Key players in the investigation of UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi

Here are the key players in the story regarding the investigation of UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi and events leading up to it.

Linda P.B. Katehi: Chancellor of the University of California, Davis, since 2009. On April 27, 2016, UC President Janet Napolitano placed her on administrative leave pending the outcome of an independent investigator’s report.

Katehi was an engineer before entering a university administration career. Her annual salary is $424,360.

Janet Napolitano: University of California president.

Placed Katehi on administrative leave citing “serious questions” about whether she violated policies on employment of family members and use of contracts to remove information from the Internet. Napolitano wrote in a statement: “... Katehi may have violated several University of California policies, including questions about the campus’s employment and compensation of some of the chancellor’s immediate family members, the veracity of the chancellor’s accounts of her involvement in contracts related to managing both the campus’s and her personal reputation on social media, and the potential improper use of student fees.”

Napolitano has been UC chief since Sept. 30, 2013. She formerly served as U.S. secretary of Homeland Security.

Ralph Hexter: The UC Davis provost will fill the chancellor’s post on an acting basis. He’s former president of Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Melinda Guzman: Katehi’s attorney. She called the removal of Katehi “entirely unjustified” and said it “smacks of scapegoating.” Her law firm, Melinda Guzman Professional Corp., is based in Sacramento. In 2005, Guzman represented Celeste Rose, a UC Davis vice chancellor who received a $205,000-a-year job in a university settlement after she faced termination. Guzman argued that UC Davis treated Rose differently as an African American woman and threatened to sue for racial and gender discrimination before the sides settled.

Emily Prieto-Tseregounis: Katehi’s daughter-in-law. Part of the investigation into Katehi’s affairs is focusing on the employment of Prieto-Tseregounis and salary increases that boosted her pay by $50,000 over two and a half years. Prieto-Tseregounis is chief of staff for Adela de la Torre, vice chancellor of student affairs. She considered de la Torre a mentor at Northern Illinois University, where they worked together.

Adela de la Torre: UC Davis vice chancellor of student affairs and the boss of Prieto-Tseregounis. While placing Katehi on leave, Napolitano took issue with a “pay increase of over 20% and a title change” for de la Torre during the same two and a half years.

Erik Tseregounis: Katehi’s son is a graduate student in epidemiology at UC Davis. He works at the Center for Transnational Health, according to his UC Davis profile. Napolitano questioned why the university moved Tseregounis’ research position into the same student affairs department overseen by his wife. Napolitano wrote, “It does not appear that appropriate steps were taken to address, document or obtain approval for the fact that your son now reported to your daughter-in-law, who, in turn, was supervised by one of your direct reports.” Napolitano also asked whether moving Tseregounis’ research position into the student affairs department was an inappropriate use of Student Service Fee revenue.

State lawmakers: Eight state lawmakers have called on Katehi to resign: Assembly members Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville; Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego; Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento; Evan Low, D-Campbell; Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles; Freddie Rodriguez, D-Pomona; and Mark Stone, D-Monterey Bay. Sen. Joel Anderson, R-Alpine, also has called for her resignation.

Board of Regents: Governing board of the University of California system. The regents will review UC “policy governing outside professional activities for senior managers, including chancellors,” according to Dennis Larsen, UC executive director of compensation programs. A day after Katehi was placed on leave, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a regent, joined the calls for her to resign. “We’re frankly past that point,” he told The Sacramento Bee. Newsom said the Board of Regents would have a closed-session personnel discussion about Katehi at their next meeting in May.

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