UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi Blog

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

Chancellor Linda Katehi: Recognizing the Provost and Three Faculty Members Elected into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Earlier this week, our Provost and three faculty members from the University of California Davis were elected into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. They join 209 other scientists, artists, writers and leaders from across the nation to be selected this year. Including the new members, 31 current or emeritus faculty from UC Davis are members of the Academy. Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the nation’s oldest learned societies, “convening leaders from the academics, business, and government sectors to address critical challenges facing our global society [in order to] provide authoritative and nonpartisan policy advise to decision-makers in government, academia, and the private sector”.

I am delighted to welcome these new members from UC Davis. Their achievements and range of interests – from Renaissance music to the beginnings of the Universe – reflect the extraordinary depth and breadth of scholarship on our campus. Let me introduce you to the newly members elected from UC Davis.

Name Category Areas of Interest
ralph_______________________ Ralph Hexter

and Executive Vice Chancellor
Class 5 – Public Affairs, Business, and Administration

Section 3 – Educational, Scientific, Cultural, and Philanthropic Administration
– No. 2 person within the UC Davis administration.

– Plays a central role in supporting faculty and enabling student success at UC Davis.

– Has an appointment as a distinguished professor of classics and comparative literature, focusing on Greek and Roman classical literature and its reception.
 andreas______________________ Andreas Albrecht

Professor and Chair of the Physics Department
Class I – Mathematical and Physical Sciences

Section 4 – Astronomy and Earth Sciences
– Leading expert in theoretical physics and cosmology.

-Known for his work describing the first stages of the Big Bang, and the formation of galaxies.
chris_______________________ Christopher

in the Department of Music
Class IV – Humanities and Arts

Section 5 – Visual and Performing Arts – Criticism and Practice
– Research areas include music from 19th century Germany and the Renaissance.

– Collected nearly 6,200 pieces of sheet music by women composers.
david______________________ David Simpson

Professor of English
Class IV – Humanities and Arts

Section 3 – Literary Criticism Including Philology
– Areas of research and teaching include Romanticism and literary theory.

– Received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies.

Please join me in congratulating the newly elected members on their extraordinary work and contributions to the arts and sciences. Go Ags!

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Chancellor Linda Katehi: Hands-on Projects Lead to Greater Confidence and Student Success

The late Clark Kerr, a visionary educator who was president of the UC system from 1958 to 1967, once famously said that undergraduate education invariably suffers at a public research university because research gets so much of the emphasis and attention.

Engineering student machine shop in Bainer Hall. (photo credit: Karin Higgins, UC Davis)

Engineering student machine shop in Bainer Hall. (photo credit: Karin Higgins, UC Davis)

But if Kerr were alive today and paid a visit to our campus, he would learn that his assessment was no longer accurate. All across our campus, we have brilliant faculty researchers doing important research and who also love and are devoted to teaching and helping students achieve academic success.

André Knoesen, an Electrical and Computer Engineering professor who also serves as chair of the Academic Senate, is just one of the many faculty on campus who fit this description.

Over a two-year period, a group of André’s students participated in EE-Emerge and EEC 136A/B – Electronic Design Project. Designed primarily for students majoring in computer and electrical engineering and with the financial support of Texas Instruments and Cypress Semiconductor, the courses allowed the students to fully immerse themselves in “conceiving, designing and building interactive electronic systems” that can one day be available to the general public.

Many of those working with André are first-generation college students. The hands-on experience brought out their talents and gave them greater confidence as fledgling engineers.

André also introduced these students to the art of technical writing and presenting, as well as the complexities of product marketing.

Here are a few of the projects the students worked on during the last six months:
Adapt / Motion Presenter

Sensor Network and UAV Data Collector (Quadcopter)
Developing a Mask to Aid Thoracic Surgeons in Assessing Patient Recovery

Dynamically Weighing Live Bees – a collaborative project with Professor of Entomology and Nematology, Neal Williams.

Bluetooth Memory Metal Locks: WeLock

BLE Home Automation: Roost

Poultry Data Acquisition – a collaborative project with Professor in Civil and Environment Engineering, Debbie Niemeier

Hands-on learning gave these students a valuable opportunity to cultivate ideas and express their talents as engineers. Thank you, André, for your commitment to teaching and student success.

