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Medical School Moving Forward

Medical School Planning Continues at UCR

University of California approved planning based on state’s workforce needs; that support is unwavering.

(May 9, 2007)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — The University of California Office of the President has reaffirmed its support for the proposed medical school at the University of California, Riverside in light of Chancellor France A. Córdova's departure this summer for Purdue University.

A May 8th letter from Wyatt R. Hume, the UC’s provost and executive vice president, academic and health affairs, stressed that, “... the President's and The Regents' decision to support UCR's continued planning effort is based upon our commitment to addressing state workforce needs and expanding educational opportunities for students. These commitments have not changed. As we move through this transition in leadership at UCR, please keep in mind that The Regents have approved continued planning toward this goal, and that President Dynes and I remain supportive of these efforts."

Ellen Wartella, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost at UCR, said the medical school effort remains a high priority for the campus because of the enormous value it could bring not only to the campus, but the entire Inland Southern California region.

“With the community's strong backing and the firm commitment of UCR's faculty and administration in meeting our goal for acquiring a medical school, the planning for the school will continue to progress,” Wartella said.

Wartella noted that the final proposal for the medical school is being prepared for submission to UC officials; a new Office of Health Affairs has been established on campus; and a national search for the school's founding dean will be launched. The executive search firm Spencer Stuart has been hired to help in the search.

“Already, the university has raised nearly $30 million in gifts and irrevocable pledges for the medical school,” said Vice Chancellor for Advancement William Boldt.

Community members who have supported the medical school gathered at the Chancellor’s residence on Tuesday night to meet with Córdova, Wartella, clinical faculty members affiliated with the effort, as well as the team of administrators planning the next stage of the medical school.
That team includes:

• Craig Byus, dean, UCR/UCLA Thomas Haider Program in Biomedical Sciences; professor of biochemistry

• Laurie Owen, special assistant to the provost for health affairs

• Kiki Nocella, founding vice provost of health affairs (starting June 1)

• Phyllis Guze, M.D., consultant on medical school curriculum

• Neal Schiller, chair, Health Affairs Senate; associate dean, UCR/UCLA Thomas Haider Program in Biomedical Sciences; professor of biomedical sciences

• Carolyn Peebles, executive administrative specialist for health affairs

For more information on the medical school, including a full list of endorsements, a full proposal, bulletins about the progress of planning and other information, visit:

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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