1997 Convocation: Chancellor's Address

FALL 1997 CONVOCATION ADDRESS
UC Davis Chancellor Larry N. Vanderhoef

UC DAVIS: RENOVATING OUR NICHE”

Wednesday, September 24, 1997 - 11:00 a.m.
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

Freeborn Hall

THANK YOU, DEAN SCHNEEMAN AND THANK YOU AS WELL PROFESSOR REINELT, FOR YOUR REMARKS.

AND PROFESSOR KERN HOLOMAN, YOU WERE GREAT, AS USUAL.  (TURN BACK TO AUDIENCE).  AND, I MIGHT ADD, WITH VIRTUALLY NO REHEARSAL, SINCE THE MUSICIANS AND THE MAESTRO ARE ALL JUST BACK TO CAMPUS.  THANK YOU, KERN, AND THANK YOU, MUSICIANS.

MANY OF YOU IN THE AUDIENCE ARE NEW RESIDENTS OF THE CAMPUS -- STAFF, FACULTY, AND STUDENTS.  BE FOREWARNED -- YOU ARE ABOUT TO ENTER INTO PERHAPS THE MOST EXCITING AND SATISFYING TIME OF YOUR LIFE.  SURELY THE UNIVERSITY AND ALL ITS PEOPLE WILL BE MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS TO THAT EXCITEMENT AND SATISFACTION, BUT SO WILL THE CITY OF DAVIS AND OUR SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES AND ALL OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA.  WELCOME TO ALL OF YOU.  YOU WILL GROW TO LOVE IT HERE -- I GUARANTEE IT.

LET'S TALK NOW ABOUT UC DAVIS AND NICHE RENOVATION.  AS THE WORD "RENOVATION" IMPLIES, THE BASIC STRUCTURE OF THIS FINE UNIVERSITY IS IN GOOD SHAPE, BUT SOME OF THE DETAILS NEED REFURBISHING.  WE HAVE EMERGED FROM THE TOUGH FINANCIAL TIMES OF THE EARLY 1990'S STRONGER, AND WE CAN NOW BE MORE FOCUSED ON THE FUTURE.

OUR PRINCIPAL RENOVATION OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS, NOW WELL OVER HALF COMPLETED, HAS BEEN THE RECRUITMENT OF NEW FACULTY TO REPLACE THOSE WHO RESPONDED TO ATTRACTIVE RETIREMENT PROGRAMS DURING THE BUDGET CRISIS YEARS EARLIER IN THIS DECADE.  IN THE COLLEGE OF LETTERS AND SCIENCES AND THE COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING, ROUGHLY 40% OF THE CURRENT FACULTY WERE HIRED IN THE 1990'S.

IN THE COMING YEAR, FACULTY RENEWAL WILL CONTINUE, AND SEVERAL NEW BUILDING PROJECTS WILL TAKE SHAPE.  AND WE WILL PLACE RENEWED EMPHASIS ON THE WELL-BEING OF OUR ESSENTIAL PARTNER IN THE EDUCATIONAL ENTERPRISE - OUR UC DAVIS STAFF, A POINT TO WHICH I WILL RETURN IN A MOMENT. 

DRIVING MUCH OF THIS CAMPUS RENOVATION WILL BE OUR NEED TO ACCOMMODATE THE 3,000 ADDITIONAL STUDENTS UC DAVIS WILL GAIN OVER THE NEXT EIGHT YEARS.  A VERY IMPORTANT PLANNING PROCESS MUST PRECEDE THIS INFLUX OF NEW STUDENTS -- A NEW ACADEMIC PLAN FOR UC DAVIS.

AFTER SEVERAL YEARS OF BACKFILLING BY THE STATE TO BRING THE BUDGET OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA UP TO A LEVEL THAT PROPERLY FUNDS CURRENT ENROLLMENTS, WE WILL EMBARK IN 1998-1999 ON A PERIOD OF ENROLLMENT GROWTH.  THE GROUND RULES FOR ACCOMMODATING THIS GROWTH ARE MUCH DIFFERENT FROM THOSE THAT EXISTED DURING THE BOOM YEARS OF THE 1960'S AND THE 1980'S.  IN OUR NEW WORLD, IT IS GROWTH IN STUDENT NUMBERS, WITH NO DIFFERENTIATION BETWEEN GRADUATE AND UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS, THAT WILL DIRECTLY DRIVE THE CAMPUS BUDGET.  IT IS UP TO THE CAMPUS, THEN, TO DECIDE HOW THESE FUNDS WILL BE SPENT:  MORE FACULTY?  MORE STAFF?  LIBRARY IMPROVEMENT?  MORE GRADUATE STUDENT SUPPORT?  FACILITIES RENOVATION AND REPAIR?

