The 2020 Initiative, a proposal to increase overall student enrollment within the coming years, began work this month in the form of task forces to outline an implementation process. The proposal was introduced by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi in Fall quarter.
If the proposal is enacted, an additional 5,000 students will be enrolled and 300 faculty hired by the target date. California, out-of-state and international students would together make up the increased student body.
“The main goal of 2020 is to sustain and enhance excellence at UC Davis by building on existing strengths and resources to become a more active partner with the state in supporting higher education,” said Yena Bae, ASUCD senator and member of the enrollment management committee. “The initiative also aims to improve diversity of the student body by bringing in more international and out of state students, financial stability and creating new revenues for the university and higher education.”
Three separate committees – the Academic Resources Committee, the Enrollment Management Committee and the Facilities Planning Committee – have been designated to help in the planning process of the initiative. Committees will meet twice monthly from January through June.
“The task forces are one set of groups that will be providing input and advice regarding the many issues raised in the 2020 proposal,” said Ken Burtis, professor of genetics, faculty advisor to the chancellor and provost and chair of the enrollment management committee. “They are comprised of members from a diverse group of campus constituencies, including undergraduate and graduate students, staff, faculty and administration. Input will also be sought from other groups, for example the standing committees of the Academic Senate, ASUCD, community members, etc. , through events such as town hall meetings and other venues.”
The initiative comes in response to campus budgetary problems from a lack of sufficient funding.
“The chancellor, as well as other members of the faculty and administration of UC Davis, have all been challenged recently to envision ways in which the campus can maintain its traditions of access and excellence in the face of rapidly declining state support,” said Burtis. “The growth proposal envisioned in the 2020 Initiative was one of the several ideas that arose out of the challenges that we face, and was recognized by the chancellor as a possible way in which we could begin to reverse some of the deleterious impacts of the decline in state funding.”
Although only in the planning stages, challenges in the application of the 2020 Initiative can be seen by some committee members.
“Again, I want to emphasize the fact that this is a proposal, not a set plan,” Bae said . “But if this initiative was to be enacted, then the biggest issue it might bring to the campus is the lack of resources that the university will be capable of providing to enhance not just academic life but the overall student life.”
In Chancellor Katehi’s Fall Convocation Address she outlined the objective of the proposal as creating “a university that can sustain its rising trajectory through its own best efforts, leveraging support from the state but rising above the fiscal limitations we now face.”
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