Education

Republican joins seven legislators calling for Katehi’s resignation

Sen. Joel Anderson, R-Alpine, has added his name to the roster of California lawmakers calling for the resignation of UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi, saying the University of California exists to educate students, not enrich administrators.

Anderson called for Katehi’s resignation and for the reform of the University of California system in a message on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon.

The senator is officially joining seven other legislators calling for the chancellor’s resignation, confirmed his chief of staff, Maggie Sleeper.

Anderson is the first Republican to call for Katehi to step down. He joins Assemblymen Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles; Freddie Rodriguez, D-Pomona; Mark Stone, D-Scotts Valley; Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville; Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego; Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento; and Evan Low, D-Campbell.

The lawmakers have called for Katehi’s resignation over the last six weeks as The Sacramento Bee published a series of articles about the chancellor’s paid positions on outside boards. The Bee reported last month that Katehi, 62, had accepted a paid seat on the board of DeVry Education Group as the for-profit company faced federal allegations of exaggerated job-placement claims. In the face of criticism, Katehi resigned from that seat and apologized, forgoing the $170,000 in annual stock and salary that board members receive.

The Bee subsequently reported she had received $420,000 in three years for serving on the board of textbook publisher John Wiley & Sons. She has defended her tenure on that board, but pledged $200,000 in Wiley stock toward a scholarship fund after facing criticism from students who said that position posed a conflict of interest while she oversaw a campus of students facing high textbook costs.

Last week The Bee reported UC Davis had spent at least $175,000 on consultants to scrub online references to the November 2011 pepper-spraying of students and improve the image of the university and chancellor.

Anderson said he thinks Katehi has “lost her way.” He said chancellors make “more than double what the governor makes, and he is responsible for 38 million Californians.”

The senator, long a critic of the UC system, says that he is particularly upset about a recent audit that says the university system gives priority to students from out of state.

Katehi earns $424,360 annually as UC Davis chancellor. UC President Janet Napolitano has said Katehi made mistakes – such as taking the DeVry seat without permission from Napolitano – but that she has been a good chancellor who should remain at UC Davis.

Monday Katehi issued a statement admitting to missteps and saying she would meet with students and community leaders to answer questions about the controversies and the university’s future.

Sens. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, and Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, previously questioned Katehi’s decision to accept the DeVry seat but said she should remain as chancellor.

“Chancellor Katehi has asked for time to engage the community in order to restore confidence, repair damage to the reputation of UC Davis, and get back on the successful track that has produced many great achievements during her tenure,” Wolk said in a statement issued Tuesday. “I believe she should be given that opportunity. I hope the community will join me in accepting the chancellor’s invitation.”

Diana Lambert: 916-321-1090, @dianalambert

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