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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: Help UC Davis Be Number One in the Cool Campus Challenge

October 15th, 2015 @ 10:22 am by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

(photo credit: Gregory Urquiaga, UC Davis)

(photo credit: Gregory Urquiaga, UC Davis)

On October 6th the University of California Office of the President launched the Cool Campus Challenge. This online competition, ending December 10th, provides a learning experience as well as motivation and rewards for staff, faculty and students who take action to reduce their carbon footprint and help the UC system reach President Napolitano’s target of Carbon Neutrality by 2025. This is a big goal, but it is something that I am convinced we can achieve if we work together.

As a campus, we are committed to long-term sustainability and we continue to take action towards this goal. Some of those steps include:

- Building and retrofitting buildings to meet Gold-Level LEED standards.
- Working with faculty to promote cutting-edge research on projects that reduce carbon emissions.
- Implemented a campus-wide Smart Lighting program to reduce energy consumption by more than 60 percent of 2007 levels.
- Our Climate Action Plan launched in 2009-10 laid out a blueprint for a greener future and that future is here.
- Made big improvements in water conservation, using hardy plants and more efficient landscaping designs
- Recently went online with our 62-acre Solar Farm, the largest of any university campus in North America.

I hope you will take the Cool Campus Challenge with me and help the University of California continue to lead by example. If we all sign up online and commit to completing pledges together, we can also make sure UC Davis is Number One in the Challenge, illustrating once again our strong commitment to sustainability and a reduced carbon footprint.

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Chancellor Linda Katehi: Addressing Office Climate – A Path Forward

October 9th, 2015 @ 2:58 pm by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

We as a community embrace diversity in all its complexities and appreciate that a full range of backgrounds and experiences adds a richer perspective to our daily endeavors. In light of past student incidents, we’ve taken various actions to address diversity related concerns. These include the development of courses for managers and supervisor on micro-aggressions and the creation of a restorative justice program.

Having said that, I have learned from a variety of sources, including staff assembly, the UC Davis Ombuds Office, labor union representatives, and Campus Community Relations that staff continue to experience and report bullying, racism, and other offensive workplace issues. These negative issues are a barrier to the university’s ability to be as effective as it can be and to fully live up to our Principles of Community.

More than ever, we must address how we support an environment that welcomes and encourages all staff to contribute successfully to the workplace. While the university offers in-person and online certificate courses in diversity and awareness workshops, along with other training programs, we must do more to educate the members of our community and improve the workplace climate.

I am committed to developing a comprehensive office climate action plan that tackles exclusion, intimidation, and offensive and/or hostile conduct. I am taking several steps to put this plan into place, starting with creating a task force to identify ways to improve the quality of the workplace through training, awareness, intervention and expectation-setting for all employees. The task force will make recommendations to me within three months. I anticipate that further actions we take will reinforce that the entire UC Davis community has a responsibility to encourage an environment where everyone is valued for their contributions.

Here at UC Davis, our backgrounds, personal experiences, values and world views arise from differences of culture and circumstance. When we respect our differences, we have a healthier environment in which to work and thrive. I look forward to working with staff to renew our commitment to a climate that supports equality and diversity.

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In the news

Chancellor Linda Katehi: Expanding the Footprint of UC Davis

September 30th, 2015 @ 12:01 pm by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

UC Davis’ $30 million Shrem Museum of Art is scheduled to open in late 2016. (Rendering courtesy of UC Davis)

UC Davis’ $30 million Shrem Museum of Art is scheduled to open in late 2016. (Rendering courtesy of UC Davis)

UC Davis is flourishing thanks in large part to the partnerships we’re forming across California and around the globe. Now, we are exploring ways to deepen our relationship with a place very close and important to us – our state’s capital.

UC Davis is uniquely positioned to be a valuable partner for Sacramento and the state government. Here at the nexus of water, food, and health, we hope to build a research center that will bring together people and knowledge to address the most pressing challenges of our time. We also want to provide state government with greater access to our experts on these and other topics vital to California and its future.

The truth is that UC Davis does not belong to Davis alone. Our university serves the entire region, and it is essential to the future of UC Davis and Sacramento that the state’s capital city sees UC Davis as a vital part of its own community and future. We have not been as visible or engaged in Sacramento as we need to and creating this enhanced partnership is at the core of our mission to become the university of the 21st century. To become integrated across our communities, to achieve a truly global impact, we must bring a sense of ownership and visibility for UC Davis to the entire capital region.

This is an important move for Sacramento, as well. UC Davis has many corporate and international partnerships, which will act as an open door for Sacramento to play a bigger role in the global economy, especially in the areas of food and technological innovation when it comes to agriculture and environmental sustainability.

California is taking a global leadership role in policy and innovation around food, sustainability, health and more, and UC Davis is stepping to the forefront in helping to bridge the public and private sectors that will lay the foundation for an even bigger and more important worldwide impact. It’s a bigger role that will benefit our university and its students and faculty, as well as California, the nation and the world.

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Aggie stars

Chancellor Linda Katehi: Introducing the Leadership of the Associated Students of the University of California Davis

September 27th, 2015 @ 10:27 pm by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

With the start of a new academic year, there are many new faces among us, including those of campus leadership. In the coming months, I will be introducing some of them to you on this blog. Let me first introduce our Associated Students of the University of California Davis (ASUCD) executive leadership. Both of these wonderful individuals are passionate advocates for their peers and proud Aggies.

