BREAKING NEWS: Katehi Put on Investigative Leave

Chancellor Katehi
Chancellor Katehi
Statement from the University of California Office of the President
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. 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.  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.”

Original Story from 1 pm:

Last night and this morning, rumors flew that UC President Napolitano had asked UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi to resign.  To further add fuel to the fire, the UC Spokesperson confirmed that Chancellor Katehi was still Chancellor but would not comment on whether she had been asked to resign.

At 11:45 am today, Linda Katehi emailed the academic senate to say, “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.”

The Vanguard will have updates as they become available.

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. VG

      As of now over 350 faculty members have signed a letter in support of Katehi to be sent to Napoletano. Hackers took the site down, so signatures are collected via email. If you are in stupor of Katehi please emails and sign as per instructions bellow:


      Dear Colleagues,
      Over 350 faculty have signed the letter below supporting Chancellor Katehi’s continued tenure as Chancellor as of UC Davis. The site through which signatures were being collected has been hacked and had to be taken down. If you would like to add your name to the letter please respond to me with your name and department or program and your name will be added to the letter.

      Suad Joseph

      Maxine B Craig

    2. VG

      I just got to read Napolitano’s letter to Katehi. It is stunning!

      I give credit to the lady (Napolitano), though I was attacking her in my posts. The letter is to the point, yet, compassionate and fair. J. Napolitano, I apologize for what I wrote!

      The only problem with it I have, is that those facts in the letter must have been known for a long time, but we did not know about them. Why were they hidden? (to be used at the opportune moment?). Had I known those facts, I would not have been defending Katehi. But, I did not know. We were kept in the dark. The conclusion:

      UC needs transparency and scrutiny. How much there is still that we do not know?

      1. Misanthrop

        I guess it was Katehi who was living in the parallel universe. Of course the whole top UCD brass has been in denial the last few weeks. Very unusual for an official not to resign and be forced out like this. I can’t think of another case off the top of my head.

  1. Michael Harrington

    Like I publically wrote when the news arrived that she was on the short list to hire, she was the manager of admissions at U of Illinois, Champaign Urbana, and claimed she did not know that her staff were basically selling admission seats to the sons and daughters of the rich and famous.  So she was either a 1) not a very attentive manager who blamed others for her conduct or lack of attention;  or 2) a liar.  Neither good.

    From just my general knowledge of reading the newspapers, her lack of attention to detail and blaming others for problems is still the hallmark characteristic.


    For example, she is cheerleading the slug of new students coming to UCD.  Wow!  Nice.  But …. is she paying attention to where those kids are going to be housed and cared for?  No.  Has she done anything, anything at all, to take care of ensuring that her subordinates are planning to take care of those students?  Not publically.   It’s the same playbook, over and over.  Just like blaming staff for selling those admission slots at the Univ of Illinois.

    She sure didn’t want to take the blame for the pepper spray issues either, did she?

    Give her the pink slip, and let’s move on.


    A real UCD leader would come down to public comments at the CC, present the problem (new students, what can UCD and the CC do to come up with a plan), and ask for a task force to find a local, global solution.  Did she spend an hour doing this?  No. She was too busy flitting around to board meetings for companies selling her kids inflated value text books.

    1. shane

      “But …. is she paying attention to where those kids are going to be housed and cared for?  No.”

      “Housed”: drive over to the Tercero area near the dairy and take in all the new construction going in to replace the older and smaller dormitories.  Unsafe dormitories have been replaced with three phases of larger and beautiful dormitories.  I suspect that she paid attention to that when all this construction was approved several years ago.

      “Cared for”: drive down LaRue and take in the new large two-story student health center that replaced the tiny, old student health center near Russell Blvd.

      Are your comments indicative of “lack of attention to detail?”

      1. ryankelly

        Also, Tercero 4  – three 4-story buildings and a one story common area – is slated to open in Fall 2017 and will house an additional 500 students.

    2. South of Davis

      Mike wrote:

      > claimed she did not know that her staff were basically selling admission

      > seats to the sons and daughters of the rich and famous.  So she was either

      > a 1) not a very attentive manager who blamed others for her conduct or

      > lack of attention;  or 2) a liar.

      I’m no Katehi defender (I think she needs to go) but keep in mind that the process of “selling seats” to the rich and connected in IL is probably hidden similar to the hidden system we have here in CA where the children of the rich and connected can “buy seats” at UC.  Most people in the admissions department at UC have no idea of the secret deals to get kids in that are made over dinner at the PU Club or at the Bohemian Grove every summer (and the people making the deals didn’t get to be rich and powerful because they are stupid so they almost always come up with fake reasons to get a kid in so no one in admissions knows they gave a ton of money to a politician or hired the kid of a UC Regent)…

  2. ryankelly

    I don’t think Katehi is a liar.  I think that she has made mistakes and is not suited to be the chancellor of a public university.  A liar knowingly says things that are untrue, or purposely twists or alters facts, or omits giving truthful answers to questions.



