Checking In With Chancellor May: Confident


In this week’s Thursday Thoughts, above, Chancellor May and LeShelle are thinking about Mother’s Day — responding to a question about the qualities that are important for a mother to have, and another about their plans for the day (including the chancellor’s revelation of how he stays on his mother’s good side).

To the UC Davis Community:

I was somewhat surprised when flipping the calendar to May, realizing we were beginning our 14th month of pandemic-induced campus operations. But my surprise gave way to confidence as I considered the ways in which UC Davis continues making plans for how best to serve our students, staff and faculty.

COVID-19 vaccines are our best path forward. I’d like to point you to a new page on the Campus Ready site that shares student testimonials on why they got vaccinated. We hope that hearing students talking to their peers about protecting others and gaining “a college experience on campus” will spur their classmates and others to follow suit.

Speaking of vaccinations, we have launched a text alert system for our Davis campus vaccine clinic — sending texts to announce appointment slots have been added to the scheduling system, and, starting Monday (May 10), if the clinic has extra doses available at day’s end (to be administered to people who can get to the clinic in the Activities and Recreation Center within 20 minutes). Text DavisVax to 888777 to receive the alerts.

Also on the vaccine front:

  • UC Davis Health published a story and video on encouraging vaccination in communities of color.
  • Our medical school alumna, Nadine Burke Harris, M.D. ’01, surgeon general of California, is appearing in public service announcements reassuring the state’s Black communities that COVID-19 vaccines are safe. Read our story in UC Davis Magazine.
  • Yesterday (May 6), UC Davis Live featured our university’s efforts to offer resources and training to farmworkers and farmers about COVID-19 precautions and safety. Watch it here.
  • Our Healthy Davis Together partnership with the city of Davis continues to produce excellent results. As of last week, 59% of Yolo County residents age 16 and older had received at least one dose of vaccine (the state average is 54%). As well, 81% of agricultural workers and 79% of people 65 and older in Yolo County had received at least one dose.

Planning continues

During the pandemic, Campus Ready guidelines have focused on public health and personal health. As we increase the number of in-person, on-campus activities this fall, we’re now extending guidance in the interests of operational need, equity, sustainability and employee experience.

Thursday, May 20, we will hold a Workplace Reimagined webinar for staff, on resources and guidance for fall planning. It will run from 9 to 10:30 a.m.; please register in advance. Topics will include:

  • Why we’re excited about flexible work opportunities
  • Planning for on- and off-site work considerations, beginning September 1
  • Future of public health measures — asymptomatic testing, Daily Symptom Survey and more
  • Upcoming communications and training

The program also will allow time for questions and answers. Please visit the Workplace Reimagined webpage for more information and to submit your feedback or questions about fall planning for 2021.

Checking in elsewhere

  • UC Davis Library — Plans for summer and fall are posted here. Lessons learned during the pandemic have been integrated into new online services combined with in-person services.
  • Internship and Career Center This valuable resource continues its work virtually, helping soon-to-be graduates and other students in search of jobs or internships. Check the ICC calendar for events like the following: Appy Hour workshop focusing on federal jobs (Wednesday, May 12); and Career Exploration (Thursday, May 13).

Beyond proud

This week UC Davis took the top spot among all U.S. universities public and private for inclusiveness, diversity and internationalization in the QS USA University Rankings — proving that our work to build a welcoming and inclusive community for our students, faculty and staff is bearing exceptional results. I am beyond proud of our standing, not only in this category, but in the overall rankings, where QS declared us the ninth best U.S. public university.

As you head into a lovely spring weekend, I hope you are able to celebrate with your mom or other important caregivers in your life, or be celebrated by your children or others on Mother’s Day.


Gary S. May

Campus Ready graphic, cow on bicycle

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