UC Davis chancellor resigns following probe into ethical violations
To starkly different portrayals of Linda Katehi emerged Tuesday after she resigned her post just moments ahead of the release of a report on an independent investigation into her tenure as UC Davis chancellor.
One – propagated by her attorney, Melinda Guzman – was of a strong and accomplished public servant who was cleared of all charges in a bruising and unfair witch hunt.
“Linda Katehi and her family have been exonerated from baseless accusations of nepotism, conflicts of interest, financial management and personal gain, just as we predicted and as the UC Davis Academic Senate found within days of this leave,” Guzman said.
The other – put forward by UC President Janet Napolitano – was of a deeply flawed administrator who, investigators found, had shown poor judgment, violated multiple university policies and misled, even lied to, her superiors, the public and the media.
“In these circumstances, Chancellor Katehi has now offered to resign, and I have accepted that resignation,” Napolitano wrote Tuesday in a letter to the UC Davis community. “These past three months and the events leading up to them have been an unhappy chapter in the life of UC Davis. I believe it is in the best interest of the campus, the Davis community, and the University of California that we move forward.”Napolitano ordered an investigation in April in response to allegations that Katehi had violated conflict-of-interest rules in the hiring and promotion of her son and daughter-in-law at UC Davis. Investigators also looked into whether she had made “material misstatements” to Napolitano in asserting that she had not been involved in hiring social media firms to scrub the Internet of references to campus police pepper-spraying of student protesters in 2011. The three-month probe also examined charges that she misused student fees and used poor judgment regarding outside board memberships.
The 102-page report by independent investigators led by Melinda Haag, a former U.S. attorney, came to mixed conclusions about Katehi’s conduct.
Investigators did not find evidence that Katehi was involved in employment or compensation decisions about her family members or that she misused student fees.
But they concluded that her assertions that she played no role in the social media contracts were “misleading at best and untruthful at worst.”
The report painted a picture of a chancellor so obsessed with her public image that she insisted on hiring public relations firms to improve it even after a 2012 UC study found the pepper-spray incident was not harming the campus’ reputation.
Katehi, the report said, also misinformed Napolitano about her $70,000-a-year board seat with the DeVry Education Group, falsely stating that she had not yet started UC Davis chancellor resigns following probe into ethical violations - LA Times: