We, the Davis Unit of UC Student Workers Union UAW 2865, representing 14,000 academic student employees across the UC system, call for UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi to be fired.
We are deeply concerned with recent revelations about Chancellor Katehi’s decision to take a $70,000/year board position with DeVry – a for-profit university facing lawsuits and allegations of unethical and predatory practices – in addition to the $420,000 she made on the board of academic publisher Wiley and Sons from 2012-14. Obviously, the Chancellor cares more about herself than the students.
NCAA student athletes would face more severe consequences than she has if they took so much as a free slice of pizza. Students face suspension or expulsion for intentional plagiarism. However, it is the Chancellor who has committed the most atrocious dishonesty and violated expectations that govern conflict of interest. John Wiley & Sons is a publisher of textbooks, college materials, and scholarly journals. They profit off of the excessive cost of supplies for college students, however as Chancellor of UC Davis, Katehi should be concerned that the cost of textbooks is burdensome to students. Katehi took a board position with DeVry Education Group while it has been under federal scrutiny for exaggerating job placement and income statistics. It is clear that the Chancellor has her interests at heart not the students of UC Davis or DeVry.
Furthermore, it is beyond disgusting that the Chancellor, who already makes an exorbitant salary with benefits, would take time away from her duties to rake in almost half a million dollars in outside compensation, while many UC workers are at or near the poverty line, homeless students are crashing in the 24 hour study room, and while tuition has kept many from enrolling or overburdening others who do with outrageous debt.
Let’s be honest, Katehi should have resigned or been fired in 2011 after the Nov 18th pepper spraying of student protesters. She should have been fired after the Cruz and Reynoso reports revealed Katehi was partially responsible for the use of chemical weapons on students. Chancellor Birgeneau of UC Berkeley stepped down after the infamous incident of police brutality, which happened at Berkeley just nine days before the pepper spray incident. But Chancellor Katehi refused to step down. Instead she kept her $400,000 salary, plus benefits. She then proceeded to exploit her position to make more money by taking paid positions at Wiley and Sons, and more recently DeVry, again huge conflicts of interest.
Katehi is not alone in this conflict of interest mess. UC Regent Richard Blum’s Blum Capital is the largest stockholder in two for-profit higher education companies, Career Education Corp. and ITT Educational Services Inc. UC Regent Monica Lozano is also the director of private student loan provider Bank of America. UC administration are placing their interests above us, the students whom they should serve.
We are not calling for Katehi to resign because the decision is not hers. We are calling for her to be fired because we think that the students and workers of the UC should have a say as to who runs our university.
We demand that whoever replaces Katehi should be selected and approved by the UC labor unions and UC students.
It is our hope that this incident can spark a conversation and a movement about who the university serves and who should be overseeing it – overpaid admin that use the institution for their own personal gain, or the workers who make the university run and the students who the university serves.
Despite it being the end of the quarter, with finals just around the corner, we will be rallying to Fire Katehi this Friday March 11, at noon on the quad. We hope students, campus workers, and community members can come out and fight for a better university.
The Davis Unit of UC Student Workers Union UAW 2865