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As we noted, the University of California at Davis garnered national attention in 2011 when campus cops pepper-sprayed students peacefully demonstrating against tuition hikes. The ensuing lawsuits cost taxpayers more than $1 million, most of it going to crony consultants. No UCD administrators got fired, least of all chancellor Linda Katehi, who also came under fire for spending $407,000 in university funds to shore up her image on the internet. She also mounted a surge of nepotism, employing three family members on campus, including daughter-in-law Emily Prieto, recipient of hefty pay raises and promoted to “assistant vice chancellor.” Katehi resigned last August but UCD kept her on paid leave. Now she’s back in a big way.
In September, Katehi will return to UC Davis as a “distinguished professor” of computer and electrical engineering and “women and gender studies.” According to news reports, Katehi will be paid “at the same rate she received as campus leader.” Her nine-month contract for $318,000, when annualized, is “equivalent to the $424,000 salary she received as chancellor.” At UC Davis, an incompetent administrator and non-leader can do pretty much anything she wants and still pull down the big bucks at taxpayer expense. On the other hand, the entire UC system under Janet Napolitano, a former Department of Homeland Security boss and Arizona governor, is not exactly a model of accountability.
As we noted, UC bosses spent $504 million on a computer system that was supposed to cost $156 million. They also jacked up tuition while hiding $175 million in reserves. UC bosses also hiked administrative spending by 28 percent over three years, but without any method to track expenses. And so forth.
The UC regents should show Napolitano the door but she keeps her job despite miserable performance. Meanwhile, if underperforming Linda Katehi is to be a professor she should be paid like one. As it stands, Katehi and Napolitano model the waste inherent in the UC system.