1996 Convocation: Chancellor's Address

FALL 1996 CONVOCATION ADDRESS
UC Davis Chancellor Larry N. Vanderhoef

“NATURAL SELECTION IN TRAUMATIC TIMES:
 The Agony and Ecstasy of a Campus Comeback”

Wednesday, September 25, 1996
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

Freeborn Hall

THANK YOU DR. STANTON.

AND THANK YOU PROFESSOR TAYLOR.  I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW THRILLED AND HAPPY WE ARE TO HAVE YOU AS A HISTORY PROFESSOR ON THIS CAMPUS.

YOU ALL KNOW NOW THAT ALAN TAYLOR WON THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR HISTORY LAST YEAR.  WHAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW IS THAT HE ALSO GETS THE HIGHEST RATINGS AS A TEACHER.  I HAVE SAID IT MANY TIMES TO OTHER AUDIENCES, AND I KNOW THAT WITH THIS AUDIENCE I AM PREACHING TO THE CONVERTED, BUT WE HAVE LEARNED OVER AND OVER THAT GREAT RESEARCH, THE KIND OF RESEARCH THAT PRODUCES PRIZE WINNING BOOKS AND MAJOR SCIENTIFIC BREAKTHROUGHS, IS HIGHLY CORRELATED WITH GREAT TEACHING.  IN ADDITION, FOR YOU STUDENTS OUT THERE, CLASS OF THE YEAR 2000, THE PRESTIGE THAT COMES TO THIS CAMPUS BECAUSE OF ITS FIRST-RATE RESEARCH WILL ACCRUE TO YOU NOT ONLY IN THE CLASSROOM, BUT ALSO WHEN IT COMES TIME FOR YOUR JOB HUNTING, OR PROFESSIONAL/GRADUATE SCHOOL APPLICATION.  UC DAVIS IS KNOWN AROUND THE WORLD, AND THAT WILL ONLY WORK TO YOUR BENEFIT.  YOU WILL ALSO, IF YOU CHOOSE, HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY BEFORE YOU GRADUATE TO WORK SIDE BY SIDE WITH OUR PROFESSORS -- IN THE LIBRARY, IN LABORATORIES, AND IN THE FIELD.  I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT TO YOU.  IT IS AN EXCITING WAY TO TRULY UNDERSTAND WHAT WE MEAN WHEN WE SAY THAT RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES ARE THE PRIMARY SITE OF THE PURSUIT AND UNDERSTANDING OF NEW KNOWLEDGE.

[PAUSE]

TWO YEARS AGO AFTER THE FOURTH YEAR IN A ROW OF BUDGET CUTS, AMOUNTING TO A 25% OVERALL REDUCTION IN OUR BASE, WE HAD JUST COMPLETED A VERY DIFFICULT CAMPUS-WIDE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS THAT WAS AIMED AT DEALING WITH OUR NEW FINANCIAL CIRCUMSTANCE.  IT WAS A RELIEF THAT YEAR, 1994-95, TO HAVE THE FIRST STEADY-STATE BUDGET IN FIVE YEARS.  WE HAD ALSO WORKED OUT OUR PLANS FOR PHASING INTO OUR SOLUTIONS TO THE BUDGET DEFICIENCIES. 

BUT I SAID AT THE TIME THAT WE HAD YET TO PROVE WHETHER OR NOT WE COULD COME BACK FROM THE JARRING BLOW TO OUR RESOURCES.  IN FACT, TO QUOTE FROM THAT SEPTEMBER CONVOCATION TWO YEARS AGO, I MADE THE POINT THAT -- QUOTE -- THE TOUGHEST TEST OF GREATNESS HAS NOT TO DO WITH WHAT ONE CAN ACHIEVE IN THE GOOD TIMES; RATHER, THE TOUGHEST TEST OF GREATNESS IS TO SUCCESSFULLY NAVIGATE THE PROCESSES OF CHANGE AND SELF-RENEWAL.  UNQUOTE.

FROM THAT DAY FORWARD, THE CAMPUS IN VIRTUALLY EVERY POSSIBLE WAY BEGAN TO ADAPT TO A BUDGET THAT HAD 25% LESS BUYING POWER THAN FOUR YEARS PREVIOUSLY.  PEOPLE IN THEIR INDIVIDUAL WAYS, DEPARTMENTS, DIVISIONS IN COLLEGES, ENTIRE COLLEGES AND SCHOOLS, ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISIONS -- PEOPLE WORKED HARDER, IN MY OPINION, THAN ANYONE EVER WOULD HAVE GUESSED POSSIBLE.

