Envisioning the University of the 21st Century

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Steven Currall speaks to the University in 2065
Steven Currall speaks about the university in 2065

On Tuesday night at the Davis City Council meeting, Steven Currall, the Chancellor’s Senior Advisor for Strategic Projects and Initiatives and Co-Chair of the University of the 21st Century Committee, introduced and provided a brief overview of the university’s initiative to lead the way for higher education in the 21st century and beyond.

Councilmember Rochelle Swanson, in introducing Mr. Currall, said that she was very interested in a community dialogue on this effort. The hope is that in the Fall there will be a larger effort, but Tuesday’s presentation was a preview of the effort and her hope was that the council would see ways to work together with the university, going into the fall and beyond.

“To further our mission (to educate young people) we are dreaming and aspiring about the future of the university,” Mr. Currall told council during his presentation on Tuesday. “We are thinking about what we’d like the UC Davis university to be in the next fifty years.”

They are thinking not out five or ten years, but rather 50 years, and “important to that is how it relates to the city of Davis and our region.”

He said this is a “Strategic Visioning Process,” not a “Strategic Planning Process. “Planning in our minds usually refers to thinking about goals and objectives five years out, ten years out. This is really visioning much further out into the future.”

They are imagining what UC Davis looks like in 2065, considering issues like the university’s “positive impact on solving global challenges such as food, health, environment, energy, water,” creating an academic health care system of the future, ensuring student success based on new educational delivery techniques and technologies, sustaining the university’s financial stability and integrating the university’s physical locations and facilities.

“The Chancellor has launched a visioning process that will result in a strategic framework for the long-term future of UC Davis,” he said. Deliberations will focus on things like organizational efficiency, financial sustainability, enhancing student success, diversity and inclusion, among other things.

He envisions five phases of the visioning process:

  1. Develop a framework for consultation with UC Davis stakeholder groups,
  2. Broad consultation and a listening tour (including the presentation on Tuesday) with members of the UC Davis campus community;
  3. Draft a vision for how to position UC Davis as the University of the 21st Century;
  4. Invite public comment on the draft vision; and
  5. Finalize the vision by the end of the year for UC Davis as the University of the 21st Century.

So far, meetings have been attended by over 1600 people who have given feedback about the future of UC Davis.

Mayor Pro Tem Robb Davis asked, “Are the trends in globalization in the perspective of what you’re hearing just a one-way street or are we moving toward a time when the 21st century vision really needs to be about moving back to roots of regionalization, localism, solving things at home… Is there space in a broad vision like this to say, we want to really be about solving problems here?”

The mayor pro tem noted, “In one sense we’re a host city, but in another sense, we’re twin cities… is there a place in this vision to say what we expect from our host city?”

He noted that the discussion focused around economic development and moving innovation from the university out. Mr. Davis said, “It’s always useful to hear what people have in their minds in terms of expectations.”

Mr. Currall responded, “On the global versus regional idea, we’re deeply committed to being both more relevant regionally and more globally impactful and visible.” He said that what pulls those two elements together is “this idea of community.” Mr. Currall said, “We’ve been talking a lot on the committee about community – by that we mean the extent of connectivity that students feel with each other, that students feel with faculty members, staff members, alumni – we think that that’s an important part of our future vision.”

While they are looking global, it is important that they maintain the core concentration on this conception of community. Steven Currall said, “We think that deepening those (global bonds) actually enhances the strength of our regional community – even in the city of Davis – to the extent that our international students are coming into Davis, that increases diversity, that increases different perspectives that we get.”

Diversity, he said, is not just about ethnicity and race, but is also geographical. He said they think this is healthy for both the city and the university, as “part of our mission is to serve as a magnet to bring human talent, human capital into the region and hopefully they stay” and have productive careers in the area.

Steven Currall also addressed the mayor pro tem’s second point about the expectations between the university and the city. He said, “I like to think of this as a compact between the city and the university and there is both a formal and an informal aspect to that.”

He said the chancellor and other university leaders would welcome an additional dialogue about what that compact between the university and city should be. He said we need to address the responsibilities and obligations that both sides would fulfill in this. “I think that should be one of the main topics that we talk about,” he said.

