Student Groups Threaten to Resign from Chancellor Search Committee


The Vanguard previously reported that the Graduate Student Association had passed a resolution that condemned the chancellor search process and imposed five conditions to UC President Janet Napolitano as conditions of participation.  ASUCD on October 23 submitted a similar letter.

Both GSA and ASUCD have authorized their student reps to resign from their positions on the Chancellor Search Advisory Committee if 5 conditions are not met.  (Correction: while this comment is now true, it had not been approved at the time of the initial publication).

At their November 2 meeting, the GSA General Assembly voted unanimously to authorize Brian Riley to submit his two-week notice of resignation from the search advisory committee for the next UC Davis chancellor to the chair of the committee, Janet Napolitano.

If submitted, the notice will remain in effect until the following concessions are agreed to (Correction: this point was written by GSA):

  • Chair Napolitano agrees to run the committee meetings according to Robert’s Rules, including submitting a proposed agenda for each meeting in advance.
  • Chair Napolitano agrees that non-committee members (including employees of the private search firm) shall not speak during committee meetings unless asked for points of clarification.
  • Chair Napolitano agrees to immediately release a list of demographics of the current candidate pool (including ethnicity, gender, and current position title) and will release updated information after every meeting.
  • Chair Napolitano agrees to immediately release a statement on the role of the faculty subcommittee, the full committee, and the search firm.
  • Chair Napolitano agrees that no candidates will be invited to be interviewed or considered to be finalists unless they have been first approved by the committee.

Resolution from ASUCD  (Correction: This was resolution but the executive statement of the resolution)

Last night the ASUCD Senate passed Senate Resolution 1, a resolution calling for a halt in the search for the next UC Davis Chancellor until a more transparent and student-friendly search process is enacted. The ASUCD Executive Office is in support of this resolution and joins the Senate in imploring UC President Janet Napolitano and the UC Regents to create a more student-friendly search process.

As the resolution notes, the search committee assembled by Janet Napolitano has many flaws, the most unfavorable being the blatant lack of student representation on the committee. Only one undergraduate student and one graduate student have been placed on a search committee of 17 members. The resolution states:

WHEREAS, the asymmetrical balance of power inherent to the selection and appointment of chancellors under Regents Policy 7102 is further exacerbated by the composition of the advisory committee itself, with UC President Janet Napolitano and the UC Regents holding seven (or 41%) of the seventeen seats on the committee. The overrepresentation of top UC officials on the advisory search committee ensures that the interests of those holding the most power in the UC system are prioritized throughout the selection process; and,

WHEREAS, graduate and undergraduate students comprise over half of the UC Davis campus community, there are only two seats for student representation on the advisory committee. These two student representatives, who were selected by ASUCD and UC Davis Graduate Student Association leadership rather than the wider student population, are expected to speak to and represent the diverse concerns of over 35,000 UC Davis students

Student representation in this search process is incredibly important as this Chancellor should first and foremost serve the student population. If President Napolitano and the UC Regents do not allow for a more transparent selection process of the new Chancellor, then how can they expect to select a transparent Chancellor who understands the needs of students at this university?

We may tout that we are One UC Davis but students do not have only one voice. The students of UC Davis represent a bright and diverse community, deserving of a process that reflects our unique needs.

October 17 Response Letter from President Napolitano

Members of the UC Davis Graduate Student Association:

I am writing in response to your resolution regarding the current Chancellor search, which was shared with me by your Chair, Katrina Block. Having just heard from members of the committee about the town halls that were held on campus earlier this week, I felt this was a good moment to provide some of my reflections on the process and address some of the concerns you listed.

Let me start by saying how much I value broad engagement by the Davis community in a process as consequential as this one to the campus. In particular, I am eager for high levels of student engagement. While I know many of your members have been actively involved in various aspects of the process, I did want to take the opportunity to underscore the many opportunities for engagement that have been offered thus far, as well as the ongoing role that all students can play in the months to come.

