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A Vision of Excellence

Photo: A professor teaches class

Vision Plan

Commitments to Guide Our Way

UC Davis is a land-grant institution built to advance the human condition through improving the quality of life for all people of California, for all citizens of our nation and for the rest of the world. From our health to the economy, from the air we breathe and food we eat to how we experience, perceive and interpret life, UC Davis has impact through teaching, research and public service. For more than 100 years, we have prepared and inspired students and shaped solutions to some of society’s most pressing problems. As we look to the future, the university’s mission reflects those achievements and our enduring responsibility:

“The mission of UC Davis, as a comprehensive research university, is the generation, advancement, dissemination and application of knowledge to advancing the human condition throughout our communities and around the world. In this, UC Davis is committed to developing and sustaining leading programs in

  • The arts, humanities, biological and physical sciences and social sciences—disciplines at the core of all universities;
  • Agricultural and environmental disciplines and engineering;
  • Professional studies in education, law, management, medicine, nursing, and veterinary medicine.

In these programs, the campus integrates three purposes: teaching students as a partnership between faculty mentors and young scholars; advancing knowledge and pioneering studies through creative research and scholarship; and applying that knowledge to address the needs of the region, state, nation and globe. UC Davis is committed to the tradition of the land-grant university, the basis of its founding. This tradition — built on the premise that the broad purpose of a university is service to people and society — guides today the campus’s special commitments and emphases.”

The university’s mission is complemented by several guiding statements of principle and policy, among these, the “Educational Objectives for Students,”1 the By-Laws of the Davis Division of the Academic Senate, the Academic Personnel Manual,2 and the “Principles of Community.”3 Each of these statements reinforces the campus’s dedication to excellence in such critical areas as student learning and the breadth and depth of a liberal arts education, academic freedom and shared faculty governance, and the advancement of the campus community. Together, they provide both the philosophic base and the springboard from which UC Davis’ “Vision of Excellence” is being launched.

Accordingly, with the academic strengths and land-grant mission of UC Davis in mind, and with the aspiration of its place as a transformative, world-class university at heart, UC Davis will abide by the following commitments to steer its course:

  • Inspire and support excellence, and the success and engagement of our students, faculty, staff and alumni to learn, experiment and achieve to their full individual and collective potential
  • Foster a bold and innovative spirit in our teaching, research and public service. We shall set a standard of excellence in all of our endeavors and reward creativity, risk-taking, collaboration, and entrepreneurial partnership, as optimal ways to encourage learning and pursue break-through discoveries and transformative ideas
  • Expand our land-grant mission, so that our pursuit of knowledge and our engagement with partners will serve the state and nation, and address the emerging challenges of an interdependent, global society
  • Affirm our abiding commitment to diversity, as represented in our community and in our perspectives, as foundational elements of our excellence. We shall celebrate our cultural and intellectual richness and be resolute in advancing inclusion and equity in our community
  • Partner in economic development with those individuals, foundations, government entities, businesses and philanthropic organizations that are actively engaged in improving the economy of the region, state and nation, and the quality of life for all
  • Promote a community characterized by respect, integrity, openness and responsiveness, and by consultation and collaboration, in which we are invested in our collective welfare and the responsible, sustainable stewardship of our resources

Engaging Our “Vision of Excellence”

UC Davis aspires to be recognized as one of the nation’s top-tier public research universities. As such, we choose to be regarded, both domestically and globally, as a pre-eminent leader of higher education that is driven by our land-grant heritage to provide access to a socially relevant world-class education. By engaging our “Vision of Excellence,” UC Davis will be known for its diverse educational opportunities, its innovative, interdisciplinary and collaborative research endeavors, and its distinction in leading enterprises that support social responsibility and a sustainable global environment. Each of the following goals defines these dimensions of excellence and provides a course of action to achieve our vision:

Foster a Vibrant Community of Learning and Scholarship

  • Through transformative and diverse opportunities for learning, UC Davis will inspire and prepare its students, faculty, staff and alumni to lead and excel in solving the dynamic challenges of tomorrow’s world.

Drive Innovation at the Frontiers of Knowledge

  • Building on the interdisciplinary strengths of its faculty, UC Davis will promote a collaborative environment that spurs innovations in learning and research by discovering ideas that take shape at the frontiers and intersections of academic disciplines.

Embrace Global Issues

  • UC Davis will be the university of choice for international students, post-doctoral scholars, faculty, prestigious international and governmental exchange programs and research enterprises that have trans-national and global applications.

Nurture a Sustainable Future and Propel Economic Vitality

  • UC Davis will be the pre-eminent university partner in advancing the economic prosperity of our region, fostering the burgeoning life-science, agricultural and “clean energy” industries of California, and in investigating and sharing socially, politically, economically and environmentally relevant solutions to global problems.

Champion Health, Education, Access and Opportunity

  • Guided by its commitments to social responsibility and community engagement, UC Davis will support and sustain healthy, equitable communities, in which all will have access to the benefits of education and discovery.

Cultivate a Culture of Organizational Excellence, Effectiveness and Stewardship

  • UC Davis will provide an efficient, professional administrative organization that is committed to serving and advancing the university’s academic mission..

  1. (back to reference) “The Educational Objectives for Students” statement was adopted by the Academic Senate in April, 2002 and is included in the UC Davis General Catalogue
  2. (back to reference) The Academic Personnel Manual includes UC and UC Davis policies and procedures concerning academic responsibilities, benefits and privileges. It codifies in APM – 010 the University of California commitment to Academic Freedom.
  3. (back to reference) The “UC Davis Principles of Community” was developed in April, 1990 and articulates the values, ideals and expectations of UC Davis as an inclusive, respectful and intellectually vibrant community.