Veterinary Medicine Community,
I’m delighted for the Class of 2021 that after all they’ve been through in the past year, they will be able to have an in-person commencement together. The modified ceremony will occur on Friday, May 21 at 5:30pm. Due to ongoing restrictions, only the graduating DVM students and a limited group of school leadership can attend, but there will be a live broadcast for unlimited guests. You can stay up to date on the event here. I will present my last State of the School address on May 20th, the day before commencement. It will be bittersweet on many levels, as I review a tumultuous year of disruptions and stress, mixed with incredible stories of endurance and breakthroughs.
We continue to see incremental progress toward normalcy. For instance, on-campus meeting guidelines have been shifting. UCs travel guidelines are easing, too. On April 16, the university updated its travel information. UC Davis continues to recommend against all non-essential travel both domestically and internationally. However, the travel review process has changed, including that university-sponsored domestic travel as well as international travel to Level 1 and 2 countries can be approved at the dean’s level.
Although I encourage people to consider very carefully their travel requests, I know that there are some faculty with out-of-area research or collaboration that is essential to their work. I’d like to thank Associate Dean of Global Programs Pat Conrad for helping would-be travelers navigate the university’s travel-approval processes. If you are thinking of travel on official UC business, you can contact Dr. Conrad as a resource.
In his Friday message, Chancellor May relayed that UC has proposed requiring vaccinations in the fall for students, faculty, academic appointees and staff to access to UC facilities. I strongly agree with the chancellor that we should all be getting vaccinated voluntarily. The tragedies that we’ve seen in Michigan, India and other locations tell us all we need to know about whether vaccinations work and whether they are worth receiving. If you haven’t been vaccinated, please do so immediately.
Finally, I want to end with a call to those of you who can afford to join us in our inaugural faculty and staff giving month. I know it’s a big ask in these times, but I'm hoping we can come together and show our pride and passion for the school and beyond. Philanthropy does great things here, including making us one of the schools with the least student debt, advancing new medical procedures, and helping us build the new Veterinary Medical Center.
Thank you for all you are doing—this school is great because of your hard work, compassion and desire to make a better world.