UC Riverside



Past Chancellors and Provosts


UCR's past chancellors.

Great Leadership at a Great University

Gordon Watkins

Gordon Watkins
Provost, 1949 to 1956

  • Gordon Samuel Watkins was UC Riverside's first provost.
  • Born in Brynmawr, Wales, Watkins came to the United States at the age of 17.
  • He earned his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1918.
  • From 1925 to 1949 Watkins was professor of economics at UCLA.
  • In 1949 he was named the first provost of the Riverside campus, a position he held until his retirement in 1956.
  • He was recalled to serve on the UC Santa Barbara campus as dean of the School of Education.
  • He died in 1970.

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Herman Spieth.

Herman Spieth
Provost, 1956 to 1958, Chancellor 1958 to June 1964

  • Herman Theodore Spieth was chief campus officer at the Riverside campus during a period of transition when the small liberal arts college was moving toward full university status.
  • He received his Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Indiana in 1931.
  • Dr. Spieth came to UCR in 1954 as a professor of zoology and chairman of life sciences.
  • In 1956 Spieth was named provost. He held this title until the Regents designated Riverside a general campus in 1958 and his title was changed to chancellor.
  • Spieth served as UCR's first chancellor until June 1964. He then transferred to UC Davis as professor of zoology.
  • He died in 1988.

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Ivan Hinderaker

Ivan Hinderaker
Chancellor, July 1964 to 1979

  • Ivan Hinderaker was UCR's longest-serving chancellor.
  • Hinderaker received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1946.
  • A native of Minnesota, Hinderaker was a member of the Minnesota State Legislature from 1941 to 1942.
  • He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1943 to 1946.
  • In 1949, Hinderaker joined the UCLA faculty as assistant professor of political science and later served as department chairman.
  • He guided UCR through the period of social unrest common to most college campuses in the 1960s.
  • He died on September 23, 2007.

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Tomas Rivera

Tomás Rivera
Chancellor, 1979 to May 1984

  • A Mexican-American who received his early education in Spanish-language barrio schools, Tomás Rivera went on to earn advanced degrees and to become the first minority chancellor in the University of California system in 1979.
  • During Rivera’s tenure, a master’s degree program in business administration was added to the flourishing Graduate School of Management.
  • Before coming to UCR, Rivera worked at the University of Texas at El Paso as the executive vice president and acting vice president for academic affairs.
  • Rivera died in office in 1984.

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Daniel Aldrich

Daniel Aldrich
Interim Chancellor, May 1984 to March 1985

  • Daniel Gaskill Aldrich, Jr. became the founding chancellor of the UC Irvine campus in 1962.
  • His academic career with the University of California began in 1944 as a soil chemist at the Citrus Experiment Station at Riverside. Aldrich later progressed to the rank of chemist in the Agricultural Experiment Station.
  • In 1955 he was given a joint appointment as professor of soils and chairman of the Department of Soils and Plant Nutrition at both UC Berkeley and UC Davis.
  • He was appointed interim chancellor at UC Riverside following Chancellor Rivera's death in 1984.
  • Aldrich later served as interim chancellor at UC Santa Barbara from 1986-87.
  • He died in 1990.

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Ted Hullar

Ted Hullar
Chancellor, March 1985 to 1987

  • Hullar came to Riverside in 1984 as Chancellor Rivera’s executive vice chancellor.
  • He was appointed chancellor in March, 1985.
  • While chancellor, Hullar helped finalize the site for the now flourishing California Museum of Photography, laid the foundation for the engineering program, and welcomed in the first students to earn degrees in business administration from UCR.
  • In 1987, he was reassigned to UC Davis, where he served until 1994. He later went on to become the director of the Center for the Environment at Cornell University.
  • Before joining the UCR community, Hullar served at Cornell University, where he was director of the Agricultural Experiment Station, director of research for the New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and professor of Natural Resources.

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Rosemary Schraer

Rosemary Schraer
Chancellor, 1987 to 1992

  • Rosemary Schraer was born in 1924 near Utica in upstate New York.
  • She received her Ph.D. in biochemistry from Syracuse in 1953 and spent the next few years as a research associate at the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia.
  • Before moving to UCR, Schraer served in various capacities as a professor, prolific researcher, and administrator at Pennsylvania State University. She also held visiting appointments at Harvard Medical School and Cavendish College at Cambridge University.
  • In 1985, Schraer accepted the position of executive vice chancellor at UCR under Chancellor Hullar.
  • Schraer was named the first female chancellor in the UC system when Chancellor Hullar was reassigned to UC Davis in 1987.
  • Her goal of growing UCR to be the UC system's next great research campus inspired an external giving program, which increased external giving from $3 million to over $12 million annually.
  • Schraer died in office in 1992.

