CHASS Named, Term, and Endowed Chairs
UCR’s College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences is home to world-class research and teaching faculty. With the generous support of colleagues, donors, and friends, the College appoints exceptional faculty to the following named, term, and endowed chairs. On an annual basis, we recognize these outstanding faculty.
When appropriate, the Office of the Dean will post notice of new appointment opportunities.
Patricia McSweeny McCauley Chair in Teaching Excellence
In 1993, Patricia McSweeny McCauley (1913-2004), a pioneer in healthcare education in the San Jacinto Valley and former member of the UC Riverside Foundation Board of Trustees, established the Patricia McSweeny McCauley Chair in Teaching Excellence to honor a commitment to education and the community of Riverside. The funds for the chair were supplemented by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to the UC Regents.
The endowed chair was originally conceived as a senior appointment under the direction of the Dean, but the funds have been used in various ways to advance teaching needs. In 2007, the Chair was combined with the CHASS Distinguished Teaching Award. Candidates were nominated by their departments and selected by the CHASS Executive Committee. During the current vacancy, that arrangement is under reconsideration and realignment with the original intent of the donor and NEH grant to the Regents.
- Vacant (2019-
- Sherine Hafez, Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies, (2017-19)
- Bella Merlin, Department of Theatre, Film, and Digital Production (2016-17)
- Carl Cranor, Department of Philosophy (2014-15)
- Juliet McMullin, Department of Anthropology (2013-14)
- Christine Gailey, Department of Anthropology (2012-13)
- Vivian-Lee Nyitray, Department of Religious Studies (2011-12)
- Steven Helfand, Department of Economics (2010-11)
- Ellen Reese, Department of Sociology (2009-10)
John Gleason McSweeny Family Chair in Rhetoric and Teaching Excellence
With the generous support of the estate of Patricia McSweeny McCauley, the John Gleason McSweeny Family Chair in Rhetoric and Teaching Excellence was established in 2005 and honors the life and legacy of John Gleason McSweeny (1894-1965), a potato farmer who was committed to education and the community of Riverside. Under the broad definition of rhetoric, across written, oral, and visual communication, the Chair is open to the disciplines of screenwriting, playwriting, film and visual media, dramatic arts, literary criticism, and related fields.
The original chairholders were senior faculty nominated by the Dean, but following a vacancy that opened in 2022, the Dean commissioned an ad-hoc workgroup of chairs from the Departments of Comparative Literature and Language, Creative Writing, English, Hispanic Studies, Media and Cultural Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, and Theatre, Film, and Digital Production to run a multiyear series on the “State(s) of Rhetoric,” leading to a recommendation on the future of the chair and its selection.
- Vacant (2022-
- John C. Briggs, Department of English (2012-22)
- Rise B. Axelrod, Department of English (2006-12)
Rupert Costo Chair in American Indian Affairs
Rupert Costo (Cahuilla) (1906-1989) and Jeannette Henry Costo (Cherokee) (1909-2001) were instrumental in bringing a University of California campus to Riverside in the 1950s. In 1986, they created the Rupert Costo Chair of American Indian Affairs, the first chair in the nation endowed directly by American Indians. Chair objectives include encouraging and sustaining scholarly studies of the American Indian; generating the interest and involvement of educational and other institutions in such studies; and creating a cultural interchange between the local Native American tribes and the university community at UCR. The Chair should be committed to community-based research within and among American Indian communities. Preference is given to scholars who have conducted community-based research related to California’s First Nations.
- Clifford Trafzer, Department of History (July 1, 2007-present)
- Joel Martin, Departments of History and Religious Studies (1999-2006)
- Jack Norton (Hupa/Cherokee) (1997-99)
- Cheryl A. Metoyer-Duran (1993-97)
- Richard Glazer-Danay (1991-93)
- Donald A. Grinde (1989-91)
- George Harwood Phillips (1988-89)
- Florence C. Shipek (1987-88)
Shrimad Rajchandra Endowed Chair in Jain Studies Fund
The Shrimad Rajchandra Endowed Chair in Jain Studies was made possible by generous donations from Dr. Rushabh Jasvant Modi, Mr. Mahesh Wadher and Mrs. Usha Wadher, Mr. Vijay Chheda and Mrs. Madhu Chheda, and other members of the Jain Center of Southern California, Jain Center of Los Angeles, and Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur (USA). Established in 2017, commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of the Jain spiritual teacher and reformer Shrimad Rajchandra, the Chair’s mission is to pursue critical scholarly research of Jainism and advance its study at UCR.