THE TITLE OF MY TALK THIS MORNING IS NATURAL SELECTION IN TRAUMATIC TIMES - The Agony and Ecstasy of a Campus Comeback.  THE TERM -- NATURAL SELECTION -- DESCRIBES THE PHENOMENON OF SURVIVING IN A CHANGED CIRCUMSTANCE.  POPULATIONS THAT HAVE THOSE SPECIAL CHARACTERISTICS THAT ALLOW THEM TO STAY HEALTHY AND DEAL SUCCESSFULLY WITH CHANGE WILL OUT‑PRODUCE, OUT‑LAST, AND OUT-COMPETE OTHER POPULATIONS THAT DO NOT HAVE COMPARABLE "ABILITIES."

SO THE QUESTION WAS, WHO AMONG US, WHICH GROUPS, WHICH UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES, WOULD BE MOST LIKELY TO BE ABLE TO DEAL WITH OUR NEW WORLD?  WHICH WOULD BE ABLE TO ADAPT TO CHANGE AND SURVIVE?

OUR UNIVERSITY WORLD HAS CHANGED SO MUCH IN THE 1990'S.  LET’S THINK ABOUT IT FOR A BIT. 

AS I INDICATED, ONE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL CHANGES WAS MONEY - OR RATHER, ABSENCE OF MONEY.  WE HAD TO DEAL WITH LESS MONEY FROM THE STATE, AND IT, IN TURN, PRODUCED OTHER CHANGES THAT WERE JUST AS NEW AND DIFFERENT FOR US.

FOR EXAMPLE WE NOW HAVE HIGHER STUDENT-TEACHER RATIOS. 

ALSO, WE HAVE HAD TO SLOW CONSIDERABLY IN OUR PLAN FOR REPLACEMENT AND RENOVATION OF OUR PHYSICAL FACILITIES.

AND REMEMBER THAT IT WAS DURING THIS SAME PERIOD OF TIME THAT THE FEDERAL GRANTING AND STUDENT AID AGENCIES FELT THE EFFECTS OF CONGRESS’ FIRST ATTEMPTS TO REACH A BALANCED BUDGET BY THE YEAR 2002.  SOME OF THE GRANTING AGENCIES, LIKE NIH, SEEMED TO HAVE SURVIVED WELL ENOUGH, BUT OTHERS, LIKE THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENTS FOR THE ARTS AND HUMANITIES, HAVE SUFFERED GREATLY, AND WITHIN NSF THE SOCIAL SCIENCES CONTINUE TO BE TARGETS FOR PARTICULAR LEGISLATORS.

BUT THERE HAVE BEEN CHANGES, AS WELL, THAT ARE NOT DIRECTLY RELATED TO REDUCED FUNDING.  STICKING WITH THE FEDERAL AGENCIES FOR A MOMENT, THINK OF HOW MUCH THEIR VIEWS HAVE CHANGED ON WHAT KIND OF RESEARCH SHOULD BE SUPPORTED.  THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT ONCE AGAIN IN OUR HISTORY THEY ARE VERY INTERESTED IN RESEARCH THAT IS TEAM-BASED AND DIRECTED TOWARD PRACTICAL, REAL WORLD DILEMMAS, PROBLEMS OF HEALTH, SOCIAL WELFARE, ENVIRONMENT, AND SO ON -- PROBLEMS THAT THIS COUNTRY FACES TODAY

OR TURNING TO THE ARTS AND HUMANITIES, CONSIDER THE EFFECTS OF THE SO-CALLED CULTURAL WARS OF THE EARLY YEARS OF THE DECADE IN CHALLENGING OUR UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT NEEDS TO BE RESEARCHED AND WHAT NEEDS TO BE TAUGHT.

