Chancellor Katehi Now on the Brink (Update)

Students at the MU Quad on Wednesday aired "Chancellor Katehi's Dirty Laundry"
Students at the MU Quad on Wednesday aired “Chancellor Katehi’s Dirty Laundry”

Wednesday was a tumultuous day, with rumors and innuendo flying around.  But at 9:30 p.m. an email from Academic Senate Chair André Knoesen finally broke the news to many in the UC Davis community, with a statement from the UC Office of the President and President Janet Napolitano stating that there was a formal investigation and that Chancellor Katehi was being put on administrative leave.

The statement began, “Information has recently come to light that raises serious questions about whether Chancellor Katehi may have violated several University of California policies, including questions about the campus’s employment and compensation of some of the chancellor’s immediate family members, the veracity of the chancellor’s accounts of her involvement in contracts related to managing both the campus’s and her personal reputation on social media, and the potential improper use of student fees.”

It continued, “The serious and troubling nature of these questions, as well as the initial evidence, requires a rigorous and transparent investigation.  As such, President Napolitano will  appoint an independent, outside investigator to conduct the investigation and submit a report, before the start of the 2016-17 academic year.”

It concluded, “The president, with the support of the leadership of the Board of Regents, has determined it is in the best interest of UC Davis that Chancellor Katehi be placed on investigatory administrative leave from her position as chancellor pending the outcome of this investigation.  Pursuant to an existing delegation of authority, UC Davis Provost Ralph Hexter will fill the chancellor role on an acting basis.”

“I am deeply disappointed to take this action,” said President Napolitano. “But Davis is a strong campus, nationally and internationally renowned in many academic disciplines.  I’m confident of the campus’s continued ability to thrive and serve California students and the Davis community.”

Late last night, a statement was issued on behalf of Linda Katehi.  The statement from attorney Melinda Guzman on behalf of her client, UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi:

“Tonight’s action is disappointing, unprecedented and, based on the facts, entirely unjustified.  Since the day she was hired, the chancellor has given her unwavering devotion to fulfilling the fundamental public mission of UC Davis and doing everything the UC President and Board of Regents have asked her to.

“By any measure — and according to numerous voices throughout the Davis and Sacramento communities — her leadership has helped put the university on a path to globally recognized excellence and historic diversity. More Californians than ever before — including more women and more students of color — are receiving a world-class education at UC Davis under her stewardship.

“This smacks of scapegoating and a rush to judgment driven purely by political optics, not the best interests of the university or the UC system as a whole.  The Chancellor welcomes an independent, objective investigation and a full release of all relevant documents and public records.  Make no mistake: we intend to vigorously defend Linda’s professional reputation and her standing as Chancellor of the university she loves.”

The rumors started late on Tuesday and were widely reported in the news. However, they seemed to be put to rest when the chancellor issued a statement at around 11:45 a.m. to a council of upper administration persons, one of whom was the head of the Academic Senate, indicating, it would have seemed, that she had no interest in resigning.

She said, “This email is to let you know that I am 100 percent committed to serving as Chancellor of UC Davis.  I sincerely appreciate the strong outpouring of support I continue to receive from the campus community and I very much look forward to continuing to lead the campus to greater levels of success and excellence in the future.”

That email from Katehi was then forwarded to the entire Academic Senate and to the Federation, which is all staff, by André Knoesen.

But, clearly, some members of the Academic Senate, some of whom had remained supportive of the chancellor, had caught wind something was up. An essentially break away group, led in part by Suad Joseph, responded.

They sent Janet Napolitano a letter on Wednesday with 350 faculty signatures stating, “We have come to understand that you have called upon UC Davis Chancellor Linda P. B. Katehi to resign.  We strongly oppose this peremptory action carried out without any consultation with the Academic Senate or the UC Davis administrative leadership.”

They add, “We believe that the tenure of the Chancellor is a matter of profound importance to the campus.  The concerns of faculty, staff and students are being actively addressed by Chancellor Katehi.  She is working collaboratively with faculty, students and administration to address all relevant issues.  It is of critical importance to the vibrancy of this university that this process be allowed to continue.  We have full confidence that this will lead to an even healthier, more transparent and robust UC Davis.”

