Last week, Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi announced new developments in the 2020 Initiative — a strategy she has been working on to improve the university, announced Sept. 21, 2011 during her fall convocation address.
As one of the main components of the initiative, there is a plan to increase the student population by 5,000 — international, in-state and out-of-state students — in order to increase the school’s excellence and create a more diverse campus by 2020.
To offset the increase in student population, there will also be an increase in faculty by about 300 and additional classrooms to support the growing campus.
While these changes are major, they will be occurring gradually.
“We are going to start slowly,” Katehi said.
Katehi said that she, along with her advisors, will be working to ensure they address every need of current and future students.
“We need more TAs, better advising, more advisors and a better environment for mentoring our students,” she said. “The most critical thing is to make sure we do it right … We are not going to allow ourselves to fail.”
Students, who fear that the increase in student population may lead to a decrease in access to services offered on campus, should not worry, Katehi said. According to her March 7 announcement, revenue generated by this initiative will support staff and services.
Rahim Reed, associate executive vice chancellor for Campus Community Relations and member of the chancellor’s cabinet, assures that this initiative will be focusing heavily on the needs of the students.
He also conducted the Campus Community Survey earlier this school year, which assists with the goals of the initiative.
“The survey is designed to give us feedback on what kind of campus climate we have, what it’s like to be a student, to be a faculty member and staff here, to teach here and to learn here. Knowing this kind of information will help us to address, and be proactive in addressing, some of these issues and concerns to make our campus a more welcoming and supportive environment,” Reed said. “We ought to think of it not from just what we, the institution, want, we also have to think of it in terms of what the students want and need, and what kind of experience they’re looking for.”
Irtqa Ilyas, a member of the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Advisory Board and a third-year neurobiology, physiology and behavior major believes that this initiative will be a positive influence on campus, but that improvements must also be made aesthetically as well.
“We need to invest in our university. We have the [Sciences Lecture Hall], we have the SCC [and] all the newer buildings, but we also need to maintain the older buildings,” she said.
Implementation if the initiative will begin in May. For more information on the 2020 Initiative, visit chancellor.ucdavis.edu.
SASHA COTTERELL can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.