Call Time Out on Hiring a New AD at UC Davis

UC Davis/ Courtesy Photo
UC Davis/ Courtesy Photo

By Paul Medved

Recent events have brought to light, yet again, the extraordinarily poor judgment and leadership of UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi.  So far two State Assembly members and the San Francisco Chronicle have issued calls for her resignation.  I wish them every success.  And that’s just based on her latest misdeeds. Well here’s something else to consider…

Among the many ways Chancellor Katehi has sought to makeover and promote (exploit?) the image of UC Davis is in the context of intercollegiate athletics (ICA).  What better, quicker way than winning football and men’s basketball games before large television audiences?

However, over the past six years she has attempted to do so paying little more than lip service to commitments the students, the Regents and prior campus administrations have made over time to ensure stability, integrity and opportunity within this uniquely chartered and incredibly important campus resource.

Last year alone the students of UC Davis contributed over $20M in initiative fees to ICA.  That’s fully two-thirds of the department’s operating budget.  In return, the university was and still is expected to run the program according to the conditions set out in those Regent-approved student fee initiatives.

However clear evidence obtained over the past six years strongly suggests that under the direct supervision of Chancellor Katehi and other high officials within her administration the university has seriously and opaquely departed from the intent and the terms of at least two of these initiatives and thus failed to protect the interests of its students.

These apparent violations raise equally serious ethical, procedural and legal questions and they are the subject of a pending Whistleblower Complaint currently being investigated by UCOP.

UC Davis is currently seeking to hire a new Director of Athletics.  Counting interim occupants of that position, this will be the fifth individual to serve as AD in the past six years.

It seems to me completely appropriate that the hiring process be immediately suspended pending a thorough review of the Complaint and its relevance to the future of the program as well as any other reviews, investigations, or hearings which might be underway or contemplated.

In the meanwhile I suggest that Interim AD Teresa Gould be allowed to continue on in her present capacity until such time as the UC Davis community can come to terms with what has happened under the Katehi administration, learn from it, and then find a better way – make that a much better way – forward.


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Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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14 thoughts on “Call Time Out on Hiring a New AD at UC Davis”

  1. Tia Will

    Paul Medved

    “…her administration the university has seriously and opaquely departed from the intent and the terms of at least two of these initiatives and thus failed to protect the interests of its students.”

    I have no knowledge of campus athletics or the administration thereof. Would it be possible for you to state what these alleged departures from the intent and terms of these initiatives and the harm that has been done ?


    1. TrueBlueDevil

      Mr. Paul Medved has a long-running dispute with UC Davis Athletics, the nexus is what appears to be when his daughter’s sports team was eliminated as part of a department reduction. Four teams were eliminated.

      Google his name for past history. He has taken his vendetta to The California Aggie, Swimming World Magazine, KQED, the ASUCD Senate, and the UC Regents.

      He does seem to make some sense when he notes that the chancellor’s motive for eliminating teams was a declining financial situation, when funding was actually stable. I think he also maintains that funds were diverted to football and basketball, violating the agreement with students, who fund ICA.

      It appears that he has taken the recent troubles for the Chancellor as an opportunity to put together a half-baked article to take another shot at her.

      Who filed this Whistleblower lawsuit, Mr. Medved? What are the alleged charges?


  2. SODA

    Not being a huge sports fan of UCD teams, I am intrigued but confused by the article’s accusations. Could the author clarify what he feels has happened under the Chancellor’s watch, why so many ADs, the apparent misuse of ADept monies ( I may be confused on that) ?


    1. TrueBlueDevil

      See above note. There may be more, but this gives you a start.

      There were two primary ADs, and then 2 temps. One was AD for 10-15 years, the changes seem normal.

  3. ryankelly

    If the terms of the initiatives are not being followed, then what happens?  Moving to Division 1 has not given the results that was anticipated.

    1. The Pugilist

      UC Davis wasn’t going to suddenly pump in the tens to hundreds of millions needed to have a successful D1 athletic program, so no surprise there.

      1. South of Davis

        The Pugilist wrote:

        > UC Davis wasn’t going to suddenly pump in the tens to hundreds

        > of millions needed to have a successful D1 athletic program

        Unless you are making big money like some big schools with big TV and radio contracts I don’t get the point of spending millions on sports. When I was an undergrad I was on two different “club” teams and when we competed against other schools we paid our own way.

        We were also real “student” athletes who would not get any favors from “friendly” professors and we didn’t have grad student “tutors” (who would teach us how to answer the questions on the tests provided by “friendly” professors and write all our papers).

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          Being on the same playing field as UCSB and UCLA has a certain perception, we strive for excellence elsewhere, why not athletics?

          Being on national TV also helps market the university to a wider audience.

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