THIS FUNDING FORMULA IS NEW, AND IT SIMULTANEOUSLY GIVES THE CAMPUS ENORMOUS FLEXIBILITY -- AND ENORMOUS RESPONSIBILITY -- IN DECIDING HOW WE WILL GROW.  TO MEET THIS CHALLENGE, I HAVE ASKED PROVOST GREY TO UNDERTAKE A BROAD PLANNING EFFORT TO ASSURE US THAT WE WILL BE PREPARED AND POSITIONED WELL FOR THE FUTURE.  HE WILL WORK CLOSELY WITH OUR DEANS, OF COURSE, BUT ALSO WITH A NEWLY APPOINTED PROVOST’S ACADEMIC ADVISORY COUNCIL, COMPOSED OF BOTH JUNIOR AND SENIOR DISTINGUISHED FACULTY, WITH MECHANISMS FOR INPUT FROM STAFF AND STUDENTS.  HE WILL MAP OUR FUTURE ACADEMIC LANDSCAPE.  PROVOST GREY EXPECTS TO HAVE THIS ACADEMIC PLAN COMPLETED BY THE NEXT ACADEMIC YEAR, AND SO I LOOK FORWARD TO REPORTING UPON HIS WORK AT NEXT YEAR’S CONVOCATION.

TURNING NOW TO ANOTHER TOPIC, LET'S CONSIDER REPUTATION -- UNIVERSITY REPUTATION.  I HAVE COME TO REALIZE THAT IT IS MORE IMPORTANT NOW THAN IT EVER HAS BEEN THAT WE MAKE SURE OTHERS UNDERSTAND WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE ARE ACCOMPLISHING.  WE MUST RENOVATE IN WAYS THAT HIGHLIGHT OUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS.

SINCE I ARRIVED AT UC DAVIS IN 1984, I HAVE BEEN IMPRESSED WITH THE HIGH QUALITY OF THIS UNIVERSITY AND ITS REMARKABLE AND SUBSTANTIAL ACHIEVEMENTS.  BUT OUR REPUTATION HAS NOT KEPT PACE WITH THE GROWING SUBSTANCE OF THIS INSTITUTION.

ONE'S REACTION TO THIS PROBLEM COULD BE "WHO CARES?  WE KNOW WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE DO, AND THAT'S ALL WE NEED."  THAT ATTITUDE HAS AN ATTRACTIVE RING TO IT, BUT IT IS ONE WE SHOULD NOT ACCEPT.  WHY?  BECAUSE AN ACCURATE PERCEPTION OF THE HIGH QUALITY OF UC DAVIS BRINGS OPPORTUNITIES FROM ALL LEVELS -- STATE, NATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL, AND, NOT LEAST OF ALL FROM OUR OWN COMMUNITIES.  STATED SIMPLY, WHEN THE OUTSIDE WORLD IS FULLY AWARE OF WHO WE ARE, OUR FACULTY, STAFF AND STUDENTS BENEFIT.  THEY START WITH ONE FOOT IN THE DOOR, A STEP UP, WHEN THE DECISIONS OF PHILANTHROPIC FOUNDATIONS, THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, GOVERNMENTAL GRANTING AGENCIES, AND GRADUATE ADMISSIONS OFFICES ARE MADE KNOWING THAT WHEN THEY CONSIDER OUR PEOPLE, THEY ARE CONSIDERING PEOPLE WHO RESIDE AT A TOP-RANKED UNIVERSITY.  AND AS WE RECRUIT STUDENTS OR FACULTY, OUR REPUTATION CAN BE OF ENORMOUS BENEFIT.  GRADUATE STUDENTS KNOW THEY GET A LEG UP ON THEIR CAREERS BY BEING TRAINED IN A FIRST RANK DEPARTMENT BY FACULTY WHO ARE RECOGNIZED BY THEIR PEERS AS BEING AMONG THE BEST SCHOLARS AND RESEARCHERS IN THE WORLD.  PROSPECTIVE FACULTY WILL SIGN ON WITH THAT CAMPUS THAT OFFERS THE GREATEST POTENTIAL FOR COLLABORATIONS AND INTERACTIONS WITH RENOWNED COLLEAGUES.

SO WE CANNOT BE BLASÉ ABOUT THE WORLD'S RECOGNITION AND PERCEPTION OF WHAT AND WHO WE ARE AND HOW WE ARE GOING.

HOW, THEN, DO WE ASSURE OUR RIGHTFUL REPUTATION?

HERE THE FACULTY MUST BE THE BASIS OF ALL OUR EFFORTS, AND I HAVE SAID ELSEWHERE AND WILL CONTINUE TO SAY, OUR FACULTY DOES NOT LET US DOWN.  THEIR ACCOMPLISHMENTS ARE TRULY EXTRAORDINARY.   AMONG THE MANY I COULD CITE, I WILL MENTION ONE HERE, AND THEN A FEW MORE A BIT LATER.  PROFESSOR JEFFREY MOUNT OF OUR GEOLOGY DEPARTMENT ATTRACTED STATE AND NATIONAL ATTENTION LAST JANUARY WHEN HE USED HIS TEACHING AND RESEARCH KNOWLEDGE TO REACH OUT TO A COMMUNITY THAT WAS DEVASTATED BY FLOODS.  HE LAID OUT THE MEASURES THAT LOCAL, STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS CAN TAKE TO AVOID SUCH CATASTROPHES IN THE FUTURE.  HE ENGAGED THE UNIVERSITY IN THE SOLUTIONS TO A VERY REAL SOCIETAL PROBLEM, AND BROUGHT NATIONAL ATTENTION TO UC DAVIS AS A RESULT.

