Home > OccupyUCDavis - Pepper Spray Friday, Recent News, UC Davis > An Update From UC Davis Chancellor: Linda Katehi

An Update From UC Davis Chancellor: Linda Katehi

Dear UC Davis Community,

I want to thank everyone for attending the recent student and then faculty and staff town hall meetings. I sincerely appreciated the opportunity to not only share my thoughts, but also hear from you.

There are a number of investigations underway that will help us truly understand what happened on November 18. As you know, I requested that the UC Office of the President investigate this matter; the goal was to ensure an independent review. We have also launched our own internal investigation. More details on these and other independent investigations can be found in the fact sheet which was posted on our website on Tuesday:
http://chancellor.ucdavis.edu/local_resources/pdfs/20111129_Fact%20Sheet-FINAL_crx.pdf 

As Chancellor, I feel accountable for everything that happens on this campus and deeply regret what happened on Friday, November 18. We were all shocked by the pepper spray incident on our quad and wish that it had never happened. But it did, and now our community needs to come together, to heal and move forward. I promise to redouble my efforts to engage in a positive meaningful dialogue with everyone that is a part of the UC Davis community.

Meetings with the various colleges are underway and more are being scheduled. Following winter break, I am also planning to meet with students in the dorms and at other locations throughout the campus. I will also be talking to our parents and alumni about our campus’ plans going forward. Lawmakers in Sacramento will hear from me about our shared concerns with rising cost of education. I’ve given a great deal of thought on various ways we can continue to engage in a positive, meaningful dialogue. More details can be found in my remarks at the recent faculty and staff town hall:
http://chancellor.ucdavis.edu/speeches-writings/2011/faculty_staff_town_hall_11.29.11.html

Your input is critical to making this process a success, and I look forward to continuing our conversations. Thank you for your strength and commitment to our UC Davis community.

Sincerely,

Linda P.B. Katehi

The Chancellor sent this out to the UC Davis Community about an hour after her Town Hall with Graduate Students ended. I had a chance to meet with her this morning and voice many of the concerns I have about the future of UC Davis right now. Throughout the meeting she remained positive, personable, and humble. She agreed that graduate students do indeed need a community center on campus, that the issues of family housing and more day care would be addressed, and that there should be a fair minimum for GSR salaries. My personal take on it is that the Chancellor feels very strongly about doing everything she can to move forward while still acknowledging the events that occurred on Nov. 18th. She said that the initial response to the incident was based on incomplete information (i.e. she had not watched the video before sending out that first letter). She said that while the administration was prepared for any number of catastrophes, there was no framework in place to address the kind of blatant student abuse that happened at the hands of UC Davis police officers. While her initial response lacked the kind focus and gusto we appreciate in our leaders, the Chancellor has been working tirelessly to increase transparency and engage more people in dialogues about UC Davis policy.

From several personal anecdotes today, it is clear she remembers being a graduate student back at UCLA in the late 70s. She recounted stories that displayed her understanding of what graduate life is like, and sympathized with the challenges we face. I believe that Chancellor Katehi can be, and will still be an effective leader for UC Davis moving forward from the pepper spray incident on Nov. 18th. I would ask that anyone choosing to judge her for the actions of a few officers on the UCDPD wait until after the results of the various investigations/task forces are available.

-Gordon Walker

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