Aerial photo of UC Davis campus.

FOA Strategic Initiatives

Supporting a Strategic Vision for UC Davis

We work to make UC Davis better every day. The following strategic initiatives, led by FOA's more than 1,700 staff and student employees, provide support for every part of the university. Together, we are the people behind the scenes working to keep the campus safe, efficient and beautiful, while also building the university’s future as outlined in TO BOLDLY GO: A strategic vision for UC Davis.

Goal 1: Education for the future

Goal 2: Research that matters

Goal 3: A culture that values all contributions and aspirations

Goal 4: Increase visibility and impact

Goal 5: Increase entrepreneurship and innovation

students smiling in a classroom

Goal 1: Education for the future

Provide an educational experience that prepares all of our students to address the needs and challenges of a diverse and changing world.

  • Goal 1.1
    Offer relevant career preparation for students.

  • FOA units help launch the careers of UC Davis graduates by creating valuable jobs that allow students to explore opportunities to learn new skills that help differentiate them from other job candidates. FOA units remain a much sought-after place for employment for our students. Each year, FOA employs more than 250 students in key positions in every corner of our organization —delivering critical services, supporting students and saving money.

    • Police and Fire Departments host desirable student internship programs to prepare them for future careers in public safety and health care.
    • Administrative IT creates highly technical internships, aligning each student with a senior lead and giving them assignments on par with other staff.
    • Human Resources is redesigning student onboarding and training programs to ensure students can quickly and effectively plug into positions across the university.
    • The Arboretum and Public Garden’s Learning by Leading™ program offers over 100 students a year the opportunity to gain leadership experience addressing a variety of environmental sustainability, restoration and literacy issues by working in teams to solve real-world problems that improve our campus environment and engage our community.


  • Goal 1.2
    Deliver data and analysis to help inform decisions and identify opportunities for improvement.

  • Accurate, up-to-date and consistent information is essential to making sound decisions at all organizational levels of UC Davis. Institutional Analysis experts are at the leading edge of collecting, storing and translating data that help the university meet and manage strategic goals, especially related to student success.

    • Budget and Institutional Analysis (BIA) manages a data warehouse and reporting platform that facilitates the analysis and distribution of data related to students and student success. These tools will help the campus achieve its goals of eliminating equity gaps in the overall student experience as well as student outcomes (e.g., retention and graduation rates). 
    • BIA is gathering and sharing data about post-graduate outcomes (e.g., exit and alumni surveys, LinkedIn data and National Student Clearing House data) to more effectively assess and promote campus goals around successful post-graduate launch
    • FOA’s student-facing units consistently seek student feedback to identify opportunities to make improvements in our programs and services.


  • Goal 1.3
    Design, build and renovate spaces that inspire learning, build community and advance discovery.

  • FOA manages the entire lifecycle of imagining, planning, delivering and maintaining a campus with more than 5,000 acres. The buildings, roads, pathways, gardens and urban forests are at the heart of what makes UC Davis an incredible place to learn, research, work and explore. From in-depth campus planning efforts every decade to managing the overall capital project program, FOA units provide essential leadership to create a place that supports the university's goals.

    • Professionals in Facilities Management and Design and Construction Management play an integral role in a classroom renovation program to renovate existing, centrally scheduled classroom space with state-of-the-art technology at least once every 10 years. Recently, FOA completed a full renovation cycle ahead of schedule. 
    • FOA is wrapping up the most ambitious student housing program in the university’s history, focused on increasing student housing from 9,400 to 15,600 at full implementation.   
    • Design and Construction Management is leading a seismic safety program to evaluate more than 1,200 campus buildings, on our way to seismic compliance planning for the next decade. 
    • FOA leads preparation efforts for potential summer-weather impacts to operations, research, teaching, and employee well-being. This includes planning for wildfire smoke and outdoor worker protections, indoor air quality programs, changes to campus operating status and power outages due to public safety power shutoffs.


  • Goal 1.4
    Drive the next generation campus safety programs that benefit our entire community.

