Time to go
Sometimes “sorry” isn’t enough.
On Thursday, UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi apologized to students for her latest ethical lapse.
It took protesters occupying Katehi’s office—demanding she resign or be fired—to force her to do so.
In a letter, Katehi apologized for accepting a paid board position with the for-profit DeVry University, as well as for receiving hefty compensation for serving on the board of textbook publisher John Wiley & Sons.
Katehi has since resigned from DeVry and donated some of her textbook stock to a scholarship fund. Still, her actions show poor judgment for someone entrusted to lead a university.
The same day she apologized, Assembly members Luis Alejo, Jim Cooper and Lorena Gonzalez joined Kevin McCarty and Evan Low in demanding Katehi’s resignation. UC President Janet Napolitano, however, has defended Katehi’s actions as the result of “good intentions.”
Seriously? Before her 2009 arrival at UC Davis, Katehi drew criticisms at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she served as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. There, she was accused of wielding heavy-handed influence as part of the school’s so-called “clout scandal.” She was cleared but doubts about her judgment surfaced again in 2011 during a UC Davis Occupy movement demonstration that led to the pepper-spraying of several students. It was Katehi who’d requested students be removed from the school’s quad, but she said police actions exceeded her authority.
Perhaps, but if that’s the case it’s clear Katehi lacks a grasp on how to function in her job, as well as the principle to get it done without scandal.