Chancellor May: Bringing Out Our Best

Chancellor Gary S. May issued the following statement today (Sept. 28):

To the UC Davis Community:

Welcome to the 2020-21 academic year! I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy during these historic times.

The beginning of the academic year is one of my favorite times of the year, and this year is no different. I want you to know we are doing our best to make fall quarter as smooth and welcoming as possible while COVID-19 remains a public health crisis. We’ve spent most of the summer working hard to prepare for the known and unknown challenges we might face, including planning for robust remote instruction, providing campus housing safely, ramping up testing and screening, and continuing to practice social distancing and wearing face coverings. Of course, our decisions are based on public health guidance, both from Yolo County and from our own public health experts.

Having said that, it’s no surprise that UC Davis researchers are on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19. Members of our community were also on the front lines of the recent wildfires, helping both people and animals in dire need. It is in times like these that I am inspired by how our faculty, students, staff, alumni and friends come together to meet problems head-on. The people who are part of a public university like ours offer solutions in the best of times and in difficult ones. It is what makes us have a strong and real impact as a research, teaching and public service university. 

National recognition

We have further reason to be optimistic: Our Aggie Pride is on display in recent rankings. Money magazine once again placed UC Davis fourth in the country for public universities for quality and affordability. Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education named UC Davis as the country’s No. 5 public university for racial and ethnic diversity and percentage of undergraduates awarded need-based student aid. And, Washington Monthly ranked UC Davis No. 2 among the nation’s public universities for social mobility. These particular rankings are a direct reflection of our values of making a quality education available to all. We’re providing more opportunities for our graduates to find great career success, and a high quality of life.

I’m looking forward to building on this momentum. Whether you’re joining us on campus or remotely, you’re helping UC Davis move its mission forward.

Protocols and principles

For those who will be on campus, we have implemented many protocols to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our campus community and among our neighbors. Please take the time to learn more about them here, with information about testing, proper health protocols, resources and much more related to COVID-19.

It’s also a good time to learn about or reacquaint yourself with our Principles of Community, which reminds each of us to respect and honor our community’s diverse perspectives, backgrounds and experiences. It is these values that foster a community of belonging and vibrancy.

Finally, we all deserve to thrive in a UC Davis community that is free of violence and values mutual respect. UC Davis will not relent in the fight against sexual violence, and we will uphold Title IX protections for students and employees who experience sexual violence on campus. I pledge to be a UC Davis Upstander and encourage you to do so as well.

Keep pushing forward

No matter where you’re joining us, let’s continue to look out for one another and stay strong. We’ve always been this way, since our humble roots as the University Farm, to the powerhouse of higher education that continues to grow and defy expectations a century later.

Let’s stay safe and use these challenging times to bring out our best. We are Aggies, always pushing forward, always ready to help others.

I wish you all a successful and safe academic year.

Go Ags!


Gary S. May

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