UC Davis Chancellor Under Investigation After Failed $175K Effort to Scrub Negative Publicity

PicMonkey Collage - UC DavisUC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi has been put on administrative leave after receiving major blowback for potential violations of school policy, one of which was her misfired effort to cleanse the school’s online reputation.

Since 2011, the school has been infamously associated with an incident when a group of students were pepper sprayed by a cop during a non-violent protest. Protests over that incident have been aimed at Katehi directly — and other unpopular policies for years since then — and it came to a head recently when the media took notice of how she paid consultants $175,000 in an effort to remove online links between the school and the pepper spraying.

However, UC school system president Janet Napolitano implied that the suspension wouldn’t end with the scrubbing. According to The Sacramento Bee, Napolitano stated that Katehi was also being investigated for policy decisions linked to “material misstatements” and pay raises to her immediate family members that might reflect a conflict of interest.

“The serious and troubling nature of these questions, as well as the initial evidence, requires a rigorous and transparent investigation,” said Napolitano.

The statement said that the school’s provost, Ralph Hexter, will become the temporary chancellor while Katehi remains under investigation. Katehi’s attorney Melinda Guzman stated that the move was “entirely unjustified,” and “smacks of scapegoating and a rush to judgment driven purely by political optics.”

[Image via screengrab]

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