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Linda Katehi named UC Davis chancellor

Chancellor-designate: UC Davis ‘can change the world’

Photo: Linda Katehi, Larry Vanderhoef and Ruth Asmundson

‘I am proud to be a part of a place that understands that this is a campus living within a community, and that the well-being of the community is a prerequisite to the success of this institution.’

UC Davis Chancellor-designate Linda Katehi

Pictured above, from left to right: Davis Mayor Ruth Asmundson, Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef and Chancellor-designate Linda Katehi (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

First impressions
Flash video (3 mins 7 sec)

Videographers: Ken Zukin, Sylvia Wright and UC Davis Academic Educational Technology - Mediaworks; produced by Ken Zukin and Mitchel Benson.

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Katehi’s campus welcome
Flash video (24 mins 5 sec)

Produced by UC Davis Academic Educational Technology - Mediaworks

Katehi’s biography

With national awards and leadership roles, 16 patents and a career of nurturing students and their research, Linda Katehi has experience as an administrator, researcher and teacher. [ More on Katehi’s biography… ]

President Yudof, thank you so much for your introduction.

Good morning to all of you.

I feel humbled and yet privileged to have been named the next Chancellor of the UC Davis campus, and it brings me tremendous satisfaction to be speaking with you today.

Twenty-five years ago, my husband and I left California and moved to the Midwest in search of a challenge.

Today, 25 years later, we are coming back with an even greater challenge and a fabulous opportunity to lead a premier institution to a vibrant future.

When I became engaged in discussions with the search committee, I spent time to learn about UC Davis beyond what I could learn from the material I received or from what I could find on the Internet.

I asked many colleagues everywhere around the U.S. The message I received was very consistent: UC Davis is a university with a great past and an even greater future, a university at the forefront of scholarly inquiry, scientific discovery and technological innovation.

The work of this university is broad in scope and has an impact on issues important to society, and on our understanding of the world around us.

I am both proud and excited to be part of an institution that has such a profound impact not only on the creation of new knowledge but also on policies that may ultimately determine the way we live.

UC Davis is part of a growing culture of interdisciplinary work and collaboration, trends that I am convinced will come to define academe as we move further into this century.

This institution has stayed true to its land-grant mission that dates back to its authorization in 1905.

This university has expanded opportunities for education in the arts and humanities and has provided students with experiences in vibrant spaces such as the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts.

The campus’s programs and research have helped stimulate the growth of the California wine industry.

The UC Davis Medical Center not only shares the campus commitment to cutting-edge research and health innovation, but it also serves over 6 million people in this region.

I am proud to be a part of a place that understands that this is a campus living within a community, and that the well-being of the community is a prerequisite to the success of this institution.

The campus and the community are strongly linked and I am confident that this relationship will not only be sustained but it will be enhanced and expanded during my time on campus.

Teaching, research and public service are the hallmark of any great institution and it is clear that UC Davis is both committed to and invested in all three of these areas.

This campus produces some of the brightest minds and most ambitious scholarship and research. The students who leave this campus become leaders in government, industry, and academe.

They take what they have gained on this campus and apply that knowledge to some of the most pressing issues facing our society, our state, our country, and the world.

Those who have taught and mentored these students — I speak of course of the outstanding faculty, instructors, and researchers of this campus — continue to not only guide the next generation but also consistently contribute to the creation of new knowledge and to translating this knowledge into products, processes and services that improve quality of life.

As I join the UC Davis family, I am looking forward to learning from those who have taken part in developing the UC Davis tradition of excellence: the faculty, the staff, the students, the alumni, the industry partners, and the community.

I am eager to learn from them about the campus. I am eager to learn about the aspirations of those who have spent their careers building UC Davis and of those who have entrusted this institution with their education and the education of their children.

I am looking forward to working with the UC Davis community to take these aspirations and transform them into a compelling future for the institution by building on its strengths and traditions.

My experience as an administrator has taught me that achieving institutional excellence is the beginning of a path to academic leadership.

What makes a university a leader in higher education is not just the ability to achieve excellence itself but its ability to define excellence for others.

Becoming an academic leader cannot be achieved unless the leadership of the institution works together for common goals and a compelling vision. And, on that note, I am truly committed to supporting an environment:

  • where every member of the community feels inspired to contribute and compelled to participate
  • where results matter
  • where excellence is recognized
  • where risk-taking is encouraged
  • where collaboration is celebrated, and
  • progress is made deliberately and vigorously.

In my role as the chancellor, I will only promise you that I will work very hard and with you to achieve just these goals.

Of course, a vibrant future does need a legendary past. And on that note, I would like to thank the Chancellor and Mrs. Vanderhoef for making UC Davis a vibrant place buzzing with intellectual excitement.

My promise to them is that we will build forward with respect for their work and anticipation for an exciting future.

Spyros and I are delighted to be returning to the University of California, where from we received both our M.S. and Ph.D. degrees.

Spyros and I have had a great experience in the Midwest and we will miss our great colleagues and friends at Illinois.

But most importantly, we are joining a university which we truly believe can change the world through its scholarship, innovation and education and by taking chances, discovering the unknown, and looking toward the future.

We thank you all for accepting us as members of the UC Davis family.