AT THE RISK OF SEEMING PAROCHIAL LET ME ALSO NOTE THE SPECIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND SUCCESSES OF THE MEMBERS OF THE ADMINISTRATION.  THE VICE CHANCELLORS AND DEANS HAVE AGREED THAT UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATORS HAD TO BECOME MORE ENGAGED OUTSIDE THE UNIVERSITY, UP TO AND INCLUDING AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL.

AND SO, FOR EXAMPLE, OUR VICE CHANCELLOR FOR ADMINISTRATION, JANET HAMILTON, HAS RECENTLY BECOME THE CHAIR OF HER NATIONAL ORGANIZATION, THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY BUSINESS OFFICERS; AND OUR PROVOST, ROBERT GREY, HAS BEEN APPOINTED TO THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF STATE UNIVERSITIES AND LAND GRANT COLLEGES' ACADEMIC AFFAIRS COUNCIL.  I, MYSELF, AM SERVING ON THE KELLOGG COMMISSION AND ON THE PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF OUR NATIONAL LABORATORIES.  IF WE ADMINISTRATORS ARE GOING TO EFFECTIVELY EXTOLL THE VIRTUES OF UC DAVIS, WE HAVE TO WORK HARD AT POSITIONING OURSELVES TO DO SO.

THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO ASSURE FAIR NATIONAL RECOGNITION, BUT THERE IS ONE PARTICULAR PATH, A MOST HONORABLE PATH, WE MUST ALWAYS HAVE IN SIGHT -- OUTREACH.  ACTIVITIES BASED ON THIS THEME OF OUTREACH NOT ONLY GIVE US THE OPPORTUNITY TO BRING THIS UNIVERSITY TO THE ATTENTION OF THE WORLD, THEY ALSO ADDRESS WHAT I BELIEVE IS AN ABSOLUTE OBLIGATION OF PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES.  THAT IS, WE MUST PAY MUCH CLOSER ATTENTION TO THE COMMUNITY'S, THE STATE'S, THE NATION'S PROBLEMS.  WE WILL NOT COMPROMISE OUR ABSOLUTE DEDICATION TO RESEARCH, GENERATING NEW KNOWLEDGE, BY ASSUMING THIS ATTITUDE.  WE WILL ENHANCE IT.  WE WILL NOT DAMAGE OUR TEACHING EFFORTS IF WE CONSIDER THEM IN THE LIGHT OF SPECIFIC NEEDS TO MEET PROBLEMS THAT OUR SOCIETY FACES.  WE WILL ENHANCE OUR REPUTATION AS A PUBLIC UNIVERSITY THAT WAS ESTABLISHED ON THE PRINCIPLE THAT OUR TEACHING, RESEARCH, AND SERVICE BE RESPONSIVE TO SOCIETY'S NEEDS.

WE HAVE ACTIVELY BEEN PURSUING THIS AGENDA WITH THESE VERY SPECIFIC GOALS IN MIND FOR NEARLY FOUR YEARS NOW.  HAVE WE SEEN RESULTS?  SURELY WE HAVE.

THE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES, MORE COMMONLY KNOWN AS THE AAU, IS THE MOST DISTINGUISHED AND SELECTIVE OF ALL UNIVERSITY ORGANIZATIONS IN THIS COUNTRY.  ORIGINALLY ESTABLISHED IN 1900, ITS INTENT WAS TO INCLUDE, BY INVITATION, THE TOP TWENTY-FIVE PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES AND THE TOP TWENTY-FIVE PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES IN A COALITION THAT WOULD WORK TOGETHER TO EFFECT LEGISLATION AND THE ADVANCEMENT OF THE UNIVERSITIES' MISSIONS IN THIS COUNTRY.  I AM PROUD TO SAY, AND EVERYONE IN THIS ROOM SHOULD SHARE IN THIS PRIDE THAT DURING THE LAST YEAR, WE WERE INVITED TO TAKE OUR RIGHTFUL PLACE IN THE AAU AS ONE OF THIS COUNTRY'S MOST DISTINGUISHED RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES.  THIS DID NOT HAPPEN AUTOMATICALLY.  IT REQUIRED HARD WORK, AND, FRANKLY, LOBBYING, AND, ONCE MORE, MAKING SURE THAT THE RIGHT PEOPLE WERE AWARE OF OUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS.

ANOTHER VERY NOTABLE EXAMPLE IS THE RECENT DECISION BY CONGRESS TO MOVE THE WESTERN HUMAN NUTRITION RESEARCH CENTER FROM THE SAN FRANCISCO PRESIDIO TO UC DAVIS.  THAT, TOO, DID NOT HAPPEN AUTOMATICALLY.  IT HAPPENED BECAUSE THE DECISION MAKERS WERE MADE AWARE, THROUGH THE KINDS OF ACTIVITIES THAT I HAVE BEEN DESCRIBING, IN THIS CASE BY THE LIKES OF CHARLEY HESS AND MARJ DICKINSON, OF THE EXTRAORDINARY INTELLECTUAL COMMUNITY INTO WHICH THAT HUMAN NUTRITION RESEARCH CENTER WOULD MOVE IF IT CAME TO UC DAVIS.

