A. Gary Anderson
Graduate School of Management

Bringing the Commission into the Classroom

As a current city planning commissioner, Business Professor Raj Singh infuses his classroom instruction with the practical realities of today’s world
By Laurie McLaughlin |

With a long career in engineering and management, Raj Singh, professor of practice in management at UC Riverside’s School of Business, is utilizing his considerable knowledge in service to his community as a member of Riverside city’s Planning Commission.

“I find it very interesting and impactful to provide input on the kind of buildings and land use we will have in Riverside for many years to come,” says Singh, who was appointed to the commission in August 2020. Among the important issues the commission is exploring is the Northside Specific Plan, which consists of approximately 2,000 acres within the cities of Riverside and Colton, and unincorporated Riverside County. “The planning processes are transparent, and our citizens have the opportunity to comment on each project dealing with new or modified buildings and land use,” he says.

For years, Singh has been involved in developing and managing real estate properties, including construction of a 250,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. Previously, he served as an engineer, manager, and consultant for aerospace companies Rockwell and Northrop; technology manufacturer ITT; defense contractor Litton; irrigation equipment manufacturer Hunter Industries; and Los Angeles County. A widely published researcher, Singh is currently exploring issues of policing and cybersecurity; he also co-authored a textbook, Crime Analysis: From First Report to Final Arrest.

Singh’s professional immersion within varied industries animates his classroom lectures at UCR, where he has taught for more than 20 years. “My career in management and public service has been very helpful in teaching students management concepts with real-life scenarios,” says Singh, whose popularity and teaching style have earned him three Golden Apple Awards, an honor voted by students and presented to faculty.

Part of the criteria for the Golden Apple Award is how well a professor provides information and inspiration to students, and Singh ensures his undergraduate and graduate students are prepared, whether they head straight into their careers or pursue master’s or doctoral degrees.

True to form, his four-year appointment to the commission informs his instruction: “I explain to my students that it is very important for business owners and managers to understand the role of the city government and the planning commission,” he says. “Each city has its priorities to attract certain businesses, and the planning commission may play a role in it.”



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