Administration hopes to improve transparency
Given the distrust students currently have for UC Davis administration, the university announced on Tuesday that it will be installing speakers in every classroom and lecture hall on campus, the purpose being to have students hear weekly announcements from the chancellor.
Students and faculty alike have expressed their discomfort with the lack of administrative transparency after Linda Katehi’s actions that dramatically increased her salary as a result of her position on boards for private institutions and textbook companies.
Interim Chancellor Ralph Hexter followed her scandal with a scandal of his own. He was accused of embezzling funds during his time at Hampshire College. Hexter wants to change how students perceive the administration.
“I just don’t trust what’s going on. I like the idea of the chancellor getting in contact with us, but I don’t think this is the way to do it,” said Kevin McGrady, a third-year managerial economics major. “We’ve seen the videos of Katehi in our emails and that was just weird. I hope this will be better, but I doubt it.”
Professors are questioning the decision as well. Although many want better communication, they doubt this new method will be effective.
“I like it, but I don’t. Class starts at 10. How am I supposed to begin teaching? I don’t want to hear some bigwig talk about what he has done in the past week and have that taken out of my teaching time,” said Larry Richards, an English professor who has a particular dislike of technology.
Others feel that giving students a window into Hexter’s doings is a good idea.
“Is it a little bit silly? Yes. Does it feel like high school? Yes. I like it, though,” said Lily Marx, a first-year design major. “It’s cool and gives us something new. Let’s do it.”
Richards brings up a valid point that Hexter has yet to address, which is when class time will officially start. If Hexter plans to speak during class, he will take time out of learning, but if classes start 10 minutes later, students would not show up until the lecture officially began.
By forcing members of the university to arrive early and listen to what he has to say, Hexter might just turn UC Davis into a modern-day 1984.
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