    1. Tia Will


      I agree with you. I do not believe that Linda Katehi is a liar. I believe that she is telling the truth as she sees it. I also believe that it is that very perspective that makes her not suitable for the leadership position of a public university.

  3. Frankly

    This is a very interesting situation.

    I think it is indicative of the general degradation of our society into warring tribes.  In this case it is a war of the educated elite having strong economic prospects and that get more attention (call them the STEMS), and the educated elite having weaker economic prospects (“weaker” because they have always been weak) and getting less attention (call them the LIBARTS).

    The LIBARTS are having a hard time.  Their education costs have skyrocketed while their employment opportunities have stagnated relative to their STEM peers.

    It is understandable why they are pissed if you look at their grievances for what they really are about, and not what they say they are about.  Frankly, everything on their list except maybe Katehi’s arrangement with the book publisher (a corrupt industry that gouges students unnecessarily)  are impugnable.

    So what the actual list of grievances they should be trumpeting?

    Really one thing… the escalating cost of higher learning and the corresponding loss of practicality for acquiring a liberal arts degree.

    What these students and faculty should be focusing on and demanding improvements for is this.

    But in the mean time, these students should really question their choice attending an expensive 4-year college (that will take them 5-6 years to complete because the college has a conflict of interest in working to help students graduate earlier) to acquire a degree that will land them a moderate to low-paying job that will result in many years of student loan payments.

    But unfortunately the people of the LIBARTS tribe are not so logical in their brain wiring (probably why they are not in the STEM tribe).  They tend to throw a lot of angry protest parties complaining about everything, and demanding mostly things that don’t really help.

  4. Tia Will


    if you look at their grievances for what they really are about, and not what they say they are about”

    Because of course, in the world according to Frankly, you know better than they “what they really are about” and because in the world according to Frankly, there are no nuances, only tribes with no cross over and no complexity….never mind that there are probably a number of us here who have dual backgrounds or exposures with experience in both STEM and non STEM fields.

      1. Tia Will


        It is not a matter of offense, it is a matter of the uselessness and irrelevance of a comment made by and individual obviously incapable of mind reading.And, yes, my opinion is of equal value…..but I doubt Chancellor Katehi posts here on her own behalf.

        1. South of Davis

          Tia wrote:

          > It is not a matter of offense, it is a matter of the uselessness and irrelevance

          It is funny that the person who spends the most time telling us about the “uselessness and irrelevance” of posting what people are thinking is the one who posts most often telling us what others are thinking….

          P.S. to Tia thanks for letting us all know that Frankly thinks “there are no nuances”

  5. Alan Miller

    Bye Bye Linda. Bye Bye.

    You Katehi apologists . . . what are you thinking?

    What she did recently isn’t the issue. She was a damaged ship in 2011 and never properly had her hull repaired. Then she sailed her ship into rocky waters because she’s a bad captain, and the old, poor patchwork on the hull burst and she’s been taking on water for weeks.

    She is sinking slowly and the hull is listing dangerously starboard.

    Jump, apologists, jump.

  6. Tia Will

    There are three independent goods that I can see arising from the appointment of an independent investigation.

    1. Chancellor Katehi might actually get a fair hearing not based on blind cheerleading from her supporters nor vilification by those who oppose her, but by the actual facts of what she knew, what she did not know, and when and an impartial decision regarding her appropriateness as chancellor.

    2.Others who are using the same practices may get the heads up and decide to voluntarily stop padding their already ample compensations with dubious lucrative board activities.

    3. This might serve as the begin of an honest system wide look at the questionable practices with modifications more in keeping with the top administration of a public educational institution.

    1. David Greenwald

      We had actually known about the family employment things for a couple of months, but couldn’t get information out of the university as to whether this was approved or not. The university is not transparent. When Pepper Spray happened, the university had Barry Schiller, who while a company spokesperson, was at least responsive. The current person rarely returns calls or emails.

      1. VG

        David, you are doing a great job of an investigative journalist. (Davis Emptyprize should feel ashamed).

        I could not help to notice that none of the issues: DeVry, Wiley, Pepper spray were not even mentioned in Napoletano’s letter. Why? Could you explain?

        I long suspected that her DeVry appointment was approved. The events went so fast that by the time she resigned from the board, the approval request she sent may have gone through or was somewhere in the process. The rest does not stand in court. Napolitano knows that.

        So, what do we do? We need some “new charges” to justify the action as the things will get serious, meaning playing in a court of law. I wonder what the findings of the “independent, and fair” investigation committee appointed by Napoitano is going to be?  But this committee is irrelevant as the final word will be given in the court of law. Even if cleared of all the charges by this committee- can she ever return to her job? She is damaged for life.

