Commentary: Newest Revelations Covered across the Country; Lead to New Calls for Resignation

Pepper-spray

A few weeks ago the Vanguard opined that the initial controversy involving Linda Katehi’s service and compensation on for-profit educational boards, along with a textbook company, was not likely to result in her resignation or dismissal.  Instead, we believed it would take new revelations and a second outrage.

Revelations published on Wednesday by the Sacramento Bee that UC Davis spent over $175,000 to remove references to the pepper spray incident from the web, along with its use of more than $5 million in communications money, has certainly caught the attention not just of the region, but in publications like the Washington Post, across the country.

Will this be the catalyst for a new phase in this ongoing story?  Too soon to tell.  But the Bee story induced three more Democratic lawmakers to call for the chancellor to resign.  Assemblymen Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, Freddie Rodriguez, D-Pomona, and Mark Stone, D-Monterey Bay, join previous calls by Luis Alejo, Lorena Gonzalez, Evan Low, and Kevin McCarty, who had asked her to resign after the initial revelations about DeVry and her involvement with the textbook company.

Assemblymembers Gatto and Rodriguez posted their calls on Twitter:

In a follow up, Assemblymember Gatto noted, “Her serving on the board of textbook companies was sufficient enough grounds, but her recent article detailing large and questionable PR expenditures cemented it in the minds of many.”

In a follow-up statement, Assemblymember Rodriguez said, “Chancellor Katehi’s decisions have raised serious questions about her ability to lead UC Davis and represent the University system.  The University of California campuses should be making decisions that serve the best interest of students, not executives.”

Assemblymember Mark Stone chairs the Assembly Judiciary Committee. The Legislature is currently considering the UC Budget and the Assemblymembers find it “very disturbing to hear that a Chancellor has been spending precious public resources on a PR campaign to obfuscate questionable decisions. Clearly it is time for Chancellor Katehi to move on.”

However, one thing we have learned from this latest series of stories about the university is that UC remains very insular from the influence of the legislature.  Last month, after an audit report exposed the UC system for benefiting out-of-state students over California residents, it took $25 million in funding to convince UC to add 5000 in-state students to the current enrollment.

On Monday, a small but determined group of students marked their one-month anniversary of their sit-down protest at Mrak Hall.  On Thursday, the Vanguard was unable to get a response from the students to the newest revelations.

However, UC Davis put out a lengthy statement in response to the national coverage of the Bee’s original reporting:

“Communicating the value of UC Davis is an essential element of our campus’s education, research, and larger public service mission. Increased investment in social media and communications strategy has heightened the profile of the university to good effect.

“As part of this overall communications strategy, it is important that the excellent work underway at UC Davis with respect to educating the next generation of students, pursuing groundbreaking research, and providing important services to the State is not lost during a campus crisis, including the crisis that ensued following the extremely regrettable incident when police pepper-sprayed student protesters in 2011. Communication efforts during this time were part of the campus’s strategic communication strategy. In fact, one of the main objectives during this time was to train staff on how to effectively use digital media to improve engagement with our stakeholders.

“Communicating the value of UC Davis is among the many reasons why our campus was able to increase its endowment to $1 billion last year, garner more than $700 million in research grants, and attract the highest caliber of students and faculty from around the country, with a record number of student applications this year.

“Most of the growth in the communications budget is tied to raising the visibility of our College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the School of Veterinary Medicine, both rated the best in the nation.

“In a 2014 Chronicle of Higher Education Report titled, “Higher Ed Marketing Comes of Age,” the mean amount that universities spend on marketing was reported as $3.7 million, with the highest at $25 million. We believe UC Davis compares favorably with other institutions of higher learning. Communications spending represents a small fraction of the $4.3 billion operating budget of UC Davis.”

The new revelations come just a week after the Sacramento Bee Editorial Board joined others in calling for the students to stand down.

As the editorial put it, “Katehi certainly erred, as she acknowledged to lawmakers at an oversight hearing on Monday. Lending the University of California’s legitimacy to a for-profit college in exchange for a $70,000-a-year board seat was a cringeworthy lapse in judgment.”

This error, they acknowledged, was “magnified” when it came out that she joined other questionable boards, including the college textbook vendor.

The editorial writes, “But Katehi has now been apologizing for more than a month. And while time will tell whether her stewardship has worked well for UC Davis, it’s past time for the students to end the demonstrations they’ve staged since March 11.”

But, as we now see, the protests and movement against the chancellor go far deeper than the simple scandal that was brought to light.

As we said at the time, if the chancellor is going to lose her job, it will be based on some secondary issue that we are not aware of to date. This is where I think the Sacramento Bee is missing the bigger picture.

For the last few weeks, the Vanguard has been receiving three or four anonymous tips a day on the chancellor and the university. Not every tip pans out.  Some are far-fetched and unlikely.  Some are unprovable.

But the picture that is beginning to form is not necessarily a good one.  The Vanguard is still waiting on its records requests.