ANOTHER EXAMPLE -- RECENTLY, OUR OWN DR. CHARLES GOLDMAN PUT HIS LAKE TAHOE RESEARCH PROGRAM ON DISPLAY, MAKING IT THE FOCUS OF A VISIT BY PRESIDENT CLINTON AND VICE PRESIDENT GORE DURING THEIR RECENT FORUM ON THE ENVIRONMENT.  LET ME TALK A BIT MORE ABOUT THIS, BECAUSE IT SEEMS TO ME AN IDEAL EXAMPLE OF WHAT I AM TRYING TO CONVEY.

AS MANY OF YOU KNOW, PROFESSOR GOLDMAN HAS BEEN AT DAVIS FORTY YEARS, A PREEMINENT RESEARCHER WORKING AT LAKE TAHOE ON A WIDE RANGE OF PROBLEMS RELATING TO THE PRESERVATION AND RECLAMATION OF THAT NATIONAL JEWEL.  HE HAS EDUCATED GENERATIONS OF STUDENTS.  HE HAS WORKED TIRELESSLY WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY TO DEVELOP LONG RANGE PLANS FOR ASSURING THE FUTURE OF THE LAKE.  HE REGULARLY ATTENDS FORUMS WITH LOCAL CITIZENS TO EDUCATE AND DEVELOP THE POLICIES THAT WILL ULTIMATELY PRESERVE THE LAKE FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS.

DR. GOLDMAN THOUGHT THAT THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES HIMSELF SHOULD HEAR OF THE PROBLEMS OF LAKE TAHOE.  HE ASKED THE CAMPUS TO HELP.  SO WE WORKED VERY HARD ON LAST SUMMER'S PRESIDENT'S ENVIRONMENTAL FORUM.  WHEN FIVE SITES WERE BEING CONSIDERED, WE USED EVERY FRIEND, ALUM AND REPRESENTATIVE IN WASHINGTON TO MAKE SURE THEY FINALLY DECIDED ON TAHOE.   WHY ALL OF THIS EFFORT AND FOCUS AND COMMITMENT?  BECAUSE EVERYONE INVOLVED -- THE MARIL STRATTONS, THE GINA KELSCHES, THE PAUL PFOTENHAUERS, THE MARJ DICKINSONS -- THEY ALL REALIZED THAT THEY ARE PART OF A CAMPUSWIDE TEAM, A CAMPUSWIDE EFFORT THAT MUST PLAY ITS ROLE IN THIS EXCITING CHALLENGE OF BRINGING UC DAVIS TO THE HIGHER AND MORE EQUITABLE ATTENTION AND RECOGNITION OF THIS COUNTRY AND THE WORLD.   AND, PERHAPS MOST IMPORTANTLY, THIS TEAM HAD A FOCAL POINT -- PROFESSOR GOLDMAN'S RECORD OF SCHOLARSHIP, EDUCATION AND SERVICE THAT WAS SECOND TO NONE IN THIS RESEARCH AREA.

AS FOR SPECIFIC EXAMPLES OF THE FRUITS OF GROWING REPUTATION, WE ALL KNOW THAT OUR FACULTY AND STAFF ACTIVITIES ARE RECOGNIZED BY NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATIONS AND AWARD GIVERS.  TO BE SURE, THESE AWARDS ARE GIVEN BASED ON THE TALENT AND WORK OF THESE PEOPLE.  BUT THE COMMITTEES THAT ARE DELIBERATING OVER THOSE AWARDS MUST KNOW OF THE FACULTY.  THEY MUST KNOW OF THE UNIVERSITY MILIEU WITHIN WHICH THOSE FACULTY WORK.  THEY NEED THAT KNOWLEDGE TO GIVE THEM THE CONFIDENCE THAT THEY MUST HAVE IN THEIR DECISIONS.  AND SO GARY SNYDER RECEIVED THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS PRIZE FOR POETRY GIVEN IN THE U.S. TODAY, THE BOLLINGEN PRIZE, BETTER KNOWN AS "THE YALE PRIZE" AND BILL LUCAS RECEIVED THE GIBBS MEDAL.  SANDRA GILBERT WAS ELECTED TO THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES AND JOINS TEN OTHER PREVIOUSLY ELECTED MEMBERS FROM DAVIS.  IN ADDITION, TWO OF OUR FACULTY RECEIVED PRESTIGIOUS GUGGENHEIM AWARDS, DANIEL KLIONSKY OF MICROBIOLOGY AND JACOB OLUPONA OF AFRICAN AMERICAN AND AFRICAN STUDIES.

AND WE HAVE ALREADY STARTED TO SEE THE BENEFITS OF OUR INCREASED VISIBILITY AND RECOGNITION IN OUR RECRUITMENTS.  DEAN PETER ROCK WAS SUCCESSFUL IN RECRUITING A FIELDS' MEDALIST, THE EQUIVALENT IN MATHEMATICS OF A NOBELIST, WHO IS ALSO A MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES.  SENIOR FACULTY AT UNIVERSITIES SUCH AS PRINCETON, COLUMBIA, BERKELEY AND YALE, AMONG OTHERS, HAVE RECENTLY DECIDED TO MOVE TO UC DAVIS.  THESE KINDS OF SUCCESSES BUILD UPON THEMSELVES AND WE WILL BE INCREASINGLY COMPETITIVE IN ATTRACTING TOP FACULTY TO OUR UNIVERSITY.