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Raymond Orbach

Raymond Orbach
Chancellor, 1992 to 2002

  • While chancellor, Raymond L. Orbach maintained an active research laboratory at UCR.
  • Orbach was the second-longest tenured chancellor at UCR.
  • Under Orbach’s leadership, UCR grew from 8,800 students to over 14,000.
  • Orbach championed a campus-wide building boom, including adding over one-million square-feet of office, research, and teaching facilities with a value of $250 million.
  • He resigned in 2002 to become the director of the Office of Science in the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, D.C.
  • Born in Los Angeles, Orbach earned a bachelor's degree from the California Institute of Technology in 1956. He was awarded a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 1960.
  • His career at the University of California began in 1960 when he joined the UCLA faculty as an associate professor of physics, becoming a full professor in 1966.

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David H. Warren

David H. Warren
Interim Chancellor, March 2002 to July 2002

  • Dr. David H. Warren was named interim chancellor in March 2002.
  • He joined the UCR faculty in 1969 and was appointed executive vice chancellor in 1994.
  • Warren also served as the dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, the director of the University Honors Program, and the chair of the Department of Psychology.
  • He has written four books and 60 articles on spatial cognition and the impact of visual impairment on child development.
  • He graduated from Yale University in 1965 with an A.B. in Psychology, and subsequently earned his doctorate in Child Development from the University of Minnesota.
  • He is currently a professor emeritus in the Department of Psychology at UCR.

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France Cordova

France Córdova
Chancellor, July 2002 to May 2007

  • She was the first Hispanic woman to serve as chancellor at a University of California campus.
  • While serving as chancellor, Córdova's accomplishments included the preliminary approval for a medical school at UCR, the opening of UCR's Palm Desert Graduate Center, and the addition of over 1.8 million square feet of new or renovated space on campus.
  • Córdova was an internationally recognized speaker on issues related to diversity, particularly for women and underrepresented minorities in the areas of science, mathematics, and engineering.
  • Córdova joined UC Santa Barbara as vice chancellor for research in August 1996 and became UCR's seventh chancellor in April 2002.
  • She received a Ph.D. in physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1979. In 1993, she was named the chief scientist at NASA, becoming the first woman and youngest person to hold this position.
  • Córdova resigned in 2007 to become the president of Purdue University.

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Robert D. Grey

Robert D. Grey
Interim Chancellor, May 2007 to June 2008

  • As Interim Chancellor, Grey led development of the final proposal for the UCR medical school, which includes the business plan and curriculum. It was approved by the Academic Senate in March 2008.
  • Grey also launched a major initiative on college eligibility, involving representatives from K-12, higher education, local government, local businesses, and the community.
  • Under Grey's leadership, UCR also developed a new enrollment plan, launched a scholarship campaign, and gained Senate approval for a new School of Public Policy.
  • He had a key role in the development of the preliminary proposal for the UCR School of Medicine, spending 18 months as the executive assistant to the chancellor for health affairs.
  • Grey served for eight years as provost and executive vice chancellor at UC Davis.
  • While at UC Davis, he served as founding dean of the Division of Biological Sciences, chair of the Department of Zoology and associate dean of the College of Letters and Science.

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Timothy P. White

Timothy P. White
Chancellor, July 2008 to December 2012

  • Now Chancellor of the 23-campus California State University system, the largest four-year public higher education system in the country.
  • Former president, University of Idaho and former Provost and Executive Vice President, Oregon State University.
  • He received his Ph.D. in exercise physiology from UC Berkeley.
  • Accomplishments at UCR include the development of a 10-year strategic plan called UCR 2020, accreditation of the new School of Medicine, the announcement of the new School of Public Policy, and growth of campus enrollment to almost 21,000 students
  • Under White, Riverside also was selected to host the new UCPath project, which is consolidating basic human resources operations across the entire UC system as a permanent cost-saving measure.

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Jane Close Conoley

Jane Close Conoley
Interim Chancellor, December 2012 to August 2013

  • Serves as the dean of the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at UC Santa Barbara.
  • She received her Ph.D. in school psychology from the University of Texas at Austin.
  • Accomplishments at UCR include the launch of the new School of Medicine, which received 2,400 applications for the 50 spots available for the first class.
  • Under Conoley, Riverside was named a “Next Generation University” by the New America Foundation for success in enhancing student outcomes and maintaining robust research profiles despite economic pressures, and ranked 10th in the world in its impact on the natural sciences and engineering by the University of Leiden.
  • In recognition of her impact on campus and staff, the UC Riverside Staff Assembly presented Conoley with an award of thanks at their annual Outstanding Staff Awards.

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