Volume 27 · Number 1 · Fall 2009
As one of the first two women teaching assistants in the history department at UC Davis in 1964, I want to congratulate the university for choosing Linda Katehi as the first woman chancellor of UC Davis. I was reading her qualifications in the [summer 2009 issue] and she sounds eminently qualified.
In 1964 I was warned that I would never get a teaching assistantship as I was a woman. I had never been told anything like that before. To the university’s credit, I was chosen. I am glad to see that in 45 years we have come far enough to now have a female chancellor.
t took the summer 2009 issue to let everyone know that the new chancellor received a master’s and doctorate from UCLA, while local and mass media focused on Illinois and other Big 10 schools. Linda Katehi has California blue and gold coursing through her blood. I am a UCLA graduate and was on the UCLA Alumni Association board long ago and founded its club in Sacramento in 1984, but am an equal booster of UC Davis and particularly its School of Veterinary Medicine. My wife and I were charter members of the school’s Heritage Society for Animals and our residual estate goes to the school’s Center for Companion Animal Health. Oh yes, my wife went to USC, which says even more for shared allegiance with and respect for UC Davis. The public and the UC family should be proud of
UC Davis and its UC system-trained chancellor, Linda Katehi.
I was very pleased with the [summer 2009] article written on Chancellor Vanderhoef’s leadership and internationalization. I had the opportunity to travel with the chancellor to Iran, along with other UC Davis delegates.
UC Davis Foundation trustee
As an alumnus, I feel ashamed by the article you published in the summer edition showing Chancellor [Larry Vanderhoef] with a bunch of Iranian women, posing in their chadors and hair covers. I support the chancellor wanting to show his support for the intellectuals in Iran and against the government there, but posing with these women in fact gives legitimacy to the Islamic government there, whether the chancellor wants it or not. He should have tried to pose with women who would not be wearing the hair covers, and then see if they would, or would be allowed. When do our leaders want to learn that their actions mean something to others? People who simply showed their disapproval of the votes in Iran were killed like sheep, and this chancellor goes to Iran and poses with these people, who claim they are not all terrorists. The same government that wants to make nuclear weapons to wipe Israel off the map and claims the Holocaust never happened is visited by this chancellor and is given legitimacy. Shameful.
S. B. Niku, Ph.D. ’82
San Luis Obispo
Great article on Vanderhoef. Great man, Vanderhoef. Great loss to UC Davis when Vanderhoef leaves. Tough shoes to fill, Vanderhoef’s.
Regarding the spring 2009 issue’s article entitled “Coed Finally Bares All,” two friends and I were in Stylianos Spyridakis’ 1974 ancient history class when the streaker struck, sprinting across the stage right in front of the professor. The author of the article, who “bared all” as the sponsor but not a participator of a mass streaking event on the Quad, says she would like to know the identity of the “fellow” who streaked. Well, it was a coed, not a fellow. The author may have thought it was a fellow based on Spyridakis’ comment after the streak, “Hey, who was that guy?” Either Spyridakas’ bad eyesight (he lectured with sunglasses), the quickness of the event, the leanness of the streaker, or Spyridakis being perturbed someone would interrupt his class, caused him to unintentionally or intentionally misgender the streaker. Yes, we do know the name of the streaker, but if she wants to “bare all,” she can come forward.
Bob Morris ’75
The “bigotry” study under the “Discoveries” heading [Summer 2009] really lacks validity since [the researchers] only polled whites. Since they were concerned with white vs. black perceptions, they should have polled 15,000 blacks also. The results probably would have been much different.
Dave Johnson, M.S. ’67
Psychology Professor Jeffrey Sherman responds: Our study was designed to explain the fact that white people demonstrate greater anti-black bias as they age. The reason appears to be that they lose the ability to regulate their thoughts and behaviors. We were not concerned with comparing white versus black perceptions. Because black people do not demonstrate increased anti-black or anti-white bias with age, their perceptions and behaviors are not relevant to this particular research question.
