2019-20 Senate Chair Welcome Letter

Letter from the Senate Chair: Welcome to 2019-20

October 3, 2019

Dear Senate Colleagues,

I hope that your fall quarter is off to a great start!

I write to share the Davis Division’s roadmap for 2019-20, much of which continues work initiated last year. Please see here for a full list of committee chairs and members, and see here for a list of Davis Division responses to consultations from 2018-2019. Thank you to all committee members and staff who contribute to our shared governance.

I also want to reiterate my thanks to Ralph Hexter for his nearly decade-long tenure as provost and executive vice chancellor, within which he also served as interim chancellor. I am especially grateful for his recent budgetary decisions to increase funding for Davis Division research grants and travel awards and to purchase campus licensing for Turnitin and Gradescope. (Gradescope is available now, and upcoming training workshops are listed here. Updates on the timeline for the implementation of Turnitin will be provided here.) I wish Ralph the very best as he transitions full time to his position as distinguished professor of classics and comparative literature.

Alongside our standard shared governance responsibilities, this year the Davis Division will focus on three priorities: Conducting a five-year assessment of the Step Plus merit and promotion procedures; implementing recommendations from the Special Committee on Evaluation of Teaching; and codifying instructional policies for use during campus closures, using last year’s FAQs as a guidepost. Although these priorities vary in scope, they converge in their aim to support and recognize your teaching efforts, and they further bridge with goals one and three of the UC Davis strategic plan.

Davis Division leadership will also participate in campus leadership recruitments. I will co-chair the recruitment advisory committee for the new provost, and Davis Division Vice Chair Richard Tucker will participate on the recruitment advisory committee for the new vice chancellor of Student Affairs. We will ensure that both new hires understand the structure and importance of shared governance at UC Davis and throughout the University of California.

Systemwide, the Academic Senate will evaluate admissions standards and practices and will dive deeper into teaching evaluation practices across the UC system (building on the Davis Division’s work). Given the upcoming August 2020 departure of President Napolitano, the systemwide Senate will also advise on the hiring of the new president.

I wish you all an exciting and productive year, and I look forward to collaborating with you in pursuit of excellence in research, teaching, and service. As always, do not hesitate to contact me at aschair@ucdavis.edu with questions.


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