Councilmember Brett Lee said it would be good to have some structures in place for working with the city, both for long range planning and a general understanding of each other’s priorities. He noted people in the audience who do good outreach, but “what I notice is I don’t think we have … at the planning level … a good joint linkage.” This would be assisted, he said, by a more formal process.

Mr. Currall said he heard the call for a “more systemic and institutionalized set of dialogues.” He said they have a good group already in place and “what we would do to add to that is to have dialogue about the strategic issues that are facing the university and the city and to think about how to solve those together” because of, as he acknowledged, the symbiotic relationship between the two. And he agrees with the need to have it be more institutionalized.

This is clearly a dialogue that will be picking up more this fall, but it connects us to critical issues as the city looks to the university on issues like technology transfer and the unstated needed for things like housing – just as the university looks to the city for development of innovation parks and other means for it to continue to expand.

Most of this part of the discussion was unstated in the dialogue on Tuesday, but clearly underlies the entire process of working together.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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40 thoughts on “Envisioning the University of the 21st Century”

  1. Davis Progressive

    i found it interesting that the university was using this as kind of a 30,000 foot show but robb and brett were trying to make it more substantial, picking off real issues of concern.  as mentioned, no specifics were mentioned – land use, housing, transportation, impacts, but at least commitment from the university to set up a formal mechanism.

  2. davisite4

    Anything about, oh, I don’t know: learning? Obtaining a broad background in a wealth of disciplines? Pursuit of truth and new ideas?  Becoming a citizen who can participate intelligently in a democracy?  Etc?  You know, higher education?

    1. Matt Williams

      Good question davisite4.  My own sense (and I could be wrong on this) is that in large part UCD has evolved away from and will continue to evolve away from the “broad background in a wealth of disciplines” model.  They leave achievement of that model to other Universities in the UC system.

      UCD states as much on it’s About UC Davis webpage.  “With a mission to advance the human condition through improving the quality of life for all, UC Davis uses a framework that connects its land-grant history to a transformative vision for the 21st century.”

      The first sentence in the Facts section of that webpage reads, “Learn why UC Davis ranks No. 9 among the nation’s top public research universities.”  I believe it is no accident that the research model takes preeminence over the broad background in a wealth of disciplines model.

      The Vision of Excellence states “As we begin our second century, UC Davis is poised to become one of the world’s great universities as it stays true to its mission to advance the human condition through improving the quality of life for all.”  As you note in your comment above, the broad background in a wealth of disciplines model produces individual citizens “who can participate intelligently in a democracy.”  That is the result of an individual student focus . . . rather than the improving the quality of life for all focus that comes from a research-centric model.

       

      1. davisite4

        Thanks, Matt, that’s helpful, if truly disturbing.  I guess this comes from Katehi, but it could not happen without others going along with it.

  3. Frankly

    Mayor Pro Tem Robb Davis asked, “Are the trends in globalization in the perspective of what you’re hearing just a one-way street or are we moving toward a time when the 21st century vision really needs to be about moving back to roots of regionalization, localism, solving things at home.

    I think, with this question, Robb lays bare the conflict between the city of Davis and UCD… and most of the rest of the world.

    But first let me digress into a partisan diatribe because the hypocrisy or otherwise astounding display or ignorant disconnect on display in this medium-sized city of 72,000 people.  I see the general Davis voter as a liberal conservative.  Like most people owning a liberal political bent, they tend to reject more conservative immigration reform and also reject the concept of American culture… that it even exists and instead is just a collection of other cultures deserving of identity.  Apparently we don’t own enough of our own identity in this country to care about protecting… and liberals as a group tend to almost support an open borders / global community view.

    And yet here in Davis we see people holding these national / global views demanding a form of local isolationism.  Our current general plan has a hard stop of population at 64,000… a number we have already exceeded.  We build a farmland moat around us to prevent expansion… basically preventing more people from moving here.  We celebrate our “Davis DNA” as it is a fine and unique culture with an identity that we value… and we resist adding growth because of the fear it will degrade or alter that identity.

    Unfortunately for us, we live in the midst of a very successful university that has become a global resource.  The university envisions a future that is at odds with the more stasis population of the city… people wanting Davis to stay stuck in time and inwardly focused.

    These two visions are at odds and I see them as irreconcilable differences within the current city leadership.