(Update)  Another faculty group has sent a letter to President Napolitano with the opposite message, “We the undersigned, faculty of UC Davis, wish to state that the petitions circulating in support of the chancellor do not reflect the will of the faculty as a whole. Those who have not signed either do not agree with these petitions of support, or are reserving judgment. The latter find such petitions of support to be premature until the faculty meet and discuss the matter at the upcoming special session of our Representative Assembly.”

ASUCD President Alex Lee issued a statement just before 11 p.m.  He said, “We received news this evening that Chancellor Katehi has been placed on investigatory administrative leave. UC President Janet Napolitano cited claims that Katehi may have violated multiple UC policies. This disturbing news comes after weeks of activity from the Fire Katehi movement and follows the alarming news that our University spent over $175,000 to improve its search engine results.”

He continued, “Students were anxious earlier today when rumors circulated that Katehi had been asked to resign. It is unknown now if Chancellor Katehi will be returning to UC Davis. In the meantime we will be working with Provost Hexter as acting chancellor to ensure that the push for accountability, transparency, and student driven changes are not lost.”

“News of the Chancellor becomes increasingly upsetting since scandal broke surrounding her board positions with DeVry University and John Wiley and Sons. The Chancellor has a long history of turning an eye on student needs, seen from the Pepper Spray Incident in 2011 and continuing to this year when the Chancellor ignored demands from the students involved with Fire Katehi movement,” he said. “If the Chancellor has indeed been violating University of California policy, then that is an act this office cannot overlook. If the University of California Office of the President finds Katehi guilty of these charges, we will strongly urge for her resignation.”

He concludes, “In the middle of this transitionary time at UC Davis, the ASUCD Executive Branch confirms its respect for the student voice and dedication to leadership. We await further news about the future of Chancellor Katehi’s service to UC Davis and will remain as always insistent that the voices of students are heard in administrative decision-making.”

The ACUSD has previously issued a statement supporting the protesters at Mrak and the UC Student Association last week issued a no-confidence vote in the chancellor.

Meanwhile, the Mrak protesters held a different sort of protest at the MU Quad, in which they “aired Chancellor Katehi’s laundry.”

Katehi-Laundry-21 Katehi-Laundry-13 Katehi-Laundry-20 Katehi-Laundry-4 Katehi-Laundry-11 Katehi-Laundry-10

Katehi-Laundry-8 Katehi-Laundry-9  Katehi-Laundry-7 Katehi-Laundry-6 Katehi-Laundry-5 Katehi-Laundry-15

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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  1. Jerry Waszczuk

    Investigation should be done by the  Yolo County Superior Court  Grand Jury to curb the corruption in UC Davis .  Katehi is a  small part of  the  rotten by corruption administration  Hexter is not better  than Katehi with his aid Chief Compliance Officer Wendi Delmendo  who need another Chief Complaince officer to be in compliance herself.

    Where is the  Ethic and Compliance UC Senior Vice President Sgheryl  Vacca who should take care of the investigation. She is making  $ 400, 000 for covering the corruption in UC system .  This is her job

    The statement that  President Napolitano will  appoint an independent, outside investigator to conduct the investigation and submit a report, before the start of the 2016-17 academic year.” is the disgusting  joke. If Katehi  has some honor left that she should resign tomorrow instead of exposing her family to the Naplolitano’s ruthless attacks . Napolitano ,and UC Campus Counsel Jacob Appellsmith  who was hired in same time as Napolitano in 2013  were perfectly aware of the Katehi’s performance and her activities. Katehi tomorrow should be out picture to let emotions settle and UC Davis should resume normal activities instead of protests and turmoil which is cost money .

  2. Marina Kalugin

    BECAUSE Chancellor Katehi DOES have honor, she will do what she can to EXPOSE the corruption that led to THIS travesty.

    Katehi is the WRONG target.

    UC President Janet Naplitano, THE first and arguably THE most corrupt Chief of Homeland Security in this nation is now running amuk.

