Spring 2022 Chair Letter

April 21, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

It has been pleasant the last few weeks slowly getting back to campus to see our community moving toward renewal during Spring quarter. The chance to learn together again in person has been meaningful for many and our warm weather encourages some outdoor activities including sidewalk chalk office hours hosted by Dr Stephanie Dingwall. The last few years have challenged all of us in our personal and professional lives but I’ve appreciated that our campus community has been focused on mutual safety and mutual respect.


Congratulations are in order for Distinguished Professor Emeritus Daniel Hare who was awarded the 2022 Oliver Johnson Award for Distinguished Leadership in the Academic Senate. This award is presented every other year to honor an Academic Senate member or members in recognition of lifetime service to the Senate, outstanding and creative contributions to faculty governance, and exceptional abilities in working with different University constituents. His nomination highlighted his service on our UCR campus as Divisional Chair and numerous campus committees and in roles at systemwide: Chair of the systemwide Senate, Faculty Advisor to President Janet Napolitano, UC Faculty Welfare Chair, and member of the UCFW Task Force on Investment and Retirement. Dan is recognized for his efforts to improve salary and benefits for UC faculty, the instrumental role in guiding Senate input on UC’s Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment, and help leading establishment of UC Transfer Pathways for community college students. I am delighted for Prof Hare to receive this award and to also use this moment to thank him for the years of service he has contributed to our campus and our university system.

I’ll note the past selection of this biennial award was also given to another UCR faculty colleague, Professor Manuela Martens-Green in 2020 in recognition of her leadership and years of service to the Riverside Division and roles in the systemwide Academic Senate.

Temporary changes to Grading System Regulations R1.1.4, R1.1.5, R1.1.6, R1.2.2, R1.8.1

In consultation with the Committee on Courses, Committee on Educational Policy and Graduate Council, Executive Council voted to extend the policy modification for the Spring quarter which extend drop/add period for courses and no-penalty late drop. It is anticipated this will be the last blanket COVID-19-related grading/registration modifications if virus transmission conditions continue to remain low incidence. These regulations have helped students who have had unexpected impact of COVID-19 on themselves or family members, but also recognize the next academic year should be a return to the standard regulations which limit the period for dropping courses without penalty. The Senate and Registrar will endeavor to further help communicate reminders to faculty and students of this expected return to standard deadlines in Fall 2022.

UC Systemwide Academic Senate Communications

I draw your attention to a recent letter from Academic Council Chair Robert Horowitz to President Drake on Academic Council Response to Calls for Universal Hybrid Instruction. This helps inform a position on faculty resources and needs around hybrid instruction and recordings. Discussions within the UCR Senate are further focusing around the future of instruction and incorporating a UCR perspective on how to meet the needs and best practices for instructors and students on our campus. I also point you to other items of discussion shared from Academic Council that have included advocacy for salary scale adjustments and extending fertility benefits to the suite of health and welfare benefits offered by the University.

Developing Online Courses

The experience of remote teaching has provided many of us with the chance to realize some of the promise of flexibility, increased access, and also challenges that can be achieved with online courses. I remind faculty that migration of a course to include an online modality can be achieved through submission of a course change proposal that highlights the changes to the syllabus and offering. The Senate Courses site provides guidelines on deadlines for proposals.

Academic Integrity Committee

In February 2022, the Senate and Undergraduate Education formed an Academic Integrity Taskforce Committee to provide ideas and feedback about how to best serve the faculty and student population at UCR in how we address academic integrity violations and develop integrated educational resources for students to understand expectations, opportunities, and pitfalls in the ubiquitous access to digital resources and collaborative learning tools. The committee may opine on how to make best use of new pedagogical resources with our campus resources including XCITE and Academy of Distinguished Teachers. The committee is charged to think about how the campus can better approach Student Education on Cheating, what improvements to Cheating and Academic Integrity violations are addressed, and what resources the Faculty need to help address and decrease cheating.

Joint Teaching Evaluation Implementation Committee

The Provost and Senate have established a Joint Senate-Administrative Teaching Evaluation Implementation Committee charged with implementing the recommendations in the Ad Hoc Committee’s 2021 report. This committee has begun its work to address improvements in how the campus evaluates teaching, taking in input from students, while also addressing inherent biases in these systems and implementing changes to address these through iEval, and discussions around changes to the CALL.