Breakfast with the Chancellor Attendees

Staff joined Chancellor Gary May and his wife, LeShelle, for breakfast at the Chancellor’s residence on Jan. 19. Also in attendance were Ralph Hexter, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor; Ken Burtis, Faculty Advisor to the Chancellor and Provost; and members of the Staff Assembly Executive Committee, Kate Shasky, Chair, and Ahna Heller, Communications Chair. They were joined by Veronica Chavez, Contracts & Grants Officer, Account Manager, Phoenix Cluster; Jennifer Chow, Case Manager, Office of Student Support & Judicial Affairs; Joyce Cleaver, Institutional Research Analyst, Enrollment Management Analytics; Eugene Dunn, Laboratory Manager, Comparative Pathology Laboratory; Heather Gastellum, Associate Director, Campus Recreation; Delisha Gordon-Brown, Business Analyst, Utilities; Richard Keating, Project Manager, Instrumentation, Metering, and Controls Group; Cydney Louis, Academic Advisor, Psychology; Maxine Rogers, Employment Consultant/Recruiter, HR Talent Acquisition; Joanna Siebert, Associate Director, Business & Technology, Extension; and Harold Steward-Carballo, Regional Assistant Director, Early Academic Outreach Program


After Chancellor May welcomed the guests, the conversation got underway. Topics of discussion included:

  • The Chancellor reminded everyone to participate in the “To boldly go” strategic planning:  "We’re looking for creative ideas, from all parts of the campus and community, that can help drive UC Davis forward. If you have suggestions or insights regarding strategies that can help power us forward, or good ideas of any kind, we want them. I encourage you to submit them to our website at!" He noted that no one affiliated with the university should think that they didn’t have a chance to share their ideas and opinions. Ken Burtis, co-chair of the strategic plan steering committee, said that the committee and the campus agree on the big goals and the problems we face, what they’re looking for are bold and innovative solutions to solve the problems and reach the goals.
  • The synergy between business and education and the benefits and challenges of strategic partnerships.
  • Diversity in hiring and the need to train and re-train supervisors about hiring diverse staff, including Veterans. An attendee brought up the point that we have a diverse student body and that we need diversity in staff to support our student body.
  • The lack of funds for staff training. Some ideas broached were to apply for a Staff Assembly Scholarship – which are now open – and to consider bringing a training session in for a group of staff since it can be more economical due to group discounts and no travel costs.
  • Lack of succession planning at UC Davis and problems encountered by staff, including managers and supervisors unskilled in helping their staff succeed.
  • An attendee noted that it is important that they feel like they’re contributing to the mission of the University. Other staff thanked the Mays for their sincerity. One attendee said she loves the campus culture and its diversity and enjoys hearing the stories from staff where they’ve come from and how they came to UC Davis.
  • Chancellor May thanked the attendees for their dedication and work ethic and communicated his appreciation for UC Davis staff.

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.