I’ve just spent some happy hours enjoying the UC Davis emeriti profiles that the magazine highlighted in the summer 2009 issue [“Download Some Campus History”].
I’m not someone who is inclined to spend time looking at YouTube or the equivalent, but these profiles were fascinating to me. They featured so many of the outstanding people who shaped Davis in the years when I was in the political science department — Jim Meyer, Elmer Learn, Jerry Marr, Isao Fujimoto, Marya Welch and Pam Gill Fisher. It was great to see and hear them again and remember the quality of leadership they provided in building the Davis community. I left the UC Davis faculty in 1986 to become academic dean at Wellesley College and subsequently president of Wheaton College in Massachusetts, but all of these leaders influenced me during the rest of my career.
I’m so grateful to them and for the examples they set. Thank you for bringing that era alive again as Davis celebrates its Centennial.
Dale Rogers Marshall
(Karin Higgins/UC Davis)
On page six of the summer 2009 issue, the tribute to Coach Jim Sochor read as follows: “Other video interviews feature coach Jim Sochor, who led the UC Davis Aggie football team to 18 consecutive conference wins, still an NCAA record for any division…”
To the close but casual reader, the statement could legitimately be interpreted to mean that Coach Sochor’s football teams achieved 18 consecutive victories in conference games. This would not have been a mean feat; every college in America would happily settle for such a streak.
What the writer wanted to say was that Coach Sochor’s football teams won 18 consecutive championships in the Far West Conference, a truly Olympian feat that nudges the impossible. And because he did it by always playing by the rules, you may be assured that it is a record that will endure as long as the republic itself.
John Leonard, Ph.D. ’96
More on "SeXX Shift"
Editor’s note: Because of the time lapse since the original article appeared in the winter 2009 issue, we are publishing the letters below and any additional letters online only. Under our policy, letters that address articles appearing in the magazine will be accepted for up to two issues following the appearance of the original article.
RE: Kristine Vandenberg '07 comment [summer 2009] decrying the statement made by a Student Housing official that "there's been a corresponding increase in roommate conflicts, with more blowups likely among women over things like room decor and borrowing clothes." What if it is a true eyewitness account? If so, what good does consulting the cultural studies department do? If its not true, then I understand the complaint. Is the magazine obligated to find someone who disagrees with that person? What if that person can't be found? Is it possible that the politically correct position is the one that is stereotypical? [Besides, I just don't see the men fighting over borrowed clothes — just kidding] Lighten up a bit.
Kevin Maxwell ’75
A letter in your summer 2009 issue criticizes "Sexx Shift" for stating that women in increasing all-female floors in Student Housing fight over small things like decor and borrowing clothes. The letter writer states that she is embarrassed that the magazine would include that viewpoint. Perhaps the letter writer does not blow up in mild adverse situations, but rooting for her own gender is better served when held to reality.
I don’t believe the author advocates undoing women’s progress in academia, business or government. Instead, the author is raising concerns about the long-term sociological impact of American men underachieving with respect to American women....The women’s movement has had a huge influence on traditional roles and has allowed women to break stereotypes and fulfill themselves as people. It has allowed men to end the stereotypes and become better fathers and husbands. Both developments underscore the need for parents of both genders to be equally prepared to accomplish both roles.
American society is changing. American women are choosing not to reproduce. Some have chosen careers over motherhood. Others who would like to have children cannot because the availability of marriageable men (those who can sufficiently provide for the temporal and emotional needs of wives and children) is decreasing.
At the same time, legal immigration to United States continues at an extremely rapid pace... [T]he next generation will be the offspring of women who have come to America from areas of the world where religious governments control all aspects of life and where Western ideals of feminism, liberalism and gay rights are banned.
I think it is suicide for a university system that values feminism, liberalism and gay rights to ignore this sociological phenomenon. Without a next generation that believes in feminism, liberalism and gay rights, what kind of university system will America have in the future?