AND, FINALLY, YOU KNOW THAT A FEW MONTHS BACK THE SHRINER'S HOSPITAL OPENED WHAT THEY ARE CALLING THEIR "NEW FLAG SHIP" HOSPITAL RIGHT HERE AT UC DAVIS, IMMEDIATELY ADJACENT TO OUR MEDICAL CENTER.  WHY HERE WHEN THEY HAD VIRTUALLY EVERY CITY IN THE COUNTRY WANTING THEM?  BECAUSE UC DAVIS, AND THE LIKES OF ORTHOPAEDICS CHAIR MICHAEL CHAPMAN, DIRECTOR FRANK LOGE, PAST MEDICAL DIRECTOR JOE TUPIN, AND OTHERS SAW AN OBLIGATION TO INFORM THE SHRINERS OF OUR VIRTUES.  THAT WAS NOT AN EASY TASK.  WE WERE NOT EVEN ON THEIR SCREEN WHEN THEIR PROCESS BEGAN.  BUT FINALLY THERE IT STANDS -- THE VERY BEST SHRINERS HOSPITAL IN THE COUNTRY, IN CLOSE ASSOCIATION WITH OUR UC DAVIS MEDICAL CENTER.

THESE ARE, OF COURSE, ONLY A FEW OF MANY EXAMPLES FROM JUST THE PAST YEAR ALONE!  BUT THEY MAKE THE POINT THAT THIS WORK THAT WE DO, THIS NATIONAL PROSELYTIZING, CATALYZES THE SPREADING RECOGNITION THAT WE ARE AMONG THE NATION'S BEST UNIVERSITIES.  WHY?  BECAUSE WE ARE OUT THERE, AROUND THE WORLD, PROVING THAT WE ARE, AND WE CONTINUE TO WORK TO PRODUCE THE EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT OUR CONTENTION.  THAT IS WHY THE NRC NOW RANKS US SIXTEENTH IN OVERALL QUALITY AMONG PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES IN THIS COUNTRY, AND WHY THE US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT EVALUATION RANKS US NINTH, AND WHY THE AAU HAS WELCOMED US INTO THEIR RANKS.

LET ME TALK NOW ABOUT JUST A FEW ACTIVITIES AND PROJECTS THAT YOU WILL BE SEEING DURING THE COURSE OF 1997-98.  FIRST OFF, THE ACRONYM UCD WILL CONTINUE TO MEAN, FOR SOME, "UNDER CONSTRUCTION DAILY."  WE ARE ALSO BACK, FINALLY, TO LITERAL RENOVATION -- DEALING WITH THE MUCH NEEDED REPAIR AND GROWTH OF OUR PHYSICAL FACILITIES, AND OUR ACADEMIC INFRASTRUCTURE.  YOU WILL BE HEARING MORE ABOUT A NEW BUILDING TO HOUSE PLANT SCIENCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES, AS WELL AS A NEW LABORATORY CLASSROOM BUILDING THAT WILL BE NECESSARY TO ACCOMMODATE OUR ENROLLMENT GROWTH, AND YOU WILL READ ABOUT A NEW EAST HALL STUDENT SERVICES BUILDING, A CENTER FOR COMPARATIVE MEDICINE, AND A NEW ENGINEERING FACILITY. 

AND YOU WILL BE HEARING ABOUT THE UC DAVIS CENTER FOR THE ARTS.  THE ARCHITECT IS HIRED AND AT WORK.  THIS CAMPUS, AND OUR SACRAMENTO COMMUNITY, AS WELL, CONTINUE TO SUFFER FROM THE LACK OF A MAJOR PERFORMING ARTS CENTER.  UC DAVIS WILL NOT REACH ITS FULL POTENTIAL UNLESS THE CAMPUS MAKES THIS MAJOR COMMITMENT TO THAT GROWTH.  AND PLEASE UNDERSTAND THIS:  THAT POTENTIAL GROWTH IN THE QUALITY OF OUR FACULTY THAT IS DEPENDENT ON THE CENTER FOR THE ARTS IS NOT LIMITED TO THE ARTS AND HUMANITIES FACULTY.  I KNOW FROM CONVERSATIONS WITH TOP-FLIGHT PROFESSORS OF ALL KINDS FROM ACROSS THE CAMPUS AND ACROSS THE COUNTRY, PROFESSORS WHO HAVE CHOICES WHEN THEY DECIDE WHICH UNIVERSITY THEY WANT TO CALL HOME, THAT AN IMPORTANT FACTOR IN THEIR DECISIONS ABOUT WHERE THEY WANT TO BE FACULTY MEMBERS IS WHETHER OR NOT THE CAMPUS HAS MADE A SIGNIFICANT COMMITMENT TO THE WHOLE OF WHAT EDUCATION AND RESEARCH SHOULD BE, AND THAT "WHOLE" MUST INCLUDE THE EXPANSES OF MUSIC, THEATER, DRAMA, POETRY AND DANCE HOUSED WITHIN THE DISCIPLINARY DEPARTMENTS OF THE ARTS AND HUMANITIES.

FURTHERMORE, THE FACILITY WILL ALLOW US TO DO OUTREACH AS WE NEVER HAVE BEFORE IN OUR SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES AND ESPECIALLY IN OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS AND HIGH SCHOOLS.