    Any investigation will SHOW that the UC Pres and the CA Gov, several of the most incompetent CA legislators, several of the latest and most clueless Regents have it IN for one of the BEST Chancellors UCD and arguably the UC system has/had.

    The idiots behind THIS witchhunt will find that Katehi is SNOW WHITE once the real dirt is revealed.

    Trust ME on that my friends…

    It is time for FACULTY to come forward and take THEIR and OUR university BACK.

    Marina Kalugin (Rumiansev)

    Formerly UCD undergrad, UCD reentry student, UCD student employee,  UCD Alum, UCD Career Staff member, UCD parent of a Regent Scholar, current Manager of the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, UCD Donor, major supporter of the Mondavi Center and The Sciences Lab Building AND Friend of current and former Chancellors going back to 1970….






    1. The Pugilist

      I’m having trouble with people willing to overlook what Katehi is alleged to have done.  In fact, it’s almost criminal if true.  This isn’t a witch hunt, this is a fiasco of her own making.  She simply was either too arrogant or failed to pay attention to detail.

    2. VG

      Marina –  I am afraid you are wrong …. sorry.

      I was defending Katehi because I strongly believe that “one is innocent until proven wrong”. I hate when people (typical of liberals) attack and accuse people just because the way they feel, without concern to any facts. Thus, I was defending that facts were not shown, and what was shown was insufficient.

      Napolitano’s letter brings some serious facts, that were unknown until now.  I was correct that all that was brought up until release of this letter did not cut it. But this letter does. It is well written, measured and I would say fair.

      The only problem I have is why was this not publicly known until now?

      Seems to me UC will hide their internal dirt until it is blown out.

      But, Linda is finished. No questions about that any longer.

      1. Marina Kalugin

        Linda is ONLY finished if Napolitano has HER way.

        I don’t know who YOU are as you are not posting YOUR name….but trust me.

        It WILL be Linda or Napolitano…..

        are you a fan of the NSA and what happened to ERIC SNOWDEN?

        THAT is what is going on at UC now…forget UCD>…focus on the REAL ISSUES>>>>>

        The MILITARY is taking over UC….and Linda appears to have gotten in the way of a MUCH larger and much more sinister plan….

        And, as long as people like ME are around to bring up the REAL DIRT…..Linda is NOT finished…

        I have had to watch MY back since the 60s…    LOL

        Or course, the idiot union mongers who were the original instigator of this NON-ISSUE with DeVry, are laughing all the way to THEIR banks.

        And, the students are pawns also…  many have not lived any REAL life yet and think they know it all.

        Marina Kalugin





    3. ryankelly

      Marina,  What makes you think that Katehi is the victim of some sort of coordinated attack? She is not a scapegoat.  The complaints are valid ones.  I believe that she could have avoided a closer look at her personal and management decisions if she had taken the time to talk with and engage with students.  Her avoidance and refusal to talk with upset students who protested outside her office and, instead, left it to her staff to talk to them is an example of someone not comfortable with interacting undergraduate students (27,000 at UCD).  That prompted people to look closer at what the students’ complaints were – the misuse of power, the misuse of funds, nepotism, the expansion of high-paid administrative positions at the same time raising tuition, moonlighting by serving on the boards of for-profit companies while holding a very well paid full time job, personally profiting off the good name and reputation of the University, and the gradual change of UCD into a business.

      If she is the leader of the caliber you seem to imply that she is, she will survive this and be better for it.  The community wants a chancellor that will devote themselves full time to the best interests of the UCD community and be an advocate for that community.

    4. Alan Miller

      UC President Janet Naplitano, THE first and arguably THE most corrupt Chief of Homeland Security in this nation is now running amuk.

      Can’t argue with that . . . but as one of the student “gallery” pieces said on campus today — “Remeber, Katehi is only the beginning!”.

      Fire Napalitano!

      (Fire Jerry while you’re at it.)

      Damn, now I have a manila folder at Homeland.

    1. Alan Miller


      Toast.  Absolute Toast.

