By Jerika L.H.
Students and community members have expressed frustrations over the sluggish and costly timeline of the internal investigation of Linda Katehi. Katehi will continue to take home over $1,150 a day throughout her 90-day paid leave, which will total approximately $106,000 by the end of the investigation. Although this is standard contractual protocol, many have pointed out the irony of paying the Chancellor for a three-month vacation, all while investigating her misuse and squandering of funds. Katehi will continue to enjoy the benefits of the University-provided Chancellor’s mansion, as well as allocated funds for the provided vehicle. A sea of memes have appeared on social media to highlight what many call “downright greedy behavior.” Commenter Alan D. notes, “She’s already making almost a half a million a year, how much more does she want?”
Furthermore, news outlets have been vocal about the lack of transparency and delays in the release of records. In fact, it has been 59 days since the Sacramento Bee’s Diana Lambert requested public records on Katehi and her activities while active as Chancellor. Given that much of the requested information would not be difficult for the UC to produce, many are beginning to wonder if the delays are due to stalling methods. For example, a request for copies of Katehi’s agenda and appointment calendar would normally be fulfilled within 10 days, if that. Many have taken to public forums to insinuate that the extended timeline is indicative of attempts to censor or strategically redact documents before their release so as to not incriminate others – a contradiction to Napolitano’s promise of transparency. Others have stated that the timeline may be within reason, given the disruptions in upper administration.
Many are awaiting the results of the investigation with bated breath, although the outcome now seems a bit obvious. Countless people have weighed in and popular opinion assumes that Katehi is as good as gone – the investigation is simply due process – despite her promise to remain as the campus leader. What remains unknown is how things will play out for the family members who have been identified as possible recipients of preferential treatment due to nepotism. Apart from the $50,000 salary increase to Katehi’s daughter-in-law, and the restructuring that placed her son under the direct supervision of her daughter-in-law, her husband’s rare and lucrative title has raised eyebrows. Spyros Tseregounis’ designation as a lecturer with security of employment (LSOE) puts him in a very small class, despite hundreds of other accredited lecturers. He also had the highest base salary of any other lecturer at $159,560. Rate My Professor surveys indicate that he is unpopular among the students.
Seven days remain until the University of California agreed to surrender all documents – stating that the projected deadline would be June 1, 2016.