Students at the University California, Davis, began a sit-in last Friday at Chancellor Linda Katehi’s office in Mrak Hall. Katehi has thus far refused to meet with students.
- #FireKatehi Students issue statement (3/14/16)
- Protestors explain their position in words and song (video) (3/12/16)
- Vice Chancellor issues letter threatening students with “disciplinary consequences” (3/13/16)
- Sacramento Assemblyman Calls On UC Davis Chancellor To Resign Over Textbook, DeVry Board Seats (3/4/16)
On 2/22/16, Katehi was appointed to the board of a for-profit college that is under federal investigation for false advertising, and received $70,000 for her services. She was forced to resign the position on 3/1/16 under pressure from a state assemblyman and consumer advocacy groups. Katehi also failed to follow University of California policy requiring chancellors to have their service on outside boards approved in advance by the 10-campus system’s president.
Katehi also received $420,000 in cash and stock over three years from her seat on the board of textbook publisher Wiley & Sons. All this in addition to her annual UC chancellor’s salary of $424,000.
Only since she got caught has she offered to donate $200,000 of the $420,000 from Wiley towards the students.
Katehi has a track record of ethical controversies preceding her tenure at Davis (video) (3/8/16) This is the same Katehi that presided over the pepper spray incident in 2011 that led faculty to call for her resignation.
Why would a highly-compensated chancellor of a public university join the board of a private for-profit college under federal investigation, especially given the connection between for-profit colleges and the student debt crisis? Why would she take a lucrative board seat with a textbook publisher, given the outrageously high textbook prices that burden students?
Students want and deserve answers.
Katehi has remained in hiding, and instead, last night her subordinate issued an officious threat of disciplinary action. UC president and former head of the Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has already voiced her unwavering endorsement of Katehi, based in part on the neoliberal rationale of Katehi’s ability to fundraise. The implication is that the importance of Katehi to corporate welfare far exceeds any concern over ethical failure, and that beyond a slap on the wrist, business will continue as morally bankrupt as usual.
So is the only problem then, from UCOP’s perspective, that Katehi is too good at fundraising for personal gain?