Chancellor Linda Katehi with ASUCD President Mariah Watson and Vice President Gareth Smythe.

Chancellor Linda Katehi with ASUCD President Mariah Watson and Vice President Gareth Smythe.

Mariah K. Watson President of ASUCD, born and raised in Los Angeles, is a senior majoring in international relations and political science. She is also a UC Regent Scholar. During her time at UC Davis, Mariah has been actively involved in many different clubs and organizations on campus. She has worked as:

- A commissioner on the Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Commission
- A Peer Education and Community Empowerment (PEACE) Trainer at the Cross Cultural Center (CCC)
- The Black Graduation Student Assistant
- An ASUCD Senator
- A representative on the Black Leadership Council and a number of other leadership positions

Mariah is committed to giving back to the UC Davis community and clearly enjoys doing so. As ASUCD President, she is consistently inspired by the amazing students at UC Davis and does her best to promote their successes and struggles. During her tenure with ASUCD, Mariah has already:

- Set-up the Swipe Out Hunger campaign for The ASUCD Pantry
- Initiated statewide advocacy meetings with Governor Brown’s office
- Re-established a student advisory committee for the City of Davis
- Facilitated multiple trust and community forums between students and police departments in Davis
- Established student representation on a number of committees at UC Davis.

She plans to finish her time as President by increasing student internship opportunities and partnerships with on-campus departments as well as advocating at the Capitol and on campus for additional mental health services. .

Gareth Smythe Vice President of ASCUD, born and raised in Orange County, is a senior majoring in political science and history. He became involved with ASUCD during his first year of college, and served as:

- Vice Chair of the ASUCD Internal Affairs Commission
- Volunteer for the administrative student advocacy office, ASUCD University Affairs
- An intern for three ASUCD senators

In his second year, Gareth was elected to the ASUCD Senate, where he served as President Pro Tempore. In spring of 2015, he was appointed by ASUCD President Mariah Watson and later confirmed by the Senate to fill the vacant position of Vice President.

In that capacity, he serves as the presiding officer over the Senate and assists the President in advocacy and representation of the student body to university, city, state, and federal officials. He is also the steward of the ASUCD Scholarship and Awards program.

Gareth also:

- Conducts undergraduate research for Professor Amber Boydstun in the Department of Political Science.
- Serves as a Letters & Science Peer Advisor
- Is a tutor at the Student Academic Success Center for Political Science and History.
- Co-chairs the 2015 Stride for Aggie Pride 5K

Gareth enjoys Iced Mochas from the student-run Coffee House, long walks in the Arboretum, helping students find new ways to engage with academic material, and being inspired by his fellow Aggies’ individual stories and perspectives.

Mariah and Gareth are wonderful examples of the kinds of devoted and hardworking students we are so fortunate to have on our campus. Please join me in thanking them for their continued dedication to the student body and for their commitment to ensuring that each Aggie has their voice heard.

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In the news

Chancellor Linda Katehi: Welcoming the Class of 2019, Transfer Class of 2017 and the University of the 21st Century

September 23rd, 2015 @ 2:28 pm by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

Chancellor Linda Katehi addresses attendees at the 2015 Fall Convocation. (photo credit: Gregory Urquiaga, UC Davis)

Chancellor Linda Katehi addresses attendees at the 2015 Fall Convocation, titled Building Our Future. (photo credit: Gregory Urquiaga, UC Davis)

Convocation is a time for looking ahead, an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to come together with the greater UC Davis community around our shared vision of making the world a better place through education, research and service. It is always exciting when a new academic year begins. This past Tuesday, it was an honor for me to attend our Fall 2015 Convocation organized around the theme of “Building Our Future.”

UC Davis is on a mission to become the University of the 21st Century. While we’re striving toward solutions to the world’s most pressing problems, we are building a campus and future to provide our students the best possible education and community experience today and in the decades ahead.

In the process, UC Davis is transforming the traditional educational model to fit the rapidly changing modern world. We are beginning to work with the Academic Senate to create a small, experimental academic unit on our main campus that we are currently calling “Davis-X.” It is envisioned as a place where students would work closely with one another and faculty across disciplines to address societal challenges they’re passionate about. A streamlined community college transfer system opens our doors to a greater variety of students. We are expanding our pool of counselors and taking a number of important steps to help students graduate in four years. We are also adding more small seminars so students have closer contract with our world-class faculty because have been telling us that’s what they want.

We are also looking seriously into establishing an additional campus in Sacramento. It would feature a new school for global population health and a public policy institute to allow us to take better advantage of being the only research university close to the state Capitol. California is the 8th largest economy in the world. We want to help find solutions to our state’s challenges because we know when California leads, the rest of the nation and world often follow.

photo credit: Gregory Urquiaga, UC Davis.

photo credit: Gregory Urquiaga, UC Davis.

UC Davis is also enhancing its growing reputation as a global leader through creative collaborations and partnerships that expand opportunities for faculty and students alike.

Many inspiring speakers participated in convocation; a personal highlight for me was having Congresswoman Doris Matsui participate. She gave a rousing speech about the incredible breadth and depth of UC Davis’ faculty, staff and students, concluding that we are uniquely positioned to become The University of the 21st Century and play a big role in helping to craft sound public policy.

I want to welcome everyone back to campus for another exciting and productive year as you pursue your dreams and we work together for everyone’s benefit. Good luck and all great success for 2015-16 and beyond!

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