passing students and faculty.

According to Wilcox, something sparked within him that day.

“I was in the middle of serving a plate of pancakes to some seniors, when I suddenly became self-aware,” Wilcox stated. “I realized that I wasn’t happy as chancellor of a public university. I knew, then and there, that making pancakes for others to eat — that is my true calling.”

Much of UC Riverside’s faculty went into an uproar over Wilcox’s decision, noting his success in the field of public education. One of the highlights from Wilcox’s career is his oversight of Michigan State’s academic success, where from 2005 to 2013 he helped expand the school’s two medical colleges and created the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities as well as the College of Music.

“I understand that a lot of people aren’t happy with my decision,” Wilcox said. “But after my free pancake breakfast, I immediately went to IHOP’s headquarters in Glendale, Calif., and Julia Stewart, their last CEO, was so impressed by my resume that she removed herself from her position and appointed me as the next CEO for the company.”

When asked if he knew who the next chancellor of UC Riverside would be, Wilcox replied, “I have no idea. I’m not involved in the field of state-funded education anymore,” he said.

At the same time, many students and faculty were divided on the issue.

“I have personally had the pleasure to experience Chancellor Wilcox’s pancakes, and I must say that his tenure as chancellor was a tragic waste, and he clearly missed his delicious, syrup-laden calling,” said Steven Skorheim, a graduate student.

“I just don’t understand any of it,” said John Jabberwock, a liberal arts professor. “He hasn’t been chancellor for a full year, and he’s quitting because of his love of pancakes? That’s just insanity.”

Wilcox delivered a formal apology and reiterated the need to follow his passion at the end of the day. “To all of the students that I have let down — I’m sorry,” said Wilcox. “I truly am. I know that I made some really great pancakes (and) therefore I seemed like a ‘cool’ chancellor, like how many of you as kids had that one friend with a really cool mom.”

As a last ditch effort to save face at UCR, Wilcox will consider having an IHOP built in the HUB to expand the dining options and student employment on campus. “Maybe I could even get a few graduates hired as chefs and cashiers for local-based IHOPs? Post-college adults have to start paying off their burgeoning debt somewhere!”

“In the past, I made a promise for education. Now I’m making a promise to help cook the best pancakes in Southern California,” expressed Wilcox.