Administrative panel held on Jan. 22 to discuss community issues

UC DAVIS STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS / COURTESY

Panel featured Chancellor, Provost, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs

On Jan. 22, an administrative panel was held in the Multipurpose Room of the Student Community Center. The panel, titled “Building Bridges,” was an effort to bring about constructive dialogue and speak about campuswide concerns.

Panelists included Chancellor Gary May, Provost Ralph Hexter, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Adela de la Torre, Police Chief Joe Farrow, Interim Lead of Finance, Operations and Administration Kelly Ratliff, Athletics Director Kevin Blue and Chief of Staff Karl Engelbach.

Members of the community were given the chance to ask the panelists questions by raising their hands, passing questions up on index cards or emailing questions to sac@ucdavis.edu.

One of the first questions asked was on the issue of investment in student entrepreneurship and employment. The panelists responded that, in addition to the Student Internship and Career Center, the school has permanent funds of up to $100,000 for students to develop projects. There are also various clubs on campus for entrepreneurship.

The next question, asked to Blue, inquired about the progress on an earlier promise to increase the number of female athletic participation opportunities. Blue responded that there is a campus group working to advance the analysis process.

Next, a concerned audience member brought up that a large percent of students skip meals because of the high cost of housing and education and asked the panelists what the school can do to help.

De la Torre brought up the UC Davis Food Pantry, which has consistently worked to address food insecurity on campus. In addition, the school has been helping students get enrolled in CalFresh, partnering with student housing to provide student meals and involved with the UCOP Global Health Initiative.

Another audience member asked about the housing crisis currently facing Davis.

“[There is] a lot of progress currently made in Orchard Park and West Village for affordable houses,” Ratliff said. “We are moving forward with over 5,000 beds in that project.”

The next question was in regard to the “It’s Okay to Be White” posters found on campus last year.

According to Farrow, the university took the issue very seriously and had conducted an in-depth investigation. They learned that these messages had been around since 2001 and were intentionally put up in universities to get a reaction.

“It is important not to give provocateurs what they want,” May said. “Let’s not overreact.”

One of the last questions asked was about how to reduce class size, as the school plans to admit more students. Hexter replied that the school also plans to hire more faculty.

“Growth in students will slowly plateau as we continue to grow faculty,” Hexter said. “The goal is to return to the original student-to-faculty ratio.”

 

Written by: Clara Zhao — campus@theaggie.org