AND WHAT ABOUT OUR OVERALL RATINGS IN THE EYES OF THE PUBLIC WE SEEK TO SERVE?  THERE’S BEEN CHANGE THERE, TOO.  OVER THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS WE HAVE HEARD QUESTIONS RAISED BY LEGISLATORS, PARENTS AND CITIZENS IN GENERAL ABOUT WHETHER THE UNIVERSITY IS FULFILLING ITS OBLIGATION TO SOCIETY.  THIS, I HAVE LEARNED IN MY RECENT WORK ON THE KELLOGG COMMISSION, A NATIONAL COMMISSION OF 22 UNIVERSITY PRESIDENTS AND CHANCELLORS THAT HAS BEEN CHARGED TO COME UP WITH WAYS TO FACILITATE AGREED UPON NEEDED CHANGES (IN GENERALLY CHANGE-RESISTANT UNIVERSITIES I MIGHT ADD), IS NOT JUST A CALIFORNIA PHENOMENON BUT A NATIONAL ONE.

AND THERE ARE THE UNPRECEDENTED DEVELOPMENTS IN TECHNOLOGY THAT ARE NEWLY AVAILABLE TO US EVERY DAY.  NO ASPECT OF CAMPUS LIFE IS UNTOUCHED BY THE EFFECTS OF THIS REVOLUTION AND FOR MANY OF US THE NEW ELECTRONIC WORLD IS VERY DISCONCERTING.   PERSONALLY, I’VE YET TO UNDERSTAND MOST OF IT, AND WHEN I HAVE COME TO FULLY COMPREHEND A PIECE OF IT, THE ODDS ARE ABOUT FIFTY:FIFTY THAT I WON’T LIKE IT.  EVEN THE SIMPLE THINGS LIKE E-MAIL -- THAT “SEND” BUTTON IS JUST TOO EASY TO HIT!  AND WHEN DID IT HAPPEN THAT ALL THE RULES OF GRAMMAR WERE SUSPENDED FOR E-MAIL?  WAS I OUT OF THE COUNTRY?

BUT, MY PERSONAL PROCLIVITIES NOT WITHSTANDING, THE FACT IS THAT THE GOOD FAR OUTWEIGHS THE BAD, AND WE MUST ADAPT OR BE SUBMERGED IN THE WAKE.  WHILE OUR DEFINITIONS OF TEACHER AND STUDENT ARE NOT LIKELY TO CHANGE MUCH, OUR TACTICS FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING ARE GOING TO CHANGE LOTS.

[PAUSE]

AND THERE IS, OF COURSE, THE STARTLING CHANGE IN HEALTH CARE; IT IS  UNPRECEDENTED IN THE HISTORY OF THIS COUNTRY,  A CHANGE THAT ABSOLUTELY REQUIRES THAT OUR MEDICAL SCHOOL AND MEDICAL CENTER DO THEIR BUSINESS IN RADICALLY DIFFERENT WAYS.  THIS ISN’T EASY FOR ANYONE IN HEALTH CARE, BUT IT IS ALL THE MORE CHALLENGING FOR THE UNIVERSITY BECAUSE OF OUR ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR ACADEMIC MEDICINE -- TEACHING AND RESEARCH.  WE ARE THOROUGHLY COMMITTED AT UC DAVIS TO PRESERVING THE VALUES THAT GUIDE OUR RESEARCH AND TEACHING IN MEDICINE, AND TO MAKING SURE THESE DO NOT GET LOST.  BUT THERE IS A FRENZY OF BUSINESS COMPETITION IN THE NEW WORLD OF MANAGED CARE, AND IF WE DON’T COMPETE IN THAT HARSH WORLD, WE COULD LOSE EVERYTHING.  BALANCING ACADEMICS WITH BUSINESS SURVIVAL IS AN ACT IN WHICH ONLY THE UNUSUALLY ADEPT CAN PLAY.  NATURAL SELECTION WILL BE -- HAS ALREADY BEEN -- ESPECIALLY COLD-HEARTED AND EMOTIONLESS IN THIS ARENA.

AND, FINALLY, AS IF ALL OF THIS WERE NOT ENOUGH, A YEAR AGO LAST JULY THE REGENTS DECIDED TO TRANSFORM THE WAY IN WHICH WE SEEK, AS AN ORGANIZATION, TO PROMOTE AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AND FOSTER DIVERSITY. THAT CHANGE WILL BE EVEN GREATER IF THE CALIFORNIA CIVIL RIGHTS INITIATIVE, PROPOSITION 209, PASSES IN NOVEMBER, AS IS CURRENTLY PROJECTED.