    Robb’s questions are telling to me.  It is clear that he is tilted toward a vision of Davis being more inwardly focused and resistant much of the change that the university requires in an effective city development strategy.  I get that attraction.  I really do… Almost like Davis can be a more self-sufficient Island/village with connections to the outside world that are well-controlled by the powers within.  But I don’t think it will work.  I don’t think we can do this without falling behind and without causing the university to look elsewhere in the region.

    Here is the challenge… Those demanding Davis-the-Island-Village need to take ownership of the challenge to make it so.  In other words, these people need to honestly accept and adopt the fiscal challenges the city is facing and will face… and they need to also honestly communicate with the university that they are not in support of its vision as it threatens to impact their vision for a future Davis.

    Get on it and stop playing games surfing some unattainable and disingenuous middle ground.   Start making a case for a $1000 per year supplemental parcel tax while preparing Davis residents for the future news that UCD will be working on innovation parks in Woodland, Sacramento and/or Solano County.   This is the alternative to working with the university to implement a joint vision.  I might even support it if leaders that think this is the best direction for Davis would get honest about it and make the case.

    1. Don Shor

      As usual, your analysis is strictly dichotomous, whereas growth attitudes really exist along a spectrum. “Grow as slowly as possible” is different from “don’t grow at all.” Retaining Davis’ character doesn’t mean there would be no change.

      In the past UCD has planned and grown with little apparent concern for the impact on its host city. There has been little collaboration, and the impacts of their growth policies on the city seem to have been of no concern to the administration. When the chancellor announces that the campus will grow by 6000 enrollment (plus staff) over a decade, but fails to address the impact on housing and transportation, it is clear that the university’s focus has been “inward” and not even slightly collaborative.

      I see evidence of some change in that relationship, with communication improving. But it’s a little exasperating to be urged to look out fifty years when the university doesn’t appear to do short-term planning with any particular care about the community it shares. And your constant piling on about Davis voters, liberals, and our city council leadership really undermines any positive contributions you might be bringing to the dialogue. I urge you to do less dichotomous thinking and avoid your sweeping generalizations about liberals, hypocrisy, etc.

      1. Frankly

        I urge you to read and open your mind to the points instead of reacting in hypersensitivity.

        There is a very wide disconnect between what UCD needs and what the standard cast of character leaders in Davis are willing to accept.   And we have another great and wide disconnect between the long-term liabilities we are facing and what the standard cast of character leaders are willing to admit and do something about.

        You cannot solve problems if you don’t face up to the real problems and start working on real solutions.

        There is a lot of dancing on the edge of a razor and it will cause us to slip and get cut bad.

        1. Davis Progressive

          “There is a very wide disconnect between what UCD needs and what the standard cast of character leaders in Davis are willing to accept.  ”

          so start by going where you can go and see where that gets you.

          1. Don Shor

            Like I said, Frankly, I read your words.

            the hypocrisy or otherwise astounding display or ignorant disconnect on display in this medium-sized city of 72,000 people. I see the general Davis voter as a liberal conservative. Like most people owning a liberal political bent, they tend to reject more conservative immigration reform and also reject the concept of American culture… that it even exists and instead is just a collection of other cultures deserving of identity. Apparently we don’t own enough of our own identity in this country to care about protecting… and liberals as a group tend to almost support an open borders / global community view.

            “Hypersensitive” is your standard accusation. It’s pretty meaningless.

      2. Davis Progressive

        don raises a second key point which is how can uc davis better work with davis.  frankly and many others focus on how davis can better work with uc davis.  it seems that the university is at least paying lipservice to the idea of a working symbiotic relationship with davis, but i think there are a host of issues from housing to transportation that davis conveniently forgets about in their ambition.

        1. Miwok

          I agree with both Don and Frankly. They both have points to make, and while they will not sway each other, they are both right, unfortunately.

          This article mentioning the relationship with Davis and UCD is complicated because Davis cannot throw them out, and UCD pretends Davis matters to them, when it is really a bedroom for their faculty. UCD wants a compliant CC to be their bitch, and Davis would like to keep as much UCD business here for the tax revenue. Razor’s edge, indeed.

