Chancellor Responds to Black Student Demands

Chancellor Katehi address students apologizing and promising action
Chancellor Katehi address students apologizing and promising action

In a letter on Monday to the UC Davis African Diaspora Student Community, Chancellor Linda Katehi wrote, “It is an essential responsibility of the University of California Davis and its leaders to do everything in our power to ensure the safety of all our students, and to acknowledge the existence of explicit or implicit biases which are harmful to the physical and mental wellbeing of anyone on our campus. The reported hate crime that occurred on Monday, February 15th underlines the urgent need for action to create a safer, more inclusive, and equitable campus community.”

She added, “While community and cultural change do not happen overnight, we stand united with our students in our knowledge that diversity and inclusion are the foundations of our shared success, and that there are immediate actions we can take which will move us forward.”

In her letter, she then addressed each demand.

Emergency Call Boxes: “The UCD Police Department shares the concerns of the campus community and seeks to reinstall these systems throughout campus.” The UCD Police are planning to deploy seven emergency call boxes.

“Additional call box locations are also being researched, in particular the Orchard bike overcrossing at West Village. This intersection is located in a remote area with high bicycle traffic and limited-visibility for vehicles. The Police Department has already begun researching to determine the feasibility of using existing infrastructure at each site, or if new infrastructure will need to be installed.”

“These boxes will be identifiable as emergency call boxes, with bold color schemes, and will each utilize a blue light. When activated, the call box will route directly to the UC Davis Police Department for an emergency response and the blue light will flash to notify those nearby of its activation. Police Department 911 Dispatchers will field the emergency call, know the call box location, and route appropriate emergency resources. The call boxes will be ADA-compliant, allowing all visitors to effectively report an emergency.

“Emergency call boxes will be installed first in locations along the Arboretum and later extend across campus.”

Improved Lighting – On Campus: “Facilities Management aims for full lighting coverage of pathways, courtyards and parking lots. This means spacing light poles no farther than 150 feet apart, ideally achieving a 50-foot separation. These distances should achieve overlapping light coverage from pole to pole as indicated in the Facilities Management Exterior Lighting Coverage Map.”

“Facilities Management participates in yearly outdoor lighting walks with campus police and students to identify new areas in need of lighting. The next walk is scheduled for March 9, 2016. Facilities Management will assign staff to survey lighting in areas not typically covered by the police/student groups, paying particular attention to corridors commonly traveled by students between the core campus and residence halls.”

“To date, our Utilities division has made significant investments in state-of-the-art lighting monitoring systems and upgraded lighting to better illuminate public spaces, while reducing energy usage. We are already scheduled to upgrade lights along Storer Hall this summer, and additional funding has been requested to cover all areas that were identified in the 2015 Outdoor Lighting Walk.”

Improved Lighting – City of Davis: There was a conference call on February 25 with Vice Chancellor and CFO Dave Lawlor, Assistant Chancellor Marj Dickinson, Davis City Manager Dirk Brazil, Assistant City Manager Mike Webb, and Davis Police Chief Darren Pytel to discuss “student concerns about lighting and to share the status of current and planned campus and City lighting initiatives.”

The city has already completed a number of upgrades that included the retrofit for all lighting with LED devices, they are getting “community feedback on new lighting options for City greenbelts with the goal of installing new fixtures this spring,” and they are replacing “approximately 100 existing downtown fixtures to improve consistency; fixtures have been ordered and are expected to be installed this summer.” There was a “recent downtown walk with bar owners to identify “light deficient” areas between the west side of downtown and campus, so that lights can be installed where needed.”

“Finally, campus and City representatives agreed to continue to actively share technical expertise and the ongoing assessment, evaluation and implementation of lighting improvements, especially along our shared edges such as 1st Street and A Street. The input and involvement of students in these efforts and initiatives was also agreed upon.”