THESE, THEN, ARE THE MAJOR CHANGES THAT HAVE TAKEN PLACE ON THE CAMPUS.  JUST THINK ABOUT IT!  THINK ABOUT THE ASSAULT ON OUR EQUILIBRIUM!  IN THE FACE OF IT ALL, WHY AREN'T WE JUST A PUDDLE OF DESPAIR BEMOANING THE DAYS THAT WERE?  WHY HAVEN'T WE DISINTEGRATED INTO A COLLECTION OF BICKERING FACTIONS, EACH TRYING TO RECOVER ITS LOSSES AT THE EXPENSE OF THE OTHERS?

I... KNOW WHY.  IT IS BECAUSE ONE MORE TIME WE HAVE SEEN THE STRONG CHARACTER OF UC DAVIS EMERGE.  IT IS A CHARACTER THAT HAS BEEN BUILT THROUGH THE DECADES, BASED ON A UNIQUE CORE OF VALUES AND PRINCIPLES OF WHICH I HAVE SPOKEN MANY TIMES IN THE PAST.  WE ARE ACCOMMODATING CHANGE, AND MORE THAN THAT, WE ARE MANIPULATING CHANGE TO OUR ADVANTAGE.  WE ARE USING THE CHAOS OF THE 1990'S TO PROPEL US TO LOOK FORWARD, NOT BACKWARD.  ADVERSITY DOES NOT PARALYZE US.  IT BRINGS OUT OUR INGENUITY AND IT STRENGTHENS OUR PRINCIPLES OF COMMUNITY HERE AT UC DAVIS.

THE CAMPUS IS LARGE AND IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO MENTION ALL THE REMARKABLE EXAMPLES OF OUR ADAPTATION TO CHANGE.  I WILL, THOUGH, MENTION A FEW.  IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU HEAR THESE BECAUSE, IN FACT, THESE ARE THE WAYS IN WHICH OUR BEST UNITS HAVE RECOGNIZED THE NEED AND THE ADVANTAGE OF ADAPTING TO A NEW CIRCUMSTANCE.  THEY ... WE ... HAVE OVERCOME THE ANXIETY OF EVOLUTION AND THE FEAR OF CHANGE THAT WE ALL SHARE.

THE FIRST EXAMPLE COMES FROM OUR FACULTY RECRUITING ACTIVITIES.  DESPITE OUR NEW WORLD OF RESTRICTED RESOURCES, WE HAVE HEARTWARMING AND UPLIFTING INSTANCES OF SUCCESSFUL RECRUITMENTS.  WHAT SHOULD MOST IMPRESS US ABOUT MANY OF THESE RECRUITMENTS IS THAT THEY WERE NOT THE PRODUCT OF A SINGLE DEPARTMENT.  RATHER, THEY CAME FROM THE COLLECTIVE EFFORTS OF SEVERAL UNITS WORKING TOGETHER, OFTEN ACROSS COLLEGE AND DIVISIONAL LINES, FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL.  I'LL MENTION JUST ONE CASE IN A MOMENT.

BUT, FIRST, I CANNOT TALK ABOUT RECRUITMENT WITHOUT SAYING THAT WE HAVE SUCCEEDED WHERE WE MOST NEED TO SUCCEED.  WE HAVE BROUGHT IN AN EXCITING NEW YOUNG FACULTY.  DEPARTMENT AFTER DEPARTMENT HAS REPORTED THAT THEY HAVE BEEN ABLE TO APPOINT THEIR FIRST CHOICE OF ASSISTANT PROFESSORIAL CANDIDATES.  THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT BECAUSE IT MEANS THAT WE ARE COMPETING SUCCESSFULLY WITH THE VERY BEST UNIVERSITIES FOR THE VERY BEST TALENT IN THIS NEW GENERATION OF FACULTY.

WE HAVE ALSO COMPETED SUCCESSFULLY FOR DISTINGUISHED LEADERS IN CERTAIN CRITICAL AREAS OF RESEARCH.  ONE OF THESE IN PARTICULAR I REFERENCED JUST A MOMENT AGO.  THIS RECRUITMENT IS IMPRESSIVE NOT JUST BECAUSE OF THE DISTINCTION OF THE CANDIDATE BUT BECAUSE THE SUCCESS OF THE SEARCH UNDERLINED A NEW SPIRIT OF COLLABORATION AMONG UNITS.  OUR NEW COLLEAGUE IS PRINCETON'S ALEXANDRA NAVROTSKY, A MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES.  HER FIELD IS MATERIALS CHEMISTRY.  SHE WILL HAVE AN APPOINTMENT IN THREE DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS IN THREE DIFFERENT COLLEGES. 

