Breaking News: Chancellor Katehi Resigns (Updated)

Chancellor Linda Katehi in February
Chancellor Linda Katehi in February

The following is a letter from Janet Napolitano to Faculty:

On April 25, 2016, I met privately with Linda Katehi to discuss a series of misjudgments and policy violations of such a serious nature that she should resign her position as chancellor of UC Davis.  Regrettably, Chancellor Katehi refused to resign and made public statements to campus leadership and others that she intended to remain as chancellor.  I then placed Chancellor Katehi on immediate administrative leave and authorized the hiring of an outside firm to investigate a number of concerns.

The investigation is now concluded, and it found numerous instances where Chancellor Katehi was not candid, either with me, the press, or the public, that she exercised poor judgment, and violated multiple University policies. In these circumstances, Chancellor Katehi has now offered to resign, and I have accepted that resignation.  These past three months and the events leading up to them have been an unhappy chapter in the life of UC Davis.  I believe it is in the best interest of the campus, the Davis community, and the University of California that we move forward.

Chancellor Katehi will transition to becoming a full-time faculty member in accordance with the terms of her pre-existing contract.  We will immediately form a search committee and conduct a national search for a new chancellor to lead this extraordinary campus.  Ralph Hexter will continue in his role leading the campus during the pendency of the search.  The Office of the President will support and work with Davis’s faculty, students, staff, and community, to ensure the campus continues its impressive upward trajectory.

Katehi Press Release

Attorney Melinda Guzman informed the Vanguard that UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi has resigned in the wake of a UC report that, according to Ms. Guzman, has largely exonerated her.

From press release:
CLEARED OF ALLEGATIONS OF NEPOTISM, CONFLICTS, FINANCIAL MISMANAGEMENT OR PERSONAL GAIN IN UC INVESTIGATION, LINDA KATEHI WILL STEP DOWN AS UC DAVIS CHANCELLOR TODAY

CHANCELLOR EMERITUS WILL REMAIN ON UNIVERSITY FACULTY DAVIS, CA

(August 9, 2016) – Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi will resign as Chancellor of the University of California, Davis, effective today, her attorney Melinda Guzman said today. The Chancellor’s announcement came after the release of an investigation report by outside counsel to the University of California that found no policy violations in the areas of alleged nepotism, conflicts, financial mismanagement of funds or personal gain.UC President Janet Napolitano placed Dr. Katehi on paid administrative leave April 27, 2016.

Chancellor Katehi’s attorney, Melinda Guzman, said: “One hundred days ago, the UC placed Linda Katehi on administrative leave on issues highlighting nepotism, conflicts of interest and misuse of student fee income. The UC Davis Academic Senate cleared Chancellor Katehi of wrongdoing within days of the leave.

“After interviewing more than 55 individuals, the investigators found that she properly disclosed family relationships and therefore recused herself and did not discuss, influence or involve herself with the education or employment of her family. She was properly ‘walled off’ from these relationships,” stated Guzman.

“They found she was not involved and therefore did not violate policies regarding student fees. She had no involvement in the line item budgets involved and there were no policy violations or management concerns,” stated Guzman. “In fact, the so called whistleblower complaint had been resolved by the campus in 2014, the investigators asked the chancellor no questions regarding this issue during the investigation, and it never seemed reasonable to include this in the list of allegations,” stated Guzman.

“The report also exonerated Linda Katehi of any concerns regarding her travel expenses, and essentially exonerated her on the important issues relative to her service to the university, namely nepotism, conflicts of interest, financial management or personal gain,” stated Guzman.

“Other issues concerned her DeVry board service, an issue resolved in the past, and alleged misrepresentations to President Napolitano and the media regarding social media contracts. The report found these were never intended to benefit Linda Katehi and were not designed to ‘scrub the Internet’ as inaccurately portrayed by the media.

“The report does not reach a conclusion that Katehi was untruthful, citing only that she may have minimized her knowledge or role in the contracts.  In my opinion, there were many contracts, many goals and many people involved, leading to likely misunderstanding or miscommunication on these contracts,” Guzman said.

“Linda Katehi and her family have been exonerated from baseless accusations of nepotism, conflicts of interest, financial management and personal gain, just as we predicted and as the UC Davis Academic Senate found within days of this leave,” stated Guzman.

“The important thing is this: this strong and accomplished woman fought for her integrity and won. Today should end any speculation about what she has been alleged or rumored to have done. She remains as a faculty member and Chancellor Emeritus, and I have no doubt she will continue her fine work to benefit the faculty, the students and the entire campus community,” said Guzman.

