UC Davis Chancellor’s Retirement Rip-off

UC Davis, California, Linda Katehi
UC Davis, California, Linda Katehi

**** UPDATED 8/19/16 ****

Schools needing money is an omnipresent topic, and the specific subject of college tuitions has been and is a focus of presidential candidates.

In my commentary titled, “Where College Tuition Goes” one of the mentions was UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi. Katehi is one of 10 University of California chancellors. The L.A. Times repeatedly reports her annual salary at $424,360 — plus hefty benefits.

Katehi gained the spotlight with the Sacramento Bee reporting in March that something was smelling foul at UC Davis.

It was discovered that in addition to receiving $424,360 for what most would think is a full-time job, she was getting another annual stipend of $70,000 from DeVry Education Group. DeVry is an online college degree program that was being sued by the federal government for defrauding its students – and we now know Katehi knew it.

There’s more. The Sacramento Bee also published that Katehi received a three-year income from textbook publisher John Wiley and Sons in the amount of $420,000 — another $140,000 per year.

The math is easy. Kathei was raking in $634,360 plus perks.

Janet Napolitano, carrying political experience but no educational experience, was oddly dropped into the cushy spot of the president of the state’s UC system.

Earlier this year, Napolitano lauded Katehi for doing a great job, and even though she hadn’t made the proper disclosure, Kathei was sorry, Napolitano protected her, and all was well with the world.

The matter did not go away, as investigations continued into Kathei’s cover-up of details of a campus protest where students were pepper-sprayed and the discovery of her nepotism and intervening into salaries of family members.

The Times this week said: “The report painted a picture of a chancellor so obsessed with her public image that she insisted on hiring public relations firms to improve it even after a 2012 UC study found the pepper-spray incident was not harming the campus’ reputation.”

Taxpayers paid that massive tab, as well.

The investigation’s report says Katehi “misinformed” Napolitano about DeVry. Additionally, she had joined the board of King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia, knowing the swirling allegations that it “improperly inflated its research statistics.” There was no mention of how much money Katehi is receiving for that position. The negative finding involving the university was a “failure to show ‘diligence and judgment.’”

UC spokeswoman Dianne Klein said:

“Chancellor Katehi has engaged in a pattern of misrepresentations, … has repeatedly exercised poor judgment when confronted with challenges, has consistently disregarded the impact of her actions on the campus and the university as a whole and has failed to mitigate troubling management practices.” She continued: and “This behavior is not fit for a UC chancellor or anyone in a leadership position.”

When I read the headline that this woman had resigned, I was thrilled for the everyday Jane and Joe Taxpayer who are on the hook, with absolutely no say-so in the process, to pay for this massive debauchery. At last a bureaucrat had been held accountable and was out the door.

All of this joy was quashed when reading the final story parts wherein Katehi refused to resign, letting everyone know she would sue to keep her chancellor position.

Apparently these malfeasants have a “right” to take a faculty position even though they have been found to be liars, incompetent, unfit, etc.

Thus a deal was made.

Katehi will not sue, will be on administrative leave (i.e. vacation) for one year fully paid with her full $424,360 salary (surely with all benefits in place), along with her promise to return to a guaranteed job for at least one year as a faculty member with a salary to be determined at that time.

In the meantime, taxpayers can pay that and yet another person to assume her title.

The final slap in the face was and is with California politicians pretending like all of this a good deal.

To wit, among others there is Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, and Assemblywoman Catharine Baker, R-San Ramon, robotically offering that “the resignation would give UC Davis a fresh start.”

Considering an unfit, untruthful, incompetent state bureaucrat is on a one-year, fully paid vacation amounting to $424,360, in cash, plus a whole bunch of perks and a guaranteed job with a salary to be determined … what “resignation?”

Think about this when you hear about the high price tag on tuition, when politicians claim “free college is a right” or the latter being retitled as a “debt-free” college.

Free is never free. There is always a cost to someone who must pick up the tab.

Presently the U.S. college loan debt is $1.3 trillion. Of that amount, $125 billion was borrowed by people who have defaulted on any payment whatsoever for at least the last year.

It’s pretty clear that they are hoping the government will forgive their loans and put taxpayers on the hook while the takers skate. They seemingly have no compunction for sticking you and me with their obligations and commitments.

My kids and I paid their college debts. How about you and yours?

UPDATE 8/19/16: Katehi’s base annual UC salary was $424,360 not $474,360. I have also just learned UC Chancellor Dirks’ UC annual salary is $531,939. Dirks is staying in place until his replacement is found…..and the hits just keep on comin’!

Photo credit Wikimedia/KianaHooper