- Ana Bajželj, Department of Religious Studies (2018-present)
Tomás Rivera Endowed Chair
With the generous donation of Concha Rivera, joined by a handful of other donors committed to the legacy of former UCR Chancellor Tomás Rivera (1935-1984), the Tomás Rivera Endowed Chair was established in 2002. The Tomás Rivera Endowed Chair will honor Rivera’s many contributions to the worlds of art and literature, to academic pursuits, and to the richness of our diverse community through his poetry and fiction. The expendable distribution from this endowment will provide support for an endowed chair in Creative Writing and English with an emphasis on Chicano/Latino Literature and will be used to support the Tomás Rivera Conference. The endowed chair will be a senior appointment under the direction of the Dean.
- Alex Espinoza, Department of Creative Writing (2019-present)
- Tiffany Lopez, Department of Theatre, Film and Digital Production (2012-16)
- Juan Felipe Herrera, Department of Creative Writing (2006-12)
Dr. Jasbir Singh Saini Endowed Chair in Sikh and Punjabi Studies
The Dr. Jasbir Singh Saini Endowed Chair in Sikh and Punjabi Studies, established in 2008, is the result of a generous contribution given by the estate of Dr. Jasbir Singh Saini, the Sikh Foundation and by a number of individuals and the University. It honors the memory of the late Dr. Jasbir Singh Saini, a cardiologist in Phoenix, Arizona.
- Pashaura Singh, Department of Religious Studies (2008-present)
Maimonides Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies
The Maimonides Chair was established in 2015 with support from nearly three dozen individuals, foundations, and organizations to fund research and other activities aimed at fostering a better understanding of Judaism and the history and heritage of Jewish people. The chair is named for Moses Maimonides, a Spanish Sephardic Jew born in Córdoba, Spain, in 1135, who was a rabbi, scholar, philosopher, astronomer, and physician in medieval Spain and Egypt.
- Michael Alexander, Department of Religious Studies (2015-present)
The Teresa and Byron Pollitt Endowed Term Chairs for Interdisciplinary Research & Learning in the Humanities & Social Sciences
The generous donation by Teresa ’74 and Byron Pollitt ’73 established three-term chair funds in 2017 in support of interdisciplinary research and learning involving the humanities and social sciences for the purpose of strengthening the vitality and resilience of our communities, both local and global. The expendable distributions from the Chair funds provide support for three endowed term chairs under the direction of the Dean of the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. A call for applications will be distributed to the college at the time that a chair position becomes available. While the Pollitt chairs will most often be given to existing faculty, they may at some point help the dean in the recruitment of new faculty members.
- Covadonga Lamar Prieto, Department of Hispanic Studies (2021-Present)
- Gerald Clarke, Jr., Department of Ethnic Studies (2020-22)
- Catherine Gudis, Department of History (2018-Present)
- Kate Sweeny, Department of Psychology (2018-21)
- Jacqueline Shea Murphy, Department of Dance (2018-20)
Holstein Family and Community Chair in Religious Studies
The Holstein Family and Community Chair in Religious Studies, established in 1991, is an Endowed Faculty Chair, the result of a generous contribution given by The Robert and Loretta Holstein Family and by friends of the Holstein Family and the University.
- Melissa M. Wilcox, Department of Religious Studies (2016-present)
- Ivan Strenski, Department of Religious Studies (1995-2016)
Ronald H. Chilcote Endowed Chair in Latino and Latin American Studies and Research
With the generous contribution of the family of Professor Emeritus Ronald H. Chilcote, Latin American Perspectives, and the Foundation for Sustainability and Innovation, the Ronald H. Chilcote Endowed Chair in Latino and Latin American Studies and Research was established in 2020. The expendable distribution from the Chair funds provides support for an endowed chair in Latino and Latina American Studies and Research within the Department of Ethnic Studies, under the direction of the Dean of CHASS. At the discretion of the Dean of CHASS, the Chair will be used to attract, retain, and support exceptional faculty committed to the vision of building a world-class Latino and Latin American Studies Research Center.