“Chancellor Katehi is forever grateful to the many who have supported her as Chancellor, or as a colleague, in addition to the many members of the UC Davis Academic Senate, UC Davis Foundation Board, Alumni Board and members of the Davis and greater Sacramento community. She believes in the vision of UC Davis, and looks forward to her continued service to the campus now and in the future,” stated Guzman.

—David 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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53 Comments

  1. DavidSmith

    The UCOP has a different characterization of the investigation report.

    “(UC) President Janet Napolitano today accepted Linda Katehi’s resignation as chancellor of UC Davis, effective immediately. The move follows an independent investigation that found the chancellor had exercised poor judgment, not been candid with University leadership, and violated multiple University policies. A search for Katehi’s successor will begin immediately. Ralph Hexter will continue to serve as the acting chancellor. Katehi will return to her position on the UC Davis faculty, in accordance with the terms of her contract.”

     

  2. Barack Palin

    Napolitano is who should’ve gone.  Just another example of spoiled student protesters throwing a fit and getting their way through bullying.  I hope they feel remorse some day for their acts and hope karma hits them smack in the face for what they’ve done to this woman.

    1. Frankly

      Bullies generally don’t feel any remorse for those that they harm.  Especially the C-Bully type…

      Their Karma will be reduced opportunities to make a living after they graduate.

      And then they will look for someone else to bully over that feeling of unfairness.

  3. Jerry Waszczuk

    Katehi is also a mother and wife and her family is working for UC Davis .  It was expected but I don’t think that  the nasty Napolitano’s game and witch hunt is over.

    1. Miwok

      When they gonna tell us about the Golden Parachute.. No one loses a job, although she will have to find another place to live, if she was using it at all.

    1. Jim Frame

      our long university nightmare is over.

      It’s all over except the payout.

      Does her resignation mean a negotiated settlement ($$$) was reached?

      Reply

        1. Paul Thober

          From Ms. Napolitano above:

          “Chancellor Katehi will transition to becoming a full-time faculty member in accordance with the terms of her pre-existing contract”

          The six figure salary is undoubtedly correct, but why would it be a “no show” job?

      1. Justice4All

        The investigation found no policy errors, it’s the Katehi witch hunters that look like fools

         

        This only means that the policy is foolish to begin with. There is a difference between morality and law/policy. If nepotism, corruption and conflicts of interest arent against policy, then that policy needs to change. Period.

        1. Barack Palin

          So she was forced out and investigated and it turns out she was following policy.  So change the rules first and then investigate if she doesn’t follow policy.  Period. How would you feel if you were going 40 mph in a 50 mph zone and given a ticket because the cop said he felt that the speed limit should be 30 mph?

        2. DavidSmith

          If nepotism, corruption and conflicts of interest arent against policy, then that policy needs to change. Period.

          The investigation says that there is no nepotism, or corruption, or conflict of interest. Better get the facts straight before you put down the period

        3. Miwok

          If nepotism, corruption and conflicts of interest arent against policy, then that policy needs to change. Period.

          Davidsmith, I had proof of all that in the 90’s and still got shafted. My file is still at the UCOP. Again in 2004. Faculty stealing and giving “gifts” all over the world.

          Many people at the UC put the University at financial and liability risk every day because they feel they are authorized to act for the UC system. Like a department buying a car for a person and cell phone service when it is not authorized, they do it anyway.

          Other times it is a Professor that gets sold a “used car” research tool, by a salesman, signs a contract, and then gets told it is unauthorized. UC covers it up and wastes the money anyway. Happens all the time, and Ms Katehi had the same problems. they fudge records, especially travel records all the time. it isn’t her it is the minions.

          Then there are the people who work there and just steal, sometimes for personal profit. That is a State felony, and is not investigated or enforced when found, but they do not look very hard for it.

      2. Grok

        BP, I think your quoting from Katehi’s letter. Napolitano’s letter states, “The investigation is now concluded, and it found numerous instances where Chancellor Katehi was not candid, either with me, the press, or the public, that she exercised poor judgment, and violated multiple University policies.” whatever that means. I think it might be some time before we know what they found.

        1. Vicente

          All 90+ pages already published in a link over at that other Davis news outlet.  Go read it.   Clearly they did find some stuff wrong.  Katehi telling UCOP she hadn’t accepted the DeVry position, although she’d already been to orientation and attended a board meeting.  Her ever-shifting stories about the 3 social media contractors.

