Friday, April 29, 2016

UC-Davis Chancellor Is Placed on Leave

The Chronicle of Higher Education
April 27, 2016
By Fernanda Zamudio-Suar├ęz

The chancellor of the University of California at Davis, Linda P.B. Katehi, was placed on administrative leave on Wednesday night, pending an investigation of information that “raises serious questions” about whether she may have violated university policies, according to a statement from the office of the president of the University of California system.

The system’s president, Janet Napolitano, said in the statement that she would appoint an independent, outside investigator to compile a report before the start of the next academic year and that the provost at Davis, Ralph J. Hexter, would fill the chancellor’s post on an acting basis. “I am deeply disappointed to take this action,” Ms. Napolitano said.

The concerns regarding Ms. Katehi, the statement said, include “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.”

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Tools of Campus Activists Are Being Turned Against Them

The Atlantic
April 22, 0216
By Conor Friedersdorf

At UC Davis, where student activists still hope to oust Chancellor Linda Katehi, critics of their activism are using concepts like “safe space” and “hostile climate” to attack it.

The student activists had occupied a small room outside Katehi’s office, planning to stay until their chancellor resigned or was removed from her post. By the time they left 36 days later, a petition that now bears roughly 100 signatures of UC Davis students and staff were demanding that they prematurely end their occupation, criticizing their tactics, and alleging a number of grave transgressions: The signatories accused the student activists of sexism, racism, bullying, abuse, and harassment, complaining that many who used the administration building “no longer feel safe.” The student activists say that those charges are unfair.

The conflict illustrates a pattern that campus observers are likely see more and more in coming years: Insofar as progressives succeed in remaking campuses into places unusually sensitive to psychological harms, where transgressing against “safe spaces” is both easy to do and verboten, confrontational activism will no longer be viable.