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Chancellor Linda Katehi: Celebrating a Milestone in Research Funding at UC Davis

Last year, UC Davis reached an historic milestone, setting a record of $786 million in research funding. It was the fourth consecutive year that research grants topped $700 million.

photo credit: Karin Higgins, UC Davis

photo credit: Karin Higgins, UC Davis

This extraordinary achievement is not just a number. With additional research funding we are able to:

– Increase research opportunities for undergraduates, graduates and postdoctoral scholars.
– Continue groundbreaking research at a groundbreaking pace.
– Accelerate the innovation cycle and innovation ecosystem we are building at UC Davis.
– Develop more start-up companies and commercial opportunities for products and applications based on the work done through research.
– Receive national and international recognition for UC Davis and the amazing people who work and study here.
– Drive progress for California and the world on some of the biggest research challenges of our times.

Several years back, we set a goal to reach $1 billion in annual research funding. We have the momentum, expertise, and the faculty, staff and students to reach this goal. This is good for UC Davis, for California, and the world.

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Chancellor Linda Katehi: UC Davis Pilot Scientist Contributes to a Solution for California’s Methane Gas Leak

Photo Credit: Joe Proudman, UC Davis

Photo Credit: Joe Proudman, UC Davis

Hardly a week goes by on our campus where we don’t read or hear about some extraordinary work being done by a UC Davis expert. The past week provided yet another example of this.

There was a fascinating article in last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine about the giant methane gas link that has plagued the Porter Ranch community in Southern California.

As the Times points out, when an oil and gas expert from the Environmental Defense Fund attended a meeting with “100 panicked residents” complaining about headaches, nosebleeds and other health issues, one person who could contribute to finding a solution came to mind.

Concerned that the full scope of the leak and its potential effects were not understood, a call was placed to Stephen Conley, a UC Davis atmospheric scientist.

Conley has received much-deserved recognition in California media and with our own university news service. Now his work has been exposed to an even broader audience.

“He flies a single-­engine Mooney TLS that looks like something Cary Grant might have flown in ‘Only Angels Have Wings,’” the Times article points out. “Public agencies, scientists and nonprofit organizations that study the climate hire Conley to loop over oil and gas fields at low altitudes, measuring methane concentrations with a device called a Picarro analyzer.”

With Conley’s help, the true nature of the leak is known and state officials are able to deal with it more effectively. I was proud to read about his important contributions, just as I am of so many other UC Davis faculty, staff and students making our world a better place.

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Chancellor Linda Katehi: UC Davis Ranked #1 by Forbes as Best Value College for Women in STEM

photo credit: Karin Higgins, UC Davis

photo credit: Karin Higgins, UC Davis

UC Davis was recently recognized by Forbes magazine as the Number One rated university in the nation when it comes to promoting women in STEM.

Rankings are never the be-all, end-all of how we’re doing, but this kind of national recognition is a wonderful reminder that much of the hard work we’ve achieved together on our campus is producing positive results for our students.

Using its 2016 Best Value college rankings methodology, Forbes , evaluated schools with a strong emphasis in STEM, their programs and how many women participate in them. Forbes also looked at how strongly the universities support these students and it made me proud to see UC Davis come out on top.

A primary reason for our success has been the outstanding faculty we recruit and the work they spearhead to increase female and underrepresented minority representation in STEM.

One such initiative, the UC Davis ADVANCE program, is part of a five-year grant we received from the National Science Foundation in 2012. The goal of the grant is to diversify STEM faculty by actively promoting the advancement of women and under-represented minorities with an emphasis on understanding some of the challenges faced by Latina faculty.

The grant allowed us to create the UC Davis Center for the Advancement of Multicultural Perspectives on Science (CAMPOS), whose mission is to “support discovery of knowledge by promoting women in science, starting with Latinas, through an inclusive environment that is diversity driven, mentorship grounded and career focused”.

There is always more work to be done in diversifying our campus, but I want to thank all the faculty, staff and students who have helped us make the progress we have achieved so far. It is through your hard work and dedication that we are able to ensure the success of all our students and give them the tools and education they need to build productive lives for themselves and for their communities.

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