It is exciting to be joining the beautiful UC Riverside campus at this particular time in its history. Previous chancellors have laid a solid foundation upon which to grow the university’s reputation. As I make my first steps around the campus and delight in Riverside’s warm sunshine, everything I see and everyone I talk with confirm that this is a special place. It is clearly held dear for its historical roots in citrus experimentation, respected as a nationally recognized UC research institution and regarded with pride for its advancing reputation in all disciplines.
As I start my tenure as UCR’s seventh Chancellor and begin planning for the future with faculty, staff and students, I have many hopes. Among them is that UCR will continue to distinguish itself in the quality of its programs and degree of its accomplishments, while at the same time continuing to foster the diversity that makes it unique among peer institutions. My hope is that the discoveries and inventions of its scientists and engineers, the achievements of its artists, musicians, writers and dancers, and the analyses and syntheses of its social scientists will be recognized and celebrated globally – and that what we have seen thus far is just the beginning. My hope is that UCR will be the campus of first choice for its students, giving each student a significant and memorable education. I plan to work with faculty, students and staff to realize these goals; we will invite you to celebrate our milestones along the way.
This issue of Fiat Lux reminds us of the breadth of experiences potentially available to our students. From internships at the University of California’s Washington Center program in D.C. to study abroad programs in many countries, these opportunities offer students experiences that can truly transform their outlook and change their career goals. I’ve visited UCR students at the new D.C. building, for example, and been delighted with their maturity and enthusiasm. Our students have testified eloquently about the effect these experiences have had on them to, among others, the UC Board of Regents. My hope is that working with UCR’s friends and alumni to sponsor fellowships for deserving students, we can offer these kind of significant experiences to many more of our students. As a college student years ago, I enjoyed studying and traveling abroad; it changed my perspective on other cultures and my life’s goals.
I hope you enjoy this issue and all it offers to the members and families of our campus and extended campus community. If you see me on campus or around town, please say ‘hello’ – I would love to hear about your own vision for the campus.
France A Córdova