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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: Strengthening Global Outreach Through Partnerships

May 28th, 2015 @ 10:00 am by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

If you’ve heard about our new partnership with Chile in the UC Davis-Chile Life Sciences Innovation Center, you might be wondering why we’ve dedicated resources to a new facility located in South America when there is always so much to be done right here in California.

The simple answer is that in a modern globalized economy and culture, strategic international partnerships allow us to make positive impacts not only abroad, but also home.

Chile and California share essential environmental characteristics, which is partly why UC Davis has enjoyed a long-standing research relationship with Chile. These regions complement each other well being in opposite hemispheres, allowing produce from one to supplement the other during the offseason.

Photo Credit: UC Davis-Chile Life Sciences and Innovation Center

Photo Credit: UC Davis-Chile Life Sciences and Innovation Center

This is a true partnership, with research sites split evenly between California and Chile. Students and faculty from both partners will travel between UC Davis and Chile frequently, allowing both sides to benefit directly from this diversity in ideas. Operating in Chile is also beneficial due to policy and infrastructure that allows us to conduct more research in shorter time frames.

This collaboration also benefits California financially. Recognizing its growing prosperity, Chile will fund more than half of the costs associated with the Life Sciences Innovation Center. The Center will develop cutting-edge agricultural technologies such as genomic techniques and mitigation of climate change that will assist business in California as well as other parts of the world. This collaboration also provides an opportunity for California firms to introduce products to new markets in Chile.

The fundamental reality is that promoting an active global perspective among students, faculty, and researchers is absolutely essential to any modern university. Relationships like these give students the tools they need to become contributing world citizens, and lay the foundations for international collaboration to address the greatest challenges of our age.

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Chancellor Linda Katehi: Thank You for Another Successful Picnic Day

May 27th, 2015 @ 4:05 pm by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

Chancellor Linda Katehi with the Picnic Day Board of Directors for 2015.

Chancellor Linda Katehi with the 101st Picnic Day Student Board of Directors.

Picnic Day is a long-standing tradition on our campus dating back to 1909 and allows for not only our campus community but also our entire region to come to our “open house” and experience all of the wonderful things being done on our campus.

This successful event would not have been possible without the leadership of the Picnic Day Board of Directors and ASUCD. I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the leadership board as well as the thousands of current faculty, emeriti and retired faculty, staff, and students from across our community, for making the 101st Picnic Day a success. A special thank you to the UC Davis Police Department for helping us all enjoy a safe and family-friendly event.

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Chancellor Linda Katehi: Lifetime of Learning

May 20th, 2015 @ 4:34 pm by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

As an educator, I cherish the opportunity to participate in commencement ceremonies, the culminating moment of a student’s journey through college. I was asked to speak at the Woodland Community College commencement last Friday, and the extraordinary effort these students have devoted to their education put me in mind of my own studies and professional journey.

Graduating from college is a tremendous achievement. The education students receive at college will inspire them to be lifetime learners because, more than anything, that’s what college is all about. These students put in the effort to acquire specific skills and knowledge, but they choose to learn also because the world is a big place with many opportunities, and they understand that the more they learn, the better equipped they will be to take advantage of them.

What they have learned at Woodland Community College is now their most effective tool for bringing about positive change in their own lives and in the world. I hope they never stop seeking more knowledge and more education. I know, too, that we will see some of them enrolled at UC Davis next year as transfer students, which we are very happy about. In fact, one of the student speakers at commencement, a delightful young man by the name of Christopher Holden, is transferring to UC Davis in the fall. Christopher sat next to me on stage and after a few minutes of conversation, he struck me as the kind of student who will work hard and take full advantage of the opportunities on our campus to learn and grow.

As a once-poor girl from a tiny Greek island, I know firsthand that the possibilities are limitless when you have the education to go after them. I know these students will take up their responsibility as educated individuals to help others and improve the world we live in, and will make the all-important commitment to becoming young men and women who never lose their hunger for education and a lifetime of learning long beyond their college years.

They have bright futures and so much opportunity. Their graduation is a reminder of what’s possible. I hope it inspires them to continue their educations and to never be deterred from their own personal dreams because as I said in my remarks, with hard work, we know they can come true.

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Chancellor Linda Katehi: The Future of Food

May 15th, 2015 @ 1:50 pm by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

In California, we are in the fourth year of a severe drought and already seeing an impact on agricultural production as farmers are letting fields go fallow because they have no water. It will take new creative collaborations to solve these and other big food-related challenges facing the world.

I was delighted to talk about this and related issues at a “Future of Food Summit” panel discussion Wednesday at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. The event was sponsored by the global affairs magazine Diplomatic Courier and Mars, Incorporated, our partner in the new UC Davis Innovation Institute for Food and Health.

When we launched the new Innovation Center and our World Food Center (WFC), we said we would work with partners to leverage our expertise as the number one university in the world for agricultural scholarship and research.

Working with Mars and other non-traditional partners in the search for big-impact breakthroughs in food and public health will allow us to achieve milestones none of us could do alone.

The same is true of our recently announced partnership with the government of Chile, which chose UC Davis to collaborate in establishing the UC Davis Life Sciences Innovation Center in that country. With a $12 million budget its first three years, the center will foster collaborative work among experts from UC Davis and Chile. We have worked with Chile since 1963 on grape growing, wine making and water management and this takes our collaboration to a new level. Because agricultural conditions in Chile and California are so similar, research breakthroughs achieved in one region can have a similar benefit in the other.

UC Davis’ expertise is also highly sought after by partners in China, where the country faces enormous challenges in feeding and nourishing its people. Last year, for instance, we signed a memorandum of agreement that lays the groundwork for establishing the Sino-U.S. Joint Research Center for Food Safety in China.

We know that collaborative and inter-disciplinary research is the most effective way to tackle big problems like global food security and feeding and nourishing a world population projected to reach 9 billion by 2050.

I am excited about these new unique collaborations and about the great results and opportunities they can produce for our faculty and students and for California and the rest of the world.

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On the road

Chancellor Linda Katehi: The Cost of Obesity

May 13th, 2015 @ 1:48 pm by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi


This week I attended the Brookings Institute’s Cost of Obesity – a collaboration between the Center for Social Dynamics and Policy and the UC Davis World Food Center – to present new research that quantifies a wide range of the economic costs of obesity.

When we launched the World Food Center at UC Davis almost two years ago, we wanted to partner with researchers like the Brookings Institute to make big inroads when it comes to food and public health.

We established the World Food Center to leverage UC Davis’ expertise as the world’s number one ranked school for agricultural research and scholarship because, like Brookings, we understand that feeding and nourishing the world’s growing population is one of the signature issues of our time.

Thanks to Brookings’ new research that was presented this week, we now have a more holistic assessment of obesity and its devastating impacts on our economy. Impacts from reduced productivity and tax revenues to items such as increased Social Security Disability Insurance payments.

This is crucial because, to craft public policies that are sensible and that will have lasting impact, we need to rely on the kinds of sound research, data and evidence that was presented by Brookings and that UC Davis researchers do all the time.

We all know that it is difficult to achieve real progress in the fight against obesity. But with partnerships like the one between Brookings and the UC Davis World Food Center, we can help make a big difference.

Nutrition and public health are major challenges of our age, and interdisciplinary partnerships like that between our World Food Center and the Brookings Institute are essential to achieving real progress.

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