          One only need to look at the “Field Stations” all over several states and countries UCD uses. I have been to Napa County, Butte County, and several other places where they set up shop (Reno, Incline Village/Tahoe City, and I think I was in Lassen County for another deep in the woods). Their press releases always promise more than they deliver, like West Village, not even wired for internet.

          The City AND UCD are behind in even talking to each other, as they are in most other things. After a hundred years, you think a standing committee would be in place already? Yet they send a guy to pitch another one?

        2. Matt Williams

          DP, if my answer to davisite4’s earlier question is correct, and UCD has stepped away from a “broad background in a wealth of disciplines” model in favor of a “research” model, then it isn’t hard to imagine that the only way that the idea of a working symbiotic relationship between UCD and the city of Davis can work is if the city also steps away from the broad background in a wealth of disciplines model and embraces the research model.

        3. Miwok

          Matt, they are only providing excellent research opportunities as a part of their curriculum. They non-publicly espouse getting “popular” items that will still give a well paying student a UC Davis “degree”, especially from out of state or country. This will be almost a third of their student body in just a few years if all goes according to plan.

          1. Matt Williams

            Understood Miwok, the research focus is not exclusive, but if you compare UCD’s curriculum to some of the “wealth of disciplines” universities and colleges, the tilt of the playing field is pretty clear. Compare UCD’s curriculum to the curriculum of Reed or Whitman or Occidental or Pomona or Claremont McKenna or Harvey Mudd or Scripps or Carleton or Williams or Amherst or Swarthmore.

    2. Davis Progressive

      this is typical frankly bs.  he creates polarity where none needs to exist and injects partisanship into things that are free of partisanship.

      “Robb’s questions are telling to me.  It is clear that he is tilted toward a vision of Davis being more inwardly focused and resistant much of the change that the university requires in an effective city development strategy.  ”

      i think you have this completely wrong.  i think he recognizes that the current reality is that davis is inwardly tilted and he has to live in that reality.  the other factor you are missing is that davis represents a city on their city council, so of course he’s going to be focuses with how the university better relates to the local community which btw, doesn’t just need to be davis.

  4. Don Shor

    They are thinking not out five or ten years, but rather 50 years, and “important to that is how it relates to the city of Davis and our region.”

    The UCD officials we really need to hear from at the moment are the ones who are thinking out five or ten years.

  5. Robb Davis

    Robb’s questions are telling to me.  It is clear that he is tilted toward a vision of Davis being more inwardly focused and resistant much of the change that the university requires in an effective city development strategy.

    Wow, how does it feel to have access to my mind and so “clearly” know the thoughts and intentions of my heart?  It would have been nice to have this framed as a question so I could tell you the impetus for my question.  But no, you already know the impetus and I fear that nothing I say from here on will change your narrative.

    All I can say is you have it completely wrong.  This was not what I was driving at, at all.  Your framing would make this a narrow parochial concern.  My question was to try to genuinely understand how the University is planning for a time horizon beyond the next 10 to 15 years–to hear how people in academia are thinking about the trajectory of globalization.

    Of course you also neglect to engage my second question.  I would have (wrongly, as it turns out) expected some kudos for broaching the subject of how this city can be a better partner to achieve the ends of moving innovations off campus and providing a home for them to grow here in the host city.

    1. Davis Progressive

      i keep asking frankly the same question – how is his rhetoric and framing of the issues helpful to his cause.  he actually eliminates potential allies by engaging in that form of rhetoric.

      1. Frankly

        I’m not running a popularity contest.  Those people that tend to reject direct arguments because of hypersensitivity are not the type I try to convince…because it is exausting tiptoeing on eggshells and there is little be gained from it.

        How about you and Don just stop making it personal about me and tell me why you think I am wrong so others can read it.

        1. Don Shor

          tell me why you think I am wrong so others can read it.

          To reiterate and expand:
          The voters’ growth attitudes really exist along a spectrum.
          The university needs to deal with the impacts of their past growth.
          The university and the city need to plan together better to mitigate the impacts of their current enrollment growth.
          Robb has more of a regional focus than you give him credit for. I don’t know exactly which other local leaders you were criticizing with your broad statements.
          There are signs of progress lately.

        2. Frankly

          Thanks for this…

          The voters’ growth attitudes really exist along a spectrum.