  • Consistent with Regents Policy 7102, I sought nominations for the undergraduate and graduate representatives from your respective student associations to serve as members of the search advisory committee. I am grateful to have Elly Oltersdorf and Brian Riley as members of the committee. Their insight and perspective have already had a positive impact on the committee’s work.
  • I believe that the practice of starting the search process with Campus Day is vitally important. Unfortunately, it is impossible to hear from every member of the Davis community during a visit of this kind, but we did seek to provide a venue where a group of students could speak directly to members of the committee. Campus Student Affairs led that selection process, but I understand that it involved consultation with ASUC, GSA, professional degree students, campus Multicultural Centers, Disability Services, and first generation student representatives, among others.
  • In addition to Campus Day, a day of forums was held on campus earlier this week. Thank you for hosting the graduate and professional students forum. I was also glad to hear of the undergraduate session hosted by ASUC. Members of the committee were in attendance, and I will ask those members to update the entire committee on what they heard during those sessions. Relatedly, I am grateful that Katrina has shared the video of the ASUC town hail from September 26 with the entire committee.
  • I understand the Davis Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Milton Lang, worked with ASUC President, Alex Lee, to develop a survey that could be sent to all students regarding what they hope to see in a new Chancellor. I fully support these kinds of efforts to reach as many students as possible and understand the survey is already generating a strong response. Once it is complete, I look forward to reviewing the resulting information with the committee.
  • In addition to the important work of Elly and Brian on the committee itself and the opportunities outlined above, there are two additional opportunities for student input throughout the entirety of the process. First, any student can send a message to the search advisory committee via, whether to provide additional information about the student experience at Davis or to provide input on the characteristics and qualifications we should seek in Chancellor candidates. The message received will be shared with the committee. The second opportunity relates to candidates themselves. I strongly encourage students to nominate candidates, which they can do via that same email address. There may be individuals that students can identify from their own experiences on campus and outside, but I would also encourage students to contact friends and peers at other colleges and universities to learn of individuals who might be an excellent fit with UC Davis.

As you can see, this process is designed to engage students early and often, which I personally feel is vital to a successful search process.

I did want to briefly comment on the confidential nature of the search process. Beyond the fact that this process is consistent with Regents Policy, it is designed to produce the very best outcome for the campus. It is a common national practice to preserve the confidentiality of candidates during Chancellor or President searches for colleges and universities. For many prospective candidates, particularly sitting Chancellors and Presidents at other institutions, participating in a process that is not confidential would put their professional standing at risk. As a result, many such candidates will simply not participate in a process that does not preserve the confidentiality of their candidacy. By maintaining a confidential search process, UC ensures it can successfully engage the largest and most diverse set of candidates and maximizes its competitive position among other similar searches that may be occurring nationally.

Again, thank you for your continued input into the search process. I am confident that we will identify a superb Chancellor for this campus and one who will be a champion for its students.

Signed: Janet Napolitano, President

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Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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      1. South of Davis

        David wrote:

        > The President does clearly

        As a college student I was very involved in campus politics and as a young man I was the “student” representative on various school boards.  At first I had no idea that I was not there for my input but just so they could say “we got input from the students” (and did not care at all what I or the other “students” thought of their decisions).

        I soon learned that I could be rewarded if I learned to “play their game” and make other students think the administration cared about them.  In real politics this happens all the time and later today there will be students, Latinos and union members who hope to be personally rewarded working to get people in their “group” to support Bill (really a Republican) Dodd and Cecilia Aguiar (Big Oil) Curry on Tuesday.

        1. David Greenwald

          You hit on the key point here: but just so they could say “we got input from the students”

          So basically the student organizations are saying, no, you can’t have it both ways, if you want to say you got input from the students, you have to take input from the students.

        2. hpierce

          Will take a bit of an issue what you wrote re: Dodd…

          Many of us, including myself, are politically “trans-politic-ed”… we are growing in number, and in CA at least, we are about to pass the Republicans, and are a threat to Democrats (unlike major party affiliations, we actually think, and are conservative on some issues, liberal in others)…

          Perhaps Dodd is also “trans-politic-ed”… I cast my vote for him, based on his actual performance… and knowing his opponent’s views and performance…

          For those who all “red” or all “blue”… 100% liberal/100% conservative… watch out… you are all trending to be irrelevant and unsustainable… the rest of us are finding our voice…  and we know both extremes ‘denigrate’ us…

        3. hpierce

          But David, taking input, evaluating it, and then rejecting it is not wrong… those who insist on getting their way, as a prima facie test of “input”… I suffer not fools…

  1. Tia Will

    I do not dispute the point about “appearance of representation” vs actual representation. However, I do see a more nuanced issue with regard to “transparency” in the hiring process. As a 10 year member of our recruitment and hiring team, I can vouch for the fact that some very strong candidates for positions will not apply if they believe that doing so openly will jeopardize their current position. Limiting you choices of candidates by insisting that their names be made public prematurely is not a successful recruitment strategy and should not be an absolute demand if the goal is to attract strong candidates.