LED BY DEAN PETER ROCK OF THE COLLEGE OF LETTERS AND SCIENCES, WITH THE ACTIVE SUPPORT OF DEAN MO GHAUSI OF ENGINEERING AND DEAN BARBARA SCHNEEMAN OF AGRICULTURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES, AND CRUCIAL ADDITIONAL HELP FROM VICE CHANCELLOR SHELTON AND VICE PROVOST TOMLINSON-KEASEY, WE HAD A DEAL -- A TERRIFIC RECRUITMENT IN A CRITICALLY IMPORTANT AND EXCITING NEW FIELD.

NOW WE ALL KNOW THAT GETTING THREE DEPARTMENTS, THREE COLLEGES AND TWO ADMINISTRATIVE UNITS ON THE SAME PAGE IS IMPOSSIBLE, RIGHT? NO, WRONG. 

THESE FOLKS DID IT AND WE’RE NOW ALL ENRICHED FOR THEIR EFFORTS.  WHAT THEY HAVE SHOWN US IS THAT THE ROAD TO FUTURE SUCCESS IN THE BUILDING OF OUR FACULTY IS COOPERATION, NOT COMPETITION, UNDERSTANDING OF THE WAYS AND NEEDS OF OTHERS, NOT PAROCHIALISM.

OUR SCHOOLS OF MEDICINE AND VETERINARY MEDICINE HAVE BEEN SIMILARLY INNOVATIVE.  THEY COOPERATED TO PURSUE ALTERNATE FUNDS FOR A NEW LABORATORY, THE CENTER FOR COMPARATIVE MEDICINE.  THEY BROKE GROUND LAST MAY.

AND THROUGH ALL OF THIS, I CONTINUE TO BE SO VERY PROUD OF OUR STAFF.  ACROSS THE CAMPUS THEY HAVE RESPONDED WITH IDEAS AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO IMPROVE OUR ORGANIZATION, AND, AS USUAL, THEY HAVE SIGNIFICANTLY CONTRIBUTED TO OUR ACADEMIC MISSION.  COMING OUT OF THE HORROR OF BUDGET CUT-BACKS AND LAY-OFFS CAME NEW RE‑TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES.  AND FROM THESE PROGRAMS WERE SPAWNED NEW CONTINUING EDUCATION PROGRAMS.  THE RECENT TRAINING EXPO IN THIS VERY HALL IS AN EXAMPLE OF THE FACT THAT OUR STAFF WERE AMONG THE FIRST OF US TO GIVE THEMSELVES A GOOD SHAKE AND SAY “SNAP OUT OF IT!  THAT WAS THEN AND THIS IS NOW!” MOST ARE SURVIVING, QUITE NICELY, THE FORCES OF NATURAL SELECTION. 

AND SO IT HAS HAPPENED WITH SO MANY AMONG OUR CONSTITUENCIES -- FACULTY, STAFF, STUDENTS, ADMINISTRATORS.  TO BE HONEST, NOT EVERYONE HAS DONE WELL IN THIS CHAOTIC TRANSITION.  SOME ARE CONVINCED THAT THIS NEW WORLD IS UNFAIR AND THEY ARE THE VICTIMS.  FOR THE MOST PART, THOUGH, THE UNPRECEDENTED PROBLEMS HAVE BROUGHT OUT UNPRECEDENTED INGENUITY.  PERHAPS MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL, THEY HAVE BROUGHT OUT THAT DAVIS SPIRIT OF COMMUNITY.

I WANT NOW TO TURN TO THE FUTURE -- ESPECIALLY TO THE YEAR JUST AHEAD -- AND TO MENTION SIX ITEMS THAT MUST BE ON OUR COMMON AGENDA.  AND I’LL DO THIS QUICKLY.

THE FIRST IS FACULTY RENEWAL.  THE CHALLENGE OF RECRUITING, REBUILDING AND RETAINING A FIRST-CLASS FACULTY NEEDS TO BE AT THE TOP OF OUR AGENDA AGAIN FOR THE COMING YEAR AND FOR SEVERAL YEARS TO COME.

