About the Recipient
As UC Riverside’s chief executive officer, Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox oversees a campus of more than 26,000 students, 850 faculty members, and 4,700 academic and administrative staff members. Guided by UC Riverside’s long-term strategic plan, Wilcox initiated an ambitious effort to grow the faculty by nearly 200 and the campus’s physical facilities with $1 billion in capital projects that are complete or underway. During Wilcox’s tenure, UC Riverside has become a national model for achieving student success, particularly across socioeconomic and ethnic categories. In the past five years, four-year graduation rates at UC Riverside have increased by 16 percentage points and six-year rates by 5 points. From 2005 to 2013, Wilcox served as provost at Michigan State. Previously, he was dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas and president and chief executive officer of the Kansas Board of Regents. A first-generation college graduate, Wilcox attended Michigan State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in audiology and speech sciences. He also holds master's and doctoral degrees in speech and hearing science from Purdue University.
Chancellor Wilcox has devoted more than eight years as CEO of the University of California, Riverside. He serves on a range of committees of the UC Board of Regents and brought UCR in as a charter member of the University Innovation Alliance, funded by the Ford, Gates, Kresge, and Lumina foundations. Wilcox has been an active participant on a variety of higher education advisory boards and committees. He currently serves on the NCAA Presidential Forum and as a member of the board of directors for the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities. He serves as a representative of the University as a member of the Council on Competitiveness, a nonpartisan organization consisting of university presidents, CEOs, labor leaders, and national lab directors working to promote innovation and growth in the U.S. economy.
Chancellor Wilcox was on the founding board of Growing Inland Achievement, a regional collective impact organization aimed at increasing equitable postsecondary credential attainment, adding more qualified people to the workforce, and contributing to a thriving economy in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. In 2017, he presided over the graduation of the first class of physicians from UCR's fledgling medical school, the first new allopathic school of medicine in California since 1968. A physician shortage in the poorer, more rural inland region of California has reached crisis proportions, and UCR is leading the way in restoring equity. In 2016, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) recognized UCR's dramatic improvement in four- and six-year graduation rates and elimination of graduation-rate gaps across income levels and ethnicity with their “Project Degree Completion Award,” which goes to one university nationwide that has demonstrated innovation in student success. In 2021, Chancellor Wilcox received the Outstanding Senior Leadership Award by the Council of University of California Staff Assemblies. The award recognizes senior‐level leaders from across the entire system who are supportive and inclusive of UC staff, and encourage equity, diversity, inclusion, and community. Specifically, in the advancement realm, Chancellor Wilcox has set high expectations for elevating the UCR brand, increasing private support, and engaging alumni in enduring, meaningful ways. He invested resources that allowed for a comprehensive alumni census of 125,000 living graduates, an expansion of data reporting and predictive analytics tools, and improved donor stewardship activities. From his long experience as a dean and provost, Chancellor Wilcox brings to his role a deep understanding and appreciation of the vital nature of advancement, the necessity to invest strategically, and the power of storytelling as a way to build the brand. He has positioned his provosts and deans to be visible ambassadors of this charge and holds them accountable for advancement outcomes across the University's seven colleges and schools as well as various other units with advancement responsibilities.
About the Award
The Chief Executive Officer Leadership Award was established by District VII in 1999 to honor institutional leaders for their outstanding contributions to their campus communities and for their support of advancement at their institutions. The award also recognizes a District VII member institution president, headmaster, chancellor, system head, or other institutional CEO for their outstanding efforts to promote a public understanding and support of education.