          I obviously am attacking part of that spectrum as being out of order.  That part has gotten its way for decades.  It is clear that this way has led to problems.  Now we need to fix the problems but they are still demanding their way.  That is a roadblock and it needs to be called out.

          The university needs to deal with the impacts of their past growth.

          True, but you and others seem to dismiss the fact that UCD development on UCD land still has similar traffic and other negative impacts that the change-averse detest, yet we get no say in the design and no tax revenue from it.  Because of this, it appears that this blame-UCD angle is just a convenient excuse for irrational no-growth attitudes.  If the university were to announce, for example, a large housing development on its land west of 113 and south of Russell, all hell would break loose in opposition because of the concern about impacts.

          The university and the city need to plan together better to mitigate the impacts of their current enrollment growth.

          Agreed.  But again, there is simplicity here that is turned into complexity for the apparent reason that complexity stalls and obscures and blocks.  The simplicity is that there needs to be more development in support of 72,000 that is growing by 600+ per year.

          Robb has more of a regional focus than you give him credit for. I don’t know exactly which other local leaders you were criticizing with your broad statements.

          This is probably true.  However, Robb has made comments a few time over the last few weeks that indicate to me that his affinity to peripheral farmland preservation and slow growth is stronger than I otherwise thought.  Those comments might be at least partially political showcasing his mediator skills and attributes.

          There are signs of progress lately.

          There are also many signs that we have reversed course.  And there is far too little progress give the amount of time we have been discussing our severe budget issues and the strategy and growth of the university.  You and I define progress differently.

          Getting back to the opinion that UCD needs to step up or the City needs to step up.

          The comments by the CC that UCD and Davis are twin cities is telling.  It is telling on this mindset that we should hold them responsible and everything needs to be a partnership of these two cities.  I have a different view.  I see UCD as simply a big local employer and business… similar to Intel in Folosm.  Is it the responsibility of Intel as a business to also build housing for all its employees?

          Now I accept that the student population of a university is a different animal and a university has to plan for adequate housing capacity for students.   But what other large universities are hosted by a city with Measure R with a city leaders intent on building a farmland moat and a population that kills infill development projects too?  Is the City really a good partner?  I think not.

          I expect UCD is planing to go its own way in development needs because of the continued resistance from the City.  Instead, the City should demonstrate a sense of urgency.  But we don’t.  We doddle.

      2. Robb Davis

        After this… I’m done.

        However, Robb has made comments a few time over the last few weeks that indicate to me that his affinity to peripheral farmland preservation and slow growth is stronger than I otherwise thought.  Those comments might be at least partially political showcasing his mediator skills and attributes.

        Then you have not been paying attention.  On the day I announced my candidacy (and MANY times since then), I stated the challenge we face in conserving (not preserving) the amazing natural and globally important resource on our borders.  I have never said anything but that.  I have not changed my views on that one iota.

        I also said that I supported moving forward with the 3 peripheral site proposals (Nishi, Northwest, Mace Ranch) as a means to meet City objectives.  I have never hid that, I have not changed my views on that.  Before the actual northwest and Mace proposals were on the table I stated that I would welcome proposal for these sites.  I never hid that, I have not changed my views on that.

        You say I am trying to walk a razors edge but that is only because you create that edge in your dualistic framing of the issue.  EVERY decision has tradeoffs.  To articulate them is not to equivocate.  It is merely to acknowledge that decisions are rarely (if ever) made with certainty as to their impact (intended and unintended).

        1. Frankly

          Ok.  Fair enough.

          I am extra critical of balance that gives attention to farmland / open space preservation / conservation and slow growth (for example, I have heard Don say that our strategy to always grow as slow as possible) because we have already spent the last 20+ years doing that and we are significantly out of balance because of it.

          I think some see my support of peripheral growth as extreme.  I see any continued demand that we block peripheral growth or redevelopment upwards as extreme given where we are today and what we know today.

          In other words I think we are out of balance and I am critical of those leaders and vocal residents seemingly attempting to maintain that out of balance condition in the name of keeping balance.

          We have done more than well in this other tilt.  We gave away Mace 391 as a permanent farm.  We have succeeded in preserving almost 4000 acres in and around Davis.  We have created a small and dense city.  We have some of the best bike connectivity in the world for a city our size.  We have maintained the vitality of the downtown.