      Doesn’t matter if she’s guilty people.  Innocence is a legal term for court.  She sucks at being a face for UC Davis, and the appearance of doing lots of other things is enough.


    2. hpierce

      Unless David got this from Katehi, it is a tad disconcerting that this document is “out there” (within 24 hours)… now I wish I was an attorney, to represent the chancellor, demand to know how the doc got into the public eye (at least at this point), and sue the hell out of any/all involved, in a civil suit.

      I and my client could likely have a great “pay day”…

      Will be interesting…

  3. Marina Kalugin

    MORE lies and yet, there may be some morsel of a true, yet misconstrued statement, or out of context statement within…

    However, this is a smear campaign by someone who managed not to be TRIED for TREASON in HER former job…

    Ex-Homeland Chief of Security Janet Napolitano

    Who are YOU going to believe?




      1. Jerry Waszczuk

        In not such things  like independent investigation paid by university .  Yolo County Grand Jury could do independent investigation but not another Kroll , Barton or Reynoso’s Task Force .

        Look at the Hexter’s  and at  former UC Davis Counsel Steve Drown’s  wages in 2011 .

        They got extra pay for spray not Katehi.

    1. The Pugilist

      That’s ridiculous nonsense.  Men do all that shtuff and more.  You’re now feeding into those apologists for Katehi who believe this is about gender discrimination – now they have reason to believe there is validity to that claim.

    2. KSmith

      What exactly is this supposed to mean? Men don’t engage in nepotism? Men don’t skirt the various ethical codes put into place by their workplaces?

      I honestly don’t see what this has to do with her gender. The letter David has posted presents some pretty compelling evidence for her to go.

    3. Frankly

      She is being toasted primarily for being STEM and business oriented, and not demonstrating enough soft “I have empathy for your pain” orientation.

      From my perspective much of the ire from those that dislike her has roots in a gender double-standard.

      1. Misanthrop

        Hardly Frankly. Your interpretation is impaired by your ideology and misogyny.

        The big thing is she lied to her boss. She also brought disgrace and dissension to the institution she led. Her iron fisted intolerance of dissent led to a disastrous meme of repression symbolized by the image of Pike with a can of pepper. Her personal and family financial gluttony through a time of rising costs and sacrifice by faculty and staff demonstrated a failure of leadership by example. Also, her outside income from John Wiley & sons was in conflict  with her responsibilities to the students she is supposed to serve.

        You can try to spin it any way you want but you will satisfy no one but yourself by doing so. Her legacy will be one of great expansion by the University but also one of her personal failure of leadership. It is the latter that finally brought her down.

      2. KSmith

        Wrong. She is being toasted for committing violations of UC policy. From the letter David posted, it looks like she monkeyed with job titles/classifications to (perhaps inappropriately) enrich her family members, which I’m guessing is a big no no.

        She’s being toasted for committing ethics violations, too. Lying to the President of UC is at the very least some kind of ethics violation if not an outright violation of UC policy.

        Lower-level employees are made to take ethics classes and ethics training in which we’re told that a good rule of thumb is that if we wouldn’t be proud of our actions being plastered across the front page of a newspaper, then maybe we shouldn’t undertake those actions.

        Apparently Katehi isn’t even held to this modest standard. If she were, I don’t see how she could be proud of these recent actions that have come to light.

        These things have absolutely zilch to do with whether she’s STEM or humanities or a magical unicorn from the planet Zed. It looks like she committed violations of ethics and policy.

    1. ryankelly

      I think they are safe, due to my understanding of employment law.   However, duties may need to be shifted so that the wife is not supervising the husband  or the husband’s position moved out of the center where he is employed or the wife is offered another comparable position with comparable pay elsewhere at the university.

  4. hpierce

    Why am I thinking Evita…?  [and its theme song]

    OK, the Chancellor gets full salary and benefits (including housing, staff, etc.) for ~ 3 months until a report is prepared… if that report is problematic to her, maybe another three months until action is taken.