Will these latest revelations be enough to change the game here?  Too soon to tell for sure. But any time you have three additional legislators calling for resignation, President Janet Napolitano and the UC Regents better be paying attention.

The question will be how much is critical mass – clearly, we are not there yet.

—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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68 Comments

  1. Barack Palin

    “In a 2014 Chronicle of Higher Education Report titled, “Higher Ed Marketing Comes of Age,” the mean amount that universities spend on marketing was reported as $3.7 million, with the highest at $25 million. We believe UC Davis compares favorably with other institutions of higher learning. Communications spending represents a small fraction of the $4.3 billion operating budget of UC Davis.”

    How does UCD compare to the other UC schools in marketing costs?

    1. David Greenwald

      This is sleight of hand by the university in my opinion. They more than doubled their communications budget at a time when they were raising tuition because they lacked money

      1. Barack Palin

        Once again, do you know how their marketing budget compared to other UC’s?  Did the higher marketing budget lead to much higher revenue for UCD?

        1. David Greenwald

          If the firefighters were underpaid compared to the rest of the region (they aren’t but this is an analogy) and the city increased their salary by over 100% during a time when they were increasing taxes and laying people off, would it matter? That’s the problem that UC Davis was facing. The other problem is that they used that money – some of it – to wipe out negative google references on the internet.

        2. Barack Palin

          Sometimes you have to spend money (advertising) in order to bring in more money.  Has anyone looked into those stats, how the increased marketing budget compared to any increased revenue?

          Your firefighter analogy is apples to oranges.

        3. South of Davis

          BP wrote:

          > Sometimes you have to spend money (advertising)

          > in order to bring in more money. 

          True, but “advertising” for a school that gets FAR more qualified applicants than they can accept is as big of a waste of money just like the city “advertising” for a single open firefighter position that already has 500 qualified applicants waiting in line to apply…

        4. Barack Palin

          I agree, but marketing the school isn’t just about bringing in students it’s also about bringing in grants and donations.

          Like I stated earlier, if this added marketing money was specifically intended to protect Katehi’s image then I have a problem with that.  But until that’s proven this all seems to just be piling on and a witch hunt with detractors throwing everything against the wall in hopes that something will stick.

          I actually feel kind of sorry for the lady.

    2. VG

      UC Davis is not UC Berkeley. It has always been perceived as a mediocre campus of the UC. To be faculty or student at UC Davis is a stigma of shame. If one did not make it into UC Berkeley, UCLA, UCSD, UCSB than getting into UC Davis is falling into a second or third tire UC, definitely a third tire university. With exception of Agriculture, Veterinary and to some extent Medicine, the rest is a place for “loosers” – “looser” faculty and “looser” students. They all fully aware of it, and there is a large amount of suppressed anger and hate, covered with frequent empty “politically correct” speech, and recitation of “political correctness” slogans. This characterizes UC Davis “culture”, as each campus has its own culture. This is also a racist campus, (remember “Becky Case”, started in Davis) and an article by Vanguard as of few years ago: http://www.davisvanguard.org/2011/04/ucd-professor-ordered-to-pay-30k-for-violating-universitys-first-amendment-rights/
      The worse offense is not trying to improve their bad image, but using all legal means to crush anyone who tried to expose any wrongdoings at UC Davis. It costs far more money, than spent on image improvement, to pay an army of UC lawyers to crush a lonely faculty, who dared to speak out. This is the real problem, no one dare to neither look at it nor voice it.
      Beating on Katehi is like beating on “a man who is down”. It is a safe and “politically correct” activity that attracts people who want to be “American heroes”, to good extent student protestors who have nothing to risk and have been catered pizza in the comfort of Mrak Hall, while harassing the innocent staff working there.
      Katehi, did increase the endowment to $1 billion (never before in history) and raised research grants to the highest level ever: $700 million. No one is asking how can this be achieved? (Answer: by getting rid of incompetent administrators, Deans and political cronies of the previous “Chancellor for Life” Vanderhoof). Her problem is that she took her job seriously, and in this way created a lot of enemies, as she rocked the “UC Davis boat” that was coasting in the “UC Davis swamp”. However, they are back “to get her”, and UC Davis is good at that.
      While I do not approve of  her being on the board of DeVry (together with presidents of some other notable universities), being on the board of Wiley is a must, as a University Chancellor, should have voice on the board of a textbook publisher (you actually do not know of position she took while on the board). She is not responsible for “pepper spraying” of students. Students know that. The orders came from way above – top of UCOP in Oakland office. The very same people, and their legal staff, are the ones who has given the “pepper spray cap”, “more than $38,000 in workers’ compensation from the university for suffering he experienced after the incident” – almost an apology, and paid time. No punishment: http://www.sfgate.com/politics/joegarofoli/article/UC-Davis-pepper-spray-officer-awarded-38-000-4920773.php
      So, let’s not blame Linda Katehi for something UC bosses ordered, and then rewarded the real culprit. If those students are real truth and justice seekers – they should go to the source. But, they will not. Cowardly, they are attacking someone who is weak, taking part in an “UC Davis insiders” game, where they are taking this incident as a pretext to preserve their mediocre but comfortable existence at UC Davis.  Unfortunately they are also joined by a few publicity seeking politicians.
       