          None of this is at material risk moving forward with more aggressive development.  1000 acres of innovation parks would add 1.5 square miles to our highly dense 10 square mile city.  Not a big deal in comparison to every other comparable city in the world.

          Every decision has tradeoffs, but what decisions are we talking about?

          Complex decision process is an information funneling process.  At some point after collecting all the criteria and data you get down to that binary go or no-go decision that drips from the end of the funnel.   I know people that love to live in the wide-end of the funnel constantly collecting data largely ignoring the time criteria in a frustrating and fruitless attempt to attain perfection.   And in doing so they waste the opportunity because time is always an important piece of decision criteria. Leaders make the binary decisions.

          I think we have spent plenty of time in the wide-end of the funnel.  We have debated these things over and over again.  We know what we lack and we know what we need.  The effort should be on design and approval, not feasibility… we are beyond the requirement to debate feasibility.

          I have been reading your recent points and questions as indicating you are still debating feasibility.  Answering the “if?” and “should we?” questions instead of jumping into the project to design and build the best types of developments we can to meet our needs.   That is the basis of my frustration.  That is essentially why the West Davis innovation park pulled out.

          1. Don Shor

            I have heard Don say that our strategy to always grow as slow as possible

            I use that term because it is from advisory Measure L, passed in 1986. Measure L reflects the General Plan, or vice versa. This is from Davis Wiki:

            According to Mike Fitch in his book Growing Pains, Measure L contained three guiding principles:

            Davis should grow as slowly as it legally could;
            Future growth should be concentrated on lands already within the city limits and additional annexations should be discouraged; and
            The county should not approve development on the periphery of Davis unless the city gives its stamp of approval by ruling it consistent with the Davis General Plan. Measure L included several findings, including the beliefs that “the prime agricultural land surrounding Davis is a resource of local, state and national importance” and “the growth of Davis is an issue best determined by Davis citizens without outside pressure or influence.”

        2. Frankly

          That advisory measure language is the out of balance mindset.  There was a lot different back then… a lot we did not know… mostly because we were not being told and nobody was asking the right questions.

          That was 30 years ago and I think you are complaining about UCD looking out 50 years while failing to plan for its short-term needs.  And we are a progressive community?  Apparently not so much.

          Frankly, (because I am), today that language is irresponsible.

           

          1. Don Shor

            Then put it back on the ballot, Frankly. Just like the General Plan: until it’s updated or overturned by the voters, you can’t just dismiss it. And I’d be willing to bet that both that measure and the General Plan reflect the views of the Davis electorate today, just as they did back then. The city voting history tends to suggest that.

          2. Matt Williams

            I suspect you would win the bet you propose, which, if correct, is evidence of how out of sync the City of Davis and UC Davis are.

            In that kind of out of sync situation, the parties frequently disconnect and walk different paths.

        3. Frankly

          Well Don, maybe you can connect the dots then.  My disparaging words about the NIMBY, change-averse, no-growth people appears to be justified if what you say is true… that Davis voters hold the same views they did 30 years ago.

          In my opinion, they don’t except for minority ignorance and a minority of controlling old guard and their minions.  And those are the people my words target.

          In 30 years the people of Davis…

          — Learned what a Great Recession can do.

          — Voted for a Target.

          — Learned more about the City budget problems.

          — Have seen their roads falling apart.

          — Learned more about overpaid government employees.

          — Noted that Davis grew to 72,000 despite some utopian demands to keep it tiny.

          — Learned that UCD is growing and we are short beds.

          — Noted that we already have a lot of farmland and open space preserved.

          — Registered that they don’t like more density and high rise buildings.

          But they need to know more, including the criticism of the minority of controlling old guard and their minions seeking to prevent change at all costs.

          So I will keep pointing these things out, and then consider a ballot item to get rid of the tired, destructive and old ideas of 30 years ago when people were still smoking in the workplace and desktop computers for the masses where just getting rolling.

          1. Don Shor

            Other than Target, what has gone before the voters and how have they fared? I think small peripheral business parks can get approved. Some of the things you mention could be the motivating factors for that. I think anything that seems like a big expansion of Davis borders would likely get voted down.
            Since Davis voted to “grow as slowly as legally possible,” here’s what UCD did:
            1986: 19399
            1996: 23186, increase of 3787
            2006: 28818, increase of 5632
            2015: 35415, increase of 6597
            On track to about 39000 enrollment by 2020.
            So it’s pretty clear that UCD doesn’t consider or respect the city’s growth goals or plans.

