Oops, Katehi declines nomination to direct UC Davis Feminist Research Institute

greek-playThere must be an ancient Greek play that deals with the folly of allowing a disgraced, demoted official to hang around the seat of power. What good can possibly come of it?

University of California officials probably wish they had fired former UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi for bringing shame to the esteemed campus with her self-aggrandizing ways. Instead, they rewarded her with a year’s salary — $424,360, plus retirement and health benefits – to help her transition into a respectable role as an engineering professor.

Less than five months after her forced resignation, Katehi became the focal point of  controversy when she was nominated to lead UCD’s Feminist Research Institute.  The institute’s board, composed of nine female faculty members, filed a request in November to name Katehi its new director, said a UC Davis spokeswoman, according to a Sacramento Bee story that didn’t emerge until Dec. 7.

The story immediately ignited a backlash. Here are a few comments from the Bee’s website:

How it is possible that Katehi is not fired? She did not get any support from the regents, Napolitano and Governor Brown, who nominates regents and is formally the president of the Board of the UC Regents. Don’t you think that something is wrong with the whole picture? Who is protecting Katehi and why?

This con artist needs to be in jail.

She used the UC system in a most abhorrent way. … I don’t think she is a real good role model for feminism or human kind for that matter.

The Davis Enterprise reported that organizers of the “Fire Katehi” Facebook group had circulated a strong protest letter deriding the nomination and calling it “a troubling disconnect between the board of the Feminist Research Institute and the students of UC Davis.”

In a surprising turn of events Monday, UCD officials confirmed that Katehi had turned down the nomination to head the feminist institute.  No further explanation was given in the Bee’s story. Members of the institute’s board would not return calls or emails, the Bee said. There was no comment from Katehi.

However, the former chancellor told the Enterprise she hadn’t spoken to the feminist institute’s board, did not know it had nominated her and learned about it from a story in the Bee. Even so, she said she didn’t have any bad feelings about having been nominated.

Is Katehi, accused of dishonesty by UC officials a few months ago, to be believed? Were her supporters floating a trial balloon? Why would the feminist institute’s board want to be associated with someone with such a tattered reputation?

Whatever the answers, Katehi’s presence on the UC Davis campus continues to be an embarrassment to a university obviously in need of leadership.

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2 Responses to Oops, Katehi declines nomination to direct UC Davis Feminist Research Institute

  1. Paul

    Do you really believe that the former UC Davis Chancellor Katehi is a bad person ? UCOP would not give Chancellor Emerita title to any chancellor which was investigated of the wrongdoing and was forced to resign . The Chancellor Katehi formally and legally not resigned but she retired by her own decision This is means that she legally can’t be accused of any wrongdoing . It seems to me that it is not Linda Katehi who violated the UC policies and procedures but Janet Napolitano is abusing the power and she made big deal about nothing . Napolitano tried to knock down Linda Katehi with help of her two friends , the former two US prosecutors ,and white collar crime, highly skilled very expensive lawyers Melinda Haag and McGregor Scott.

    Here is an example of giving the Emeritus title to Chancellor from UC San Francisco
    Fur Meeting of March 19, 2009
    The Committee recommends approval of the following items for J. Michael Bishop, M.D., as Professor Above Scale, at 100 percent time, San Francisco campus:
    A. Per policy, for the period July 1, 2009, through June 30, 2010, continuation of
    administrative salary of $402,200 per annum while he is on paid administrative leave in lieu of sabbatical leave. This is Chancellor Bishop’s current base salary as Chancellor, and is consistent with the provisions of Academic Personnel Policy 758-0 B.(2), which govern these types of leaves. This one-year administrative leave is contingent upon Mr. Bishop returning to a tenured faculty position for a minimum of one year at the completion of this leave. After a long period of administrative service, Chancellor Bishop will spend the leave attending to other academic requirements as appropriate, including University, community, and public service.
    B. Per policy, conferral of the title of Chancellor Emeritus in recognition of Mr. Bishop’s extensive service to the University as Chancellor of the San Francisco campus.
    Additional items include:
    Per policy, payment of reasonable and customary moving expenses from his University
    offices and the University-provided housing to his personal residence. These expenses are
    estimated at approximately $10,000.
    Per policy, standard pension and health and welfare benefits.
    Per policy, accrual of sabbatical credits as a member of tenured faculty.
    The compensation described above shall constitute the University’s total commitment until modified by the Regents and shall supersede all previous oral or written commitments. All compensation (as defined in the Regents’ 1993 Principles for Review of Executive Compensation) in this recommendation will be released to the public immediately following approval by the Regents.

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