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UCR Ranks 9th for Innovation

UCR Ranks Ninth for Innovation

U.S. News & World Report says the university is one of top “schools to watch.”

(August 22, 2008)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — The University of California, Riverside’s growing reputation for research excellence, diversity and programs that enhance student success rank the inland Southern California university ninth in U.S. News & World Report’s list of “Schools to Watch,” said Ellen Wartella, executive vice chancellor and provost.

The category, added this year to the magazine’s lists of the nation’s best universities, is based on nominations by top college officials across the country and identifies schools that have recently made the most promising and innovative changes in academics, faculty, students, campus or facilities.

UCR tied for ninth place among national universities, one of only three public universities in Southern California to rank in the top 20 on the list.

“This is a welcome confirmation of what faculty, students, staff and alumni know about the University of California, Riverside,” said UCR's new chancellor, Timothy P. White. “It speaks to the quality of the people that we have and the programs that are established and being established. This is not a surprise. It’s long overdue. The credit goes to those who worked hard in the past to get the university to where it is today.”

UCR is growing in size and research excellence, said Wartella, who became UCR's executive vice chancellor and provost in 2004. UC Riverside’s student population ranks fifth nationally among public universities for diversity. Innovative programs that ease the transition from high school to college are boosting student success. And the university’s overall reputation for excellence in research is growing, she said.

“We expect to be the university that demonstrates to the country that diversity, student success and research excellence go hand in hand,” she said.

A diverse undergraduate student body brings in a diversity of perspectives, questions, and issues, she said. “Our faculty have been able to seize on that.”

UC Riverside provides unique opportunities for undergraduate research, said James Sandoval, vice chancellor for student affairs.

“We have faculty who are very oriented toward undergraduates,” Sandoval said. “It makes a tremendous difference. It opens doors for careers and graduate professional schools, and makes a big difference in success here and when our students leave this university.”

Across the board, UCR is growing stronger in the sciences, humanities and the arts, Wartella said. “These are all the ways in which great universities are able to grow academically and demonstrate they can put that knowledge together for the benefit of their communities,” she said.

U.S. News & World Report began issuing lists of the nation's best colleges and universities in 1983.

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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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