  • FOA is helping deliver safety, wellness and justice programs that reflect the values of our diverse community. Our progressive safety strategies allow us to be guardians of our community, a responsibility we hold ourselves accountable for achieving. We are working to outgrow past challenges, to become a model for the future of campus safety.  

    • The Police Department has achieved full accreditation through the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) and strives to serve the community in ways that can help students be proud to partner with them. 
    • The Police Department is leading efforts to deliver progressive safety and justice programs and increase accountability and transparency
    • In partnership with Student Affairs, the Fire Department is developing the Health 34 program to respond to mental health crisis situations and minor medical needs
    • Design and Construction Management, in partnership with the Police Department, continues to expand the Aggie Access program to modernize our physical security, building access and camera systems.


  • Goal 1.5
    Assist students and student groups to enhance their experience at UC Davis. 

  • FOA supports our student population in numerous ways to ensure they have the tools and resources they need to ensure their focus is on academics and to squeeze the most out of their experience at UC Davis.  

    • Conference and Event Services assists student groups and departments in coordinating events that support the educational experience of UC Davis students. 
    • BIA, Student Accounting, Cashier and Payment Solutions and FOA Communications are working closely with Financial Aid, Undergraduate Admissions and Student Affairs to provide clear, consistent communications about student tuition and fees (e.g., Tuition Stability Plan), billing and payment services. 


Student wearing glasses as they view an indoor vertical farm with grow lights and grow panels.

Goal 2: Research that matters

Enable and support research that matters at the frontiers of knowledge, across and between the disciplines, in support of a healthy planet and the physical and societal well-being of its inhabitants. 

  • Goal 2.1
    Deliver supplies and services to support a world-class, $1 billion research enterprise.

  • FOA is continuously improving our support services to the university’s research enterprise by ensuring access to low-cost, high-quality supplies, hardware and equipment. We strive to build a stable and strategic supply chain to support advancement in our areas of research.

    • Supply Chain Management operates convenient on-campus stores stocked with best-in-class strategically-sourced goods and services, which are available onsite or through next-day delivery. In addition, Mail Services provides mail service to both the Davis campus and the Sacramento campus.
    • Conference and Events Services assists in the planning of important research conferences, coordinates training events for physicians and provides conference services that allow faculty to bring colleagues to campus to share the latest in their areas of research.
    • Environmental Health and Safety simplifies researchers’ chemical inventory accuracy by providing QR tags and scanners to easily enter/update/remove chemical containers in the Chemicals app, which records details for over 260k chemical containers on campus.​​​


  • Goal 2.2
    Ensure our research spaces are positioned for safety, efficiency and discovery.

  • FOA is responsible for monitoring and advocating for research spaces that meet local, state and federal requirements, while keeping our people and property safe. FOA is at the forefront of identifying and pursuing solutions to ensure research can advance at the speed of innovation.  

    • Capital Planning and Space Management are developing an evaluation process for teaching labs — similar to the very successful classroom renovation program — to develop principles for prioritizing labs that will have the greatest impact on student speed to graduation. 
    • Environmental Health and Safety is realigning service delivery to Sacramento-based labs through a Memorandum of Understanding with UC Davis Health EH&S to improve efficiency. 


  • Goal 2.3
    Serve as active partners with the university’s research enterprise to use our operational and administrative spaces for learning and research. 

  • FOA units regularly partner with researchers to use our operational and administrative outdoor and indoor spaces to test out theories and new inventions. Our experts deliver their subject matter expertise to support our academic mission. 

    • Can sheep maintain lawns as well or better than traditional landscape maintenance methods? Faculty in the Department of Human Ecology in collaboration with the Arboretum and Public Garden is helping leverage campus sheep to create multi-functional public green spaces that delight our community while assisting our operational needs. 
    • Geology, art, entomology, plant sciences, forestry and more – the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden supports the use of our outdoor spaces with faculty members from across disciplines who utilize our massive, “green classroom” for teaching as well as a location for their research

    • By creating academically themed gardens in our public spaces in partnership with scientists and scholars, the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden’s GATEways Project (Gardens, Arts and The Environment) helps inform our community about the important ideas and complex issues UC Davis pursues.  