          Guzman spends a lot of words like a lawyer/PR flack would, to spin up the good things, and omit the bad.   Napolitano is short and to the point, focussing first and foremost on the reasons Katehi is being fired, excuse me, is resigning.  I like that.   Amputate, cauterize, move on.

        2. Barack Palin

          “The investigation is now concluded, and it found numerous instances where Chancellor Katehi was not candid, either with me, the press, or the public, that she exercised poor judgment, and violated multiple University policies.”

          Hey Grok, substitute Hillary for Chancellor Katehi in that paragraph and you’re talking about our next President.

  4. Marina Kalugin

    well Alan,  some of us cared a lot and I am sad for the campus and for Linda Katehi…

    And, I am also appalled that not enough could understand the true actions and future ramifications of Napolitano  (and also the Gov),  that a collective “we” didn’t do enough to right this wrong and what this all means for the staff and faculty and students of UCD going forward.

    I would rather look like a fool in some people’s eyes than have stood back and not have done what I knew in my heart was worth doing to stand up for a truly good, caring, and brilliant person …who gave so many years of her life to many thousands on campus and elsewhere.

    1. DavidSmith

      I would rather look like a fool in some people’s eyes than have stood back and not have done what I knew in my heart was worth doing to stand up for a truly good, caring, and brilliant person …who gave so many years of her life to many thousands on campus and elsewhere.

      There is certainly more “we” could and should do, and I for one will not stop.

    2. ryankelly

      Marina,  She resigned as Chancellor.  She is not dead.  She retains her faculty position at UC Davis and she is encouraged to return to research and teaching, which you so highly praised in earlier posts.

    3. Tia Will

       I am sad for the campus and for Linda Katehi…”

      I share this sentiment. It is a shame that we could not have had this outcome without the months of drama, pain and animosity. I hope that Chancellor Emeritus Katehi will continue her previous success in her areas of excellence. I hope that this event will spark a new look at the policies of the UC system which will improve it’s function in its primary mission which is the provision of an excellent education to the students of California. If that examination were to include the performance of Ms. Napolitano in her handling this situation, that might well be warranted.

  5. Marina Kalugin

    PS>   In today’s letter to UCD staff, faculty and students…..the Napolitano claimed she met privately with Chancellor Katehi on April 25…insisting she resign…yet those who were on the floor and adjacent floors were appalled at the horrific yelling and berating that the UCOP head invoked….

    obviously that is the true colors of that person…the current leader of the UC…….lest us not forget….

  6. Biddlin

    Long overdue. Any person with a nominal sense of propriety would have stepped down months ago. Sadly Ms. Napolitano and the rest of us apparently have more noxious weeds growing the UC garden.

    1. DavidSmith

      Long overdue. Any person with a nominal sense of propriety would have stepped down months ago.

      Quite the contrary. It doesn’t take much brain power to realize that you don’t step down unless the investigation exonerates you, which is exactly what the Chancellor did.

  7. tiger

    Katehi is out. We all knew she would be. At this point, it’s worth asking what we learned in the investigation report and whether, on balance, it makes the last one standing (Napolitano) look better or worse.

    Napolitano could have released Katehi early this year. Or, she could have started planning for a negative review that would gracefully end Katehi’s chancellorship. Instead, she hired an investigator and made a very expensive bet on learning something new and nasty. She made a laundry list of allegations beyond the social media and board scandals, and — we now know — added items after the investigation began.

    What remains once we see the investigation results? The social media and board scandals plus disagreement about what was said in private meetings between Katehi and Napolitano. Katehi was pretty much exculpated on the rest of the laundry list.

    Katehi looks as bad as she did at the start of the investigation. Napolitano looks much worse.

  8. Vicente

    Ding dong, the witch is dead!

    Why even print this self-serving garbage from Guzman?

    It belies the conclusions in the report. Go read it.

    Core among them that she continually misrepresented her role in the “scrubbing” contractors. She couldn’t even keep her story straight, sometimes she was totally ignorant of it. “We had 3 contractors working on that? I had no idea!”. And other ther times she was aware, and actually recalled meetings she attended with them. The other stuff is fluff, she deserved to be fired for that alone.  It astounds me how her apologists edit ignore that.  If I did even a fraction of the weasel things she’s done, I’d be fired in a second and it’d be deserved.

    Napolitano gave her a 2nd chance after the pepper spray incident, and she screwed that up.  I’m happy we can finally move on from this disgrace. Hopefully they find her a desk in a shed out by the airport where she can’t embarrass us further.

