2018-19 Senate Chair Welcome Letter

Letter from the Senate Chair: Welcome to 2018-19

October 1, 2018

Dear Senate Colleagues,

Welcome to the 2018-19 academic year. My name is Kristin Lagattuta, and I will be serving as Chair of the Davis Division of the Academic Senate for the next two years. I have been a faculty member at UC Davis since 2001, most recently serving last year as Vice Chair of the Davis Division. I am very pleased to have Richard Tucker, Professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy at the School of Medicine, join the leadership team as Vice Chair. You can view a full list of Davis Division committee chairs and members here.

I want to begin by thanking Rachael Goodhue for her two years of service as Chair, preceded by two years as Vice Chair, of the Davis Division. During that time, UC Davis experienced many significant transitions, most notably the recruiting, hiring, and onboarding of Chancellor May, in which Rachael played a significant role. Throughout her leadership, Rachael emphasized how shared governance between faculty and administrators “requires strong expertise leveraged by strong relationships,” backed by the principle that “collaborative, enduring institutional excellence is a focused marathon, not a haphazard sprint.” I share that vision and will continue to champion it.

The Davis Division will be very busy this year. Here, I highlight key areas of Senate influence.

Locally, we will continue to participate actively in campus strategic planning, including advising on the prioritization and implementation of initiatives arising from the just released To Boldly Go: A Strategic Vision for UC Davis. Likewise, we will discuss with Chancellor May and Provost Hexter, in coordination with the Office of Budget and Institutional Analysis, the recommendations outlined in last year’s EY Budget Model Assessment Report and advise on next steps. We will also provide input on visioning for Aggie Square, especially the development of academic programming. 

Systemwide, the Academic Senate continues to review modifications to UC’s Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment policies, which our committees will begin evaluating this quarter. In addition, following a memorandum of understanding regarding a transfer guarantee to UC from California Community Colleges (CCC), signed by President Napolitano and CCC Chancellor Ortiz Oakley, the Academic Senate will further develop policies to improve transfer student preparation and support, as well as determine admissions standards. 

As a reminder of last year’s legislation (communicated in August), there are two revised Davis Division Regulations of particular importance to your teaching: 537, relating to course outline requirements, and 550, relating to academic misconduct procedures. Both took effect on September 1, 2018; full information can be found here. Please contact the Senate office with any questions.

A final note: Stepping into the role of Chair, I am motivated as much by the history of the University of California as I am by the opportunities and potential that lie ahead. In honor of its 150th anniversary, UC published an online historical timeline full of archival photographs, starting with its fledgling origins and stretching to its most recent civic and scientific achievements. It is an inspiring and humbling read. Be sure to pause in 1906 to glimpse the University Farm’s initial 778 acres near Davisville, purchased for a mere $104,250—the site that grew to become the vibrant, still evolving, UC Davis of today.

Here’s wishing for a successful, impactful year for UC Davis. I am excited to collaborate with all of you as we communicate the crucial faculty voice on campus matters. Let us advance, in the words of the timeline, the “audacious idea that California should have a great public university.”


Kristin H. Lagattuta, Ph.D.
Chair, Davis Division of the Academic Senate
Professor, Department of Psychology and Center for Mind and Brain