    • Using monitoring technology to help our campus save over $150K/year in energy costs, a biodigester that converts food waste to energy and organic fertilizer, wastewater that detects evidence of a coronavirus outbreak – these are just a few of the many examples of innovative research collaborations by Facilities Management. 

    • Lesser used roads and pathways, low on priority lists for deferred maintenance funding, become attractive locations for pavement research thanks to collaborations with Campus Planning and Environmental Stewardship. It’s a win-win-win for science, safety and attractive community amenities. 



workers sitting around a table talking

Goal 3: A culture that values all contributions and aspirations

Embrace diversity, practice inclusive excellence and strive for equity. Make UC Davis a place of excellence for learning and working by supporting a culture that values the contributions and aspirations of all our students, staff and faculty; promotes wellness and a culture of sustainability; and cultivates the open interchange of ideas.  

  • Goal 3.1
    Actively promote a university culture of engagement and continuous improvement.

  • FOA continues to serve as a leading catalyst for continuous improvement. FOA sponsors and promotes two important, campuswide surveys that seek to solicit feedback and then engage units to review, evaluate and take meaningful action. In addition, FOA strives to make the university better every day in all that we do by actively seeking out ways to deliver solutions that enable our university partners to do their work effectively. 

    • HR sponsors the Staff Experience Survey to better understand staff engagement and continuously improve the staff experience on the Davis campus. FOA leads efforts to take steady and deliberate actions to make UC Davis an even better place to work. 

    • FOA sponsors the Academic and Staff Satisfaction Survey to offer opportunities for customers of our administrative services to provide feedback that helps us improve services for all. This successful survey has expanded beyond FOA to include other administrative services outside of our division. 

    • Supply Chain Management is delivering innovative solutions to ensure the university is meeting requirements to in-source with UC employees first; enable local, small and diverse businesses to provide supplies and services; and aggressively vet vendors during sourcing activities. 

    • The Office of Business Transformation was created to help advance a culture of continuous improvement. In addition to serving as consultants on business and process improvement projects, OBT sponsors the Lean Six Sigma program. 


  • Goal 3.2
    Cultivate a workplace culture that enthusiastically embraces the attributes of an inclusive and welcoming place.

  • FOA is a diverse organization, and we share a fundamental belief that curiosity, adaptability and awareness are central to growing a culture of inclusiveness and equity. Our units lead numerous efforts to deliver programs and resources to actively promote diversity, equity and inclusion to our own staff as well as other university leaders and HR professionals. Our units are engaged in a diverse array of ongoing forums for listening, learning and sharing.   

    • Several FOA units are spearheading efforts to implement and promote the systemwide Lived Name Policy here at UC Davis to enable our technology systems to support efforts to advance inclusion and belonging goals. 

    • The popular Race Matters program, which seeks to assist leaders and HR professionals in supporting and engaging with their staff on matters of race, will continue to expand content and increase promotions to generate greater participation.   

    • Finance is leading an effort to reach salary gender parity within its department. In just three years, the median female salary has increased from 75% to 91.7% of the median male salary. 

    • Safety Services is piloting a process to promote equity in recruiting and hiring in partnership with Human Resources, with a goal of delivering the final process to other university departments. The pilot is evaluating the outcomes from actively pursuing advertising in publications, trade associations and professional organizations serving underrepresented populations. 

    • The Police Department is enhancing training and response to campus hate crimes by investigating these crimes in partnership with campus leaders where necessary and making investigations of these incidents one of their highest priorities. 

    • BIA staff support campuswide needs for data and analysis related to race/ethnicity in support of a broader effort to address issues around diversity, equity and inclusion. 

    • HR is a pivotal partner in the workforce development and local hiring initiatives associated with Aggie Square and UC Davis Health’s Anchor Institution mission


  • Goal 3.3
    Engage intentionally and actively with diverse populations to attract a more diverse workforce. 