  2. Miller

    Threatening to leak applicant names would certainly sabotage the search by deterring high-quality applicants; while people seeking to move up from a lesser position might not mind if the news of their application was leaked, the kind of highly seasoned, peer-institutional leaders needed to step into the Chancellor’s role will not want it publicly known that they were considered and rejected. Confidentiality is absolutely the norm at this high level, and rightly so. This needs to be a respectful process, without grandstanding or threats of sabotage. I don’t think UC Davis students want to sabotage the search. I think they want the best candidates to apply and to be considered with care and diligence. I think they just want guarantees that their input will be heard and that decisions will be made by the committee as a whole. The request for Roberts Rules to be followed is reasonable, although redundant, since the Regents Bylaws already require this practice for board and committee meetings (

  3. Tia Will


    The request for Roberts Rules to be followed is reasonable, although redundant, since the Regents Bylaws already require this practice for board and committee meetings ”

    Do you know if there was a suggestion that she is not or was not planning to follow Roberts Rules ?

  4. Miller

    The post, above, that my comment responds to, refers to the demand that “Chair Napolitano agrees to run the committee meetings according to Robert’s Rules, including submitting a proposed agenda for each meeting in advance.” That’s all I know.

  5. Marina Kalugin

    and, does the UCOP Pres Napolitano care, the gov, the regents?   Any of them care?  nope

    If you folks, aka the students will just step out of the way, then we can all stop this farce..

    Who in their right mind would want to come an work for the Napo (for short) , ex Chief of Homeland Security after what she got away with over recent years?  You know the same one who almost had Ed Snowden of the NSA infamy killed?  you know Citizenfour?   I haven’t had time to watch it yet.

    She abused her powers going as far back, and likely earlier,  with the “gang of two”  errr  otherwise known as the committee of two….the gov and the Napo ruined the pension plan for UC.  I was kinda screaming about it from the first time I heard of it in 2014..

    By the time the Academic Senates started listening, it was too late.

    She managed to get rid of the best Chancellor UCD could ever hope for on false pretenses and lied.

    And, since the current yes man aka good ‘ole boy wants the job, and the Napo likes those kind of guys…no offense Ralphie….guess who we are going to get?

    Would anyone who makes more money at a lower ranked school want the hassle?  And to put up or shut up with the Napo?

    She always gets her way….only mealy mouthed guys will keep their jobs.   The women who stood up to her, like Chancellor Emerita LK,

    She even has ins to silence those who make waves and don’t obey.

    Only a truly strong woman can ever stand up to a really strong woman..  LK as a brilliant engineer  was on the “wrong sides” of some issues…  like the Gov’s pet project, the twin tunnels…. So were many other UCD engineers and faculty of other departments.

    If you union folks really want to twist and tweak those who are “in charge”, you would call for Linda Katehi’s return, not that she will accept it…but who knows.  She will ONLY come back if the Napo is gone..

    In fact I would nominate Linda for UCOP Pres, right?

    It may be 50 years before all the truth is out…but for now, follow the money and learn the truth..

    It ain’t what you think pals.



    1. Jerry Waszczuk


      You have my  support . Linda Katehi for UC President.  Write the petition to California legislature to remove corrupted  Napolitano from the post and bring back Linda Katehi .

      I addressed Napolitano’s presidency   in my October 27, 2016 letter addressed to  U.S Senator  Dianne Feinstein who together with her husband and regent  for life Richard Blum brought Napolitano to UC system.

      Conclusion of the letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein.
      I do not need to write down the names because you would not know who most of them are besides Janet Napolitano, Jerry Brown, Melinda Haag, and Grey Davis. Maybe at the end of your career, you should do something good and merciful. You should ask President Obama to pardon Leland Yee before the president leaves office. I think it would be the best thing you have ever done in your life if you make this happen. It will allow Senator Leland Yee to rejoin his family, especially his ill wife, who needs a lot of care. I believe that President Obama will listen to you and sign the executive order to release Senator Yee from Fort Worth Federal Correctional Institution. Senator Leland Yee is a political prisoner, and his unlawful incarceration is not the way to cover up the white-collar crimes committed by some of the regents, including but not limited to your husband Richard Blum, as listed in my specific September 25, 2015 inquiries that I sent to you. As I read recently your husband has serious health problems than you know what Senator Leland Yee is going through, being locked up for five years far away from his ill wife who requires lot of care.
      As a U.S. Senator for many years, you should know that the violation of civil and human rights by Janet Napolitano, your husband, and their thugs to help cover up and condone white collar crimes is a crime itself. You should tell your friend Napolitano to resign and advise her to go back to Washington, D.C. to play her dirty power games there.
      How can you sleep peacefully while knowing that your husband destroyed so many people’s lives because of his greed and despicable disregard for the law and rights of others? Look at climate surveys of UC campuses:
      ·        24% of respondents believed that they had personally experienced exclusionary, intimidating, offensive and/or hostile conduct; 9% of respondents (n = 8,903) said that the conduct interfered with their ability to work or learn.
      You should be shame of yourself that it has come to the point that an immigrant from Poland needs to remind you about your responsibility as a Senator of the United States of America.
       Jaroslaw Waszczuk

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