A group of students studies together at a table in the library as seen from between two shelves of books.

Research and Scholarly Distinction



Vice Chair


Committee on Research and Scholarly Distinction: 
Chair: Xiaoping Hu, Bioengineering
Vice Chair: Timothy Lyons, Earth Sciences

Faculty Members:

  • Deborah Wong, Professor of Music, CHASS
  • Katherine Sweeney, Professor of Psychology, CHASS
  • Jennifer Merolla, Professor of Political Science, CHASS
  • João Costa Vargas, Professor of Anthropology, CHASS
  • Ian Wheeldon, Associate Professor of Chemical & Environmental Engineering, BCOE
  • Ming-Lee Tang, Associate Professor of Chemistry, CNAS
  • Perry Link, Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature/Chinese, CHASS
  • Roya Zandi, Professor of Physics and Astronomy, CNAS
  • Vijayalakshim Santhakumar, Associate Professor of Molecular, Cell & Systems Biology, CNAS

Staff Members:

  • Kathy Eiler, Director of Federal Relations
  • Iqbal Pittalwala, University Communications
  • Chris Heun, Organizational Project Administrator
Community Member: Allison MacKenzie, Babcock Laboratories

Academic Leaders:

  • Shaun Bowler, Graduate Dean
  • David Lo, SOM Associate Dean for Research
  • Georgia Warnke, Director Center for Ideas and Society

Administrative Leader: Gillian Wilson, Sr. AVC RED, Physics and Astronomy

Foundation/Alumni Board Member: Walter Buzz Stewart, Board of Trustees
Graduate Student: Pablo Unzueta
Undergraduate Student: Angel Huerta, Student Health Advisory Council
Supporting Staff Member: Michelle Jaramillo, Provost’s Office

Committee Charge 

As a research-intensive (R1) and public land grant university, research and scholarship are central to UCR's mission and our future. The Research and Scholarly Distinction strategic planning committee will work collaboratively and engage in broad discussions and thoughtful analysis to produce the questions, goals, metrics and summary recommendations that will guide UCR's collective efforts and future investments to achieve even greater distinction in research and scholarship. The committee should be bold in exploring how UCR can effectively identify, develop and enhance research and scholarship in traditional disciplines, including the humanities and creative disciplines, and emerging multidisciplinary areas to advance the overall research and scholarship profile of the campus through rankings, awards, and other forms of national and international recognition. This work should address campus support for research, ways in which research funding can be increased including the development of new partnerships with other institutions of higher learning, foundations, and corporations, the role of research centers, and how intellectual property developed at UCR can be leveraged for societal benefit and economic development in our region and beyond. This effort will culminate in a 5-10 page document, due in Spring 2020 that will be shared with the campus community. Following an opportunity for feedback, this report will be synthesized with those of the other committees to produce the strategic plan. 

The committee will be led by a chair and vice-chair, and supported by a staff member who will partner closely with the chair and vice-chair while also serving as a contributing member of the committee. The staff member will assist the chair and vice chair by helping to facilitate communications, organize and schedule meetings and summarize meeting discussions. 

In this work, the committee will integrate the discussion and analysis of UCR's value as they impact our research enterprise. As this effort is critically important that committee members act and think as campus representatives, rather than constituents of their own department, college or office. Because the work will be carried out over the coming year, committee members must commit sustained and regular meetings including committee discussions over the summer. Committee members will speak thoughtfully and listen carefully, engaging each other and the larger campus community in respectful dialog.