  • FOA works to illuminate a talent brand for UC Davis to attract a diverse and talented workforce that values all contributions and aspirations. Our HR professionals are actively engaged with local groups with the goals of creating opportunities that appeal to veterans, communities of color, LGBTQIA+, people with different abilities and more. We believe #youbelonghere.  

    • HR’s focused outreach and recruitment efforts on diverse populations are helping to deliver a more diverse workforce. 

    • HR is piloting a succession planning framework for the campus. 

    • The HR Analytics project continues to make HR data more widely available across the university. 

    • HR continues progress on business process improvements, including the end-to-end recruitment cycle process review to deliver efficiencies and service improvements. 

    • Design and Construction Management is expanding internship and student worker programs to support growth of a multi-generational workforce. 

    • The Fire Department leads the nation in hiring women for fire service careers with over 25% of career operations staff and nearly 50% of all FTE comprised of women (note: the national average is 4%). 


  •  Goal 3.4
    Use our enormous purchasing power to support small, local and diverse businesses.  

  • FOA is committed to expanding opportunities for small, local and diverse businesses to provide valuable services and supplies to university departments. This helps support our local communities of woman- and minority-owned businesses and diversifies the availability of goods and services.   

    • Supply Chain Management leads the Small Business First initiative to support small, local and diverse communities. We are partnering with local chambers of commerce to build awareness, streamline onboarding and expedite payments. 

    • Supply Chain Management hosts an annual Small and Diverse Business Expo to create opportunities to build valuable partnerships between suppliers and buyers. 

    • Design and Construction Management, in partnership with Supply Chain Management, is expanding outreach to small and minority businesses to ensure we are building a strong cadre of companies interested and ready to partner on capital projects. 


  •  Goal 3.5
    Outgrow expectations for a safer, more resilient campus with deep respect for all.  

  • FOA leadership along with our public safety organizations are committed to serving as an industry model for progressive public safety and policing. Our Police Department is committed to serving our students and the public to provide a safe and welcoming environment for all who come to our campuses. We are working to challenge the way things have been done, serving as a model for data transparency and innovative programs. We strive to be guardians of our community and models for the future of campus safety.   

    • The UC Davis Police Department is implementing — and in some cases, going beyond — recommendations from the UC Community Safety Plan and campus safety task force

    • UC Davis plays a systemwide leadership role with many of these recommendations thus adding significant responsibility and opportunity to expand our impact beyond our Davis and Sacramento campuses. 

    • The Police Department is implementing a new tiered response approach to service calls to help build a safer, more inclusive community. This more cooperative approach to campus safety better engages the expertise of professionals from the UC Davis community to provide critical care to those in need. 


  •  Goal 3.6
    Blaze new paths to support and partner with our local Davis and Sacramento communities. 

  • FOA employees are deeply connected with our local communities and look for ways to provide valuable support and partnership with community organizations. With a strong commitment to volunteering and generous culture of giving, FOA participates in and leads important community initiatives.   

    • Supply Chain Management spearheads our annual food drive and toy drive events, which provide for our students through the ASCUD Pantry and for Yolo County families via the Marine Corps Reserve. 

    • Supply Chain Management provides opportunities for nonprofit organizations and the general public to purchase gently used university items at affordable prices. 

    • Campus Planning and Environmental Stewardship is engaged in the UC Davis Native American Honoring Project and partners with local tribes for cultural resource monitoring

    • The Fire Department is expanding existing local partnerships with fire districts to include the City of Sacramento Fire Department

    • The Policy Department will restart popular workshops for students and the local community, including self-defense classes and the Community Academy, to provide greater exposure to campus law enforcement. 



fire fighters standing in front of fire truck

Goal 4: Increase visibility and impact

Support our community, region, state, nation and world through mutually beneficial and impactful partnerships that reflect a firm commitment to our mission and increase the visibility and reputation of the university.  

  • Goal 4.1
    Model impactful leadership to influence and activate our respective global industries.

  • FOA often works in unseen and uncelebrated ways to deliver innovative and trailblazing services to the university. FOA units are at the forefront of leading industry practices, and we strive to identify opportunities to share our work with others in similar fields within higher education and beyond. 

