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Back in 2011, when students were peacefully protesting steep tuition hikes, UC Davis cops pepper sprayed them. This abuse resulted in a $1 million settlement, more than half of it going to consultants, who reported to a panel headed by Cruz Reynoso, a Jerry Brown pick California voters booted off the state Supreme Court in 1986. UC Davis did not fire any administrators over the pepper-spray case. Instead they suspended with pay John Pike, the policeman who sprayed the protesters. Pike, whose salary was $119,067, claimed he suffered “psychiatric injury” and UC Davis paid him a workers’ compensation settlement of $38,000. UC Davis chancellor Linda Katehi kept her job but came under fire for spending $407,000 in university funds to shore up her image on the Internet.
It also emerged that Katehi employed three family members on campus, including her daughter-in-law Emily Prieto. In less than three years on Katehi’s watch, Prieto received promotions and raises that boosted her pay by more than $50,000. Then in 2015 UC Davis made Prieto an “assistant vice chancellor,” boosting her pay to $130,000. Katehi also drew fire for accepting a board seat with DeVry University, an independent for-profit school, and for shaky recording of travel expenses. Katehi was on paid administrative leave when she finally resigned in August. She will get a year’s pay and continue as a full-time member of the UC Davis faculty. Now it seems even more goodies may be in store for the ousted chancellor.
As Diana Lambert notes in the Sacramento Bee, “former UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi is in position to lead the school’s Feminist Research Institute,” established in 2015. According to its website, the FRI will explore “how gender, sexuality, race, and other social structures inform the design, execution, and interpretation of research.” In that cause, the FRI “will generate transformative, paradigm-shifting linkages across disciplines by bringing feminist ethics and methodologies to bear on the basic sciences, social sciences, humanities, health sciences, engineering, law, economics, and agriculture and environmental science.” What that might mean remains unclear, but at UC Davis, waste, abuse, nepotism and misconduct can certainly bring rich rewards.