Chancellor’s message to protesters on the Quad
November 18, 2011
Dear UC Davis Students:
I am writing to you today as one who deeply appreciates and defends robust and respectful dialogue as a fundamental tenet of our great academic institution and our Principles of Community.
I sympathize with the profound frustrations so many of you have expressed during the past few days. These are truly difficult times. The current economic conditions, state budget cuts and the financial burden of rising tuition present tremendous challenges for all of us. We join you in your desire to advocate for increased state support for our university so that we can continue to provide access to the excellent education that distinguishes us as one of our nation’s leading public universities.
However, we also have a responsibility to our entire campus community, including the parents who have entrusted their students to us, to ensure that all can live, learn and work in a safe, secure environment without disruption. We take this responsibility seriously. We are accountable for what occurs on our campus. Campus policies generously support free speech, but do include limited time, place and manner regulations to protect health, safety and the ability of students, staff, and faculty to accomplish the University mission. If an unfortunate incident occurs as a result of violations of these limited regulations, we are all responsible.
We are aware that many of those involved in the recent demonstrations on campus are not members of the UC Davis community. This requires us to be even more vigilant about the safety of our students, faculty and staff. While we have appreciated the peaceful and respectful tone of the demonstrations to date, the current encampment raises serious health, safety and legal concerns, and the resources we require to supervise this encampment cannot be sustained, especially in these very tight economic times. Our resources must support our core mission to educate all of our students.
We appreciate the substantive dialogue you have begun here, and we want to offer you appropriate opportunities to express opinions, advance the discussion and offer solutions as part of the time-honored university tradition. We invite you to consider the topics you would like to present and we will work with you to sponsor a series of forums throughout our campus.
I must now ask that all tents be peacefully removed by 3:00 p.m. today in the interest of safety, respect for our campus environment and in accordance with our Principles of Community.
We look forward to a positive outcome today and to continued productive and peaceful discourse moving forward.
Linda P.B. Katehi
Chancellor, UC Davis