    • The Fire Department helped establish the International Association of Fire Chiefs Executive Diversity Leadership Program and speaks nationally on creating more inclusive fire and emergency service organizations.  

    • Fire Prevention will be involved in the code development process to influence fire and life safety building codes with sustainable solutions, and will be representing UC Davis as a voting member at the International Code Council’s next code hearing. 

    • The Arboretum and Public Garden has established a growing “community of practice” for its innovative environmental education program, Learning by Leading™, which includes an international cohort of universities seeking to model similar programs at their institutions. They are currently exploring opportunities to further expand this network globally in partnership with UC Davis Global Affairs. 

    • The Arboretum and Public Garden is collaborating with Cornell University and their nationwide “Campus Nature Rx” network that is studying the effects of nature on the health and well-being of university students and other campus community members. 

    • Supply Chain Management is raising the campus’s regional profile with the annual Small and Diverse Supplier Expo, a partnership with DEI units across both campuses and a coalition of local diverse chambers of commerce. The event brings together campus buyers and local business owners to focus on ways that UC Davis can increase its small and diverse business spend. 

    • Safety Services provides UC Davis leadership as part of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, which accredits college and university programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering and engineering technology.


  • Goal 4.2
    Activate a dynamic and durable culture of sustainability, stewardship and resiliency of our university resources.

  • FOA is leading efforts to continue UC Davis leadership as the most sustainable university in the world. We go beyond the traditional programs that encourage sustainable behaviors and operations, using our landscapes and facilities as laboratories for innovation. We work alongside renowned researchers to test sustainability and resiliency theories within our operations.   

    • The Arboretum and Public Garden will implement the final stages of the waterway improvement project with $5.4M grant funding from the California Natural Resources Agency, demonstrating great partnership, engagement and research opportunities with faculty, students and the regional community. 

    • The Office of Sustainability is partnering with Global Affairs to meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals as a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.” The SDGs address the major global challenges facing human society, including poverty, inequality, climate changes, environmental degradation, peace and justice. 

    • The Arboretum and Public Garden in partnership with Campus Planning will be publishing its “Living Landscape Adaptation Plan”, a 70+ year management roadmap to create a resilient campus landscape in the face of climate change. The five main strategies focus on creating a climate-ready urban forest, enhancing biodiversity, securing sustainable water availability, supporting campus health and well-being and engaging a broad community in this work. 

    • The updated UC Davis Physical Design Framework will be focused on robust public engagement about a sense of belonging on campus and resiliency. 

    • The Energy and Engineering Office is extending its self-funded energy efficiency program to expand energy savings to more units across campus and the Sacramento Health campus, including facilities in Student Housing and Dining Services and Student Affairs. 

    • Facilities Management is expanding the Campus Energy Education Dashboard and thermal feedback system (TherMOOstat) to cover the Sacramento campus and will also be supporting LEED certification of existing buildings there as well. 

    • Facilities Management is committed to replacing gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles with zero emission and hybrid vehicles whenever feasible. 

    • Facilities Management is commissioning the ammonia extraction project at the Renewal Energy Anaerobic Digester facility to produce organic fertilizer and is exploring opportunities to use biogas. 

    • Transportation Services used the move to remote and flexible work during the pandemic to transition to a daily parking system, allowing UC Davis affiliates to pay as needed, rather than asking drivers to sink a flat rate into a monthly parking fee.  

    • Aggie Surplus’ E-Waste Drop-Off event offers departments an opportunity to dispose of non-working university-owned electronics for free, which are then recycled. Last spring, this popular event garnered close to 60 tons of electronic waste. 



chancellor may speaking at aggie square ribbon cutting event

Goal 5: Increase entrepreneurship and innovation 

Create an intellectual and physical environment that supports the development of an innovative and entrepreneurial culture that extends the benefits of our research activities beyond the boundaries of the university.  

  • Goal 5.1
    Deploy advanced technology thoughtfully and meticulously to increase efficiency and better enable informed decision making.

