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Friday, June 18, 2021

Katehi delivers State of the Campus address to UC Davis students

On May 19, UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi delivered her State of the Campus address to students at UC Davis. The address took place in the UC Davis Welcome Center presentation room at 5:30 p.m.

Katehi said that the presentation was the same one she gives each year to the faculty senate and the foundation board, which handles UC Davis endowments. She said she decided to give the same presentation to students. A group of about 10 students appeared, and Katehi said the presentation was able to be more interactive than it would have had there been a larger group.

One of the main parts of the address reviewed the UC Davis Vision of Excellence, which is revisited every five years. The vision includes the six goals for the institution within the next five years.

“One of the main points was to increase financial support because these goals were decided during a difficult financial time,” Katehi said. “Now we are more stable financially.”

There was a 30 percent decrease in state budget for the University within the last five years. Katehi said that this decrease was what resulted in a tuition increase in order to pay for staff and faculty salaries.

“When this goes down, unfortunately the only place you can get money for salaries is from tuition,” Katehi said. “We try not to lay off too many people because it’s not just hurting one person, it’s a whole family.”

Another goal that is part of the “Vision” is to achieve academic success, and Katehi said that another goal that UC Davis hoped to reach was to gain more funding for student and faculty research. Katehi said that many private companies, such as Boeing, come to the University to have research done because they want a new design. Although private companies are investing in the UC Davis research, Katehi said that it is not contributing to privatization of the University of California (UC) system.

“It’s not privatization because it’s basic research but it’s available to everyone,” Katehi said. “In my mind, it is very important for the University to do work with private companies.”

One issue that a student in the audience brought up was the lack of help he received when going to the Internship and Career Center (ICC) to find a job after graduating. Katehi said that the work done by the ICC is mostly done under the provost, but that there is currently a plan to move the ICC into its own building with its own director.

“We’re trying to improve placing students not just here, but internationally as well,” Katehi said.

Katehi spoke of future projects currently in progress. These include a graduate student and teaching assistant center in what is currently Walker Hall and also a new chemistry of life building. She said that part of the 2020 initiative is to be the top UC campus, to recruit from high schools across the state and to have a faculty growth of 600 to 700 faculty members by 2020. Katehi also said that a national campaign to raise funds for scholarships is currently in progress and that the campaign has currently raised $1.1 billion.

MELISSA DITTRICH can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

 

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