Safer Transportation at Night: “Associate Vice Chancellor Milton Lang and UC Davis Chief of Police Matt Carmichael will partner to achieve the following: Safe Rides Services will enhance their offerings starting mid-April, which will include bringing two more vans online to provide a total of six Safe Rides vans seven days a week, along with four Tipsy Taxis on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

“Furthermore, UC Davis Police and UC Davis Student Affairs will partner to fund and test a fixed rides Service seven days a week. Working with students, we will identify the fixed route to run though peak hours of the night, giving our students another option when safe rides services are running at maximum capacity.

“This fixed route will include West Village, the core of campus, and the city of Davis. Utilizing feedback from our programs and students, we will refine this route to maximize efficiency while keeping our students safe. Safe Rides and Tipsy Taxi are proactive responses to combatting sexual assaults on campus, ensuring no student walks alone and enhancing safety for all our students.”

West Village Statement: “Vice Chancellor & CFO Lawlor met with West Village management to prepare a statement for immediate release on Monday to the West Village community notifying them of the hate crime, as well as sharing with each of them information on available safety and support resources. West Village management is committed to partnering with the University at an increased level to share information on student safety and to immediately respond to any future incidents.”

BLM-13

Response to Previous Demands

Black Resource Center: “Under the leadership of Kayton Carter, Director of the Center for African Diaspora Student Success (CADSS), and the Director of African American Strategic Retention Initiatives, CADSS has met with—and continues to meet with—the Black Leadership Council (BLC) representatives (i.e. Mariah Watson, Theodore Mitchell, Kamaal Thomas, and Gabriel Johnson) in an effort to establish a future student advisory committee for CADSS. The goal is to have BLC leaders work in collaboration with CADSS student staff and function as the ongoing voice of the African diaspora student body in directing services and support for students of the diaspora.”

Holistic Advisors: “CADSS currently has Director Kayton Carter & Associate Director Dr. Kawami Evans as leaders of the center. Both positions function as Student Affairs Officers and Academic Advisers for African diaspora students, and as such are key liaisons between diaspora students and the entire campus community of resources. CADSS is also in the process of hiring two graduate level student-staff to provide additional advising, advocacy, and mentoring to our African diaspora students. Additionally, we are in the process of hiring two more (undergraduate) peer advisers – for a total of four peer advisers as CADSS liaisons. Lastly, the CADSS volunteer program will also provide students with additional coordinated support from key leaders in the student community.”

Professional Development Advisor: “CADSS is in the process of solidifying a systematic relationship with the Internship and Career Center (ICC) as they are the campus experts surrounding professional development for students. Consequently, we have identified Ken Barnes as the professional staff from the ICC who will help forge this new relationship. Ken will function as the CADSS Assistant Director of Internships & Careers for CADSS – in a 50% time allocation.”

Additional Resources: “As part of the collaborative process between CADSS and BLC, we have identified the specific academic needs of African diaspora students, and are in the process of creating a tutoring program. This will include a contract with the Student Academic Success Center (SASC) to provide tutors and programs for CADSS, as well as identifying high performing students from the African diaspora as possible peer tutors. A list of all tutoring resources will be made available at the beginning of the spring quarter. One of the CADSS peer adviser positions has been designated to work specifically with BLC on community programming and addressing specific community needs (i.e. space reservation, centers hours, etc.). CADSS has also established a partnership with the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office, and have identified a dedicated point of contact staff person (Jamila Brown) who will work closely with our CADSS to offer diverse workshops (i.e. cash course, financial literacy) for African diaspora students.”

Structural: “Each of these recommendations connected with student academic and co-curricular support will be taken into full consideration. Most are already included in the Strategic Plan for the African American Initiative, and Kayton Carter is committed to ensuring that students play an active role in the planning of new programs and activities. CADSS will be a place where mentoring and dedicated advising will be provided, and the staff in the Center will continue to partner with university resources to insure that students’ needs are met in a comprehensive and holistic manner. As we move forward in the growth and development of the Center, I will continue to partner with our students and our faculty so that their voices are heard and their opinions considered in the expansion of the Center’s programs and activities.”

