You speak a lot about wanting to improve the overall reputation and stature of the university. Does that include improving major buildings?
When I came to UC Davis nearly two years ago, I was well aware of the strengths and quality of our university. I also saw the potential to build on these strengths to move our university to greater heights of distinction. A university without an updated infrastructure cannot really become the university with the reputation we would like it to be. So, improving the physical infrastructure of the campus by updating buildings and classrooms to become state-of-the-art facilities is certainly key to my long-term goals for UC Davis.
For example, last year, we completed a $30 million expansion of our School of Law. Its new wing added 18,000 square feet for classrooms, conference rooms, lecture halls and offices – all built to accommodate and better serve our 21st century academic community. Similarly, the recent opening of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science was built to replace the 50-year-old buildings that once housed our departments of Viticulture and Enology and Food Science and Technology. The new state-of-the-art facility is recognized as the world’s greenest winery, brewery and foods facility and it will accommodate the advanced level of research we conduct here at UC Davis. Our objective is to build on the achievements of the past in order to accomplish even greater things in the years to come.
I also believe we need to have a goal of excellence across the board – in infrastructure, in instruction and in the total academic experience – if we are to achieve our long-term goals of improving the standing and reputation of our university. While we do have a long-term plan in place that we would like to follow as closely as we can, we realize that there will be financial challenges ahead. However, I am optimistic and determined that we will accomplish what we set out to do.
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