2018-19 Chair's Spring Letter

Wrapping Up the 2018-19 Year

June 20, 2019

Dear Senate Colleagues,

With summer’s arrival, I write to update you on the Senate’s activities this past year. I first want to thank all who served on committees, and all who have committed to serve next year, as our work would be impossible without your dedication.

The Senate, I am happy to report, worked on all items mentioned in my fall letter. We continue to review potential updates to the campus budget model, the first of which is reframing and clarifying the Provost Allocation. Budget and Institutional Analysis will propose additional budget model updates next year. We provided input to UCOP and the Systemwide Academic Senate on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment policies, as well as on the Transfer Admission Guarantee proposed by the Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools (BOARS), both of which will likely require additional work in coming years. Lastly, with the closing of 2018-19, Academic Affairs has now collected five years of data with which to assess the Step Plus merit and promotion system. A Senate special committee is being convened to conduct this assessment next year.

We also addressed unexpected but critical items. During the unprecedented seven-day campus closure, we compiled Frequently Asked Questions for Instructors, which we plan to reference if closure occurs again. (These FAQs have since been utilized by other UC campuses when planning for or addressing campuswide closures.) The closure also highlighted the need to improve emergency management policies for smoke events and for campus emergencies in general. Campus administrators and staff are working on such policies.

In addition, concerns were brought this year to Senate leadership about the use and methodology of teaching evaluations on campus—concerns increasingly shared by campuses nationwide. In response, Executive Council commissioned a Special Committee on Evaluation of Teaching, which submitted its final report and recommendations last week. Senate leadership will evaluate next steps this summer.

With those items wrapping up, Senate leadership will begin establishing priorities for the 2019-20 year, to be communicated in early fall. All priorities will endeavor to guide UC Davis onward and upward, and all will employ our robust faculty-administrative shared governance partnerships. I personally will continue to work both proactively and when called upon. Do not hesitate to contact me at aschair@ucdavis.edu with questions, concerns, or ideas.

I hope you have a restful, rejuvenating, and productive summer. I look forward to reconnecting in the fall.


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