On Thursday, the ASUCD Senate showed that it doesn’t know how to say “thank you.” After closing the session on the elections brouhaha, the senate opened discussion on an urgent Senate resolution. This mildly worded resolution thanked Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef, in light of his upcoming retirement from UC Davis chancellorship, without using overly positive language.
Chancellor Vanderhoef has spent 15 years in his current position, and anyone in such a position for so long is bound to make a mistake. Although the Celeste Rose controversy marred his tenure, most agree that Vanderhoef has done a great deal of good.
He has spearheaded vast infrastructure improvement – the Mondavi Center, as well as the forthcoming Hyatt Hotel and West Village. The chancellor has also strengthened international ties; he has visited Iran twice in the last five years, and his works in China have made UC Davis the fourth most visited university for international scholars in the US.
The resolution thanking Chancellor Vanderhoef is rare in that it impacts someone within ASUCD’s reach and is measured in its support. This is the type of resolution that ASUCD should be writing more frequently. The fact that ASUCD cannot agree on a simple resolution thanking the chancellor for 25 years of management at UC Davis is petty and rude.
Other senators said the resolution was too strong; some said a plaque or luncheon would be more appropriate. Senator Laura Pulido even suggested lifelong privileges to the ASUCD Coffee House. These suggestions boggle the mind.
If such language is too strong for a resolution, it’s too strong for a plaque. With a looming budget crisis, why are senators looking to replace a resolution (free) with a $50 plaque or a luncheon that would likely cost hundreds of dollars? Lifetime privileges at the Coho could be even pricier! If you don’t want to thank the man, why do you want to buy him lunch?
Chancellor Vanderhoef has served UC Davis well in the past 25 years. He has made infrequent mistakes, but he has done much more good than bad. If the ASUCD Senate cannot even agree to thank the outgoing chancellor in a mild-mannered resolution, how can they pass a $10 million budget next quarter?