THE SECOND AGENDA ITEM IS GROWTH IN OUR ENROLLMENTS.  WE IN THE UNIVERSITY HAVE HEARD MUCH ABOUT THE SECOND GREAT TIDAL WAVE OF ENROLLMENTS IN CALIFORNIA'S SYSTEMS OF HIGHER EDUCATION, THE BABIES OF THE BABY BOOMERS -- “TIDAL WAVE II,” ITS BEEN CALLED BY CLARK KERR.  PLANS CALL FOR A NEW UC CAMPUS IN THE VALLEY, BUT THAT OPTION HAS A HALF-BILLION DOLLAR PRICE TAG AND IS NOT EXPECTED TO BE STARTED UNTIL LATER IN THE NEXT DECADE.  IN THE MEANTIME OUR UC CAMPUSES WILL BE CALLED UPON TO HELP EDUCATE THIS NEW GENERATION OF CALIFORNIANS.  ENROLLMENTS ARE UP SIGNIFICANTLY EVEN THIS YEAR -- NEARLY 500 MORE FRESHMAN AT UC DAVIS.  LOTS OF FOLKS HAVE COOPERATED TO ACCOMMODATE THIS YEAR'S GROWTH:  DEANS, ASSOCIATE DEANS, DEPARTMENT CHAIRS, HOUSING STAFF HAVE ALL WORKED HARD TO ENSURE THAT THERE ARE SUFFICIENT CLASSES AVAILABLE AND ENOUGH ADDITIONAL BEDS IN THE DORMS.  IN THE YEAR AHEAD, WE'LL NEED TO CONTINUE THAT COOPERATION TO PLAN FOR THIS SORT OF STEADY GROWTH AT UC DAVIS FOR AT LEAST A DECADE.

A THIRD AGENDA ITEM CONCERNS THE THREE MAJOR ACADEMIC INITIATIVES UNDERTAKEN BY THE CAMPUS LAST FALL:  ONE IS FOCUSED ON THE ENVIRONMENT, ONE ON HEALTH PROMOTION AND DISEASE PREVENTION, AND ONE ON GLOBALIZATION.  COMMISSIONS OF FACULTY, STAFF AND ADMINISTRATORS WORKED ON ALL THREE OF THESE INITIATIVES LAST YEAR AND THEIR REPORTS WILL BE MADE TO THE CAMPUS EARLY THIS FALL.  THERE IS ALSO A SECOND SET OF INITIATIVES IN THE WORKS:  LAST SPRING THE PROVOST ESTABLISHED A "NEW INITIATIVES RESERVE" FUND AND ISSUED A CALL FOR PROPOSALS TO THE VICE CHANCELLORS AND DEANS.  MANY EXCELLENT PROPOSALS CAME FORWARD, AND THEY HAVE BEEN EVALUATED BY A SPECIAL FACULTY PANEL.  THE PROVOST EXPECTS TO BE MAKING FUNDING DECISIONS BY MID-OCTOBER.

FOURTH, OUR AGENDA FOR THE YEAR MUST ALSO INCLUDE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY.  THIS IS A NEW AND CHALLENGING AND EXPENSIVE(!!) TOOL THAT HAS BECOME ESSENTIAL FOR NEARLY EVERY FACET OF THE UNIVERSITY'S MISSION.  ALREADY TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES HAVE BEEN WOVEN INTO COURSES THROUGHOUT THE CAMPUS.  

FOR EXAMPLE, POLITICAL SCIENCE HAD PROBLEMS MEETING ITS COMPUTER REQUIREMENTS FOR TEACHING AND RESEARCH.  DEPARTMENT CHAIR, LARRY BERMAN, ALREADY AN INNOVATOR WITH SATELLITE HOOK-UPS FOR INTERVIEWS WITH WASHINGTON NOTABLES, TOOK THE INITIATIVE TO PROCURE THE RESOURCES REQUIRED FOR A FIRST-RATE FACILITY AND CAME HOME WITH A HALF-MILLION DOLLARS TO ESTABLISH A SUN WORKSTATION CENTER, ONLY THE THIRD IN THE COUNTRY. 

ROBERT BLAKE AND HIS COLLEAGUES IN HUMANITIES HAVE ESTABLISHED A LANGUAGE ACQUISITION CENTER WHICH TRANSPORTS STUDENTS TO OTHER COUNTRIES WITH THE CLICK OF THE MOUSE, TO READ DAILY NEWSPAPERS, TAP INTO ONGOING RESEARCH, OR LEARN ABOUT HISTORIC SITES WHILE VISITING THEM ON THE WEB. 

