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Chancellor Gives State of Campus Talk

Chancellor Talks About Signs of Economic Hope

Chancellor also addresses national recognition for faculty and international agreements during his State of the Campus address

(April 28, 2010)

Chancellor Timothy P. White

Chancellor Timothy P. White

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - ( - Signs of economic hope, national recognition for faculty and international agreements were all covered by UC Riverside Chancellor Timothy P. White's during his State of the Campus address Wednesday.

White, speaking to the Citizens University Committee, a group dedicated to creating awareness and ties between the campus and community, touched on two recent developments that could have a strong positive economic impact on the university.

First, he said he was "very pleased" with President Barack Obama's recent request for $100 million for new medical schools in underserved regions. White said that only four regions fit that criteria and that UCR, which plans to open a medical school in fall 2012, is well-positioned to compete for that money.

Second, White applauded Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for saying Tuesday in a meeting with administrators from the University of California, California State University and the community college systems that he would not sign a budget without additional funding for higher education.

White spent much of the remainder of his talk addressing recent successes on campus.

He noted that Jian-Kang Zhu, plant cell biologist at the UCR, this week was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Zhu's research focuses on the molecular genetic mechanisms underlying plant responses to adverse environments such as salinity, drought and low temperature. His work has led to the identification of genes for modifying the responses of crops to environmental stresses, which will ultimately lead to major contributions to agriculture and the environment.

White called Zhu "an uncommon, terrific scholar."

White also spoke about Norman Ellstrand and Juan Felipe Herrera, who last week were awarded 2010 Guggenheim Fellowships by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Ellstrand, a professor of genetics, received the fellowship for genetics, genomics, and the many faces of hybridization. Herrera, a professor of creative writing, received the fellowship for poetry.

On the international front, White spoke about two agreements he signed on a trip earlier this month to South Korea.

One agreement will establish a research center for Korean-American studies on the UCR campus. The center will be only one of a few in the United States to focus its research on questions such as what it means to be a Korean American in the 21st century, the history of Korean Americans, the Korean diaspora in the United States and globally, and the role of Korean Americans in the reunification of South and North Korea.

The other agreement, between UC Riverside's Bourns College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) and Chungnam National University in South Korea, will focus on environmental research. Initially, research is expected to focus on solar energy. In the future, it will expand to air quality issues, sustainable communities, energy conservation and new energy systems.

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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