Announcing 5 More Big Ideas for Campaign

Big Ideas graphic shows brain, world map, row crop, digital equipment..
UC Davis’ Big Ideas address great challenges of the world and position UC Davis at the forefront of research and discovery.

UC Davis has chosen five bold initiatives as the newest Big Ideas for the university's second comprehensive campaign:

  • Aggie Square — Developing UC Davis’ technology and innovation campus in Sacramento. Champion: Bob Segar, associate vice chancellor, Campus Planning and Environmental Stewardship.
  • Aggie Launch — Offering career preparation for all undergraduates. Faculty champion: Ralph J. Hexter, provost and executive vice chancellor, and distinguished professor of classics and comparative literature, College of Letters and Science.
  • Building the Entrepreneurial Mindset — Developing entrepreneurial thinking in all students. Faculty champion: Andrew Hargadon, professor of technology management, Graduate School of Management. He holds the Charles J. Soderquist Chair in Entrepreneurship.
  • Food Valley — Establishing a global hub for the innovations and businesses that will feed the world. Faculty champion: Justin Siegel, associate professor, Department of Chemistry, and faculty director, Innovation Institute for Food and Health.
  • One Climate Initiative — Creating a low-carbon society to ensure planetary resilience. Faculty champion: Benjamin Houlton, professor, Department of Land Air and Water Resources, and director, John Muir Institute of the Environment.

“Our new Big Ideas will complement the great work being done here on campus and I am excited to introduce them,” Chancellor Gary S. May said. “Now, it’s time to take all of our Big Ideas and show California, and the world, that UC Davis is a place of innovation — we are the university that is tackling society’s biggest issues.”

UC Davis announced its first set of Big Ideas in January 2017 — interdisciplinary initiatives that build upon the strengths of the university to positively impact the world for generations to come, in such areas as sustainability, food, water, global education, and animal and human health.

“The Big Ideas highlight UC Davis’ collaborative culture and our passion for creating a better future,” said Shaun Keister, vice chancellor of Development and Alumni Relations. “We are thrilled to move forward with these Big Ideas and believe we have the potential to change the world.”

The newest Big ideas emerged from a second call for proposals, last fall, initiated in an effort to fully represent the strengths and breadth of UC Davis and further accelerate the UC Davis Strategic Plan.

Big Ideas Cycle II drew 53 submissions from interdisciplinary teams across the university. The Campaign Steering Committee — comprising permanent deans, select university administrators and the chair of the Academic Senate — reviewed and scored each submission, considered all feedback and made its selections, focusing on the student experience, entrepreneurship and the environment.

The public will have the opportunity to learn more about all of the ideas at the Big Ideas Symposium scheduled for Friday, Oct. 18, at the UC Davis Conference Center. This free, half-day, interactive event will showcase each of the original and new Big Ideas.

Attendees will have the opportunity to meet faculty innovators and hear from the chancellor as he talks about the future of the university. Faculty, staff, students and friends of the university are all welcome.

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