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Davis, California

Friday, June 14, 2024

Ask Katehi

If a student has concerns regarding the administration, what’s the best route to take?

I would like to think we start with the basics: talking and listening. Perhaps Jim Leach, chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities, put it best during his April visit to our campus last spring to launch the Chancellor’s Colloquium series. He emphasized that we all need to listen respectfully. Many concerns and misunderstandings can be resolved when we keep this in mind. And so I encourage administrators to make themselves available to students, listen respectfully and address their concerns directly and promptly.

Student leaders can help, too. ASUCD and the Student Assistants to the Chancellor all represent student voices and provide liaison with administrators. Students Melissa Muganzo and Justin Gold invite you to connect with them at sac@ucdavis.edu. These student assistants regularly host dialogues that bring students, faculty and staff together to discuss issues.

There are a variety of other forums in which students can share their concerns and contribute to decision-making, too. For example, last year we introduced the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Advisory Board. The board of nine students – including the two student assistants to the chancellor – advises the administration on major initiatives including enrollment, research, international experiences and other aspects of undergraduate student life.

To help work out problems, we also have formal procedures. Part of the mission of Student Judicial Affairs is to uphold student rights and respond to student grievances. Students can receive informal assistance or file a formal grievance against faculty or staff, among others, or about a university policy, procedure, practice or department. UC Davis Mediation Services and the Graduate Student Association also help graduate students resolve issues involving departments or administrators, among others.

And, of course, students can always contact Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Fred Wood at vcsa@ucdavis.edu or get in touch with me directly at chancellor@ucdavis.edu.

Got a question for the chancellor? Send it to campus@theaggie.org.


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