- Alfonso Gonzalez Toribio, Department of Ethnic Studies (2021-present)
Endowed Term Chair for Research Excellence and Undergraduate Research Mentoring in CHASS
With the generous donation of Rochelle and Allison Campbell, the Endowed Term Chair for Research Excellence and Undergraduate Research Mentoring was established in CHASS in 2020.
Rochelle A. Campbell, widow of Neil A. Campbell, and their daughter Allison Campbell are both trustees of the UC Riverside Foundation and supporters of the humanities, arts, and social sciences, exceptional teaching, and access to higher education. UC Riverside alumnus Neil A. Campbell ('75 Ph.D., Biology) authored Biology, the most widely used English language scientific textbook in the world. Dr. Campbell was a visiting scholar in UCR's Department of Biology and Plant Sciences and recipient of UCR's Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2001. He was a respected and inspirational teacher of undergraduate sciences.
Rochelle Campbell, who earned her bachelor's degree at Cal State University Northridge and her master's degree from the University of Redlands, was an adult school counselor in the San Bernardino City Unified School District for 30 years. Allison Campbell earned her bachelor's degree from Vassar College and master's degrees from Columbia University and New York University and works as a museum educator.
The distribution from this endowment will provide support for a term chairholder who weaves education and research, integrating high-quality research into high-quality teaching under the direction of the Dean of CHASS. The term for this term chair will be no longer than three years and renewable one time for a maximum of six years awarded to any individual faculty member.
- Aaron Seitz, Department of Psychology (2020-Present)
A five-year one-million-dollar grant from the Mellon Foundation, awarded to the Center for the Ideas and Society in 2018 and supplemented by funds from the Dean of the College for an additional two years of support to last through 2025, established three fellowships to support faculty in multiple phases of their careers: the Mellon Term Fellowship, the Mellon Second Project Fellowship, and the Dean's Fellowship. Over the lifetime of the Mellon grant and supplemental funds, faculty with humanities-related projects applied directly to the Center for the Ideas and Society for selection for the Mellon Term Professorship and Mellon Second Project Fellowship. Candidates for the Dean's Fellowship were recommended by the Dean of the College to the Center for Ideas and Society's Advisory Committee for confirmation of appointment.
Mellon Term Fellowships
- Jason Weems, Department of the History of Art (2022-23)
- Dana Simmons, Department of History (2022-23)
- Deborah Wong, Department of Music (2021-22)
- Susan Zeiger, Department of English (2021-22)
- Sherryl Vint, Department of English (2020-21)
- Thomas Cogswell, Department of History (2020-21)
- Stephen Sohn, Department of English (2019-20)
- David Biggs, Department of History (2019-20)
Mellon Second Project Fellowship
- Jonathan Eacott, Department of History (2022-23)
- Phillipp Lehmann, Department of History (2021-22)
- Jennifer Syvertsen, Department of Anthropology (2021-22)
- Crystal Baik, Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies (2020-21)
- Padma Rangarajan, Department of English (2020-21)
- Marissa Brookes, Department of Political Science (2019-20)
- Matthew King, Department of Religious Studies (2019-20)
- Allison Hedge Coke, Department of Creative Writing (2022-23)
- Sage Whitson, Department of Dance (2022-23)
- Kim Dionne, Department of Political Science (2022-23)
- Wesley Leonard, Department of Ethnic Studies (2021-22)
- Eric Schwitzgebel, Department of Philosophy (2020-21)
- Jade Sasser, Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies (2019-20)
To learn more about establishing an endowed chair or to support one of the positions listed above, please contact Nesha Crossman, Senior Executive Director of Constituency Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 951-235-6571.
The appointment, review, and renewal of endowed, term, and named chairs are governed by APM -191 Policy on Endowed Chairs and Professorship (December 14, 2000), Campus Policy Number: 500-15 Policy and Procedures on Endowed Chairs: Establishment, Administration, and Appointment of Faculty (December 1, 2017), and Chancellor’s delegation CHA0099 (June 12, 2023 and July 10, 2023).