Reaffirming Commitment to Our International Community

Parade participants carry flags of various nations.
Picnic Day Parade participants carry flags from around the world.

Chancellor Gary S. May and other UC Davis leaders (signatures below) issued the following letter today (April 22):

Dear Campus Community,

In recent months, there have been many stories in the news voicing the government’s concerns about the potential theft of intellectual property by foreign governments. Concerns about potential spy technology in equipment produced by the Chinese company Huawei have made headlines. U.S. governmental institutions such as the NIH have sent letters to some universities asking them to provide information about foreign ties for certain faculty members. Questions have even been raised about the researchers and students who come to UC Davis from other countries, specifically from China and the Middle East but certainly not limited to them.

Given the larger, current political discourse, with some voices speaking against immigration and immigrants, at times calling out specific groups for vilification, it is no wonder that international members of the UC Davis community may ask themselves whether they are truly welcome and valued here just as they may feel concerned or uncertain about their status in the United States.

Let there be no doubt: At UC Davis, we highly value our international researchers, scholars and students. Indeed, our international relationships and collaborations form an essential part of our commitment to diversity and inclusion. All members of our community have contributed to our excellence in research, teaching and service. Let us be explicit in recognizing the international students, faculty and visiting scholars who are an integral part of our efforts, as well as the diversity, along multiple parameters, within both our international and national populations, that is an essential element of our excellence. Let us also join our colleagues at UC Berkeley and Stanford University in recalling that the “dark history” of both the United States and California shows how “an automatic suspicion of people based on their national origin can lead to terrible injustices.”

Our Global Affairs division actively facilitates international partnerships so that we can all work together to help solve the world’s most pressing problems. We value our collaborators and welcome them from wherever they may hail. Indeed, international cooperation is an essential part of our Principles of Community, which states that “UC Davis reflects and is committed to serving the needs of a global society comprising all people and a multiplicity of identities.”

To conclude, our response to the increasing volume of voices who question the university’s openness to the world — to the world of ideas as well as to the world of diverse nations and traditions — is to re-emphasize our commitment to welcome UC Davis students, staff, faculty and visiting scholars from all countries and heritages.  

We ask that you join us in reaffirming that UC Davis understands that its diversity of peoples of all nationalities and traditions is central to our mission and that you seek ways to welcome and respect one and all so that we can continue “To Boldly Go” together.

Gary S. May
Chancellor

Ralph J. Hexter
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

Prasant Mohapatra
Vice Chancellor, Office of Research

Joanna Regulska
Vice Provost and Associate Chancellor,
Global Affairs

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