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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Editorial: Suggestions for hiring

Vice Chancellor Fred Wood and Associate Vice Chancellor Griselda Castro, both of Student Affairs, will be leaving UC Davis at the end of this quarter. While they are not the only university employees leaving after what can generously be described as a tumultuous year for the campus administration, they are some of the most powerful. Both Wood and Castro were involved in the events surrounding the Nov. 18 pepper spraying, and their replacements will face the same responsibility.

Now that we have the opportunity to move forward with new leadership, we would like to see replacements that reflect consideration of student needs on campus. The Aggie Editorial Board has made a list of the qualities that we would like to see in the future leaders of Student Affairs.

  1. Youth. We need our administration to be relatable. There is a generation gap which the administration has failed to bridge. How do we explain to a generation that received near-free public education the trials that follow from student debt?
  1. Innovation. UC Davis used to be a hub of innovative projects, such as the Domes at Baggins End, which were built by students and eventually taken over by Student Housing. Student Housing, which falls under Student Affairs, closed the Domes this fall. They were reopened in Winter following a massive fundraising effort from students, alumni and faculty. Where has support for these unique and creative projects gone? It seems these days that if it’s not making money, it’s not welcomed at UC Davis.
  1. Commitment. We need administrators who are dedicated to improving the University for students, despite the external pressure to turn our campus into a politically correct profit hub. Additionally, the administration needs to start seeing students as partners, rather than adversaries. We are not “health and safety” violations to be prevented, or cows to be herded. Administrators work with us, and no vice chancellor that feels otherwise will be successful on this campus.
  1. Interest. Administrators need to show a desire to seek out and actually listen to student opinions. Even if students don’t always actively seek out ways to meet Mrak, it is the administrator’s duty to know their campus.
  1. Respect. In recent years, the UC Davis administration has been paternal and oppressive in the interest of “the students.” Which students are they protecting when they contradict the students’ needs? If you think we as young intellectuals are not able to act autonomously, you shouldn’t have the position.

To the unlucky souls who are hired this summer, welcome to UC Davis.

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