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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

Required reading

Chancellor Linda Katehi: Partnering UC Davis with California Agriculture

July 30th, 2015 @ 1:16 pm by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

UC Davis has long enjoyed a fruitful partnership with the State of California, and now we are taking an expanded role in developing agricultural technologies and to help our top students explore careers in the public sector.

Thanks to our climate and the tireless innovation of the state’s farmers, California leads the nation in food production and crop diversity. UC Davis has been the top-rated agricultural university in the world for three consecutive years, making an expanded partnership between UC Davis and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) highly effective.

With all that in mind, last year we initiated the Emerging Leaders in Policy and Public Service (ELIPPS) program as part of our effort to connect our top graduate and professional students with state leaders and to broaden UC Davis’ impact and visibility in the larger California community. This unique opportunity allows students to learn about real-world policy and practices while making meaningful contributions to public decision-making.

And in July 2015, we launched the first cohort of ELIPPS students, and already they are succeeding in their new roles. As an intern with CDFA, PhD candidate Kelly Gravuer will gain experience dealing with major issues affecting California agriculture, such as the drought. All six of our ELIPPS scholars are showing great promise for the success of this program and for the future of our public institutions.

I have great faith in the potential of our graduate students. These bright young minds are highly motivated researchers, critical thinkers, and problem solvers. It is essential that we begin exposing these promising scholars and professionals to large-scale public policy and service so that the next generation of leaders and public servants will be prepared to face the challenges ahead for California, the US, and the world.

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In the news

Chancellor Linda Katehi: A New Plan for Transfer Students

July 8th, 2015 @ 10:14 am by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

UC Davis was delighted to have President Janet Napolitano and California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice Harris on our campus Tuesday to announce a new program that will streamline admissions for community college students wanting to transfer into the UC system. Transfer Pathways is being launched to help students better navigate through the transfer requirements, providing a valuable tool to serve our hard-working students and their families.

At UC Davis, transfer students now account for about one third of our total undergraduate student body and they bring to the campus a rich mix of diversity and dedication to learning. This past academic year, new transfer students made up slightly less than 37 percent of the total incoming class, compared to a system wide average of 29.4 percent. The new program is an exciting step forward, as it shows the UC’s continued commitment to providing access for as many California students as possible.

I applaud the work President Napolitano and Chancellor Harris have been doing to help transfer students find their way to the UC and the outstanding education our campuses offer.

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Required reading

Chancellor Linda Katehi: Emerging Leaders in Policy and Public Service

June 29th, 2015 @ 10:00 am by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

As a land-grant university, UC Davis has both an opportunity and a responsibility to influence state and national policy makers with our expertise and scientific knowledge in ways that make California and the nation a better place to live and work. Faculty and staff already do that on a variety of issues and disciplines. Now, thanks to an exciting new program begun under the leadership of Amandeep Kaur, the Chancellor’s Science Fellow in my office, we will make some of our top graduate and professional students available through paid policy internships.

We actually began the Emerging Leaders in Policy and Public Service or ELIPPS program 18 months ago when we reached out to federal and state legislators and agency officials, as well as representatives from non-governmental agencies, think tanks and lobbying firms to come speak at a series of UC Davis workshops with graduate and professional students. Now, this month, we are launching the ELIPPS California Fellows program, the first cohort of paid policy internships for six graduate and professional students. I am excited about the program’s prospects, not just for the agencies we will be engaged with, but also for our students and the experience they’ll gain in the process. If this initial group of internships works as well as we expect, we intend to double the size of the program next year and also launch a Washington version. In addition, we plan to place future ELIPPS fellows with the UC Davis World Food Center and the Behavioral Health Center of Excellence that was created by state Proposition 63 funds for mental health programs.

Our graduate and professional students have a lot to offer. They are researchers, problem solvers and critical thinkers. They also instill in us a sense of hope and optimism for a bright and a prosperous future. We want these bright students to lend their perspectives to state and federal policy makers, who have the difficult challenge of trying to enact and carry out policy on many complex issues.

The ELIPPS program is designed to help produce future leaders who can take their rightful place in government and non-governmental agencies that deal with policy affecting the lives of millions of people in California, America and around the world.

In addition to Amandeep, I want to thank others who have stepped in to get this new program off the ground, including the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; the College of Engineering; The UC Davis School of Law; the School of Veterinary Medicine; the UC Davis Internship and Career Center; the UC Center Sacramento; and the UC Davis Policy Institute for Energy, Environment and the Economy and the Office of Government and Community Relations. Thank you also to the state agencies our interns will be working in this summer.

Now let me briefly introduce our first group of 2015 ELIPPS CA Fellows:

Melissa Rothstein is a student in the School of Veterinary Medicine who will be working as an ELIPPS fellow at the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board. With her background in public policy and animal sciences, she hopes to explore the intersection between animal agriculture, wildlife, and water conservation. Her work will include policy research and analysis, and she looks forward to building strong and lasting relationships between the field of veterinary medicine and California government to encourage future collaborations.

Roxanne Strohmeier is a student in the UC Davis School of Law. She has been placed at the California Department of Health Care Services, (DHCS) where she will work as a clerk on the Administrative Litigation Team in the Office of Legal Services. She will conduct legal research related to the administration, oversight, and enforcement of California’s Medi-Cal Program, and will assist DHCS attorneys in drafting legal documents, reviewing evidence, and developing strategies and tactics for pending litigation related to the enforcement of Medi-Cal policies, statutes, and regulations.

