Breakfast with the Chancellor- April 2018

Staff joined Chancellor Gary May and his wife, LeShelle, for breakfast at the Chancellor’s residence on March 1. Also in attendance were Ralph Hexter, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor; Ken Burtis, Faculty Advisor to the Chancellor and Provost; Kelly Ratliff, Vice Chancellor of Finance, Operations & Administration, Karl Engelbach, Chief of Staff, Office of the Chancellor & Provost, and members of the Staff Assembly Executive Committee, Kate Shasky, Chair and Ahna Heller, Communications Chair. They were joined by Katherine Bannor, Program Manager, Energy and Efficiency Institute; Keavagh Clift, Special Services Program Manager, Occupational Health; Patty Covington Fleming, Sr. Executive Programs and Recruitment Analyst, HR; Tracy Coming, Senior Director of Compliance, Intercollegiate Athletics; Heather Hunter, Executive Director, Preferred Partnership Program (UP3); Lupe Laguna, Physical Plant Mech Supervisor, Facilities Management; Calvin Wing Cheung Lee, System Analyst, Administrative IT; Garry Pearson, Greenhouse Ag Manager, College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences; Megan Rott, Director, Academic HR, School of Veterinary Medicine; Fernando Socorro, Educational Technologist, Academic Technology Services; and Donna Vivar, Advising Director, College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences.


After Chancellor May welcomed the guests, introductions were underway and attendees shared something unique about themselves in addition to whether they identified as a cat or dog person. Then, the serious discussion began, and included the following topics:

  • The Chancellor noted that the draft of the strategic plan is coming soon. However, ideas are still welcome at
  • Various attendees talked about how the recent UC Davis Give Day was a record breaking success.
  • The Chancellor said that the nationwide search for the Vice Chancellor of Diversity and Inclusion is underway. The new role will coordinate all the many activities related to diversity and inclusion as well as being the spokesperson on the issues, among other things.
  • The newly announced Aggie Square was a big topic of discussion, from a variety of angles, including transportation between Sacramento and Davis; how undergraduates will be integrated; funding questions; partnering with the community of Oak Park; Aggie Square’s purpose as a start-up pipeline; and Chancellor May’s experience with Tech Square (Georgia Tech) and how it revitalized the surrounding area.
  • A brainstorming discussion about revitalizing aging malls in the area and making them centers of activity, possibly as work/life centers.
  • An attendee asked Chancellor May and LeShelle May what he should see on his upcoming trip to Atlanta. Suggestions included the Martin Luther King Memorial, the Coca Cola Museum, Tech Square, and the Georgia Aquarium.
  • Another attendee mentioned that they see Chancellor May at a lot of sporting events and asked if he has a favorite Aggie team/sport. He said, “I love all of my children equally.”
  • A parting reminder was shared by Staff Assembly Chair, Kate Shasky, about the appearance of Chancellor May at TGFS, in the dunk tank! Don’t miss it!


If you’re interested in participating in a Breakfast with the Chancellor, visit this page on the Staff Assembly website for more information and an application.