Thursday, January 12, 2012
Letter from Chancellor Katehi to #UCDavis Community
Posting this email I received for those interested. Not sure what will happen this quarter in terms of Occupy UC Davis actions and related issues ... but will post as things develop.
Dear UC Davis Community,
Happy New Year! I am writing to welcome everyone back to campus and to share my thoughts about the coming year at UC Davis.
The many conversations we've had about the events of last November affirm that our pursuit of academic excellence can succeed only if our campus remains a safe and welcoming place for all voices and forms of expression.
As we work to ensure this, we must not forget the understandable frustration that has fueled protests. After repeated cuts in state support for California's public universities and a near doubling of tuition the past four years, many of our students and their families have reached a breaking point. Rising student debt and a still-struggling economy have only made things worse. Students have every right to expect that we will stand with them in fighting to reverse these very troubling trends.
In the coming year, I will personally and persistently advocate for additional state and federal investment in our university to help ease this financial burden and make UC Davis more available and accessible to deserving students. We also will steward our resources wisely, seek to protect academic programs to the extent possible, and do everything possible to fund more student scholarships and fellowships.
Ours is a preeminent public university. As we all strive to enhance its many qualities and distinctions, let us be proud of what is taking place every day in our classrooms, laboratories, health centers and other centers of excellence. All of you, in some way, are benefiting our region, state, nation and world. All great universities place students at the center of their work. We cannot and will not rest until we provide our students the best learning environment and services possible.
I also am committed to focusing on the positive role of UC Davis in economic development and its positive impacts on communities, our state and beyond. A stronger regional, state and global economy will provide our graduates with the career and service opportunities they deserve.
In support of this goal, I have initiated an extensive effort involving faculty, students and staff to assess and evaluate our 2020 Initiative. Central to that task is our ability to convert this concept into a plan that is implementable, aligns well with and supports our values and principles as a land-grant university.
The 2020 Initiative can be a bold blueprint for UC Davis to meet its financial challenges while broadening access to California students and allowing our university to become an even more vital engine of economic development.
Much work lies ahead. We expect to receive in coming weeks the results of various inquiries regarding the events of last November. We will receive critical reports regarding the future of UC Davis athletics. And we will hear the concerns and ideas generated by the fifty faculty, staff and students helping to study and shape the proposed 2020 Initiative.
I look forward to sharing and discussing these important subjects with you.
Linda P.B. Katehi