About the institutional type



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{The institution defines its purposes and establishes educational objectives aligned with its purposes and character. It has a clear and conscious sense of its essential values and character, its distinctive elements, its place in the higher education community, and its relationship to society at large. Through its purposes and educational objectives, the institution dedicates itself to higher learning, the search for truth, and the dissemination of knowledge. The institution functions with integrity and autonomy.}



General Comments Regarding the Standard
The University of California, Riverside, is one of ten campuses of the University of California, generally recognized as the preeminent public university system in the world. UCR admitted its first undergraduate students in 1954 and was declared a general campus (offering undergraduate and graduate programs) by act of The Regents in 1959. The campus was first accredited by WASC in 1956. The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education ranked UCR as "Doctoral/research university-extensive," the highest ranking. Only 3.8 percent of 3,856 institutions are so ranked.
The campus has effective policies and procedures to protect academic freedom, provide redress for grievances, and protect the integrity of its operations. It is firmly committed to enhancing its diversity and making that diversity an element of its educational process.
The campus is in the process of reviewing its educational objectives at all levels. It has strengthened its data collection and analyses to better evaluate the degree to which educational objectives are being attained.
Specific Comments Regarding the Standard

The University of California’s Mission Statement, set forth in the Academic Plan of 1974-78, is as follows [CFR1.1]:

The distinctive mission of the University is to serve society as a center of higher learning, providing long-term societal benefits through transmitting advanced knowledge, discovering new knowledge, and functioning as an active working repository of organized knowledge. That obligation, more specifically, includes undergraduate education, graduate and professional education, research, and other kinds of public service, which are shaped and bounded by the central pervasive mission of discovering and advancing knowledge.

The Riverside campus, as one of nine general campuses of the University, fulfills each of the dimensions of the University’s Mission Statement through its programs in undergraduate education, graduate and professional education, research, Cooperative Extension, University Extension, and other service efforts. Seven key goals have been established by the campus and broadly promoted by the Chancellor to focus campus efforts on various elements of the University’s Mission Statement [CFR1.1]:

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1) To enhance UCR’s reputational rankings



  1. To invest in areas of strength

  2. To expand opportunities for learning and personal growth for all students, undergraduate and graduate

  3. To reshape the curriculum

  4. To diversify our faculty, staff, and graduate population

  5. To build professional schools

  6. To forge closer ties with the community

UCR has established its Principles of Community, which involve a commitment to equitable treatment of all students, faculty, and staff and creating an environment in which each person has the opportunity to grow and develop and is recognized for his or her contribution. Three objectives underlie these principles: [CFR 1.1]:

  1. We must ensure that we have an environment that nurtures the intellectual and personal growth of our students, faculty, and staff.

  2. We must ensure that our campus sets an example of respect for all people.

  3. We must ensure that our campus is a safe and welcoming environment for everyone.

The campus leadership is marked by high performance, appropriate responsibility, and accountability. The organization chart for the campus is found in the Policies and Procedures Manual. The accountability of individual divisional heads is reviewed during the annual planning and budget process, as addressed in the general discussion of Standard 4. [CFR 1.3]

The campus continues to have one of the most diverse undergraduate student bodies of any research university in the country, from the standpoint of race, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic background, and family experience with higher education. As of 2005, our percentage of minority students in the total student body (68%) was exceeded by only three public American Association of Universities (AAU) institutions, and our percentage of minority students among undergraduates (75%) exceeded the percentage of every public AAU institution. However, our percentage of minority students among graduate students (22%) was exceeded by 10 public AAU institutions, and our faculty and staff are much less diverse than our undergraduates. The campus is addressing ways of maximizing the benefits of its diverse undergraduate population and increasing the diversity of other components of the campus. The campus community (especially undergraduate students and staff) provides outreach and support activities to the diverse, surrounding community, and the diversity of the campus is a distinct asset in the process. This strong interest and focus stimulated the campus to select “Learning within a Campus Culture of Diversity” as one of its special themes for the WASC Self-Study; see Page 31 of this report for discussion of this theme. [CFR 1.1]


