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Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

Linda Katehi is UC Davis’ sixth chancellor and first woman to hold the post. (Karin Higgins / UC Davis)

About Higher Ed Matters

With this blog, I hope that we can engage in a vibrant conversation about our thoughts, ideas and news about how our university is helping to shape the future of higher education. As you share your comments, please embrace the UC Davis Principles of Community and abide by our Comments policy.

- Linda Katehi



Higher Ed Matters

Chancellor Linda Katehi: The Value of Women Mentors

November 17th, 2014 @ 3:28 pm by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

I recently participated in a workshop on “Women in Research” at UC Davis to discuss my academic and professional journey and the challenges I faced along the way.

In fact, this is a subject about which I am quite passionate. When I was young I had dreams of becoming an electrical engineer and never imagined the obstacles that I would one day have to overcome because I was a woman.

As a student, I never had the opportunity to look to a female mentor because there weren’t many women in my field of electrical engineering at the time. I was, however, fortunate to find a male mentor who guided me and supported me.

Mentors will help guide you on your journey, give ideas and offer support. Good mentoring is a two-way street – mentors and mentees don’t compete, but want each other to be successful.

I think it’s important that all students, particularly women and underrepresented groups, have great mentors to support and guide them through challenges they will face. I applaud all the efforts of our women mentors in taking on the role to be the educators and inspiring our future female leaders.

To read my op-ed on women mentors, visit HERE.

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Chancellor Linda Katehi: UC Davis is a National Leader in STEM Diversity

November 11th, 2014 @ 4:54 pm by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

As a graduate of UCLA’s Electrical Engineering masters and doctorate programs, a member of the National Academy of Engineering and Chancellor at UC Davis, I have seen firsthand the lack of female role models in the STEM fields.

Data from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Census Bureau highlights some alarming trends among women and minorities in the engineering field. Namely, the number of women in engineering has declined from 21% in 2000 to 18% in 2010, while only nine percent of African-American and Hispanic populations are pursing degrees in science and engineering.

Despite these declining numbers, I am proud to share that UC Davis is among the national leaders in having a diverse STEM student body and a diverse STEM faculty.

As a result of our concerted effort to bring more diversity to the engineering field, UC Davis is currently ranked first by College Database with 2,500 women in the university’s STEM areas of study. Additionally, our College of Engineering faculty is 19.2% female and provides more female role models for our STEM students than any other university in the country

In 2012-2013, UC Davis also led the nation in the number of Hispanics receiving a bachelor’s degree in engineering with 16%. However, there is still much room for growth among our African-American students who only account for 1.5% of students in our undergraduate engineering programs.

To further highlight our commitment to diversity in our STEM programs, UC Davis offers the Girls’ Leadership Camp on Computing and Robotics to cultivate an interest in science among young girls. We are also in the midst of completing a three-year National Science Foundation grant program, ADVANCE, that provides our university with an opportunity to hire more Latina science and technology faculty.

With more role models for young girls and minorities to look up to in the STEM fields at all levels of their education, the better chance we have to increase diversity in these important disciplines. And, in this area, UC Davis is proud to lead by example.

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Chancellor Linda Katehi: Leadership Lessons for our Future Women Chancellors

November 8th, 2014 @ 12:23 pm by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

I recently attended the Fourth Annual Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) Women Leaders meeting to help future leaders, no matter their gender, learn from women who are succeeding in the academy’s highest ranks.

Our women leaders continue to face challenges in leadership positions, especially serving as presidents and chancellors at our nation’s colleges and universities.

According to Forbes, only 26% of the college presidents in the U.S. are women while more than 57% of the students in colleges and universities are women.

In fact, women have been in the majority among undergraduate students since 1980 and among graduate students since 1988. Women made up 10% of the college presidents in 1980 and 23% in 2006. This means we are closing the gender gap by only 1 percent every two years.

We must continue to encourage and mentor our future women leaders to help them achieve their full potential. Growing the number and quality of female role models in administrative positions at our colleges and universities is essential to achieving to this.

Empowering women and improving their representation in the male-dominated world of academia is a critical step in creating a more diverse group of future leaders and tackling the world’s challenges from a variety of perspectives.

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Chancellor Linda Katehi: UC Davis Leading the Way for Women in STEM

October 29th, 2014 @ 7:51 pm by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

On October 23 I welcomed our new faculty members at the UC Davis ADVANCE reception to celebrate our many recent achievements.

ADVANCE is a three-year program funded by the National Science Federation aimed at increasing the participation of women, especially Latinas, in academic STEM careers.While it is primarily focused on the STEM disciplines, the outcomes provide benefits across our entire University.

Thanks to university-wide efforts, including those of the ADVANCE program, we have increased our percentage of ladder-rank faculty who are women from 29 to 33 percent since 2009.

We also just welcomed the largest and most diverse class of students in our history. We were successful again in increasing the number of under-represented minority students and first-generation students.

Hispanic enrollment this term is at 22.4 percent for freshman and transfer students combined, meaning we are well on our way to being eligible for designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the fall of 2018.

One of the reasons we are seeing this tremendous success is due directly to the outstanding faculty that we recruit. They are among the best of the best, and I consider it a great honor to call them colleagues.

To learn more, check out my Huffington Post article on how diversity leads to Success in higher education.

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Chancellor Linda Katehi: Educating the Future of California and the World

October 7th, 2014 @ 7:00 pm by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

Fall convocation is a time of tremendous excitement and promise for all the great work and discoveries that lie ahead. I firmly believe that our university is uniquely poised for excellence in the 21st Century, expertly equipped to help our students lead and solve some of the signature challenges of our time.

They are some of the brightest and most diverse young people at any university in the nation. It is a privilege for our world-class faculty to open new worlds of knowledge for them, from the arts to the sciences, from engineering to classics.

All students should find their passion, discover their own sense of purpose, and end up in careers they find fulfilling and that help make our world a better place for everyone.

When they do enter the workforce, our graduates will be better equipped and experienced to compete and succeed in our global economy because UC Davis is becoming a more international university and campus.

We know students benefit from more exposure to foreign cultures and languages and that the connections they make on campus with international students will help them feel comfortable doing business anywhere on the world stage.

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