Tags: linda p b katehi | uc davis | janet napolitano

Linda PB Katehi, UC Davis Chancellor, on Leave During Investigation

Image: Linda PB Katehi, UC Davis Chancellor, on Leave During Investigation
UC Davis chancellor Linda Katehi looks on during a UC Regents meeting on the UC Davis campus on November 28, 2011 in Davis, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 29 Apr 2016 07:27 AM

Linda P.B. Katehi, University of California Davis chancellor, was placed on administrative leave on Wednesday pending an investigation into reports she paid to scrub her and the university's negative online reputation.

"Information has recently come to light that raises serious questions about whether Chancellor Katehi may have violated several University of California policies," UC system president Janet Napolitano said in a statement that also referenced "questions about the campus’ 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."

According to an April 13 report from The Sacramento Bee, Katehi paid reputation consultants at least $175,000 to scrub websites across the Internet of references to the November 2011 pepper-spraying of student protestors. 

Pictures of UC Davis Police Lt. John Pike spraying sitting protestors were circulated widely online, likely hurting the university's reputation.

One consultant reportedly called the references, "venomous rhetoric about UC Davis and the chancellor."

The Washington Post reported this week that, "Because of the Bee’s revelations, the scrubbing effort backfired badly, producing a mountain of negative publicity that ultimately served only to repeat thousands of times over details of the pepper-spraying incident that the consultants were attempting to erase from the public’s memory."

According to The New York Times, university provost Ralph Hexter will become interim chancellor with Katehi's removal. 

Katehi's lawyer, Melinda Guzman, released a statement of defense this week on her behalf.

"This smacks of scapegoating and a rush to judgment driven purely by political optics, not the best interests of the university or the UC system as a whole," Guzman wrote. "The Chancellor welcomes an independent, objective investigation and a full release of all relevant documents and public records. Make no mistake: we intend to vigorously defend Linda’s professional reputation and her standing as Chancellor of the university she loves."

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Linda P.B. Katehi, University of California Davis chancellor, was placed on administrative leave on Wednesday pending an investigation into reports she paid to scrub her and the university's negative online reputation.
linda p b katehi, uc davis, janet napolitano
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2016-27-29
Friday, 29 Apr 2016 07:27 AM
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