May 7, 2021 —
After months of uncertainty, Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox announced Thursday, May 6 that UCR will not cut its athletics program and will continue to compete in 17 sports at the Division I level in the Big West Conference.
Due to budget cuts as a result of the pandemic and the campus closure, the UCR Budget Advisory Committee proposed cutting UCR‘s athletics program as well as the School of Public Policy. The proposal caused an outpour of criticism from the UCR and greater Riverside community with #KeepUCRAthletics trending on social media.
In November, the Athletics Working Group was established to conduct a thorough assessment of Intercollegiate Athletics on campus, review challenges and opportunities and make recommendations on the long-term sustainability of the program. With the conclusion of the efforts by the working group, Wilcox confirmed that while athletics will continue at UCR, they are making notable structural changes in response to its financial challenges. These changes range from permanent budget reductions, increasing revenue generation activities and organizational restructuring to help ensure the program’s long-term viability. Intercollegiate Athletics will implement a three-year financial and operational plan to achieve substantial permanent budget reductions, increase externally generated revenue and move toward financial stability. The university will explore a potential student referendum in the 2021-22 academic year to consider an increase to the Division I athletics fee, which is the lowest in the Big West Conference and has remained unchanged for 20 years.
No updates have been provided on the state of the School of Public Policy.
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