     

     

  9. Vicente

    Best Guzman phrase:

    “according to Ms. Guzman, has LARGELY exonerated her.”

     

    Largely.  It’s a great leadin to deflection.  I’ll use that myself someday.   Sure I was accused of lying, stealing, and cheating.  Now that charges were not proved on the stealing and cheating, let’s forget all about that first thing.  Great!

     

     

     

  10. SODA

     

    A quick read leaves me confused as I am sure others are between the University’s and her lawyer’s press releases. They seem in conflict?

    There was mention of an emeritus designation? That seems somewhat strange?

    What are the odds she will teach and do research at UCD?

    David, hope you will give some insight onto this in days to come.

     

  11. South of Davis

    SODA wrote:

    > What are the odds she will teach and do research at UCD?

    I’m guessing that Sean and HPierce have it right in that she will get a six figure no show job and we will never really know the details (other than the rumors Marina is sure to post) due to NDAs signed by both sides.

    My guess is that Katehi and her husband stick around pretending to “research” until they can start collecting on their seven figure pensions…

     

  12. Tia Will

    My guess is that Katehi and her husband stick around pretending to “research” until they can start collecting on their seven figure pensions…”

    I think that it is more than a little presumptuous to assume that former Chancellor Katehi and her husband will not fully resume the academic portions of their careers. They were dedicated enough to their academic careers to excel in their fields. So why would we assume that they will just abandon these interests now ?

  13. Jim Frame

    why would we assume that they will just abandon these interests now ?

    I assume they won’t abandon them, but I’d be surprised if they continue to pursue them at UCD much longer.

  14. ryankelly

    Linda Katehi’s own words explains everything clearly. She also intends to return to teaching in the College of Engineering and an interdisciplinary position in Gender and Womens Studies.  It doesn’t sound like she’s going to just sit around twiddling her thumbs.  I wonder more about her husband and whether he will start picking up a full teaching load now that he isn’t traveling with the Chancellor.

  15. Sulla

    Without taking  sides in this matter, has anyone noticed that the first sentence in the letter from the President of the University of California is structurally unsound?  My 5th grade teacher would be appalled.

    1. Matt Williams

      How would you restructure the sentence Sulla?

      On April 25, 2016, I met privately with Linda Katehi to discuss a series of misjudgments and policy violations of such a serious nature that she should resign her position as chancellor of UC Davis.

  16. Jerry Waszczuk

    Chancellor’s Board of Advisors

    Chancellor Emerita Linda P.B. Katehi created the Chancellor’s Board of Advisors to provide university leadership with independent, expert advice on how the university can continue on its path toward academic excellence and financial strength and stability.
    The board provides support, mentoring, guidance and expertise, helping the chancellor and campus leadership chart a course for UC Davis to become one of the nation’s top five public research universities.
    The Chancellor’s Board of Advisors is comprised of a diverse group of leaders from business, science, the judiciary and academia. The advisors each bring a deep understanding of and commitment to UC Davis, its mission and its goals, including the recently announced 2020 Initiative and the campus’s Vision of Excellence.
    http://actingchancellor.ucdavis.edu/board_of_advisors/index.html

  17. Jerry Waszczuk

    UC president: Katehi exhibited ‘serious lapses of truthfulness’   June 16, 2016
    In 15 pages of damning language, University of California President Janet Napolitano made her case against UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi to the Board of Regents in a blunt and forthright manner.

    http://www.davisenterprise.com/files/2016/09/Napolitano-to-regents.pdf

     

    http://www.davisenterprise.com/local-news/ucd/uc-president-katehi-exhibited-serious-lapses-of-truthfulness/

     

  18. Jaroslaw Waszczuk

    JANUARY 25, 2017 3:25 PM
     
    Want to know what the UC probe of Katehi cost? So do we.

    BY DIANA LAMBERT AND SAM STANTON
    dlambert@sacbee.com

     

    Nearly six months after the University of California completed an investigation that led tothe resignation of UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi, UC officials still cannot say what the probe cost taxpayers.
    That bill is among thousands of pages of documents UC has yet to produce in response to Public Records Act requests from The Bee dating back to May 5 that were filed as the scandal involving Katehi and UC Davis was unfolding.
    However, numerous records still have not been produced, including invoices and the total cost of the probe of Katehi. The inquiry was conducted by two former U.S. attorneys, Melinda Haag and McGregor Scott, and their colleagues at the Orrick law firm, which has 25 offices worldwide.

    http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article128771749.html
    Follow the money and learn the true.

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