Monday, March 7, 2016

UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi accepted compensation from a textbook publisher: She should be fired

Both hands in the cookie jar . . .

Linda Katehi, Chancellor of UC Davis, received $70,000 for serving on the corporate Board of DeVry Education Group, the owner of a for-profit college being scrutinized by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. In addition, her DeVry position entitled to her to $100,000 in stock, according to the Sacramento Bee.  Not bad for part-time work.

Since then, the public has learned that Katehi received $420,000 in income and stock for serving on the board of John Wiley & Sons, a textbook publisher.  All of this is in addition to her Chancellor's salary of more than $400,000 a year.

What an outrage! And what is Chancellor Katehi's response to the uproar? She resigned from both her DeVry position and her Wiley position, and she promises to donate her Wiley stock to a student scholarship fund.

Katehi: "sincerely regret . . ."

And then of course Katehi released the standard mea culpa press release in which she said this:
I take my responsibilities as Chancellor of UC Davis, and the entire University of California, very seriously and sincerely regret having accepted service on boards that create appearances of conflict with my deep commitment to serve UC Davis and its students.
Note that she admits to accepting service on corporate boards--not that she accepted money.  And she expresses regret, which is far different from apologizing. And she acknowledges the appearance of a conflict--not an actual one. Yeah, I'd say a university president who takes four hundred grand from a textbook publisher has an appearance of conflict.

This lady needs to be fired. In fact, she should have been fired after the UC Davis pepper spray incident of 2011, when university police officers pepper sprayed a group of seated and nonthreatening student protesters. Katehi said she didn't know police were going to use pepper spray on the students, which is something of an excuse, I suppose.

But UC Davis police officers were sued  for firing pepperballs at student bystanders at an outdoor drinking bash that took place in 2004. One victim lost the use of an eye. The Ninth Circuit ultimately ruled that the police had used an unconstitutional level of force against the students.

So if there is anything this overcompensated clown should have gotten right while serving as UC Davis's chancellor it was control of the campus police. Yet an independent report found that UC Davis police were not authorized to use the specific type of pepper spray that they inflicted on students in the 2011 incident and were not trained to use it correctly.

Blah, blah, blah from UC President Napolitano

Incredibly, Katehi's venality is not exceptional. According to a fine article  written by Diana Lambert and Alexei Koseff for the Sacramento Bee, nine UC chancellors accepted $1.5 million in cash compensation from outside corporations during the  years 2012-2014--and that doesn't include stock options or deferred  compensation!

What does UC President Janet Napolitano have to say about Katehi's behavior? "I deeply value Linda's strong record in helping to make UC Davis a world-class center of scholarship and research, and continue to believe in  the value of her contributions to the University."  Blah, blah, blah.

What Napolitano is really saying is this: The University of California protects its insiders.

It is a pity that UC chancellors are not treated like UC students. If there were any justice in the world, all nine moonlighting UC chancellors would be put before a hand-picked squad of untrained UC Davis police officers and assaulted with pepper spray.

Image result for uc davis pepper spray image


Diana Lambert and Alexei Koseff. UC Davis chancellor apologizes, will donate textbook stock to student scholarships. Sacramento Bee, March 4, 2016. Accessible at

Nelson v. City of Davis, 685 F.3d 867 (9th Cir. 2012).  Accessible at

Teresa Watanabe. UC Davis chancellor apologizes for controversial moonlighting activities. Los Angeles Tims, March 5, 2016. Accessible at

Christopher Edley & C. F. Robinson 2012). Response to Protests on UC Campuses. University of California.
 Richard Fossey. Nelson v. City of Davis: Campus Police Officers Who Injure Nonthreatening Student with Pepper Spray May be Committing a Constitutional Offense. Teachers College Record Online, October 5, 2012. Accessible at:

Gordon, L. (2012, September 13).
UC to pay settlement in Davis pepper spray case. Los Angeles Times (online edition).

Steve Gorman. University of California cop who pepper sprayed student protesters awarded $38,000. Reuters, October 23. Accessible at:
Judy Lin. Linda Katehi, UC Davis Chancellor, Apologizes for Pepper Spray Incident. Huffington Post, November 22,2013.  Accessible at:

Jennifer Medina. Campus Task Forces Criticizes Pepper Srpaying of Protesters. New York Times, April 11, 2012. Accessible at

Cruz Reynoso. UC Davis Taskforce Report, March 12, 2012.  Accessible at

Smith, D. (2012, September 20). Yolo DA won’t file charges in UCD pepper-spraying. Sacramento Bee (online edition).

Stripling, J. (2012, April 11). Scathing report on UC-Davis pepper-spray incident faults chancellor and police.Chronicle of Higher Education (online edition).


  1. Great article! I also feel that Linda Katehi should be fired and I am deeply disappointed in Napolitano.

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