THE BENEFITS THAT WILL BE FORTHCOMING WHEN WE OPEN THE DOORS TO THIS CENTER FOR THE ARTS WILL OVERWHELM THE COSTS, AND THOSE BENEFITS WILL ACCUMULATE OVER YEARS AND YEARS TO COME. 

EARLIER I RAISED THE QUESTION OF OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO OUR STAFF.  LET ME RETURN TO THAT POINT AND ELABORATE A BIT.  I CONTINUE TO BE CONCERNED THAT WE HAVE NOT PUT ENOUGH EMPHASIS ON THE POST BUDGET TRAUMA CIRCUMSTANCE OF OUR STAFF.  TO BE SURE, WE ALL HAVE HAD TO WORK HARDER THAN WE EVER DID BEFORE TO SURVIVE OUR EARLY NINETIES' DIFFICULTIES.  BUT NOW OUR DIFFICULT FINANCIAL TIME IS EASING, AND WE MUST DO MORE TO EASE THE BURDEN THAT THE STAFF HAS BORNE FOR THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS.  I HAVE SAID MANY TIMES THAT THE QUALITY OF THE STAFF AT UC DAVIS HAS BEEN, AND CONTINUES TO BE, ESSENTIAL TO OUR GROWING STRENGTH.  IN MANY WAYS, WE HAVE RECOGNIZED THAT STRENGTH WITH A BENEFITS PROGRAM AND SALARY LEVELS THAT COMPARE UNUSUALLY FAVORABLY IN THE GEOGRAPHICAL AREA.  BUT WE CAN DO MORE.  I AM ESPECIALLY CONCERNED ABOUT WORKLOAD ISSUES.  HOW WE ADDRESS THESE MATTERS WILL BE A MAJOR FOCUS OF OUR DELIBERATIONS DURING THE COMING YEAR.  I HAVE ASKED PROVOST GREY TO TAKE THIS ON.  HIS TASK FORCE, WITH VICE CHANCELLOR HAMILTON AS THE CHAIR, WILL MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS THAT WOULD ENSURE THAT STAFF DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES ARE USED WIDELY, AND THAT WORKLOAD ISSUES ARE ADDRESSED.  WE MUST PRESERVE THE VERY POSITIVE RELATIONSHIP THAT WE HAVE BETWEEN OUR STAFF, AND THE FACULTY AND STUDENTS.  IT IS CRUCIAL TO OUR FUTURE. 

I WILL NOW TURN TO AN ISSUE THAT, ON THE SURFACE, MAY SEEM RATHER BUREAUCRATIC AND UNEXCITING, BUT WHICH, IN FACT, HAS SIGNIFICANT LONG-TERM RESOURCE AND CURRICULAR IMPLICATIONS FOR UC DAVIS.  I AM SPEAKING OF THE ACADEMIC CALENDAR.  THE DEANS AND VICE CHANCELLORS HAVE CONSIDERED CONVERTING TO THE EARLY SEMESTER SYSTEM FOR SOME TIME NOW.  A FEW YEARS BACK THE CAMPUS WAS ON THE VERGE OF PROCEEDING, BUT WE FELT STRONGLY THAT THE HIGH LEVEL OF WORK BROUGHT ON BY OUR BUDGET CRISIS AND THE NEED TO DEAL WITH THE ASSOCIATED REALITIES PRECLUDED CHANGING THE CALENDAR AT THAT TIME.  NOW, HOWEVER, THAT WE MUST FINALLY BITE THIS PARTICULAR BULLET. 

UNDERSTAND FROM THE OUTSET THAT THERE IS NO SINGLE OVERWHELMING REASON WHY WE SHOULD MAKE THIS CONVERSION.  RATHER, WE ARE FACED WITH A NUMBER OF SUBSTANTIVE INDICATIONS THAT THIS IS THE RIGHT THING FOR UC DAVIS TO DO AT THIS TIME.  AS TIME PASSES, THE PROS INCREASINGLY OUTWEIGH THE CONS, AND, IT HAS BEEN FORCEFULLY STATED BY MANY, THE LONGER WE WAIT, THE MORE WE SUFFER THE DIFFICULTIES AND LOST OPPORTUNITIES THAT ARISE FROM AN ACADEMIC CALENDAR OUT OF PHASE WITH MOST OF OUR HIGHER EDUCATION PARTNERS.

FIRST, IT IS NOW TRUE THAT MORE THAN 75 PERCENT OF THE RESEARCH I UNIVERSITIES IN THE COUNTRY HAVE CONVERTED TO THE EARLY SEMESTER SYSTEM AND THAT ONLY 20% OF THE MEMBERS OF THE AAU ARE ON THE QUARTER SYSTEM.  THAT IS NOT PROOF IN ITSELF, BUT IT IS REASONABLE TO CONCLUDE THAT SLOWLY, BUT SURELY, AS DOZENS AND DOZENS OF UNIVERSITIES STUDY THE COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGES OF THE QUARTER SYSTEM, THE EARLY SEMESTER SYSTEM, AND THE TRADITIONAL SEMESTER SYSTEM, THE GENERAL CONCLUSION SEEMS TO BE THAT THE EARLY SEMESTER SYSTEM IS THE BEST OPTION. 