Black Aggie House: “With the existence of the African American and African Living Learning Community (AAA Theme Floor) in partnership with CADSS—and given the existing real-estate situation in Davis—we are not in a position to move forward with the Black Aggie House concept. We will continue to evaluate how the Black Aggie House concept and services can be met with existing programs and services in CADSS and the AAA Theme Floor in Tercero.”

The African American & African Themed Program (AAATP): “The AAA Floor should remain a space for students of the African diaspora, engaging in aggressive recruitment to make sure that students who identify within the African diaspora or purposefully select AAATP reside on the AAATP Floor. We will also be hiring Resident Advisors and a Cultural Programmer who identifies within the African diaspora and has knowledge of appropriate resources and services.”

Increase Black Course Offerings and Reevaluating the Diversity Requirement: “The Academic Senate is committed to offer Domestic Diversity (DD) General Education courses that integrate a consideration of patterned differences that characterize human populations as determinants of issues pertinent to United States cultures, governance or history. The Academic Senate chair has committed to create a faculty workgroup to: a. Review existing courses approved for GE domestic diversity credit to confirm that their current delivery meets the DD criteria; and b. Solicit new course proposals, including potential new Black course offerings, to meet the DD criteria and perform a review. The workgroup will report their recommendations to the Academic Senate Chair by the end of the Summer quarter.”

Increase Support for Existing Community Programs: “Campus leadership recommends that students from the African American community provide a proposal to Milton Lang, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, for financial support for community programs. Dr. Lang’s office will then consider each request based on the financial resources available.”

Black Art: “Campus leadership is in agreement with students about the value of campus art reflective of the African diaspora. CADSS met with students over the summer to address this idea, and CADSS has contacted Rachel Teagle (of the Shrem Museum of Art) for the purpose of identifying a local Black artists/muralist. She has referred us to two local artists, who will meet with students.”

Chancellor Katehi listens to the student demands
Chancellor Katehi listens to the student demands

Cross Cultural Training and Education: “Student Affairs is in the process of updating its Cross Cultural/Diversity Training program in Student Orientation. In the 2016 Student Orientation program, we will be providing diversity training for every incoming freshman and transfer student. We are also moving forward with a diversity training program for student employees in Student Affairs. The training will include the list of topics that students originally submitted, as well as many other subjects. Additionally, as part of the 1st year Aggie Connection (and other first-year seminars in Undergraduate Education) our entire campus has increased the awareness and availability of diversity trainings and requirements.”

Increase in Black Faculty and Staff:The administration shares students’ concerns regarding the need to increase our black faculty and staff. As the processes for hiring and retention of faculty and staff involve two different processes, we will respond first on the matter of faculty and then on staff. In addition, the Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Diversity as well as our key staff administrator for staff diversity, Dr. Rich Shintaku, will play key roles in monitoring improvements and providing critical outreach to core constituencies.

“While we have had success in hiring more diverse faculty, we are extremely concerned that we have not been as successful in adding to and sustaining growth in the numbers and percentage of African-American faculty. Failure to retain existing faculty diminishes the effect of any new hiring, and students are correct in pointing to the need to anticipate this attrition and take steps to mitigate it. UC Davis has had strong recent success in accelerating the hiring of Latina faculty in STEM and providing them with ongoing support as a community of scholars via the CAMPOS program.

“Along with the Provost, I am committed to establishing a comparable program for the hiring of African-American faculty across the entire campus. The Provost will initiate the program with a commitment to provide departmental incentives to the hiring of 16 African-American faculty over the coming years just as he did with the hiring of CAMPOS scholars. This program will be launched no later than the 2016-2017 hiring cycle. This timeline coincides with the upcoming appointment of a new Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Diversity, who will work closely with faculty, students, and campus leadership to support continued critical discussions around these types of recommendations.”