      This is the bottom line.

      1. Tia Will

        VG

        This may be your bottom line, but it is far from mine. Certainly Chancellor Katehi is not responsible for decisions made by others, but can we at least agree that she is responsible for her own decisions.

        No one made her join any either of the boards she chose to accept positions on. No one made her accept compensation for sitting on these boards. No forced her husband to take on an “advisory position” on campus. And no one prohibited her from speaking out forcefully against a riot control type action against peacefully protesting students. No one prevented her from speaking out publicly against plans to “clean up ” her on line image by deleting articles and posts. Even if she was not the person making the decisions, she certainly had the ability to do just what the students ultimately did, namely put themselves at risk by calling attention to the actions of others. There have been many opportunities for Chancellor Katehi to choose a better course of action. She has consistently chosen the path of obfuscation where possible and coverup when this was not possible.

        In my opinion these make her a poor fit for the position of leadership of a major  public university regardless of what you think of its ranking. I have a great deal of empathy for anyone who finds themselves in a position for which they are ill suited. This includes Chancellor Katehi who for her own benefit as well of the benefit of the students of UCD, I sincerely hope will find her true niche in an educational setting more in alignment with her personal philosophy.

  2. ruralknight

    So seven CA lawmakers now are pushing for Katehi’s resignation with McCarty from Sacramento the only rep from our region. Where’s the mighty Senator Wolk or our supposed rep Assemblyman Dodd on this? I guess it’s time we find out what Mayor Wolk and Supervisor Saylor stand on this as well…

    1. David Greenwald

      We met with Dodd (The Vanguard Editorial Board) in March, and he stopped short of calling for resignation. Wolk sent out a similar statement.

      1. Tia Will

        David

        Given that this new development had not been revealed at the time we met with Assemblyman Dodd, it might be worth checking in with him again.

  3. Tia Will

    Sometimes you have to spend money (advertising) in order to bring in more money.”

    The other problem is that they used that money – some of it – to wipe out negative google references on the internet.”

    I completely agree with BP’s statement. And I completely agree with David’s statement. The problem I see is not the legitimate use of advertising or a PR firm to spread positive messages about the educational and research value of UCD which is undeniable. The problem is the use of funds to attempt to revise or obliterate one event that occurred at UCD that was far from favorable. This is the same technique used by Big Brother in 1984 when history was selectively and systematically revised on a daily basis by simply deleting information that was not favorable to those in power.  Whatever else Chancellor Katehi may have promoted or accomplished, the willingness to attempt to silence the views of others is completely unacceptable in my view.

    This, combined with all the poor judgements she has made through her tenure here, is certainly enough to warrant her departure, preferably by resignation, but now, if it can be demonstrated that she knew the intent of the PR firm to remove posts unfavorable to her, by firing.  How can anyone consider this blatant attempt at historical revision through deception and censorship to be compatible with the position of leadership held by the Chancellor of a major public university amongst whose goals are education and the free exchange of ideas ?

    1. Ron

      Tia:  “The problem is the use of funds to attempt to revise or obliterate one event that occurred at UCD that was far from favorable.”

      Agreed.  (Public funds, I assume.)  Regardless, it’s (supposed to be) a public institution.  It seems to be acting more like a private corporation.  Perhaps UC’s management structure needs to be examined/changed, to ensure better accountability to the public.

  4. South of Davis

    David wrote:

    > The other problem is that they used that money – some of it –

    > to wipe out negative google references on the internet.

    I just did a Google search for UC Davis Pepper Spray and got 270,000 hits.  Were there 275,000 before UC Davis spent big money to “wipe out negative google references on the internet”?

    P.S. Since this is back in the news I just got the link below from a friend on the East Coast:

    http://peppersprayingcop.tumblr.com/

     

  5. Tia Will

    SOD

    Among the stated objectives is included, “Launch an aggressive and comprehensive online campaign to eliminate the negative search results for UC Davis and the Chancellor through strategic modifications to existing and future content and generating original content as needed,” as well as eradication of references to the pepper spray incident in search results on Google for the university and the Chancellor.”

    It was the willingness and intent to censor as quoted from the statement of the PR firm quoted by David yesterday that are problematic for me, not the quantity of posts deleted nor the success or lack thereof. 

    1. South of Davis

      Tia wrote:

      > It was the willingness and intent to censor as quoted from the

      > statement of the PR firm quoted by David yesterday that are problematic

      If it “problematic” that UC Davis would try and censor negative comments about Katehi would it also be “problematic” if Don or David “censored” negative comments about you on this blog?

       

      1. Misanthrop

        David owns this blog. If he takes something down from here there is no free speech issue. Katehi doesn’t own the internet and spending UC money to try to get UC history to go down a memory hole seems to be a much more serious problem.