ADDITIONALLY, WE AND MOST OTHER MAJOR RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES HAVE MADE A MAJOR COMMITMENT TO FIND EFFICIENCIES IN OUR OPERATIONS THROUGH INTERFACING, INTERACTING, AND COLLABORATING WITH NOT ONLY OUR SISTER INSTITUTIONS LIKE UC BERKELEY, BUT ALSO WITH THOSE OTHER INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION, IN OUR CASE THE COMMUNITY COLLEGES AND CSU -- THAT ARE IN OUR IMMEDIATE VICINITY.  THERE IS MUCH TO BE GAINED FROM MORE SUCH COLLABORATIONS.  HOWEVER, THERE HAS BEEN A SINGLE SIGNIFICANT DIFFICULTY IN MAKING THESE COOPERATIVE EFFORTS WORK -- WE ARE ON DIFFERENT ACADEMIC CALENDARS.  UC BERKELEY IS ON THE EARLY SEMESTER SYSTEM.  ALL OUR AREA COMMUNITY COLLEGES ARE ON THE EARLY SEMESTER SYSTEM.  CSU-SACRAMENTO IS ON THE EARLY SEMESTER SYSTEM.  IF WE ARE TO MAXIMIZE THE BENEFITS OF OUR INTERACTIONS WITH THESE INSTITUTIONS, IT IS NECESSARY THAT WE MOVE TO THE EARLY SEMESTER SYSTEM.

OTHER POINTS:  OUR STUDENTS FACE PROBLEMS; BY ENDING THE SCHOOL YEAR IN MID-JUNE, SUMMER JOB OPPORTUNITIES ARE MISSED.  TRANSFER STUDENTS FROM COMMUNITY COLLEGES FIND THE TRANSITION TO THE QUARTER SYSTEM PARTICULARLY ONEROUS; THIS IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE AS ENROLLMENTS INCREASE, WE WILL FIND OURSELVES INCREASINGLY DEPENDENT ON THIS SOURCE OF STUDENTS TO MAINTAIN THE ENROLLMENTS IN THE UPPER DIVISION OF THE UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM.

IT IS ALSO SIGNIFICANT THAT A LIKELY BY-PRODUCT OF A CONVERSION LIKE THIS WILL BE NOT ONLY THE RECONSIDERATION OF COURSE CONTENT, BUT IN SOME CASES ENTIRE CURRICULA.  THAT IS ALWAYS A BURDEN THAT MUST BE BORNE IN THESE CONVERSIONS, BUT IT IS ALSO OF POTENTIAL GREAT BENEFIT.  RETHINKING OUR CURRICULA AND OUR COURSES PERIODICALLY IS AN IMPORTANT REQUIREMENT OF UNIVERSITIES AND THIS IS EVEN TRUER TODAY WITH THE EXPLOSION OF NEW INFORMATION AND NEW INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES.  TO BE SURE, WE DO NOT NEED A CONVERSION FROM THE QUARTER TO THE SEMESTER SYSTEM TO ACCOMPLISH THESE GOALS.  THE DIVISION OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES DID IT RECENTLY WITH NO SUCH INCENTIVE.  BUT I AM A REALIST -- HAVING THIS INCENTIVE WILL MAKE IT HAPPEN AND HAPPEN ACROSS THE ENTIRETY OF THE CAMPUS' CURRICULA MUCH MORE RAPIDLY THAN OTHERWISE.

FINALLY, THERE IS THE RESOURCE ISSUE.  OUR FIRST STUDIES TELL US THAT THE PROCESSES OF REGISTRATION, FINAL EXAMS, AND EVERYTHING ELSE ASSOCIATED WITH A UNIVERSITY TERM ONLY TWO TIMES A YEAR, RATHER THAN THREE TIMES, WILL SAVE SOME MONEY, BUT NOT A LOT.  ON THE OTHER HAND, IT WILL, IN THE LONG RUN, SIGNIFICANTLY DECREASE THE WORKLOAD ON OUR STAFF. 

I RAISE THIS ISSUE BECAUSE IT FALLS TO ME AS CHANCELLOR TO POSITION THIS CAMPUS FOR SUCCESS.  GIVEN MY VIEWS ON THE ACADEMIC CALENDER, AND THE STRONG VIEWS OF THE STRONG MAJORITY OF DEANS AND VICE CHANCELLORS, I AM ASKING OUR PROVOST IMMEDIATELY TO TAKE THREE STEPS.  FIRST, I ASK THAT HE CONSULT WITH THE ACADEMIC SENATE AND OTHER CAMPUS CONSTITUENCIES REGARDING A CHANGE TO SEMESTERS.  SECOND, I ASK THAT HE CAREFULLY REVIEW ALL THE ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH SUCH A CONVERSION. AND THIRD, I ASK THAT HE FORWARD HIS RECOMMENDATION TO ME ON THIS ISSUE BY THE END OF THIS FALL QUARTER.  IN ADDITION, I INVITE ALL MEMBERS OF OUR CAMPUS COMMUNITY TO WRITE DIRECTLY TO ME OR TO THE PROVOST AND EXPRESS THEIR VIEWS ON SEMESTER CONVERSION.