“CFO and Vice Chancellor Lawlor oversees Human Resources and staff hiring, and he will work with Dr. Rich Shintaku in the Office of Campus Diversity to appoint a task force to advise us on best practices to both accelerate the recruitment of African-American staff and improve their retention. This task force will include representatives from: the Campus Council on Community and Diversity; Staff Diversity Administrative Advisory Committee; UCDHS Staff Advisory Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion; Staff Assembly; Human Resources; Office of Campus Community Relations; UCDHS Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion; and specific groups such as the UC Davis and UCDHS African American Faculty and Staff Association.

“The reports of both the Workplace Climate Task Force, which is soon to be released, and of the Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Planning Committee, scheduled for completion later this academic year, will be important tools in improving climate and thus retention for both faculty and staff.”

Increase in Black Students: “In the last year, our campus has seen an increase in African diaspora students from 812 to 996. With the hiring of the new Urban Recruiter (Elroy Pinks) and the new Executive Director in Undergraduate Admissions (Ebony Lewis), we expect to see a continuous increase in African diaspora students over the next few years and, as this letter makes clear, we are committed to providing the necessary resources and support to help our students achieve success.”

The Chancellor concluded, “As campus leaders we stand committed to fulfilling our promise in each area, and to embedding the values of excellence in diversity and inclusion into our vision for the future of this campus. We encourage students who want to become engaged in this conversation or discuss any related matter to reach out to Kayton Carter at the UC Davis Center for African Diaspora Student Success. We value and appreciate your input and consider it vital to getting to the inclusive, successful and respectful campus community we all want UC Davis to be for all of our students, faculty and staff.”

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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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26 Comments

  1. zaqzaq

    I wanted to post the below on the housing issue article but the comments were closed.  Maybe a site administrator can move it later.

    The increased enrollment will have a ripple effect throughout the county as students and Davis residents are pushed out of Davis into Dixon, Woodland and West Sacramento causing available low income affordable housing issues in those communities.  The lack of housing is a regional issue which the city and county have not been able to address.  The number of street homeless in Davis and the rest of the region has increased over that last few years.  Many experience serious mental illness that often goes untreated.  I would like to know how UCD is going to mitigate the impact on our community’s most vulnerable citizens.  Increased rent in Davis, Dixon, Woodland and West Sacramento is pricing a segment of community not only out of housing in Davis but out of housing in the region due to these increased costs.  What is the true cost to Davis residents of street homeless camping in and about the city of Davis?  Should the city develop a permitted camping spot in the city for the street homeless?  Right now the police, who are ill equipped to address this issue, are the ones called by residents to remove illegal campers.  The question that needs to be answered is where do they go?  While families are being priced out of Davis into less expensive communities many individuals are being priced out of housing onto the streets.  What is the city’s plan to eliminate the problem of street homelessness?  How do we move them from sleeping on cardboard to sleeping in a bed in a home?

     

    1. David Greenwald

      I don’t know how that happened, but the situation is resolved. We don’t have the ability to move comments from one place to another.

  2. Alan Miller

    I read “Katehi resigns . . . ” over and over in the Enterprise this morning and started dancing a jig. Damn, wasn’t as chancellor!  Will UCD be soon rid of this woman?

    Never forget her walking through the MU with her student assistant “cookie carrier” offering me a cookie, a few months after the student pepper spraying.  WTF!  Was that a recommendation from an expensive PR consultant?

    She just can’t stop tripping over herself.   Can’t resist even jumping to a U under major scrutiny, taking time away from her UC duties with no reduction in pay from UCD, because she couldn’t take her eyes off the $70K in meaty bait hanging on that hook.

    Oi!

        1. David Greenwald

          I’m not sure what’s surprising about that. The letter was in response to specific concerns and demands raised by one organization. There is broader outreach going on in terms of some of the issues, I got a notice from the city about some of the lighting issues – for example.

  3. Frankly

    Half of these actions/responses make me want to throw up.  The other half are reasonable, if maybe not really applicable to the real problems that should be protested.

