Frequently Asked Questions
1. Will UCR Senate faculty members have teaching or mentoring responsibilities with the proposed STEM Education Center?
No. It is anticipated that UCR Senate faculty may choose to volunteer at the school as many have done over the past several years. However, the initial MOU is an evolving document and no faculty member will be expected nor required to engage with the proposed STEM Education Center. There should be no concerns that UCR students will have less access to professors or that professors will be required to take on additional responsibilities at the STEM Education Center. UCR’s partnership with the proposed STEM Education Center will largely manifest in research opportunities, voluntary or grant-directed community outreach, and student teaching placement for SOE students.
2. How will the proposed STEM Education Center affect UCR students’ access to constrained campus resources?
The proposed STEM Education Center will be funded by RUSD resources and will be largely self-contained. While the STEM Education Center will not schedule time in UCR classrooms or labs, it is possible that UCR may use the STEM Education Center space after hours.
3. Parking is limited on campus. Where will proposed STEM Education Center students and staff park?
No. Parking for the STEM Education Center faculty, staff and students will be the responsibility of RUSD, and UCR will not be providing parking privileges to support the proposed STEM Education Center. Independent of any STEM Education Center on-site parking needs, UCR just completed a new parking structure on Lot 13.
4. How will UCR manage the traffic issues surrounding the school?
UCR continues to work to ensure safe and efficient access to the campus for all community members. These efforts were enhanced with the RTA investment in upgraded transit facilities on Canyon Crest. Access to the highway, reasonable opportunities to park that do not interfere with student overflow parking and the effect on our current traffic patterns will all continue to be taken into account throughout the site development process.
5. Will STEM Education Center students be permitted to eat lunch on campus?
Currently, RUSD does not plan to allow STEM Education Center students to leave the school grounds for lunch. The school will have lunch facilities for their students and UCR campus eateries should not be significantly affected.
6. What is RUSD’s diversity plan for the proposed STEM Education Center? How does our partnership take diversity into account?
RUSD has revised the student selection process to support diversity at Riverside STEM Academy. Enrollment slots are balanced equally across our comprehensive high schools. Part of the appeal for UCR in partnering with the proposed STEM Education Center is the opportunity to enhance access to STEM fields for underrepresented groups. The STEM Education Center will reflect the diversity of the district and will hopefully help UCR continue to recruit diverse cohorts of new students.
7. Why weren’t other public schools in the area considered as potential partners?
RUSD invited UCR to partner on this project. The proposed RUSD STEM High School is an excellent partnership opportunity due to the many advantages such a high-caliber school brings to our campus including providing excellent student teaching and research opportunities and helping UCR to compete for top faculty candidates. Partnership with UCR will also help elevate RUSD and enhance its ability to provide access to a high-quality education to our community. This partnership is a unique opportunity to help further develop a school of choice and improve our relationship with our local school district.
8. How will this process allow for transparency and input from the Faculty Senate?
As we move forward, we will continue to engage in Senate consultation regarding the proposed STEM Education Center. A white paper describing the project and clarifying some outstanding issues from the MOU was circulated to the Senate on July 22, 2018. The Senate’s response is available here. Several Senate committees were supportive of the proposal including the SOE Executive Committee, the Committee on Research, the School of Business Executive Committee, the CHASS Executive Committee, the SOM Executive Committee, and the SPP Executive Committee. There will continue to be opportunities for input and town hall discussions of this project.
9. The proposed STEM Education Center could repurpose space currently used for recreation. How will the recreation fields be replaced?
We will work with multiple stakeholders, including Campus Recreation and Athletics, to determine the best course of action to meet campus needs for recreational space, likely with new fields somewhere in the north district.