SHOULD WE FINALLY DECIDE TO PROCEED WITH THIS CONVERSION, IT IS OUR INTENTION TO PROCEED AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE WITHOUT COMPROMISING THE POTENTIAL BENEFIT OF CURRICULUM REVISION, UPDATING AND STREAMLINING.  BASED ON THE BERKELEY EXPERIENCE, IT WILL TAKE US TWO TO THREE YEARS FROM A DECISION TO FINAL IMPLEMENTATION.  THUS, THE FIRST CLASS THAT MIGHT ENTER UC DAVIS ON THE EARLY SEMESTER SYSTEM WOULD BE THE CLASS OF 2000-2001.

LET ME CLOSE BY TURNING TO A QUESTION THAT WEIGHS ON ALL OUR MINDS, THE NOW VERY REAL IMPACT OF THE REGENTS’ SP-1 DECISION AND THE STATE'S PROPOSITION 209.  IN THE AFTERMATH TO THESE REGENTAL AND STATE ELECTORAL DECISIONS, THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA HAS SOUGHT ALTERNATIVE WAYS OF IDENTIFYING THOSE STUDENTS WHO HAVE BEEN DISADVANTAGED, EITHER IN THEIR FAMILY LIFE OR IN THEIR K-12 EXPERIENCE, TO SUCH AN EXTENT THAT THROUGH NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN, THEIR CHANCES FOR ENROLLMENT IN AN INSTITUTION OF HIGHER EDUCATION ARE GREATLY DIMINISHED.  EACH CAMPUS HAS CONSIDERED THIS SITUATION AS IT DEVELOPED NEW ADMISSIONS CRITERIA, AND I TRULY HOPE THAT AS A RESULT OF THESE NEW ADMISSIONS CRITERIA WE WILL MAINTAIN THE DIVERSITY THAT IS ESSENTIAL, NOT ONLY FOR THE UNIVERSITY, BUT FOR THE WORLD INTO WHICH THESE STUDENTS GRADUATE.  THIS MAY NOT HAPPEN NEXT YEAR OR THE YEAR AFTER, BUT IT WILL HAPPEN.  WE WILL GET IT RIGHT.  THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA MUST CONTINUE TO BE A PLACE IN OUR SOCIETY WHERE DIVERSITY IS WELCOME AND WHERE IT CAN THRIVE. PERHAPS MOST IMPORTANTLY, WE HAVE COME TO REALIZE THAT THE UNIVERSITY MUST BE MUCH MORE ENGAGED THAN IT EVER HAS BEEN BEFORE IN WORKING TOGETHER IN PARTNERSHIPS WITH K‑12 TO INCREASE THE EXPECTED PERFORMANCE STANDARDS, AND THE CHANCES FOR ALL STUDENTS TO MEET THOSE STANDARDS AS THEY MOVE THROUGH THEIR ELEMENTARY AND HIGH-SCHOOL EDUCATION.  UC DAVIS WAS ONE OF THE FIRST UNIVERSITIES TO BE AWARDED A MAJOR GRANT TOWARD THIS END, I AM VERY PROUD OF THE EFFORT THAT WE HAVE UNDERWAY WITH TWO HIGH SCHOOLS IN SACRAMENTO, THEIR FEEDER SCHOOLS, AND THE FEEDER SCHOOL FEEDER SCHOOLS.  WE ARE WORKING IN COLLABORATION WITH TEACHERS, PARENTS, AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS TO ENSURE THAT ALL STUDENTS ARE PRESENTED WITH OPPORTUNITIES TO BE CHALLENGED ACADEMICALLY AND TO LEARN.

THERE IS, HOWEVER, MUCH MORE TO BE DONE, NOT ONLY IN THESE SCHOOLS, BUT IN ALL OF OUR LOCAL COMMUNITIES, AS WELL AS RIGHT HERE ON THE CAMPUS. 

LIVING BY OUR UC DAVIS PRINCIPLES OF COMMUNITY IS MORE IMPORTANT NOW THAN IT EVER HAS BEEN.  WE MUST MAINTAIN ON THE CAMPUS AN ENVIRONMENT ENRICHED, NOT DAMAGED, BY THOSE DIFFERENCES IN BACKGROUND AND ETHNICITY.  PROVOST GREY AND I ARE CONVENING THIS YEAR A COUNCIL ON DIVERSITY AND COMMUNITY TO ADVISE US AND TO GUIDE THE CAMPUS IN BROAD EFFORTS TO SUPPORT THE CONTINUED DEVELOPMENT OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS IN K-12 AND AT THE UNIVERSITY, BUT NONE OF THESE EFFORTS WILL BE SUCCESSFUL IF WE DO NOT HAVE THE SUPPORT AND INVOLVEMENT OF OUR FACULTY, STUDENTS, AND STAFF.  THERE ARE OPPORTUNITIES FOR EVERYONE TO BECOME INVOLVED.

LET ME FINISH NOW BY ONCE MORE WELCOMING THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE NEW TO THE CAMPUS.  WE ARE PROUD AND DELIGHTED THAT YOU’VE JOINED US.  AS I THINK YOU CAN TELL FROM THESE BRIEF REMARKS, YOU WILL NOT BE IN A STATIC ENVIRONMENT OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL YEARS.  THANK YOU AGAIN FOR JOINING US, AND I WISH YOU ALL A WONDERFUL YEAR.