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UC Davis Chancellor Placed On 'Investigatory Administrative Leave'

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

UC Davis, Chancellor Linda Katehi, left, Dr. Linda Bisson, chair of the UC Davis Academic Senate, center, and retired California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso, who led a 13 member task force that looked into pepper spraying incident at UC Davis.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi has been placed on "investigatory administrative leave" by University of California President Janet Napolitano.

Napolitano's office released the following statement Wednesday evening:

"Information has recently come to light that raises serious questions about whether Chancellor Katehi may have violated several University of California policies, including questions about the campus's employment and compensation of some of the chancellor's immediate family members, the veracity of the chancellor's accounts of her involvement in contracts related to managing both the campus's and her personal reputation on social media, and the potential improper use of student fees."

The statement calls the questions "serious and troubling."

Napolitano will appoint an independent investigator, with the expectation that the person will complete a report by the beginning of the fall semester.

UC Davis Provost Ralph Hexter will fill the chancellor role on an acting basis.

Napolitano says in the statement, “I am deeply disappointed to take this action. But, Davis is a strong campus, nationally and internationally renowned in many academic disciplines.  I’m confident of the campus’s continued ability to thrive and serve California students and the Davis community.”

The 62-year-old Katehi came under fire early in her tenure at Davis when campus police officers used pepper spray on seated demonstrators during a November 2011 protest. 

Calls for her resignation resurfaced after The Sacramento Bee reported in March that Katehi had accepted a seat on the board of a for-profit college company and earned more than $400,000 as a director for a textbook publisher. 

The Sacramento Bee also reported that the school paid consultants at least $175,000 to improve its image online after the pepper-spraying incident.

Earlier Wednesday, Katehi sent out her own statement to the university's Council of Deans and Vice Chancellors saying she's "100 percent committed to serving as Chancellor of UC Davis." 

On Tuesday afternoon, Katehi canceled an interview on Insight with Beth Ruyak scheduled for Wednesday morning. 

Read Napolitano's full statement below: 

"Information has recently come to light that raises serious questions about whether Chancellor Katehi may have violated several University of California policies, including questions about the campus's employment and compensation of some of the chancellor's immediate family members, the veracity of the chancellor's accounts of her involvement in contracts related to managing both the campus's and her personal reputation on social media, and the potential improper use of student fees. The serious and troubling nature of these questions, as well as the initial evidence, requires a rigorous and transparent investigation.  As such, President Napolitano will appoint an independent, outside investigator to conduct the investigation and submit a report, before the start of the 2016-17 academic year.  The president, with the support of the leadership of the Board of Regents, has determined it is in the best interest of UC Davis that Chancellor Katehi be placed on investigatory administrative leave from her position as chancellor pending the outcome of this investigation.  Pursuant to an existing delegation of authority, UC Davis Provost Ralph Hexter will fill the chancellor role on an acting basis.

“I am deeply disappointed to take this action,” said President Napolitano. “But Davis is a strong campus, nationally and internationally renowned in many academic disciplines.  I’m confident of the campus’s continued ability to thrive and serve California students and the Davis community.”

Statements from Linda Katehi:

The Associated Press and Capital Public Radio Staff contributed to this report.


Original Post: (AP) — The chancellor of the University of California, Davis has been placed on leave amid an uproar stemming in part from the school's hiring of consultants to improve its image, following a widely criticized protest pepper spraying incident by police.

UC President Janet Napolitano's office announced Wednesday that she is appointing an outside investigator to determine whether the actions of Chancellor Linda Katehi have violated university policies. She has been at the post for nearly seven years.

The 62-year-old Katehi came under fire early in her tenure at Davis when campus police officers used pepper spray on seated demonstrators during a November 2011 protest.

Calls for her resignation resurfaced after The Sacramento Bee reported in March that Katehi had accepted a seat on the board of a for-profit college company and earned more than $400,000 as a director for a textbook publisher.