  6. Michael Harrington

    UCD knew when they hired her that as manager, her admissions office in Illinois was giving/selling admission seats to the children of wealthy and powerful donors and alums.  So what do you expect?  I’m not surprised by any of this.

     

    My Grandmother and Mother are alums of Katehi’s former employer, and I took her hiring by UCD as a personal affront.

    And now she’s got dozens of nice kids camped outside her office and she refuses to speak to them? What’s with that?

    Give her the boot.

    1. Barack Palin

      And now she’s got dozens of nice kids camped outside her office and she refuses to speak to them? What’s with that?

      She’s offered to talk with them in a private setting.  As I understand it the nice kids, as you say, want her to talk with them in a public arena.  Why, so they can holler at her to quit?  So they can publicly shame her?  If I were her I wouldn’t agree to that either.  But your assertion that she refuses to speak to them is false.

        1. The Pugilist

          “As I understand it the nice kids, as you say”

          It just seems like if you mock the idea that they are “nice kids” – some of them apparently over the age of 30, you ought to have personal interactions with them.

        2. Barack Palin

          “As I understand it the nice kids, as you say”

          Did you happen to notice that I was answering another commenter who called them that.

          I’ve seen videos of some of them in action, the way they treated Katehi and talking over other administrators.  A few of them seemed very rude and bullyish to me.

    2. South of Davis

      Mike wrote:

      > UCD knew when they hired her that as manager, her admissions office in

      > Illinois was giving/selling admission seats to the children of wealthy and

      > powerful donors and alums.

      This does not make it right, but EVERY major college and university in America is “giving/selling admission seats to the children of wealthy and powerful”.

      Despite what EVERY major school will say publicly a huge number of the seats in every freshman class go to the wealthy, powerful (and athletically talented).

      P.S. Interesting article from last year

      http://gawker.com/how-the-rich-get-into-ivies-behind-the-scenes-of-elite-1699066450

       

  7. The Pugilist

    “if this added marketing money was specifically intended to protect Katehi’s image then I have a problem with that. ”

    Apparently the Enterprise is reporting there was a specific photo of a tired looking Katehi that they were targeting.

  8. Eileen Samitz

    Revelations published on Wednesday by the Sacramento Bee that UC Davis spent over $175,000 to remove references to the pepper spray incident from the web, along with its use of more than $5 million in communications money, has certainly caught the attention not just of the region, but in publications like the Washington Post, across the country.

    So UCD can afford to spend over $5 million dollars on”communications” and has a $1 billion dollar endowment fund, yet they will not provide the desperately needed on-campus housing for their students. UCD’s irresponsibility in not providing the on-campus housing or over 20 years has resulted in the students being pushed off campus after their first year in freshman dorms to find housing off campus. Most of this winds up being in Davis, but is not extending into other cities complaining too about UCD’s lack of on-campus housing, like Dixon, Woodland and Winters. Yet UCD claims they don’t have the resources, they have plenty of money which they clearly prioritize spending in absurd ways, like the new art center and the new music recital center being constructed.  They also have tried blaming the “economic downturn”, but we are in our 7th year of  a bull market.

    So UCD has no valid excuse why they have  virtually nothing to provide the on-campus apartments on the 5,000 acres they own to house the avalanche of students they have been accepting for enrollment. Keep in mind that UCD has also announced that they want to add 9,500 new students this fall. That’s 3,000 more than last fall and they have publicly announced that they can’t even house them for even one year in dorms. All they have been doing is renovating and doing some expansion to one year dorms.

    If you have not done it yet, write to  Asst. Vice Chancellor (Campus Planning) Bob Segar at rbsegar@ucdavis.edu and let him know how our community has had enough of UCD pushing off their responsibilities which our City is suffering from. Also, the UCD LRDP update input  period is ending soon, so be sure to fill in the short survey about the need for the on campus apartments for the full 4-5 years the students attend UCD, not just one, year freshman dorms.

    To top things off, then UCD has had the audacity to complain about the low rental vacancy rate that THEY are causing. UCD’s lack of planning and irresponsibility are causing the majority of the problems of the pressures from developers to build enormous high density projects (like Sterling apartments, Lincoln40, Nishi Gateway, and oh gee, now Mace Ranch Innovation Park trying to get a piece of this action too) which we wind up paying for the infrastructure, like waste water treatment  (which is expensive to provide and which we are now paying for to expand) and City services. It is time that Davis stops subsidizing and taking on all of UCD’s massive housing growth needs when they have the land and the resources.

    Meanwhile, in terms of UCD “planning” they prematurely closed Orchard Park apartments two years ago, causing even more housing needs off-campus, and they don’t even have a plan yet to redevelop that large site. They were planning to close Solano Park apartments too this year but we have not got an answer yet from UCD on when that will happen. This is the antithesis of planning, or “anti-planning” if anything by UCD. Who closes and entire apartment complex for 2-4 years or longer without a plan? What about the loss of revenue as well as the loss of all of those apartments which could have been occupied for the last two years and for as long as it will remain closed?

