How long should University of California, Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi keep her job? The question is presumably on the minds of the UC Regents who control her fate: On Wednesday, as they begin their March meeting, protesters at Davis will have spent 13 days occupying her office, where they’ve endured through finals week and the beginning of spring break in hopes of forcing the administrator to resign her post. In addition, at least four Golden State legislators have publicly called for her ouster.
Some recent attempts to remove figureheads at institutions of higher education are glaringly frivolous. The case against Katehi is substantive, specific, and compelling—whether you conclude that it is ultimately right or wrong.
She is paid $424,360 to lead the university.
Her critics charge that she behaved unethically when taking additional paid positions, citing Sacramento Bee reports that she “accepted a paid seat on the board of DeVry Education Group as the for-profit company faces federal allegations of exaggerated job placement claims,” and that she “received $420,000 in three years for serving on the board of textbook publisher John Wiley & Sons.” UC President Janet Napolitano criticized her association with DeVry but said she shouldn’t be fired. Activists object to the for-profit education industry generally, and believe it is a conflict of interest for a Davis administrator to be paid by a company that sells textbooks that Davis students are required to purchase.