The day after UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi was put on administrative leave, the man filling the position, on an interim basis, addressed the media for the first time Thursday.
Ralph Hexter is a UC Provost and the first person in line to fill in for the chancellor if needed. He says he will first meet with the school's community, including alumni and donors.
"I think the thing that I'm doing with them is absolutely convincing them that though this is an unexpected interruption to the path that we were on," he says. "We will minimize that and we will keep our momentum going."
Katehi was placed on administrative leave Wednesday pending an investigation of possible policy violations and misappropriation of student funds.
Hexter said it appears an investigation is warranted. But, he also called Katehi a "fantastic leader" and "inspirational."
Hexter said he wondered if he would be called on to serve as interim chancellor in light of recent apologies she has issued for policy violations.
When asked if he would support her termination if the allegations against her are found to be true, he said,
"I'm going to leave that to the President."
In a statement Wednesday night, UC President Janet Napolitano said the Katehi investigation should be finished by the beginning of the fall semester.