UCR is committed to the collection and analysis of evidence of the degree to which its educational objectives are being met at the campus level, at the college or school level, and at the level of the individual program. In the past, data collections and analyses have
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been conducted by individual institutional research offices on campus, without any explicit effort to serve multiple needs or to address assessment beyond the concerns of the individual office. To address this limitation, the campus has established the Institutional Research Coordinating Group (IRCG), composed of representatives from the key offices involved in institutional research. The IRCG has established a data storage area in which data and analyses of data are shared among IRCG members. The IRCG reviews and advises regarding proposals for survey and other data collection, works with the Department of Computing and Communications and the Office of Academic Planning and Budget to design more effective ways of making available to the campus at large the results of analyses and assessments, and serves as a repository of analyses and studies for access by anyone interested in assessing the degree to which educational objectives are being met. [CFRs 1.2, 2.10, 4.4, and 4.5]

The Riverside campus is the only UC campus participating in the Collegiate Learning Assessment project, which attempts to measure the value-added aspects of a student’s undergraduate education. The initial results for the campus indicate that UCR’s undergraduates are learning far more than would be expected, given their characteristics and backgrounds. [CFRs 1.2 and 4.4]

On October 10, 2007, the campus hosted a seminar entitled “Establishing Measures of Student Learning Outcomes: A Debate on Methods”, featuring Dr. Stephen Klein of the Council for Aid to Education’s Collegiate Learning Assessment Project and UC San Diego Professor Mark Appelbaum, with UC Riverside Professor Robert Rosenthal as moderator. It was attended by 55 individuals on campus, and 69 sites in the U.S. or Canada signed up to receive a simultaneous web cast of the event. It stimulated significant discussion and interest in assessment. [CFR 1.2]

The campus has a long tradition of effective evaluation of graduate and professional programs through assessment by the Graduate Council, a committee of the campus Academic Senate, which involves preparation of data and analyses by the Graduate Division and the appointment of external peer review teams. As a result of the reviews, some weaker programs have been prohibited from admitting new students, and some programs with greater potential have been significantly strengthened. The slow rate of growth of graduate and professional student enrollment compared with undergraduate enrollment, plus the results of graduate and professional program reviews, have stimulated the campus to select “Growing and Improving Graduate and Professional Programs” as one of the campus special themes for the WASC Self-Study; see Pages 32-33 of this report for discussion of this theme. [CFRs 1.2, 2.7, and 4.4]
The campus has recently established a similar program of evaluation of undergraduate programs through assessment by the campus Academic Senate Committee on Educational Policy. In 2005-06 the undergraduate programs offered through nine life sciences departments were assessed by an external review team, which made a number of recommendations for improvement. Follow up efforts have focused on implementing

these recommendations. Based on the experience of the review of life sciences programs,

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the Committee on Educational Policy established a formal review process for the other undergraduate programs on campus, involving the appointment of external review teams, with technical assistance from the Office of Undergraduate Education. During the 2006-07 academic year programs in History, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and Statistics were reviewed. [CFRs 1.2, 2.7, and 4.4]


Following the completion of the first round, the procedures for the review of undergraduate programs were modified to place greater emphasis on learning outcomes and their measurement and evaluation. For 2007-08, 13 undergraduate programs in four departments are scheduled for review: the Department of Chemistry’s Chemistry major; the Department of Comparative Literature and Foreign Languages’ majors in Asian Literatures and Cultures; Classical Studies; Comparative Ancient Civilizations; Comparative Literature; French; Germanic Studies; Language; Linguistics; and Russian Studies; the Department of Electrical Engineering’s major in Electrical Engineering; and the Department of Music’s majors in Music and in Music and Culture. To assist in the process, special grant funds are being made available by the Office of Undergraduate Education to departments before and/or after the review process, to fund planning retreats to establish or clarify learning objectives, plan for their assessment, and implement changes resulting from previous assessments. The funds can also be used to bring assessment experts to the department to discuss assessment in greater detail. The Office of Undergraduate Education awards these grants to encourage departments to become more comprehensively involved in learning assessment and the analysis of that assessment. [CFRs 1.2, 2.7, and 4.4]

