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UC Davis Staff Sent To Switzerland To Learn Image-Boosting

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

(AP) - A report says University of California, Davis spent more than $17,000 to send staff to Texas, Maryland and Switzerland to study the digital operations of transnational companies as it searched for ways to improve its online image.

The Sacramento Bee reports Wednesday travel record and emails show Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi dispatched staff to Nestle's headquarters in Vevey, Switzerland in November 2015. The following month, her staffers visited social media experts at Dell Inc. in Texas and at Marriott in Maryland.

The overseas trip came after UC Davis had spent at least $175,000 on contracts with two firms that promised to help erase negative search engine results stemming from the November 2011 pepper-spraying of students by campus police.

University of California President Janet Napolitano put Katehi on paid leave in April pending the outcome of an investigation to determine whether her actions violated university policies.