Embattled UC Davis chancellor resigns
- UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi resigned Tuesday, leaving a controversial history of questionable spending, inappropriate hiring practices and clashes with system leadership over potential wrongdoing.
- Most cases of such high-profile controversy are handled quietly and internally, but almost all aspects of communication, investigation and resignation played out publicly for Katehi's administration.
- Katehi's role on the boards of DeVry Education Group, a Saudi Arabian university and textbook publisher John Wiley & Sons helped to change system-wide rules over president board service and employment.
While UC System officials say her departure is a fresh start for the campus, it will also be a costly one — Katehi will keep her nearly $425,000 salary and remain for a year on campus as chancellor emeritus, and be allowed to return as a faculty member. For most administrators, this is the ideal severance package for an industry in which leaders are hired to eventually be fired.
Katehi's tenure could be a case study on everything that should be avoided in college administration: Nepotism, overspending and non-transparent communication with stakeholders and system leadership. It also is an example of the fickle nature of public relations consultation in higher education; in a business with so many stakeholders and constant media coverage, PR expenses rarely justify the outcomes when it comes to handling corporate wrongdoing — see Penn State University, Florida A&M University, and others.
- Los Angeles Times UC Davis chancellor resigns following probe into ethical violations