In 2005, the campus became particularly concerned about the dissatisfaction of some undergraduates with their learning experience, the percentage of first-year undergraduates in academic difficulty or subject to dismissal, the lack of persistence of freshmen to sophomore status, and a 6-year graduation rate of entering freshmen that was relatively low for a UC campus. As a result, the Executive Vice Chancellor/Provost (EVC/P) appointed the Student Success Task Force (SSTF) in October 2005, charged with providing recommendations on improving undergraduate retention, academic success, and the overall undergraduate experience at UCR, especially through the support students receive outside the classroom. Institutional and comparative data were prepared by different campus institutional research offices, and four subcommittees were established to deal with what appeared to be the major factors impacting student success: Freshman Experience, Academic Advising, Student Surveys, and University Investments in Support of Teaching and Learning. [CFRs 1.2, 2.3, 2.10, and 2.13]

The SSTF prepared a comprehensive report, containing a number of specific recommendations, organized by subcommittee area. The nine recommendations in the area of freshman experience are [CFR 1.2]:


    • Reframe first-year programs as first-year learning communities;

    • Strengthen those communities;

    • Develop specific goals and corresponding assessment metrics of the first-year learning communities and engage in ongoing evaluation;

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    • Encourage the Academic Senate to give priority attention to the revision of general education and to consider incorporation of first-year learning communities into this revision;

    • Evaluate freshman discovery seminars;

    • Continue facilitating persistence of currently enrolled students;

    • Enhance financial support to students;

    • Restructure the Learning Center to enhance support to and collaboration with the colleges in supporting student success; and

    • Invest in technology to enhance student support and success.

There are four recommendations in the area of student advising [CFR 1.2]:

    • Endorse the Undergraduate Council report on undergraduate advising and mentorship;

    • Establish a professional academic advisor job series;

    • Enact a set of principles for the implementation of a professional academic advisor job series; and

    • Provide support and resources to the advising community.

The three recommendations in the area of student surveys are [CFR 1.2]:

    • Create a mechanism such that campus stakeholders can suggest additional survey items on existing surveys;

    • Make survey results more accessible; and

    • Disseminate survey results more widely.

The three recommendations in the area of University investments in support of teaching and learning are [CFR 1.2]:

    • Create a Center for Instructional Innovation;

    • Commit UCR to becoming a national leader among public research universities for its instructional technology environment; and

    • Integrate the UCR libraries into instructional support and student success programs and initiatives.

These recommendations are in the process of being implemented through the oversight of the Student Success Steering Committee. The desire to improve the undergraduate learning experience stimulated the campus to establish “Improving Undergraduate Student Engagement, Experience, and Learning Outcomes” as one of the campus special themes for the WASC Self-Study; see Pages 33-34 of this report for discussion of this theme. [CFR 1.2]
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The campus continues to conduct careful evaluations of the freshman learning communities and other first year student programs that have been established in the three colleges (CHASS Connect, Gateway Lecture, and Freshman Learning Communities in the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences; the Freshman Scholars Program in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences; and the Engineering First Year Learning Communities in the Bourns College of Engineering) and in the residence halls. The results of the evaluations are being used to revise and improve the programs. Copies of evaluations of the programs will be posted on the Office of Undergraduate Education website as they become available [CFR 1.2].


The Riverside campus has a strong commitment to academic freedom for all members of the campus community. There are specific grievance procedures for students, faculty, or staff who feel their academic freedom has been threatened or violated. The Office of the Ombudsperson provides confidential, neutral, and informal dispute resolution services for the UCR community. In addition, there are a number of student support offices serving the needs of specific student groups (students belonging to specific ethnic groups; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) students; students with disabilities; etc.) to assure that each has full access to the academic resources of the campus and can fully exercise his or her academic freedom. [CFR 1.4]
The campus wants to understand better its strengths and weaknesses with respect to recruitment and retention of staff. It has contracted with an outside firm to determine why new staff employees came to UCR and why other staff employees have left UCR. [CFR 1.4]
The Riverside campus firmly endorses the WASC Statement on Diversity, including its section on Educational Quality and Diversity. UCR’s commitment to diversity is an institutional commitment and reflected in the Chancellor’s strategic goals of 2003. Two of the 7 strategic goals focused on diversity of the graduate students, the faculty and the curriculum. In 2003, the Chancellor appointed a Special Assistant for Excellence and Diversity, a position that was upgraded to Associate Vice Chancellor for Excellence and Diversity in the fall of 2007, in response to recommendations from the faculty diversity summit. This person is responsible for overseeing all diversity initiatives, helping deans to develop campus diversity plans, evaluating the effectiveness of those plans, and suggesting future initiatives and courses of action. To that end, with wide campus input, a comprehensive diversity plan was developed in 2005 called “The Diversity Framework.” This document lays out diversity goals for all major areas on the campus. In 2007-08 the document is being updated to add specific accountability measures. As is mentioned above, the campus has selected “Learning within a Campus Culture of Diversity” as one of its special themes for the WASC Self-Study. [CFR 1.5]
The Riverside campus has a strong commitment to integrity in its operations. It has clearly established policies and procedures that involve sound business practices and provide for timely and fair responses to complaints and grievances. Different grievance procedures have been established for the different components of the campus: students,

