On the University of California, II: Chancellors Gone Wild

Hank Reichman:

On March 5, I began a post on this blog entitled “Corporatizers Gone Wild!” with these words: “For those who don’t yet understand what academics mean when we talk about the ‘corporatization’ of the university, a good way to begin learning might be to take a look at recent events surrounding the University of California (UC) at Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi, previously notorious for presiding over the pepper-spraying of her own students” in November 2011.

More than a month later the controversy surrounding Katehi continues. In case you missed it, Katehi initially came under fire for taking a board position with DeVry Education Group, a for-profit firm that offers college degrees online and on 55 campuses nationwide, including 13 in California, and is under federal scrutiny for allegedly exaggerating job placement and income statistics. She resigned that post and apologized soon after. Then it was revealed that Katehi had received a total of $420,000 in income and stock across the 2012-2014 fiscal years as a board member for John Wiley & Sons, a publisher of textbooks, college materials and scholarly journals. Her tenure came as students and state leaders sought to reduce the cost of textbooks and encouraged public colleges to use free, digital alternatives. Then it was revealed that Katehi had also moonlighted as a board member at a Saudi Arabian university that has been accused of buying its way to an impressive international ranking. Katehi served on the board of King Abdulaziz University (KAU) in Jeddah at about the time the university came under fire for its aggressive global recruitment of highly cited researchers with offers of $6,000 or $7,000 a month and free stays at five-star hotels.