Chancellor May’s Fall Welcome Letter


To the UC Davis Community,

Welcome to the 2021-22 academic year! Each fall brings a new wave of excitement and fresh ideas, and this year is no exception.

We’ve returned to in-person instruction for the first time since March 2020, when we shifted to remote learning and work because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, UC Davis students, faculty and staff have adhered to guidance from public health officials and our own internal medical and science experts. Our broader community has joined in every effort to keep each other safe and healthy. In fact, UC Davis has been recognized as a national role model through Healthy Davis Together, our joint initiative with the city of Davis to protect our entire community through widespread testing and promoting healthy behaviors.

Let’s keep this momentum going. I ask all of you to check regularly with our Campus Ready website for the latest guidance, answers to common questions and a full list of resources.

This “new normal” at UC Davis might look a bit different than years past, but our teaching, research and public service mission moves ever forward.

This is demonstrated in our most recent rankings, which show why we’re at the top of public universities. Forbes named UC Davis #4 among public universities in the nation for the “most outstanding education to the broadest range of students at the most affordable price.” U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 Best Colleges ranked UC Davis placed at #10 among publics.

We showed that excellence of purpose throughout the pandemic, with our research community uniting to find solutions for global challenges. In fact, we set a new record for external research funding, with $968 million in awards over the past fiscal year. The awards included research topics in human and animal health, protecting the world’s food supply, strengthening college preparation through diverse course pathways, and a broad range of others.

So, the stage is set for a memorable academic year. Opportunity awaits, including the return of our Leadership Job Shadow Program. The program allows students to spend one day alongside one of our campus executives, including myself. You’ll gain some insights into the complexity and challenges of running a leading research university. You’ll get to share your perspectives and ideas and learn about potential career paths. Student applications will be accepted through Friday (Sept. 24) at theUC Davis Leadership Job Shadow Program website.

If you’re new to UC Davis or spent the last year learning or working remotely, take the time to get reacquainted with all the campus has to offer. Don’t forget to connect with the city of Davis, which is the ultimate college town, with lots of great places to eat or shop, and bike-friendly roads.

This is 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. It’s at the heart of who we are at UC Davis.

UC Davis is also committed to supporting students and employees who experience sexual harassment or sexual violence. As a community, we are all responsible for treating each other with respect and for intervening when we observe sexual misconduct. The Center for Advocacy, Resources and Education (CARE) provides confidential support to those who have experienced sexual harassment and sexual violence. There is more information here about resources and reporting options.

Let’s all come together to make this year our best yet. Let’s keep showing compassion and kindness to each other. We are Aggies, always pushing forward, always ready to help others.

Here’s to a successful and safe academic year. Go Ags!


Gary S. May

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