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Davis, California

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Chancellor Gary May delivers first State of the Campus address


Updates on university revenue, projects for classroom renovation, construction delivered

Chancellor Gary May delivered his first State of the Campus address in the Multipurpose Room of the International Center on Mar. 1 at 2:10 p.m.

UC Davis students, community members and the Representative Assembly of the Davis Division of the Academic Senate were all present.

Chancellor May welcomed the attendants and spoke on appointments made within the university, financial figures and plans he and his staff plan to continue.

Among May’s appointments were Kelly Ratliff as vice chancellor of finance, operations and administration, Joseph Farrow as the UC Davis chief of police and Dana Topousis as chief marketing and communications officer.

May discussed the “university-wide strategic effort” To Boldly Go, which focuses on the state of UC Davis 10 years from now. The effort is composed of 23 members and is accepting submissions from community members of ideas to implement.

“I personally read every submission to date,” May said.

May delivered UC figures related to revenue, specifically citing UC regents decision to delay a raise in tuition and fees and California Governor Jerry Brown’s proposition to increase 3 percent of the UC’s budget rather than 4 percent as he had in recent years.

It was said that UC Davis is nearing its 18 percent non-resident student cap. Plans to generate new revenue include increased masters programs and creating more “self-supporting degrees.”

Internal audits are usually conducted every five years if there is a change in leadership. Reportedly, internal audits are to be held every five years regardless.

Millions of dollars have been distributed to the university in research funding and millions have been raised in fundraising in the past fiscal year: $783 million in sponsored research funding in 2016-2017, $250 million in fundraising in 2016-2017 and $114 million so far in the 2017-2018 fiscal year.

May reported that UC Davis is almost at its 39,000 enrollment capacity, with 95,207 applications submitted for the next school year — 3.6 percent more than last year.

Renovation on Walker Hall as a graduate student community center is set to open in Fall 2019. Other projects regarding infrastructure were discussed, such as the progression with what is temporarily being called California Hall, set to be the largest lecture hall on campus, seating 600 students for Fall 2018. $25 million are to be distributed for the renovation of classrooms across campus and 600 more bike parking spaces are to be installed as well as wider walking/biking paths.

Chancellor May addressed a student housing task force working on acquiring 6,200 to 8,500 beds for students through 2030. Three other task forces were announced: one on affordable housing led by David Campbell, the associate dean of social and human sciences; another on mental health led by Cameron Carter, the interim vice chancellor for research and a food security task force headed by Francene Steinberg, the chair of the Department of Nutrition.

May highlighted faculty and student excellence in his address, pointing to professor emeritus Gary Snyder being inducted to the California Hall of Fame and assistant professor Zhou Yu being honored by Forbes for her work in computer science.

Student-athletes were also highlighted, such as UC Davis alumna Brita Sigourney’s bronze win at the Winter Olympics.

With 44 percent of students at UC Davis being first generation students and a reported 27 percent of students representing underrepresented minorities, the university has now met the numerical threshold to become a Hispanic Serving Institution.

The address’ conclusion revolved around a project in partnership with the city of Sacramento titled Aggie Square.

Aggie Square will be a “new technology and innovation campus” built in Sacramento. The project has been in development between Chancellor May and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg.

“The public really needs to see the value of a research university in this political climate,” May said.

Four sites are in contention for the the Aggie Square innovation hub.

Chancellor May’s address ended at 2:56 p.m.



Written by: Elizabeth Mercado — campus@theaggie.org


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