    UCD is doing a disservice to their students and to our community by not taking action for decades on the on-campus apartments needed and that they promised and they needed to be called on this now because of the impacts they are creating, and costs to our City.

    Anyone also fed up with all of these problems that UCD is causing our community, and other communities,  is welcome to join our citizens group working on this issue of UCD’s need to build the on-campus housing now. Just email us at citizens@dcn.org.

    1. The Pugilist

      Everything you say is pretty much correct but there is one problem with your approach: “If you have not done it yet, write to  Asst. Vice Chancellor (Campus Planning) Bob Segar at rbsegar@ucdavis.edu and let him know how our community has had enough of UCD pushing off their responsibilities which our City is suffering from.”  Why is he going to listen?  Heck, the state legislature has a far bigger stick and can’t get UC to cooperate.  All we can do is threaten to annoy them with emails.

      I think there is a better approach – Eileen should lead the second occupy movement – occupy Bob Segar’s office until they agree to build more housing.  Now that would be fun and might actually work.

       

      1. ContextMatters

        Should UC Davis move funding for students to pay for housing? Are you willing to pony up with more tax revenues. Get educated. There is only so much public universities can do. The amount spent on marketing more than paid for itself in terms of funds raised. Those raised funds (according the annual statement – by the way, have any of you actually looked at it??) are used for a HUGE infrastructure backlog and financial aid.

        Which do you recommend canceling so we can satisfy your desire for no students in your neighborhood?

        Quit (selfishly) complaining and come up with realistic solutions that we can all debate and make better.

        1. The Pugilist

          You obviously are only narrowly reading the Vanguard, because I have been one of the posters out front with the view we need to add housing in town, but I also believe that UCD should fulfill its obligations to supply its own housing.

        2. ContextMatters

          Sorry, I meant my post to respond to Eileen Samitz

          But…where does it say that UC Davis has to supply its own housing. I’ve never heard that that was a requirement of ?. Can you direct to me where to find this? I think it would be great if they could do it – there are so many slum lords in Davis that just make money off students and never fix their housing.

    2. dlemongello

      They had a plan for Orchard, it fell through because of, wait for it, her initials are LKBK, the poor leader and tyrant who forced the housing management to pull the plug on it.  And if you don’t do what she says, you lose your job (no I can’t divulge my sources).

      1. ContextMatters

        This is simply untrue. The Chancellor stopped the planning on the Orchard because the graduate students were upset that the Plan that had been prepared was going to result in apts that too expensive for grad students. She insisted that they be brought in and the conversation restarted. There is PLENTY of information about the deliberations of the committee.

        1. dlemongello

          They were already going to be subsidizing the apartments for one group with higher prices for another, just how unbalanced should that get?  Prices are rising in all rental sectors and the ratios were probably reasonable.  As we both said, she insisted and the plan died. About $600K had to be spent just to restart the process. Do you think they will be able to build more cheaply and charge less rent because they had to start over?

        2. ContextMatters

          The plan is moving forward. You can’t have housing for graduate student families that they can’t afford. I can’t find anywhere the $600k number. Please provide a link or source for that information. I asked yesterday at the real estate office and was told the process did not result in additional costs. So where do you get the $600k?

          You cannot have the same ratios if you want students to live on campus. The students can’t afford it. The way students live in the community now is to up the occupancy so that landlords, who have priced as high as possible, get their money.

          This is not an ideal solution. Quit complaining and offer a solution.

    3. dlemongello

      Eileen,  I do agree that UCD should provide a good chunk of student housing, but it is certainly not customary for universities to provide housing for anywhere near 100% of their student body.  Our town is set up to provide much of that housing and it would be good to keep that in good balance so everyone can be accommodated.  Neither extreme would serve well if the balance that has been established were to be grossly disrupted.

  9. ContextMatters

    Have any of you looked at the fundraising effort? It far exceeds the marketing budget, by far. In fact, Katehi is the FIRST chancellor at Davis to actually raise significant funds for the campus. Did any of you ever look at the UC Davis Facebook or Youtube account? They were locked, because of the extensive racial slurs, disgusting language, and actual threats made through these venues.

  10. ContextMatters

    Let me also add that it seems very strange to me that only one campus is in the news so much about this. Katehi has received much more news coverage than Berkeley (or Dirks) – and the sexual harassment issues at berkeley are costing the UC far more money (after seeing a post on facebook, I went to google beta and checked, do the same and see for yourself). Isn’t it strange that a Chancellor who has always sent her Board activity requests to the President suddenly doesn’t send in one – just one – of the ones she made for this year? isn’t it odd that the UC President, who has to approve all these requests, simply said nothing about why she approved the ones she did? I believe there is a whole lot more to the story, and I believe UC Davis is being hung out to dry for the president’s office.

    The City of Davis depends on UC Davis. The Bee and the Vanguard appear to be pursuing personal vendettas. It will only hurt campus with the legislature. These events are blown up so far beyond what is normal (and considerably more than the wrongful death settlement just concluded at UC Berkeley), that it has to be personal. This is NOT good for the City, the students or the campus.

