BY HANK REICHMAN
University of California at Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi, who was suspended in April after the UC Office of the President opened an inquiry into allegations of nepotism and misuse of student funds, resigned today after an investigation commissioned by UC President Janet Napolitano found that she had violated “multiple policies,” “exercised poor judgment” and had “not been candid with university leadership.”
The investigation focused on whether Katehi had given her son and his wife improper benefits in their campus jobs, including $50,000 in raises to the chancellor’s daughter-in-law. The probe also looked into whether Katehi had spent student fees on purposes for which they were not intended. It did not address her controversial participation in corporate boards. The UC Board of Regents had scheduled a special meeting for Thursday, August 11, which included one action item: “Personnel Matter, Davis campus.”
Katehi will remain a full-time faculty member in engineering.
Napolitano wrote the following in a message to the UC Davis community:
On April 25, 2016, I met privately with Linda Katehi to discuss a series of misjudgments and policy violations of such a serious nature that she should resign her position as chancellor of UC Davis. Regrettably, Chancellor Katehi refused to resign and made public statements to campus leadership and others that she intended to remain as chancellor. I then placed Chancellor Katehi on immediate administrative leave and authorized the hiring of an outside firm to investigate a number of concerns.
The investigation is now concluded, and it found numerous instances where Chancellor Katehi was not candid, either with me, the press, or the public, that she exercised poor judgment, and violated multiple University policies. In these circumstances, Chancellor Katehi has now offered to resign, and I have accepted that resignation. These past three months and the events leading up to them have been an unhappy chapter in the life of UC Davis. I believe it is in the best interest of the campus, the Davis community, and the University of California that we move forward.
“Chancellor Katehi will transition to becoming a full-time faculty member in accordance with the terms of her pre-existing contract. We will immediately form a search committee and conduct a national search for a new chancellor to lead this extraordinary campus. Ralph Hexter will continue in his role leading the campus during the pendency of the search. The Office of the President will support and work with Davis’s faculty, students, staff, and community, to ensure the campus continues its impressive upward trajectory.
A copy of the full report, redacted for public release, may be found here.
Katehi, who earned $420,000 as chancellor, denied wrongdoing throughout the investigation and had hired a public relations expert to push her case. Her attorney, Melinda Guzman, issued a press release saying the investigation “found no policy violations in the areas of alleged nepotism, conflicts, financial mismanagement of funds or personal gain.”