Judd Distinguished Lecture: “Sustainability as Principle, Practice, Driver and Culture”
By Dr. Linda P.B. Katehi, Chancellor of University of California, Davis

Friday, March 6th, 2015 from 3:05 – 3:55 p.m. in SMBB 2650


Sustainability – as we define it today in our classrooms, capitols and marketplaces – has evolved and taken on an almost mythical quality. What began as an effort to sustain quality of life has grown to encompass everything that comprises the natural habitat. The word is ripe with meaning, yet not well defined, and actions worldwide in the name of sustainability are similarly wide-ranging and varied.

The first foundational layer of the concept we refer to as sustainability was laid in the 1970s by the oil crisis, which connected the principle of sustainability to energy and the driving need to sustain access to petroleum to support economies, governments, lifestyles and future generations. 

By the 1980s, this term was connected to environmental concerns and it began to define a commitment to protect the planet and control climate change. By the 1990s, the word incorporated our aspirations for strong public education and public awareness, and sustainability became the primary way of expressing the desire to prepare future generations by integrating it into educational objectives.

As we collectively closed the chapter on the "20th" century and walked across the bridge toward the "21st," sustainability was also connected to the concept of political stability after terrorist attacks shocked the world. The Great Recession that followed the fall of the banking industry and the bailout of the automotive industry has extended the meaning of sustainability to include the ability to preserve financial strength and to extend and improve quality of life.

Today, sustainability is more than a state of mind. It has evolved into a core value and strategy. It is principle, practice, driver and culture.

Speaker Biography

Dr. Linda Katehi became the sixth chancellor of the University of California, Davis, on August 17, 2009. As chief executive officer, she oversees all aspects of the university’s teaching, research and public service mission, including the UC Davis Health System and its acute-care teaching hospital in Sacramento, one of the nation’s leading medical schools, a new school of nursing and a multi-specialty physician group that serves 33 counties and six million residents.

In addition to her role as Chancellor, Linda Katehi also holds UC Davis faculty appointments in electrical and computer engineering and in women and gender studies. A member of the National Academy of Engineering, she chaired until 2010 the President’s Committee for the National Medal of Science and the Secretary of Commerce’s committee for the National Medal of Technology and Innova­tion. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advance­ment of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a member of many other national boards, and committees and local nonprofits.

Her work in electronic circuit design has led to numerous national and international awards both as a technical leader and educator, 19 U.S. patents, and several additional U.S. patent applications. As Chancellor of UC Davis, Katehi has utilized the expertise she obtained as an electrical engineer to improve both the success of the Universities’ transfer of technology and the relations between the Patent Office and Universities. She is the author or co-author of 10 book chapters and about 650 refereed publications in journals and symposia proceedings.

Previously, Chancellor Katehi served as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; the John A. Edwardson Dean of Engineering and professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University; and associate dean for academic affairs and graduate education in the College of Engineering and professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece, in 1977, and her master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from UCLA in 1981 and 1984, respectively.

The public is invited