    By the way, the students are leaving Mrak. Catch up with the newscycle.

  11. Barbara King

     
    David Greenwald wrote:  ” However, one thing we have learned from this latest series of stories about the university is that UC remains very insular from the influence of the legislature. ”
     
      
    Indeed UC does remain very insulated from the influence of the legislature, but it almost lost that “insulation” in the last year.
     
      
    SCA-1 (Lara), which was introduced on December 4, 2014, would have removed many of the University of California’s broad exemptions from control of the legislature and replaced those exemptions with more control by the legislature except for anything that “restrains academic freedom within the University of California or imposes educational or curricular requirements on students enrolled at the University of California.”
     
      
    But in its next, amended version (March 10, 2016), all of SCA1’s language giving the legislature more influence over UC was gone.
     
      
    For more details on SCA-1, go to http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/ and search for SCA1 in the 2015-2016 session.
     

      1. Tia Will

        BP

        I would actually support the protestors being charged for any material harm that they have caused…..just as soon as Chancellor Katehi is required to fully compensate the students for all the outside monies that she accrued through her activities. I believe strongly in consistency. If one party is held materially responsible for harm done, so should everyone involved be held responsible for their own actions.

        1. VG

          what harm? she harmed the reputation of their institution and devalued their degree. A good lawyer could make a case for a class action lawsuit. If they were smart (which they are not..), this would be a next course of action, and the one UC cares. I do not think they care much for the reputation of the UC, bad publicity, what their faculty and their student think of them, and the public. Class action lawsuit – the only way to make them behave!

  12. ConcernedUCDFacultyMember

    I’ve been following the news here and elsewhere, the editorials, the letters to the editor in local newspapers, and the postings carefully and would like to comment. I am a female faculty member in a STEM field and am reticent to speak out publicly. I have worked within the system to voice my concerns about what is happening here on campus. I have talked to the Ombuds, to my Chair, to my Dean and other Deans, to Vice Chancellors, to the Faculty Senate, and to the individuals charged with overseeing campus adherence to our own, state, and federal policies. Nothing has happened and nothing has changed. A common refrain is “There are no consequences to bad behavior.” That is very true here.

    For those of you who doubt that there are many of us (concerned faculty), I have a long list of colleagues on campus who share my concerns and we talk about them regularly. This isn’t water cooler griping to pass the time; these are real and substantive concerns. Some faculty are afraid to speak out (I shared my own concerns of retaliation with the Ombuds), but most faculty, quite frankly, have lost any faith in the idea that what they say will make any difference at all. They are tired of the constant beating and retreat back to their offices, classrooms, and labs where they know they can still make a difference. The problems are entrenched here, they are systemic across many administrative levels, and there is a very palpable “us versus them” mentality that has significantly eroded campus morale. This is not the same place that I was excited to come to as a new faculty member. The campus has changed and I fear that we’re on a path that cannot be reversed.

    I would also like to say that I am a liberal and have very liberal views about politics, social programs and education and I am appalled at statements that the Chancellor is untouchable because she is a woman, a STEM scholar, and a member of the liberal elite. This is throw away comment, typical of people who see the world as black and white. The Chancellor does not represent me because I care deeply about how we spend our tax dollars and want to make California proud of what we do. I’m very proud of the faculty and students at this university – they do the good work that brings honor to UCD as first in the world in Agriculture, first in Biological Sciences, first in many more fields. I am saddened that the Chancellor has taken credit where credit is not due. Why would you do this?

    As a faculty member who has tried to press for change, I’m supportive of the student protesters in Mrak Hall. While I may not agree with all of their methods, they are truly the only reason that we’re still having this conversation. I am disturbed by statements that they smell, that “dirty” carpet and furnishings will have to be replaced after they leave, and that the Chancellor has done “her best” to talk with them. Firstly, I would urge our administrators to sit in some of our classrooms on campus for an hour, where poor ventilation and a lack of sufficient funds for simple housekeeping can make these rooms unbearable. I’m ashamed to see money spent on PR to polish up the Chancellor’s image when many campus classrooms are filthy. Second, from my own experience, I know that the students – like many of us – have no voice here. Shame on you, Provost Hexter. Shame on you. The Administration has taken what is great here and denigrated it. Administrators protect administrators and it truly is “us versus them” now at UCD.

    1. MrsW

      I’m very proud of the faculty and students at this university – they do the good work that brings honor to UCD

      This warrants highlighting.  It is true.  It is how real reputations are earned. Real reputations are earned not through media manipulation, not through USNews college “rankings,” but through everyday work.

    2. Tia Will

      ConcernedUCDFacultyMember

      I appreciate your willingness to share your viewpoint.

      I am a graduate of UCD Medical School. I have worked almost all of my career with Kaiser and every year for the 25 that I have been here have volunteered my time to help to educate UCD premed, medical students, interns and residents.