DICK WALTERS HAS DEVELOPED A SYSTEM OF REMOTE TA INSTRUCTION THAT HAS ATTRACTED ATTENTION FROM AS FAR AWAY AS AUSTRALIA. 

THE VET SCHOOL, KNOWING THAT VETERINARIANS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD ARE EAGER FOR THE KNOWLEDGE THAT IS PRODUCED AT UC DAVIS, THE BIGGEST VET SCHOOL IN THIS COUNTRY, IS PREPARING COMPUTER INFORMATION THAT WILL PUT THEM AT THE FOREFRONT OF LIFE-LONG LEARNING. 

HARRY MATTHEWS AND ROBERT THORNTON HAVE DEVELOPED BEAUTIFUL MULTI-MEDIA UNITS FOR THEIR BIOLOGY COURSES.  AND ON AND ON. 

THESE ARE JUST A FEW CAMPUS EXAMPLES AMONG MANY THAT DEMONSTRATE HOW REVOLUTION IN TECHNOLOGY IS AFFECTING THE EVOLUTION OF THE UNIVERSITY. 

AND WE KNOW THAT SIMILAR SEA CHANGES ARE OCCURRING IN RESEARCH AND IN OUR ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORTS SYSTEMS AS WELL.  OUR CHALLENGE IN THE YEAR AHEAD IS TO PLAN EFFECTIVELY SO THAT WE USE OUR RESOURCES TO ENSURE THAT THE STUDENTS, FACULTY AND STAFF AT UC DAVIS HAVE THE ELECTRONIC TOOLS AND TRAINING THAT THEY NEED TO BE LEADERS IN TODAY'S ELECTRONIC AGE.

A FIFTH ITEM ON OUR "TO DO" LIST FOR THE YEAR CONCERNS FACILITIES.  I SPOKE LAST YEAR OF OUR PLAN TO BUILD A NEW CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS.  THAT PROJECT IS PROGRESSING ON SCHEDULE, BUT WE MUST ALSO ADDRESS SERIOUS DEFICIENCIES IN BUILDINGS AND FACILITIES IN THE COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES, IN THE SCHOOL OF MEDICINE AND IN THE SCHOOL OF VETERINARY MEDICINE.  AS WITH THE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER, FUNDS FOR THESE FACILITIES MUST COME FROM A COMBINATION OF DOLLARS FROM THE STATE, FROM CHANCELLOR'S DISCRETIONARY FUNDS, FROM THE COLLEGES AND SCHOOLS THEMSELVES AND FROM DONATIONS FROM FOUNDATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE STRONG SUPPORTERS OF UC DAVIS.  PARTNERSHIPS ARE REQUIRED FOR THIS APPROACH TO BE SUCCESSFUL, AND I AM FULLY CONFIDENT THAT WE WILL SUCCEED.  WE’VE SET YET ANOTHER RECORD IN PRIVATE SUPPORT -- $59.4 MILLION THIS PAST YEAR.  THAT’S AN INCREDIBLE 43 PERCENT INCREASE OVER THE PREVIOUS YEAR’S TOTAL, WHICH WAS ITSELF A NEW RECORD HIGH.  OUR ALUMNI AND FRIENDS ARE DEFINITELY SHOWING THAT THEY ARE WILLING TO DO THEIR PART IN OUR NEW WORLD.

AND FINALLY, OUR AGENDA FOR THE COMING YEAR MUST INCLUDE A NEW PLAN FOR ACHIEVING COMMUNITY AND HONORING DIVERSITY.  AS A FOUNDATION FOR THAT EFFORT, WE HAVE RECENTLY RE-AFFIRMED THE CAMPUS' "PRINCIPLES OF COMMUNITY," A STATEMENT FIRST ADOPTED HERE IN 1990.  I BELIEVE THAT OUR STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES OF COMMUNITY SETS FORTH CLEARLY THE MAJOR VALUES THAT SHOULD GUIDE AN ACADEMIC COMMUNITY, AND I URGE ALL OF US TO REFLECT UPON THESE VALUES AS WE FACE SOME OF THE TOUGH ISSUES AHEAD.