    I’ll reserve judgement on what should be done, but in the meantime, can’t shed any tears over her current situation… no work to do, with all the perks… damn good job if you can find it…

    1. South of Davis

      hpierce wrote:

      >  no work to do, with all the perks… damn good job if you can find it…

      Has anyone added up the TOTAL pay and perks that the Katehi/Tseregounis/Preito-Tseregounis family is getting from UCD every year?  It looks like it is over a MILLION dollars (more than the average American household makes in TWENTY years).

      P.S. When you add in the  board cash for helping DeVry’s (bad) reputation and for helping the book publisher make (more) money at UCD they are WAY OVER  a million a year…

      P.P.S. The No on A folks keep telling us an apartment in Nishi will rent for $2,400/month, does anyone have any idea what the “UCD Chancellor’s House” on College Park would rent for?'s_House


  5. PhillipColeman

    The suspension letter details the reasons why, including specific rules on inherent conflict of interest and nepotism. The promotions, personnel transfers, and substantial pay raises (also specifically cited) give further suspicion of impropriety leading to the call for an independent investigation.

    “Material misstatements,” (you and I use the more familiar term, “lies”) were tied to the Chancellor’s responses to questions on her involvement in the Internet-cleansing efforts. She claimed ignorance, others cite specific instances where Katehi was an active participant, and perhaps leader in the clean-up. Lying to you boss works only when you get away with it. When it fails you immediately lose your most essential supporter.

    Katehi’s lawyer, Melinda Guzman, made the usual flag-waving remarks about the Chancellor’s abridged positive history. The expected scapegoat and political motivation wording were lifted from the attorney’s “macro list” suitable for situations like this, although the “rush to judgment” was inadvertently added by apparent mistake. The rush has only now just started and the judgment is still pending, if inevitable.

    But what is most interesting in the attorney’s comments is what Guzman did not say. Ms. Guzman never refuted any of the specific allegations cited in the suspension letter, never even made mention the basis for the condemned suspension letter! Were these claims in the Napoliano letter baseless, you can be certain that Guzman would be in full attack mode.

    1. The Pugilist

      “But what is most interesting in the attorney’s comments is what Guzman did not say. Ms. Guzman never refuted any of the specific allegations cited in the suspension letter, never even made mention the basis for the condemned suspension letter! Were these claims in the Napoliano letter baseless, you can be certain that Guzman would be in full attack mode.”

      That’s one possibility – on the other hand, lawyers rarely lay out their case in the process and will often hold their cards until the formal process whether it’s a court or a hearing.

  6. Misanthrop

    Katehi will likely negotiate a severance package before the investigation is concluded.

    Marina Kalugin you sound paranoid. I hate to say it because you might well be correct, they could really be out there. What you say about Nepolitano might also be true but that doesn’t negate the many mistakes that Katehi made that brought disgrace and dissension to the University. Katehi is gone and any fight to retain her will fail and only serve to prolong the acrimony in the community and the UC system. I believe the focus now should be on finding someone who can run UCD, guide it to fulfill its mission and restore the public’s trust in UCD as an institution of learning and research.

  7. Misanthrop

    “I think women need to look in the mirror to see one of the big reasons that women more often bump the glass ceiling.”

    I think we don’t need old white men to tell women what they should do.

  8. Alan Miller

    With thanks to Mr. Hall and Mr. Oates, music for Katehi’s de-coronation (I’ll be singing this acapella on the steps of Mrak):