      Although I am not on the main campus and so no longer directly under the prevue of UCD management, the word that comes through is one of significant discord on campus. What I feel the worse about is the fear of retaliation for something so essential as telling the truth about your experience to those who wield power. I hope that regardless of the mechanism by which relief from this threat is achieved that the future will see a more collaborative attitude with the placement of faculty, staff, and most importantly student needs above those of the top administrators.

      Best of luck and best wishes,

      Tia

      1. ConcernedUCDFacultyMember

        The retaliation includes not being picked for important committees, not being asked to be involved in new initiatives, not being nominated to serve on special task forces, being relieved of responsibilities, etc.  This is “soft” retaliation that is hard to prove, hard to track, and hard to reverse, and so is very effective at silencing opposing or competing views. This is a common tactic in academia and active at all levels. It is very common at UCD. I have been told to my face, “if you point out negatives or call out bad behavior, you will get fewer resources.”

        1. ssc

          I wish the potential repercussions for “recalcitrant” faculty were as innocuous as you portray them. The Chancellor has direct authority to over-rule faculty promotion decisions made by peer faculty committees, and has shown no hesitation in exercising it. She has used it to reward undeserving cronies, and it would come as no surprise to see it used to punish those who speak up. The lower ranks of the administration have also begun to subscribe to this intimidating Stalinist reward-or-punishment policy. In my own College, the Dean was surrounded by a coterie of Associate Deans selected primarily on the basis of willingness to toe the line.

          The PepperSprayGate Cover Up story has proliferated around the nation and the world in a single day. AGGIE SHAME! How much longer must the reputation of this once-fine institution of higher learning be raked through the mud because an unscrupulous individual insists on hanging on by the fingernails?

           

        2. ContextMatters

          This is just a ridiculous statement. I called the faculty member who was in charge of the faculty review system for the last three years and was told this was stupid. That very, very few personnel decisions were overturned. I also asked about ‘firing’ – no one has been fired. There are a few cases where incompetency in teaching is being reviewed, but that’s it.

          Lies have no place in a “news” discussion and should not be allowed.

        3. ContextMatters

          I agree. These are soft tactics do occur, particularly against women and under-represented faculty. If they are occurring in a dept, the dean should step in. File a grievance, find a mentor outside your dept.

          Could you please tell me how you know it’s “very common at UCD”? Is this your opinion or do you have data to support it? I am also at UCD and quite frankly I do not believe this captures the sentiment of the campus.

          Faculty and staff are tired and overworked. There are too few resources for the number of students the campus is being asked to carry. And we shoot each other instead of directing our attention and our intellect to solving the funding crisis and reaching out to the public to explain what is going on.

        4. Frunobulax

          Soft retaliation is always in the air at UCD.  Sometimes it can be so subtle and well-constructed that the victims may not even realize that they are being treated in an unfair manner.  Here is why it works so effectively……when you are not selected for a committee assignment, or not chosen to take on some leadership role, you can’t report a problem.  The administrative response is “well, this faculty member just doesn’t like Dr. X’s decision, but Dr. X has authority to make these decisions and the administration must support those decisions”.  Then the faculty member in question is painted as a malcontent and nothing else happens.  Sure, file a grievance, then watch as the administration circles their wagons around Dr. X.  And if that Dr. X is actually Dean X, then watch out!

          In response to ContextMatters, there is a reason why there are so few data points documenting this sort of retaliation.  Much of the time – I would suggest that in the vast majority of cases – being passed over for such assignments is not due to some nefarious plot.  That being said, sometimes it is.  The answer to an accusation of this “soft retaliation” is always that someone disagrees with a decision that was made, so what’s the big deal?  The administration protects administrators.  Period.

  13. Michael Harrington

    Eileen : maybe we should occupy the facilities office? Easier than other  ways to get UCD to comply with their broken promises on housing students ?

    Actually, the CC should occupy Segar’s office. I would propose it if I were still on the CC.

  14. Tia Will

    SOD

    “would it also be “problematic” if Don or David “censored” negative comments about you on this blog?”

    Fair question. This is how I see it. If the post with negative comments about me is within the editorial guidelines, I do not see it as problematic. There are several posters on this blog who frequently call me names that I consider derogatory ( selfish, Nimby, hypocritical) to name a few. I am free to ignore, respond to, refute such posts as I choose. What I do not believe that I should do is to delete or pay someone else to delete the posts that I do not like in order to “improve my image”.

    I believe that a recent response to one poster who made erroneous claims about the value of property that I own in Davis is a good example of my preferred approach. There were some posters who considered this vile and some who felt the post should be deleted. I responded that I did not feel the post should be deleted but spelled out the reasons that I felt the opinion stated was in error.

    The chancellor could have responded in kind by apologizing for her erroneous actions, explaining those that she believed were legitimate, or ignoring the whole mess hoping it would blow over. Censoring by deletion using public funds is not in my opinion a legitimate action and is in and of itself worth censure.

