Linda Katehi officially resigned as UC Davis Chancellor on Tuesday after an investigation found that she had violated several university policies.
Prior to stepping down, Katehi received widespread criticism for several high-profile incidents including reports that she spent nearly $200,000 of taxpayer money on travel and claims that she gave the green light to spend more than $100,000 to scrub bad press from the internet surrounding the 2011 pepper-spraying of students by university police.
Although she will no longer serve as chancellor, Katehi will remain employed by the university as a full-time faculty member, according to Democracy Now.
Larry Kamer, Linda Katehi's spokesperson, refuted much of what The Sacramento Bee published about the University of California Davis Chancellor.
In an email to Carbonated.TV, Kamer disclosed a statement of what he considered to be "the facts."
His statement is below.
"1. The University of California has routinely audited Chancellor Katehi’s travel every year and found no irregularities.
2. Likewise, the Chancellor’s husband (who is also a tenured faculty member at UC Davis) has also had his travel audited annually without issue or incident.
3. Chancellor Katehi’s travel expenses are lower than most of her peers at other UC campuses.
4. Her personal trips, or portions of trips that are personal, have always been paid from personal funds. That is a matter of public record.
5. Finally, it is worth noting that much of the Chancellor’s travel has been in support of fundraising for UC Davis, where she has raised more money than ANY other Chancellor. From July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016, UCD raised $226,176,992—the greatest dollar-amount in UC Davis fundraising history—from 34,318 donors. These funds—now more than $1 billion raised under Chancellor Katehi’s leadership—that directly benefit student scholarships, faculty compensation, and expansion of UCD’s award-winning programs."
However, if these claims are true, then it is unclear why Katehi would need to be investigated surrounding her use of public money in the first place. It also raises questions regarding why UC Davis put her on administrative leave in April, but does not address other allegations against her such as nepotism.
Linda Katehi, University of California Davis Chancellor, was placed on administrative leave back in April this year while an investigation into her alleged misuse of university money was carried out.
The deadline for this investigation by former U.S. attorney Melinda Haag was Monday, and no report had surfaced yet, leaving the public with unanswered questions regarding the whereabouts of public money she had been spending with little restraint.
The Sacramento Bee published its own investigation of the suspended chancellor’s travel expenses that were billed to UC Davis from 2010 to 2016.
During the span of these six years, Katehi reportedly billed the university for overseas travel 26 times along with dozens of out-of-state trips.
When she was accompanied by her husband, she billed the UC for him too. She used UC Davis’ money to pay for high-end hotels, first-class plane tickets, on-flight internet access, private tour guides, and even limousines. She’s known to have rented hotel rooms just to hold her luggage.
Most of these trips were allegedly related to fundraising for the university, including meetings with potential donors. However, reports suggest that she went to Greece for personal reasons at least eight times on the university’s dime.
Local anti-tax activist Jon Coupal told the Bee that as a public employee, Katehi’s behavior is downright “embarrassing.”
He said, “That does not strike us as appropriate by any stretch of the imagination.” Coupal, from Howard Jarvis Taxpayer’s Association, continued, “I think there might be a disconnect there between what she was doing and any acknowledgment that she was a public figure spending public money.”
Surely, she must have been aware that she was spending taxpayer’s dollars, but perhaps got carried away when she realized she could sneak it past accounting for so long.
Over the years, Katehi’s international trips alone cost the university more than $174,000. The Bee noted that this figure on record is likely to be much lower than the actual amount she spent because when she traveled with other university staff or her husband, they filed separate billing claims.
The chancellor is also being investigated for misuse of student fees, nepotism, and lying about her personal role in university contracts in order to manage both the university and her social media accounts.
Her sense of entitlement to these public funds is incredibly disrespectful, not only to taxpayers, but to the paying UC Davis students who deserve better role models.
Katehi’s spokesperson, Larry Kamer, did not provide any comments on these expenditures to the Bee.
Photo credit: Twitter, @ucdvolkie