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ladder rank faculty, other faculty, other academic employees, represented staff and staff who are not represented by a union. [CFR 1.8]


The position of Vice Provost for Conflict Resolution was established a few years ago. The position is designed to assure timely and fair responses to complaints and grievances. The Title IX, Affirmative Action, and Ombudsperson offices report to the Vice Provost. The Office of the Vice Provost interfaces with Labor Relations, Student Judicial Affairs, Academic Personnel, and the campus Academic Senate Committee on Charges and functions as a coordinator for both formal and informal grievance processes. The Office conducts Step 2 and Step 3 of the formal grievance process for the Executive Vice Chancellor/Provost. The grievance processes have been described as very transparent – it is clear where to go with a grievance, what to do, and what happens to a complaint or grievance. All of the grievance procedures will be posted on the UCR website by the end of 2007-08. [CFR 1.8]
To meet a State mandate, the University adopted an on-line training program on recognizing and dealing with sexual harassment complaints. Many faculty, in particular, expressed satisfaction with the program during its first year of operation and felt it increased their sensitivity to the issues discussed. [CFR 1.8]
The financial records of the University are audited annually by an external auditing firm, and a comprehensive report is issued annually. In accordance with the University’s implementation of the whistleblower policy, the campus has established a Locally Designated Official who reviews and follows up on any complaints received under the policy, in consultation with an implementing committee. [CFR 1.8]
Opportunities for Further Improvement

Unit directors and other campus leaders are aware of the key campus goals, but there is concern that the general faculty, staff, and students are less aware of them. Some members of the campus community have encouraged the administration to establish specific benchmarks for achievement of the goals and to issue annual reports on the progress achieved in attaining the goals. Clear learning objectives should be formed from the goals. A similar process is taking place with respect to the Student Success Task Force, in which specific timelines have been established for specific recommendations, and a steering committee has been established to monitor implementation. It has also been suggested that an opening convocation for the campus be held each fall to assess the goals and discuss plans for the coming year. There is currently a fall two-day planning retreat for senior management where these issues are discussed. [CFR 1.1]

The Institutional Research Coordinating Group is still in the process of defining the most important and critical data and other information to collect and analyze, developing means of distributing these data and analyses to the general campus, and encouraging action on the implications of these analyses. The sooner progress is made in these efforts

the sooner the campus will be able to link decision making more completely to comprehensive institutional data and analyses. [CFR 1.2]


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There is concern that a recent survey of faculty and staff “climate” issues generated so low a response rate among faculty that it was aborted. In response to this problem the Academic Senate is planning to design and conduct its own survey of faculty with respect to campus “climate” issues. [CFR 1.4]


Where possible, the campus needs to address elements of diversity beyond race, ethnicity, and gender. For example, there is a growing recognition of the great religious diversity among our faculty, staff and students that has gone unrecognized until very recently. Although many different groups are represented among the undergraduates, attention needs to be focused on the degree to which this diversity is becoming a part of the undergraduate experience: Is there sufficient interaction between groups? Does student diversity automatically result in an increase in understanding and appreciation for different kinds of groups? Could the alumni association play a role in this process? Is the diversity being used in courses and programs to enhance learning outcomes? [CFR 1.5]
The campus should compile a record of the number of complaints filed, the time it took to resolve them, and records of appeal. For example, the campus Academic Senate office compiles summary data on grievances and complaints filed with the appropriate Academic Senate committees. Some offices handling complaints may have incomplete records, so a coordinated effort should be made to collect the data in a standardized format. [CFR 1.8]
Concerns have been expressed that the grant management systems of the campus need to be updated or further training needs to be provided to the staff involved in the process. This should be a topic of further campus discussion. [CFR 1.8]


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