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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

In the news

Chancellor Linda Katehi: Global Partnerships to Feed the World

January 15th, 2015 @ 6:16 pm by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

On January 14, I spoke at the UC Davis – Mars Symposium that was organized as part of the official launch of our new Innovation Institute for Food and Health, which we are jointly creating with Mars Incorporated. As Chancellor of UC Davis, I could not be more proud of the outstanding collection of innovators and scientific leaders we assembled for this symposium of historic importance.

We want to take the best minds, the best innovators and the best scientists on our campus and team them up with their counterparts at Mars—and eventually with other key partners—to achieve big-impact breakthroughs in food, agriculture and health.

Without truly transformative advances in how we feed and nourish our growing population, which is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, the problem of chronic undernourishment will get much worse.

Over the years, UC Davis has become the world’s premier university for agricultural scholarship and research. As such, we intend to take our expertise, build on it with Mars and other important partners, and discover the breakthroughs that will transform and enhance the world’s food system and our food security.

The potential for breakthroughs and change in this area is similar to how the innovators of Silicon Valley and their collaborators have transformed how we consume and process information—and in doing so, transformed the world.

I look forward to the great work we will do as we search for the products and technologies that will bring about the types of transformative impacts that benefit our state, our nation and our world.

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In the news

Chancellor Linda Katehi: Poem by Andy Jones to Commemorate the Davis City Council Honoring UC Davis for its Smoke and Tobacco Free Policy

January 4th, 2015 @ 8:09 pm by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

On October 7th, 2014 the Davis City Council presented me with a proclamation recognizing the breathe free initiative at UC Davis aimed at making our campus smoke and tobacco free. We celebrated this recognition by listening to Andy Jones recite a poem he wrote. Andy is a lecturer at the University Writing Program (I am proud to note that it is one of the top 10 in the country), the Academic Associate Director of the Academic Technology Services at UC Davis and the current Poet Laureate of the City of Davis. Andy did an amazing job in reciting a very nice poem and I wanted to share it with you all.

We need you, Yul Brynner!

“Now that I’m gone, I tell you: Don’t smoke, whatever you do, just don’t

Statement by Yul Brynner on Good Morning America in 1985, months before
his death.

Yul Brynner haunts the tree-lined alleys of Davis, howling like a distant
baritone, blowing out cigarettes.
Like the trees, like the rest of us,
he yearns for rain.

Yul Brynner, iron man of Broadway,
flies over the campus flatlands,
looking for the UC Davis 8%,
the coughing scallywags.
He is our spectral smoke alarm.

Yul Brynner, The Cal Ripken of Siam,
who performed his 4,625th and final King and I while weak from
chemotherapy, while fragile from radiation:
he still looks into your eyes and says no.

Yul Brynner, the bald monarch of Davis,
the self-proclaimed clean-cut Mongolian boy, hovers over the bushes
behind Wellman Hall, spooking the remaining hiding smokers, hoping to
part the choking haze.

Behold the ghost King as he whistles and points, waving down the hesitant
campus cops, seeking to draw their attention, our attention, to the
smokers¹ subterfuge, to their slow and sad self-sabotage.

Yul Brynner, as Siam¹s King Mongkut,
willfully unmovable and strong,
was used to obedience:
³When I sit, you sit. When I kneel, you kneel.²
Now none of them sit, and nobody kneels.

They ignore you, your highness.
There they stand in the dark vapor,
not an ashtray in sight, wishing to breathe free, puzzlements lonely and
coughing in the shrubbery, their passions seeping out like a million

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Chancellor Linda Katehi: Season Greetings to the UC Davis Community

December 30th, 2014 @ 1:30 pm by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

Having completed another successful term and with the New Year upon us, it is an ideal time to reflect on our accomplishments and look ahead to 2015.

The past year was a momentous one for the university as we celebrated the successful completion of the Campaign for UC Davis, enjoyed the 100th Picnic Day, broke ground on a world-class art museum and this fall welcomed the largest and most diverse class of students in our history. Along with the world-class educational and research efforts that define our university, 2014 was a year to remember.

The holiday season is also a natural time to consider how we are giving back. In California, and around the world, the people of UC Davis are leading the way when it comes to turning knowledge into action and learning into solutions. We’re feeding the world, improving health, protecting the environment and sharing our knowledge. As we once again celebrate this holiday season, we reaffirm our commitment to this mission — to make the world a better place.

On behalf of the entire UC Davis faculty and staff, thank you for all you do to make UC Davis great. I hope you are all having a happy and healthy holiday season and that you have a joyous New Year!

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Chancellor Linda Katehi: Congratulations to our Graduating Students

December 26th, 2014 @ 11:58 am by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

Graduating from college is a major life milestone. In addition to serving as a powerful culmination of all the hard work and determination it takes to earn a degree, for many it begins a commitment to a lifetime of learning.

Our students worked hard to earn their degrees from our university, which is regarded as one of the best public research universities in the world. And our graduates are stepping into the workforce with a tremendous set of skills and talents.

UC Davis graduates have gone on to accomplish great things and enjoy successful careers. They are business owners, entrepreneurs, inventors, engineers, physicists, veterinarians, doctors, lawyers and so much more.

One high-profile alum Darrell Steinberg just finished his term as president pro tempore of the California State Senate and is still making a difference in people’s lives. Another, Stephen Robinson, was an astronaut. And, Ann Veneman became the first woman to be U.S. Secretary of Agriculture before she served as executive director for UNICEF.

Because of the education and opportunities we have been afforded, we have an obligation to remain actively engaged to ensure the betterment of our communities. Having a strong commitment to public service and civic engagement is a core principle at UC Davis, and it’s one I know our community values as well.

UC Davis graduates will soon enter the workforce, doing everything from working to protect our environment or advocating for a just and equitable criminal justice system. I am always optimistic when I look upon another graduating class of young men and women who will work to make the world a better place.

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Chancellor Linda Katehi: We Must Close the Gender Gap in STEM Fields

December 3rd, 2014 @ 1:24 am by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

I recently joined leaders from academia, industry and government to discuss the importance of empowering women in STEM at the “Empowering Women In STEM – EWIS Fall Networking” event organized by Amandeep Kaur, Chancellor’s Science Fellow. One of the topics we discussed was why we still don’t have enough women reaching the highest levels of academia and industry in STEM, despite their strong representation on college campuses and increasing presence among those gaining STEM degrees.

As someone who has earned a bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree in electrical engineering, this concerns me greatly. We must recognize the very real barriers that still exist for women in the workforce (and not just in STEM). As a mother whose millennial daughter has recently entered the workforce and as a Chancellor who every day sees incredibly bright students pursuing their dreams, this concerns me all the more.

For our economy to thrive, we need more young women, as well as young men, to have opportunities to study science, engineering and mathematics and pursue careers in these areas. A strong and diverse STEM workforce will drive innovation, economic growth, and generate novel solutions to pressing national and international problems.

Advancing STEM is a priority nationally, for California and at UC Davis. That is why I am pleased to announce that the Online College Database recently ranked UC Davis first for total women in STEM programs, with 2,503 women in 169 STEM programs.

But we need to do more. California is recognized globally as a hub for innovation. To maintain our position as a leading innovation-driven economy in the 21st century, we must continue to improve the climate for women and underrepresented minorities.


With some of the keynote speakers (L to R): Ruth Uy Asmundson, Former Mayor of City of Davis; Delaine Eastin, Former CA Assembly Member and Former Superintendent of Public Instruction, CA; Amandeep Kaur , EWIS Coordinator; Linda Katehi; Lois Wolk, Senator, District 3, CA

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