        There will be a law suit and now Linda’s attorney may take a center stage. This is why UC narrative is changing. Now, they say, she is actually guilty of something else – just forget the previous accusations, those charges were dropped (so why did we spend so much time debating them?) My feeling is that Napolitano has an uphill battle to fight – the one she may loose.

        Linda may end up with more money in her pocket – paid by UC as damages, than what she would earn in the next 10 years. She can afterwards join the “pepper spray” cop who is already spending money he was awarded, in some nice vacation spot.

        1. VG

          must be fair and honest: – just read Napolitano letter in full …. stunning!

          The letter is to the point, yet, compassionate and fair. J. Napolitano, I apologize !

          I take back what I wrote – I am back to square one 🙂

        2. The Pugilist

          One thing the Vanguard kept pointing out was that Napolitano was willing to look past the original allegations, which is David kept saying it would be a secondary issue that would get her – it turned out not one but many secondary issues.  I was agnostic on whether Katehi really needed to go until the list of allegations came out.

          Innocent until proven guilty, due process and all that, but if this is even remotely true, you can no longer defend the chancellor and be reasonable.

        3. VG

          “Innocent until proven guilty,”  I stand for that above all, and did during this discussion.

          But, this letter kills her … she is gone. Case closed.

          End of discussion.

  7. ContextMatters

    It is simply amazing that no one on this list has stepped back and asked themselves: Could the person in charge of Homeland Security be after Katehi? And why would that be?

    The NAP hates it when someone bucks the command line. She agreed to things with her negotiations with Jerry that could never have been delivered. Now she needs a scapegoat. And she has one. She brought down the most decorated woman in engineering in just four days. A woman who could have made millions in private but instead dedicated time to a public university.

    Ask yourself: why didn’t she resign? Well, maybe because she didn’t do anything. Look at the charges NAP makes. In the university world, they are trivial. NAP is putting up fences and kicking out the unwanted.

    1. VG

      Not true: I have repeatedly been asking why is that students are sheepishly accepting to be governed by a Homeland Security Boss, which is bringing Homeland Security culture to the UC? This is far more serious issue that should have had students raising in protest on all UC campuses. It just shows that our students are clues, politically dumb, and gullible to accept any reason to protest, served to them, for the “feel good” purposes. I am very disappointed in students, they are the ones shaming the UC which has been known world wide for its activism and political involvement.

      I disagree that Linda is most decorated woman in engineering that could have made millions. She could have ended working as an engineer, or manager, let’s say designing antennas for Apple iPhone, making comfortably her salary or more, enjoying the work she should enjoy, without stress and without being publicly shamed. Chancellor job is nothing but an elevated secretary, dealing with all sort of stomach turning dirt, personalities, low-level politics, back stabbing, intrigues, ass-kissing etc. It is a disgusting job, for those who know what it really is. It only looks great from outside. In this job she is a public person – she can not even go grocery shopping without being watched, observed, commented about. For mere $400K that makes people jealous – would not take it for ten times this amount. Not worthed. But she wanted those kind of jobs, not an honest work on the subject she has been trained for. Thus – disagree that she is a engineer / scientist of high reputation.

      I do not feel sorry for people that get involved in crimes, drugs, choose a company of bad and dishonest people and then end up shot. You get what you asked for.

      UC Davis has alwasy been an embarassment to UC and the scandals will continue.

  8. Nancy Price

    Another question to ask Katehi and Napolitano is who approved UC Davis joining the G-8 countries as the only academic institution along with many other partners in the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Africa?

    This is an initiative to basically push GMO crops with more chemical input and a policy that prevents seed-saving into Africa that will impact family farmers and local and regional food sovereignty and democratic decision-making over food policy. Already, with little discussion or debate at national levels, rules and regulations are being changed to facilitate this agenda by officials who have bought into this new policy agenda. Read who the partners are here:  and here are two links to good critiques of this new alliance of which Monsanto heavily entwined with UCD and through UCD/s membership in this group, is a major beneficiary.

    At what level was UCD’s membership in this group and in support of this policy debated and approved? Syngenta is listed as a “partner,” but Monsanto is hiding behind UCD’ s skirts.

    But Monsanto will be in the limelight in October.
    From October 14-16 in The Hague, Netherlands, An International Tribunal will be held to hold Monsanto accountable for human rights violations, for crimes against humanity and for ecocide at the same time a People’s Assembly will take place for social movements to rally and plan for the future of agriculture and food sovereignty.

    1. ryankelly

      Nancy, Do you think that Katehi personally violated UC Policy or U.S. laws in some way and this should be part of the investigation into her job performance?  If not, why bring this into the discussion?

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