University of California, Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi [previously], formerly known as the boss of the Pepper-Spraying Cop and the beneficiary of large chunks of cash from corporations publishing textbooks used by her students and operating a for-profit university, is out, at least for now.
The move comes two weeks after the University of California Students Association formally called for her ouster.
From the Los Angeles Times:
Suddenly, however, Katehi was gone — abruptly placed on administrative leave late Wednesday by UC President Janet Napolitano.
Napolitano ordered an outside investigation into “serious questions” over Katehi’s involvement in jobs for family members, possible misuse of student funds and “material misstatements” about her role in the hiring of social media firms to bury negative publicity about a campus police pepper-spraying of peaceful student protesters in 2011. If proven, Napolitano said, the actions may violate university policies on conflicts-of-interest, ethical conduct and use of student fees.
Katehi’s attorney has called the allegations “entirely unjustified,” while the chancellor told faculty members on Wednesday morning that she was “100% committed” to staying at Davis.
On Thursday, the campus was abuzz with a central, perplexing question: How could such a brilliant woman stumble so badly with a string of such questionable decisions?
The latest issues raised follow weeks of controversy over Katehi’s decision to take two paid board positions — one with a textbook publisher, the other with a for-profit firm, DeVry Education Group, which is being investigated by state and local authorities for allegedly deceiving students over job and income prospects.
In addition to her personal profiteering Katehi came to the university with a express agenda: Pull research away from the big questions of general science and refocus on work that could lead to profitable patents.
From Ars gratia artis to Ars gratia emolimentum.
There’s a certain hypocrisy in Napolitano’s action, given that the university system actively hypes its celebrity academics who reap millions from startup companies they found based on work they did on the public payroll.