From L-R: Melissa Rothstein, Roxanne Strohmeier, Olivia Filbrandt, Amandeep Kaur, ELIPPS Director, Matthew Palm, Elizabeth Anthony, and Kelly Gravuer.

From L-R: Melissa Rothstein, Roxanne Strohmeier, Olivia Filbrandt, Amandeep Kaur, ELIPPS Director, Matthew Palm, Elizabeth Anthony, and Kelly Gravuer.

Olivia Filbrandt is also a UC Davis law student and she has been placed at the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR). During her ELIPPS internship she will work as a legal intern. Her projects will include reviewing and developing administrative regulations regarding implementation of the California Environmental Quality Act. Her work this summer will focus on sustainable transportation and reviewing the comprehensive update of California General Plan Guidelines, which advise local governments in drafting and adopting their general plans.

Matthew Palm is a PhD Candidate in Geography. He has been placed at the California Housing Finance Agency to work on lending programs that finance affordable housing construction. His focus will be on California’s housing policy following passage and implementation of SB 375, The Sustainable Communities Solutions Act.

Elizabeth Anthony is a PhD Candidate in Chemical Engineering who has been placed at the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies. She will be working on the California 2030 Low Carbon Grid Study, which addresses the ability of California’s electric grid to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. She will be analyzing technical data from computer modeling and report findings to stakeholders and policymakers.

Kelly Gravuer is a PhD Candidate in Ecology. She has been placed at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, where she will work on projects including the department’s Healthy Soils initiative that reward and enhance the contributions of California’s farms to improving environmental quality.

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Chancellor Linda Katehi: Building the University of the 21st Century

June 23rd, 2015 @ 3:26 pm by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

Last week I attended the 10th annual Glion Colloquium on higher education in Switzerland, meeting with educational leaders from around the world to discuss how research universities are engaged in addressing the great challenges and opportunities of our times.

In my remarks at the conference, I noted that we are at a watershed moment for higher education in this country. We have never seen such demand for a college education and never before have colleges and universities had such potential for global impact, even as public investment in higher education has been declining.

We have a duty to our students, stakeholders, and global community to maintain the highest aspirations possible for a public research university, and to put real plans in place to achieve those aspirations. UC Davis is an outstanding university, but if one point was clear from the conference in Glion, we cannot afford to be complacent and rest on our laurels. Universities in this country and around the world are doing great work. We must continue to excel and become even better so we don’t lose the competitive advantage we’ve built up over the years with so much hard work and world-class scholarship and research.

This responsibility is why we developed our Vision of Excellence in 2010 to guide us during uncertain financial times without compromising the quality of our educational mission or curtailing our ambition to become a truly global university.

The effort led to the many prestigious world and national rankings UC Davis has received in recent years, as well as several large-scale research collaborations that are addressing global challenges.

To continue the forward thinking of our Vision of Excellence, we have committed to a community-wide visioning process to model UC Davis as the University of the 21st Century. This initiative will define the type of university we want to be 20, 30, 40 years down the road.

I am challenging the UC Davis community to think in bolder and more ambitious terms. In addition to engaging with a broad cross-section of university stakeholders, I recently asked our deans to recommend their brightest, most innovative junior faculty to help us envision a future that perhaps some of us who are more deeply entrenched have difficulty imagining. Over the summer, we will work with this faculty and bring in outside innovators to stimulate the conversation even more.

I see the future of UC Davis as a place where learning, teaching and the creation and translation of new knowledge are integrated into everything we do. Where our entire campus, with all of its state, national and international sites, becomes our classrooms and laboratories. Where we are all part of a community of learners taking on the big regional, national and global, challenges of our time.

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Aggie stars

Chancellor Linda Katehi: Honoring One of UC Davis’ Finest, Delaine Eastin

June 17th, 2015 @ 2:17 pm by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

The UC Davis Medal is the highest accolade our campus may bestow upon an individual, and it gives me great pride to honor one of our own alumni, Delaine Eastin, into the prestigious group of people who have received this award.

This medal has recognized a great variety of accomplishments, from the artistic endeavors of UC Davis poet Gary Snyder, to the extraordinary philanthropy of Robert and Margrit Mondavi and Barbara Jackson, to the bravery and leadership of our own UC Davis astronaut Steve Robinson, to the business acumen and conservation work of Charlie Soderquist, who built so many bridges between our campus and the business sector.

Delaine’s career and accomplishments represent the very best of UC Davis – our ideals, our values and our commitment to research, scholarship and service.

Delaine entered government service in 1986, serving in the State Assembly for four terms. As chair of the Assembly Committee on Education, she worked on efforts to reform and rebuild California’s K-12 education system. She carried the legislation to enact the 1994 Family School Partnership Act, making California the first state to allow parents to take significant time off work to participate in their children’s education.

After leaving the Assembly, she became the first woman elected as the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Delaine adopted a truly comprehensive perspective on education reform in her time as Superintendent, improving support for school libraries, safety programs, modern facilities and technology, arts programs, technical and vocational training, civic engagement and community service, good nutrition, as well as expanded pre-school and kindergarten programs. On top of everything, she cut administrative costs by streamlining contract procedures in the Department of Education.

Delaine has continued to support and be involved with UC Davis and the UC system. She has been a key advocate for the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ “Healthy Families and Community Strategic Initiative,” an effort aimed at tackling the related problems of high childhood obesity, rising school dropout rates, and low student achievement, especially in the sciences.

The UC Davis community and the entire state of California thank Delaine for her service. Her untiring diligence in envisioning a California that truly values and supports education is an inspiration to us all.

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