I WOULD LIKE TO DECLARE TO THIS AUDIENCE, SINCE THERE ARE PERHAPS SOME WHO HAVE NOT HEARD ME SAY IT BEFORE, THAT DURING MY WATCH THE PURSUIT OF DIVERSITY WILL CONTINUE TO BE AN UNCOMPROMISED PART OF THE WAY THIS CAMPUS FUNCTIONS.  IT IS CERTAINLY TRUE THAT THE REGENTS' RESOLUTIONS HAVE ALREADY CHANGED THE TACTICS THAT WE USE TO ENSURE DIVERSITY ON CAMPUS, AND THE CHANGE WILL BE STILL GREATER IF THE CALIFORNIA CIVIL RIGHTS INITIATIVE PASSES IN NOVEMBER. BUT THE GOAL OF ACHIEVING DIVERSITY, OF INCLUDING STUDENTS OF ALL ETHNIC AND ECONOMIC BACKGROUND IN OUR EDUCATIONAL MISSION, GOES BEYOND THE QUESTION OF TACTICS.  IT IS AN ABSOLUTE NECESSITY IF WE ARE TO MAINTAIN OUR FAITH IN THE PRINCIPLE THAT "EDUCATION IS THE ANSWER TO OUR MOST PRESSING, OUR MOST THREATENING, SOCIAL ILLS."

THE WAY TO SUCCESS IS TO MAKE EDUCATION MORE BROADLY AVAILABLE. 

UNFORTUNATELY, AND PLEASE, MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT THIS, THOUSANDS OF CALIFORNIA CITIZENS CONTINUE TO BE UNFAIRLY DISADVANTAGED IN THIS STATE.  NOT ALL SCHOOL SYSTEMS PRESENT THE SAME OPPORTUNITIES.  IF YOU DO NOT BELIEVE THIS, YOU MUST DO A SIMPLE EXPERIMENT:  VISIT A FEW OF THE SACRAMENTO CITY ELEMENTARY AND HIGH SCHOOLS AND THEN COME TO DAVIS, FOR CONTRAST, TO WANDER THE HALLS OF A FEW OF OURS.  CALIFORNIA’S CHILDREN DO NOT ALL HAVE EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES.

THE ADVANTAGE THAT WE OFFER THE WORLD BY GIVING OUR STUDENTS THE OPPORTUNITY TO KNOW AND UNDERSTAND DIFFERENT CULTURES, DIFFERENT PRINCIPLES, BACKGROUNDS DIFFERENT FROM THEIRS, IS TREMENDOUS.  MANY HAVE SAID THIS BEFORE ME, AND IT WILL BE FOREVER TRUE:  THE CHANCES FOR CONFLICT REDUCE IN PROPORTION TO THE INCREASE IN OUR UNDERSTANDING OF EACH OTHER’S MOTIVATIONS AND CULTURES.

IN CLOSING LET ME JUST SUM UP WHAT I HAVE BEEN SAYING ABOUT OUR RESPONSE TO CHANGE.  WE HAVE NOT STOOD STILL IN THE FACE OF THE REVOLUTIONARY CHALLENGE.  WE ARE WORKING TO MAINTAIN THE HIGH QUALITY AND THE HIGH STANDARDS THAT MOST OF US HAVE COME TO EXPECT AT UC DAVIS.  THIS HAS HAPPENED BECAUSE OF A COMING TOGETHER OF OUR FACULTY GROUPS, CERTAINLY BECAUSE OF OUR STAFF, WHO IN GENERAL TERMS HAVE HAD TO BEAR THE BRUNT OF THE BUDGET CUTBACKS, OUR CORPORATE SUPPORTERS, OUR LEGISLATORS WHO KNOW THE HIGH QUALITY OF UC DAVIS, OUR STUDENTS WHO CERTAINLY HAVE DONE THEIR SHARE OF CONTRIBUTING TO THIS COMEBACK, OUR ALUMNI WHO REFUSED TO DESERT US WHEN THE UNIVERSITY WAS STRUGGLING WITH ADVERSITY -- ALL OF YOU [PAUSE] HAVE MADE THIS HAPPEN, AND I WOULD LIKE TO CLOSE BY SAYING THAT ALL WHO DEARLY LOVE UC DAVIS WILL BE FOREVER GRATEFUL.  BY A COMBINATION OF INTELLIGENCE AND GOOD WILL WE ARE SURVIVING THE TEST OF NATURAL SELECTION.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.