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UC Davis Chancellor Suspended After $175,000 Online Name-Scrubbing Antics

Accepted submission by -- OriginalOwner_ at 2016-04-29 02:06:33

from the misappropriation dept.

El Reg reports []

Linda Katehi, the chancellor of the University of California, Davis, has been suspended pending an investigation into the decision to spent hundreds of thousand of dollars improving Google search results for her name, amid a range of other questionable activities.

The decision to put Katehi on paid administrative leave was made by UC President Janet Napolitano, who wrote a two-page letter [](PDF) to Katehi noting she would be suspended for 90 days pending the outcome of a "rigorous and transparent investigation."

The revelation [] that Katehi's office had spent $175,000 in an effort to "achieve a reasonable balance of positive natural search results on common terms concerning UC Davis and Chancellor Katehi" was dug out by the Sacramento Bee looking into why UC Davis' "strategic communications budget" had jumped from $2.93M in 2009 to $5.47M in 2015.

The events Katehi was seeking to whitewash--when security officers pepper-sprayed sitting students back in 2011--received nationwide press attention for the seemingly callous way in which the undergraduates were treated. The news that the university had secretly spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to remove that reputational stain was similarly covered.

[...]Napolitano's letter also puts a spotlight on other concerns over Katehi's behavior, including the employment of her son, her husband, and her daughter-in-law by the university.

[...]The letter [also] refers to complaints that student fees have been used for "unapproved instructional purposes" which would be "a serious violation of University policy".

[...]UC Davis students have been holding rallies calling for Katehi's resignation for over a week.

Previous: University of California in Davis Spent $175k on SEO and "Reputation Management" []

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