  • FOA maintains dozens of technology systems that provide critical transactional services to the university. Many of those systems are outdated and at risk of failure, so FOA is leading numerous efforts to enable new, more advanced technology to enhance efficiency and protect private data. 

    • FOA units are providing leadership and support for the multi-year implementation of Aggie Enterprise, a strategic business transformation initiative to optimize our business processes and adopt a system to support our financial, planning and business operations. 

    • Administrative IT is leading numerous business system projects including Campus Events Aventri system, Design and Construction Management’s e-Builder, Facilities Custodial Virtual Manager system, Transportation Services’ AIMS system, Aggie Access Video and Complete Access Control, Video Camera Systems and Credentials IT activities for the Police Department, UCPath projects and various system upgrade/retirement projects. 


  • Goal 5.2
    Deliver leadership for innovations that address the university’s core budget deficit and support long-term financial sustainability.

  • FOA and the university’s Budget Office lead ongoing efforts to identify new and outside-the-box strategies to reduce spending and increase income to generate net revenue for long-term financial sustainability. 

    • BIA is leading efforts to engage the campus community in identifying efficiencies and savings opportunities through the Revenue Generation and Institutional Savings Task Force. 

    • BIA works with campus leadership to address the core funds structural deficit so that we can invest in strategic priorities and achieve financial sustainability. 

    • BIA continues to provide strong decision support and analysis for campus leaders and develop tools that support data-driven decision-making


  • Goal 5.3
    Explore opportunities for revenue generation and strategic partnerships that provide enormous value back to the university.  

  • FOA units provide leadership related to revenue-generating opportunities, related to campuswide budget structures and campus corporate partnerships. As stewards of university resources, our units recognize the value that our physical campus and community members can offer to partners — and which must be actively managed to ensure alignment with UC Davis values and mission for financial sustainability and to improve student experience.  

    • The UC Davis Preferred Partnership Program (UP3) in FOA establishes and executes a comprehensive campus strategy to deliver new corporate partnerships with select businesses that align with UC Davis’ Principles of Community and educational mission. 

    • UP3 serves as a single point of contact for existing systemwide partnerships and helps strengthen our relationships with existing partners, including PepsiCo., Peet’s Coffee, Bewley’s, University Credit Union and Farmers Insurance. 

    • UP3 is launching the next campuswide exploration into a new category, leading a Pouring Rights Working Group to activate UP3 partners across the campus for the benefit of students, staff, faculty, alumni and retirees. 

    • The Arboretum and Public Garden raises more than $1M annually from external sources to further support campus investments in its landscapes and environmental programs. The unit also has $5.5M in 17 named endowments that recognize how the campus landscape and programs address important societal issues while impacting the daily experiences of UC Davis students and the broader community. Nearly 300 community volunteers provide 26,000 hours of service each year — the equivalent of $785,00 in donations. 

    • Supply Chain Management oversees a suite of credit card programs which enable employees to pay for travel, entertainment and other low-risk commodities. The Davis program has consistently led all UC programs in total spend and incentive generation, realizing more than $4 million each year. 


  •  Goal 5.4
    Support capital planning and partnerships to execute Aggie Square, a new home for entrepreneurship and innovation.   

  • FOA plays a key role in the development of Aggie Square, which broke ground in March 2022. This planned innovation hub on UC Davis’ Sacramento campus — the result of a joint exploratory working group established by Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Chancellor Gary S. May — will be home to research programs, private industry partners, classrooms, student housing and public-facing programs that engage local communities and entrepreneurs.   

    • Economic research analysis predicts that Aggie Square will add nearly $5B to the Sacramento region’s economy each year and support 25,000 ongoing jobs. 

    • The report also predicts a one-time economic impact of $2.6B and 15,000 jobs generated from Aggie Square’s two phases of construction. 

    • Aggie Square’s public-private partnership model leverages private investment and, as a result, additional tax dollars that would not otherwise be available. For that reason, the project will generate nearly $5.1M annually in new revenues for the city of Sacramento during the first two construction phases and nearly $3.1M in new county revenues