    1. South of Davis

      Tia wrote:

      >  If the post with negative comments about me is within the editorial guidelines

      I’ll take this as you are OK deleting anything that is not “within the editorial guidelines”.  I’m pretty sure UCD was not working to delete anything they liked…

      > one poster who made erroneous claims about the value

      > of property that I own in Davis

      You are trying to sound like Hillary Clinton telling Bernie Sanders over and over that she is not funded by Wall Street.

      I have never made an “erroneous” claim that I know of that was not corrected.

      I have no idea what real estate you own in town, but assuming you have not been making “erroneous” claims on this site and really are a MD and really do own a four bedroom home in Northstar and a home in Old East Davis you own over $1 MILLION dollars worth of real estate (not counting the real estate out of state you have also said you own)…

       

       

      1. Matt Williams

        SoD, without knowing what Tia’s remaining mortgage balance is on each house, you do not know that your statement is correct.  You have been told that simple mathematical fact numerous times by numerous posters. Please add my name to that list.  I’m not sure why excoriating Tia is so enticing for you.  What has she done to earn your enmity?

      2. dlemongello

        Is there some requirement for Tia to be a pauper in order to be a good and credible person?  This is ridiculous, not to mention what she may owe on the properties, though it really does not matter.

  15. Tia Will

    BP

    Please explain what harm Katehi did to the students while earning any outside money.  Boy, that’s a far stretch.”

    Well, she obviously didn’t see it as much of a stretch when she apologized and agreed to start a fund for students with some ( but not all of her proceeds). So it seems that she also sees, in retrospect, that her actions were harmful to the students.

  16. Tia Will

    ContextMatters

    Faculty and staff are tired and overworked. There are too few resources for the number of students the campus is being asked to carry. And we shoot each other instead of directing our attention and our intellect to solving the funding crisis and reaching out to the public to explain what is going on.”

    For me personally, this statement would be enough to question the wisdom of a strategy that includes adding thousands more students, many from other states and countries, accepting personally lucrative positions on outside boards, padding one’s own income by an advisory position for one’s spouse, adding to a budget in order to hire and train more media savvy folks in order to obfuscate less than optimal aspects of university management, rather than directing all of these resources towards the education of those one is charged to serve.

    I do not believe that Linda Katehi or any of the top administrators of the UC system are evil. I do believe that they are adherents to a philosophy of self promotion and enrichment that is not compatible with the mission of a public university.

    The university has achieved the leadership status that it currently holds  in some areas through years of the very hard work of research and education, not through PR promotional gimmicks and media manipulation. To believe that the latter is more important than the former as defined by fund allocation is, for me, a blatant abandonment of the primary mission of the university, the education of its students.

  17. Eileen Samitz

    Eileen,  I do agree that UCD should provide a good chunk of student housing, but it is certainly not customary for universities to provide housing for anywhere near 100% of their student body.

    Donna,

    No one is asking for 100% housing to be provided on-campus for the students, although as far as I am concerned that would be great if UCD would provide it. The problem is that UCD has not even been providing the promised 25% of student apartments on-campus to house the UCD students the entire time they attend UCD. All UCD as been doing is slowly renovating outdated and out of code freshman dorms, and expanding them to some extent, which only provide housing for the freshman for one year.

    The students are then forced off campus to find housing elsewhere for the next 3-4 years and that winds up being primarily in our City, and now it is extending into other neighboring cities, who are complaining about this growing influx using their rental housing.

    So UC knew about this plan to increase their student populations on all the UC campuses for over a decade and had a task focre write up a plan “UC Housing for the 21st Century” stating that UCD was to provide  a minimum 38% on-campus student housing by 2012 with a goal of 40% and UC system wide,  the goal was to be 42%. That never happened. So UCD’s MO is to drag their heels, and delay and complain about the low rental vacancy rate they THEY are causing our City due to their chronic inaction for so many years. This is irresponsible, and a disservice to their own students and to our community.

    UCD has over 5,000 acres and clearly, plenty of money to blow like the $5 million dollars on a communications cover up project. So it is inexcusable that they have not provided these needed on-campus student apartments for so long, and have been deflecting their housing needs onto our City and other cities.

    1. dlemongello

      Eileen, when you wrote “the need for the on campus apartments for the full 4-5 years the students attend UCD, not just one, year freshman dorms.”, what proportion of those students for all 4-5 years did you mean then if not all?  And though it won’t happen so it does not matter, what then would all those already existing apartments that house students in town be used for? Again, I am for UCD doing its share of housing its students, though I am not sure what proportions have been agreed upon.  But to shift the balance way the other way would not be efficient use of already existing housing in town.  

      I know that some believe we should have a vacancy rate of 5% to have a healthy rental market, supply and demand being a strong principle of capitalism, but I believe that having 5 of every 100 apartments empty would be a huge waste.  It really is unfortunate that landlords don’t operate on the principle that the lower the vacancy rate, the lower rent they can charge because they don’t have to make up for having vacant units.  But that goes against what seems to be a natural human trait, greed.

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