Sacramento Assemblyman Calls On UC Davis Chancellor To Resign Over Textbook, DeVry Board Seats

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A California lawmaker called Friday for the resignation of UC Davis’ chancellor over her service as a compensated director for two for-profit companies, a not-uncommon arrangement in academia.

Assemblyman Kevin McCarty said Friday that he found Chancellor Linda Katehi’s decision to accept seats on the boards of textbook publisher John Wiley & Sons and for-profit college company DeVry Education Group “unseemly.”

“Chancellor Katehi receives a taxpayer and tuition-funded salary of $424,360. It is unseemly for the chancellor to be moonlighting side deals to fatten her bank account, especially when it runs contrary to the interests of our students,” McCarty, D-Sacramento, said in a statement.

Katehi, an electrical engineer who has led the Davis campus since August 2009, issued an apology on Friday afternoon but said she looked forward to remaining on campus. She also said she planned to donate the money she made as a Wiley director to student scholarships.

“I take my responsibilities as chancellor of UC Davis, and to the entire University of California, very seriously and sincerely regret having accepted service on boards that create appearances of conflict with my deep commitment to serve UC Davis and its students,” she said in a statement.

Katehi was appointed to the DeVry board on Feb. 22 and resigned from it on Tuesday under pressure from McCarty and consumer advocacy groups who questioned why she would align herself with an outfit the government is suing for false advertising.

University of California chancellors are required to have their service on outside boards approved in advance by the 10-campus system’s president, a policy Katehi didn’t follow in the DeVry case.

UC officials haven’t said if she had permission to join Wiley’s board in 2011, a position for which The Bee said Securities and Exchange Commission records show she was paid $420,000 in cash and stock over three years.

However, Katehi’s role as a Wiley board member is listed on an annual report the university prepared on the outside professional activities of its senior managers in 2014, the most recent year for which information is available. She used vacation time to cover board work conducted during university business hours.

Along with distributing textbooks and academic journals, the publishing house based in New Jersey also produces the popular “For Dummies” self-help series and mainstream business books.

UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla is the only other campus leader who reported serving as a corporate board member that year. He made $12,000 as a director for an information technology company based in India, about $71,000 in stock for serving on the board of 3-D imaging firm Quantapoint.

Other top UC officials, including the chief executive of the UC San Francisco Medical Center and the system’s general counsel, also reported earning tens of thousands of dollars in outside income from extracurricular board service.

A survey of 1,662 college and university heads conducted by the American Council on Education in 2011 showed that 46 percent of the public research university presidents and 37 percent of the private Ph.D.-granting institutions served on the boards of for-profit companies.

 

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.

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