    Everybody’s high on consolation
    Everybody’s trying to tell me what’s right for me
    My daddy tried to bore me with a sermon
    But it’s plain to see that they can’t comfort me
    Sorry Charlie (Janet?) for the imposition
    I think I’ve got it, got the strength to carry on
    I need a drink and a quick decision
    Now it’s up to me, ooh what will be
    She’s gone, oh I, oh I’d
    Better learn how to face it
    She’s gone, oh I, oh I’d
    Pay the devil to replace her
    She’s gone, what went wrong
    Get up in the morning look in the mirror
    I’m worn as her tooth brush hanging in the stand
    My face ain’t looking any younger
    Now I can see love’s taken her toll on me
    She’s gone, oh I, oh I’d
    Better learn how to face it
    She’s gone, oh I, oh I’d
    Pay the devil to replace her
    She’s gone, what went wrong
    Think I’ll spend eternity in the city
    Let the carbon and monoxide choke my thoughts away
    And pretty bodies help dissolve the memories
    But they can never be what she was to me
    She’s gone, oh I, oh I’d
    Better learn how to face it
    She’s gone, oh I, oh I’d
    Pay the devil to replace her
    She’s gone, what went wrong
    She’s gone, oh I, oh I’d
    Better learn how to face it
    She’s gone (she’s gone)
    I can’t believe that she’s gone, oh I
    I’d pay the devil to replace her
    She’s gone oh I, oh I’d
    Better learn how to face it
    She’s gone (she’s gone)
    I can’t believe that she’s gone, oh I
    I’d pay the devil to replace her
    She’s gone (she’s gone)
    She’s gone (she’s gone)
    She’s gone (she’s gone)
    She’s gone (she’s gone)
    She’s gone

  9. Marina Kalugin

    KATEHI continued to stand up to Napolitano and that my friends is WHY Napoitano was trying to MAKe toast

    Want more docs, just ask me…

    Marina Kalugin

  10. Marina Kalugin

    PS>   There is this old Saying,   “just because I am paranoid, does NOT mean that THEY are NOT out to get me”.

    Sorry, I have been very busy today and offline..

    I AM retiring soon, and I have SO much documentation going back to the 70s…..many copies and in many safe places…

    I have been speaking out MORE and more as my retirement date came and went.

    These NON- ISSUES with Katehi are the TIP of the ICEBERG for Napolitano…

    Was ERIC SNOWDEN paranoid?   NO< but lucky for him Putin came forward…

    Otherwise, he WOULD be dead….

  11. Marina Kalugin

    Obviously the younguns who think they KNOW something were not here during the tenures of PRIOR chancellors.

    Katehi was the first to start WEEKLY office hours at the Coffee House for ANYONE to come by and chat..

    Just because these paid protestors and failed UCD students are pissing in the wind,  THAT my friends is the TRUTH..

    Have a good evening.

    Marina Kalugin (Rumiansev)

  12. Marina Kalugin

    The NSA is now alive and well on campus.   For over 8 months now, every computer which logs onto the UC network is taped, tracked, key words are searched for, passwords are saved…

    I would not even have an issue with that, if we were told in advance..   It was hidden from Faculty and staff and students.

    As an OLLLLLDDDDDDDD techie, I was seeing things on the TSP list.

    Some weeks/months ago, I crafted a long letter to the Editor at the Davis  Enterprise…  I shared with some of my faculty and other managers and friends on campus… including the Chief of Police.

    It was returned by the editor of the Enterprise…she said it was TOO long and I needed to shorten it.

    I did not have time…and I will post IT here if anyone wants to see it….

    JUST ask…

    Marina Kalugin (Rumiansev)

  13. Marina Kalugin

    Adam – I have been much more than an amateur observer over my decades…

    if anyone could tell me how to respond to an email I will send it to you…

    Same with HP…..

    It will have to be later, as I am still trying to finish working for the evening…


  14. Jerry Waszczuk

    I don’t believe that Napolitano actually issued and signed letter placing Katehi on administrative leave with such allegations . What a humiliation . Chancellor is no just  an ordinary employee which could be served such with  letter . Chancellor has quasi -judicial power and can’t be even  sued in the California Civil Court for work related  allegations.

    I see that is something more serious could surface or Katehi’s attorney Melinda Guzman will quickly settle whole mess .  


  15. Oberyn_Martell

    edited There is NO conspiracy just Katehi and her poor choices regardless of how wonderful of a person she may be. She is in way too high of a position with way to much compensation which includes houses, car allotments, clothing allotments etc etc etc to not be in tune with what is appropriate and inappropriate.

    [moderator] Post edited. Please do not make derogatory comments about other Vanguard commenters. Please read and follow the Vanguard Comment Policy:

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