          2. Matt Williams

            Don: “So it’s pretty clear that UCD doesn’t consider or respect the city’s growth goals or plans.”

            With that as a premise, what next steps do you suggest?

  6. Frankly

    “I see evidence of some change in that relationship, with communication improving. But it’s a little exasperating to be urged to look out fifty years when the university doesn’t appear to do short-term planning with any particular care about the community it shares.”
    Talk about dichotomous thiking.
    You mean particular care about NIMBY, change-averse, no-growthers. Because they cannot envision a future state that is positive in city economic growtb.
    What is good for Davis is beyond the understanding of some people.  So why pander to them?

    1. Tia Will

      Because they cannot envision a future state that is positive in city economic growth.”

      Or perhaps because they can envision a future state that is very positive that is not solely centered around increased economic growth  but which also cherishes other values such as a cleaner environment, a healthier population, greater human collaboration and less needless and destructive competition, better education for every child and a more harmonious way of being in the world with closer community bonds and less violence and contentiousness.

      1. Frankly

        less needless and destructive competition

        You repeat this often, so it demands you explain what you are talking about.

        The other things you list are not mutually exclusive of anything I make the case for.

        But..

        Isn’t your list just greed in demanding more and more of things already acquired?  One can always demand more.  And are not these things you demand more of in competition with other things?  Aren’t you just being selective in your choice of compeition… your winning over others winning?  How much is enough?  Who gets to decide what is enough and what isn’t enough?

        1. Tia Will

          You repeat this often, so it demands you explain what you are talking about.”

          I feel that I have done so many times over in many conversations between you and I here. But since you mentioned two items specifically, I will address what I mean with regard to your specific points.

          You mention Target. I think that Target is an excellent example of what I see as an example of a needlessly competitive and short sighted mindset. At the time that this project was being considered there were a total of 9 Targets already within a 30 minute drive of some part of Davis by my count on a map of Target locations. The arguments for a local Target were 1) convenience for Davis residents – however, this ignored that most Davis residents already do not live in Davis as though we were in isolation. We live within the region. For residents of North Davis, the Woodland Target is often as convenient to reach as is the Davis store. Same for residents of West Davis and the Vacaville store. However, how hard would it be to plan ahead, combine trips and errands so as to minimize the need to drive to one of these stores in the first place or to make routine orders of socks, underwear and the like ( frequently sited as unavailable in town) on line.

          2) We should be “capturing” those tax dollars for Davis. The very language that we use is one of ruthless competition with other communities in the region rather than my favored strategy which would be one of developing complimentary businesses for a more collaborative region. Rather than trying to wrest business from other communities, could not a community with as much creativity as ours come up with a more creative land use than a 10th Target ?

          Finally, your example of Target conveniently ignores the point that the vote was extremely close, 51% for to 49% against as I recall. Hardly a stirring mandate for this use of that particular land resource.

          The other point that you make repeatedly is that we have hardly grown at all economically over the past 20 years. I have previously listed a number of the new and some fairly large businesses that have been added to Davis in that time period. Perhaps Don would like to repost a list  of new businesses in Davis over the past 20 years, I do not care to. We have not been stagnant as you seem to be stating. But your business seems to rely on an endless pattern of growth and your philosophic touchstone seems to be a philosophy of more equals better. My values are based on enough is frequently enough, sustainability is preferable to a boom and bust cycle which I do not believe is inevitable. I believe that we have chosen it, created it, and some of us will now defend it at all costs without ever being willing to assess whether or not a better way including embracing collaboration over competition might not be a better, more sustainable model. I believe that we can remain a small city with a unique contribution to the region based primarily on our proximity to UCD. I do not believe that every enterprise that comes out of UCD regardless of how large it eventually becomes is a “loss” to Davis if it decides to move to a more appropriate space. I believe in the generative power of UCD and do not believe that it serves anyone to try to pretend that every venture that spins off from UCD should remain in Davis. Some are doubtless ideal for Davis. Others will eventually outgrow us. And that is just fine with me.