    The temper-tantrum-throwing cry bullies win again!

    Interesting but I see a connection between these folks and the Trumpkins.   I understand their anger, but they are chasing the wrong solutions on a wave of emotions that overrule their heads.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      Yes, which do you like? I’d like to take a step back and see some facts regarding crime and ethnicity in Davis, both victims and perps, to see what patterns we see.

      Trumpkins? Cute.

      I see anger at a pathetically porous border which has led to new crimes and cheap drugs as a worthy target of anger. Justifiable anger. Not to mention our loss of country cohesion and cultural identity, and suppression of wages for the lower and middles classes. Hence his support with those making less than $50,000 per year.

      The loss of jobs, poor agreements, government incompetence, and a feckless answer to ISIS / ISIL / radical Islam are also worthy flash points.

       

      1. Frankly

        Agreed.  I have written before that the left and the establishment Dems and Reps are going to cause a revolution of the American people.  Maybe Trump is the first step.

        Watching the voting numbers… the stats for the Dems and the Reps is reversed from 2008.  The Reps are coming out in much greater numbers.  Looks like the Dems are holding their nose to vote for their candidates or staying home.  Looks like Trump might be our new Pres.  And if he does take the White House, the libs, the Dems and the establishment Republicans can all go look in the mirror for what they have done.

        Interesting that the Trumpkins are angry about many things that if Trump wins and actually accomplishes would also benefit the black community.

    2. wdf1

      Frankly:  Interesting but I see a connection between these folks and the Trumpkins.   I understand their anger, but they are chasing the wrong solutions on a wave of emotions that overrule their heads.

      Will you eventually fall in line and support “Trumpkins”?

  4. David Greenwald

    Something I just posted on Facebook: According to the Chancellor, UC Davis has 996 enrolled African Diaspora students. Last week, by my estimate, there were about 300 students at the protest, at least three-quarters of those black. That means that 20 to 30 percent of the African Diaspora student population turned out for the protest last week. That’s an incredible showing.

    1. Alan Miller

      That means that 20 to 30 percent of the African Diaspora student population turned out for the protest last week. That’s an incredible showing.

      Or, 70-80% disagree with the minority and don’t want these things.

      Note:  I don’t really believe this.  I am throwing your statistical logic from last week, on the number of possible white racists in the country, based on presidential voting stats on Obama, back in your face.

      1. Barack Palin

        That means that 20 to 30 percent of the African Diaspora student population turned out for the protest last week. That’s an incredible showing.

        David, you have no way of knowing how many of the marchers were outside activists.

        1. David Greenwald

          It’s an estimate just like the crowd estimate, it’s factored into the 20 to 30 percent range interval. The difference between 20 and 30 percent is a 100 people.

  5. WesC

    I think the 996 students should hold out for $30K/student and a guaranteed 4.0 GPA for all courses taken during the quarter that the incident took place.

  6. WesC

    I got the message that not feeling safe or welcome was widespread by the black student community.  So 10k to help them feel a little safer, 10k for the lack of a welcome mat, and 10k if they promise not to demand Katehi’s head on a stick and will instead support her illustrious career.  Toss in the GPA kick for a little icing on the cake.

  7. hpierce

    Ok… I’ll ask a couple of stupid questions, the answers to which I may have missed… what distinguishes  a ‘black-american’, and an ‘African diaspora’ student?  What distinguishes an “african” from an “afrikan”?

    Meant as honest questions…

    When I see the term Amerikan, I think of guys wearing white hoods, and/or being neo-nazi…

    1. David Greenwald

      As I read it, “The African diaspora refers to the communities throughout the world that are descended from the historic movement of peoples from Africa, predominantly to the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, among other areas around the globe.” It appears to be a term which would refer both to “African Americans” as well as “African Immigrants” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_diaspora

      Some explanation on the “K” here: http://www.informafrica.com/information/why-do-some-people-spell-africa-with-a-k-afrika-vs-africa/

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