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posted by cmn32480 on Friday April 15 2016, @10:18AM   Printer-friendly
from the your-tax-dollars-at-work dept.

The University of California in Davis has spent $175,000 to try to improve its online image:

The University of California in Davis has spent $175,000 on search engine optimization (SEO) and online reputation management – to hide an embarrassing incident in which students were pepper-sprayed on campus. The massive bill has come to light this week after the Sacramento Bee filed information requests on the university's expenditure after it noticed that its "strategic communications budget" has nearly doubled from $2.93 million in 2009 to $5.47 million in 2015.

The newspaper found that the university had taken out several contracts aimed at "cleaning up the negative attention" that the university received when students were pepper-sprayed in November 2011 during a protest over large tuition fee hikes and in support of the broader Occupy movement of that time. The incident received worldwide attention when video was published of UC Davis police officer Lt. John Pike nonchalantly spraying a group of students with the chemical spray while they sat on the ground holding a peaceful rally.

[...] In an effort to limit the university's connection with the pepper-spraying, UC Davis hired Maryland-based Nevins & Associates for $15,000 a month for six months to "create and execute an online branding campaign" not just for the University of Davis, but also its chancellor Linda Katehi, who was widely criticized for her handling of the protests and faced calls for her resignation.

Here's the website of The University of California in Davis. Did I mention the University of California in Davis?

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 15 2016, @04:36PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 15 2016, @04:36PM (#332283)

    Also: They are a business. Nothing more, and nothing less! People keep romanticizing university, but in the end they're just businesses. So, when you ask why they are raising tuition...because they a business, and their goal is to make money plain and simple, and they have a monopoly. What's your alternative? Online universities?

    The bookstore at the university where I live jacked up the prices of all the text books, and then had the audacity to have all these little signs with a pie chart on them breaking down all the expenses explaining why the price hike. All their irrelevant information on them boiled down to them wanting more money. Oh, so they're a business.

  • (Score: 2) by butthurt on Friday April 15 2016, @10:27PM

    by butthurt (6141) on Friday April 15 2016, @10:27PM (#332463) Journal

    The University of California, Davis [] is part of a system paid for, in part, by the state government of California.

    The express purpose of the state's educational efforts is written in its constitution:

    A general diffusion of knowledge and intelligence being
    essential to the preservation of the rights and liberties of the
    people, the Legislature shall encourage by all suitable means the
    promotion of intellectual, scientific, moral, and agricultural

    -- []

    If the state-run universities are mainly pursuing profit, they may not be fulfilling their ostensible purpose. It's conceivable that the public could eventually become reluctant to continue paying for the system.