      2. hpierce

        Or perhaps not.  UC is primarily focussed on its own ‘economic growth’, thrives on ‘needless and destructive competition’ (professor and admin salaries/benefits to lure the ‘best and brightest’)), cares less about ‘better education for every child’ (only those from out of state who can pay higher  tuitions to fuel the UC “corporation”), and ‘harmonious… with closer community bonds’?

        I think not.

      3. Matt Williams

        Tia, do you think that UC Davis buys into a future state that is not solely centered around increased economic growth but which also cherishes other values such as a cleaner environment, a healthier population, greater human collaboration and less needless and destructive competition, better education for every child and a more harmonious way of being in the world with closer community bonds and less violence and contentiousness?

        1. Tia Will

          Matt

          I really would like to address this question, however, the phrasing leaves me uncertain how to respond.

          I do not know who you are referring to when you say “UC Davis” buys into”. I believe that there are probably many people affiliated with UCD of whom this could be said unequivocally. If you area referring to the Chancellor personally, I suspect that she falls much closer to the Frankly school of thought of what constitutes progress than to my definition of the same, however, I really do not know that, and to make that claim would be me doing the dichotomizing that I frequently claim Frankly does.

          A second point. I am not sure of your intent with the question. What difference does it make from your pint of view whether or not UCD “buys into this view of the future ?  While the leadership of UCD may hold a very different view of progress than I do, that does not mean that I should adopt their view as the correct one and set my values aside. It also does not mean that I should ignore the potential impacts of their philosophy since Davis will of course have to make significant mitigating efforts. But that in no way means that we should abandon a significant viewpoint in our community because UCD leadership does not share those values.

          One thing that I have learned from 30 years of direct patient care and 10 years of administration is that individuals can start an association or process with vastly different understandings of an issue, vastly different values and perceptions of the right way to proceed and still come to a path or a solution that allows for gradually improving outcomes. But this will usually only occur when there is an open mindedness and willingness to work with the point of view of the other rather than polarizing, labeling, incessantly pointing our the flaws in the other without owning ones own, and insisting that your own way is the only way forward.

          1. Matt Williams

            Tia, when I say “UC Davis buys into” I’m thinking at the organization level, rather than at the individual level. I agree with you that there are many people affiliated with UCD whose individual beliefs are in alignment with UCD’s collective actions (and planned actions), but also many whose individual beliefs are absolutely not in alignment with UCD’s collective actions. In my opinion Chancellor Katehi’s individual thoughts are much less important than the pattern of policies and actions that emanate from UCD as a whole.

            Regarding your second paragraph, the intent of the question is pretty straightforward. When individuals and organizations make decisions about how to deploy both their resources and their time, a very important part of those deployment decisions is a risk/reward calculation. With a “partner” whose worldview is closely aligned with yours, the risks are mitigated and the net value of the intellectual and societal rewards is enchanced. With a “partner” whose worldview is very different than yours, the upfront work needed to come to a meeting of the minds before proceeding in collaboration is much greater, and also has a high degree of risk that no meeting of the minds will ever be reached. In many cases without a meeting of the minds, achievement of the intellectual and societal rewards never happens because no collaborative union is achieved.

            Part of the impetus for my question is that it is arguable that a University is much more accomplishment driven than a City jurisdiction is. What are your thoughts about that possibility?

            Another part of the impetus for my question is that it is arguable that people who have reached, or are nearing, the age of 55 are significantly more risk averse than those who are younger than 55. I have heard it argued that UCD with its strong emphasis on pure research and applied research is a “young university” and as such has a very low risk aversion profile. Davis on the other hand has seen its 55 and over population proportion increase from 12% of the total to 17.5% of the total in the 10 years from 2000 to 2010. At the same time the 25 to 54 population proportion has decreased from 39% to 33% of the total. That is a significant shift in the community’s risk profile.

            Regarding your closing paragraph, I agree completely with what you have said, but would point out that the model you are describing has a starting point that assumes that the parties have chosen to work together. They haven’t chosen to agree to disagree and go their separate ways. The question that faces UCD and the City is whether they are contemplating going their separate ways … or actually have already made that decision. If the two parties have decided to go their separate ways, then from a practical perspective neither is insisting that other party must accept that “their way is the only way.”

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