Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi issued the following letter to students last night (March 17).
As the winter quarter winds down, I hope your final exams went well. I’m sure you are ready for a well deserved spring break!
You may have learned about my service on compensated boards. I would like to share with you some of my thinking.
My acceptance of the position on the DeVry Education Group board of directors did not comply with UC policy. I made an error in accepting it. I take full responsibility for that error, and I have resigned from the board. I accepted the position because I believed I could help DeVry better evaluate its procedures for delivering a sound curriculum and for measuring students’ performance and progress post-graduation. Nevertheless, I apologize for my mistake and the distraction this has caused for our university community.
My service on the board of John Wiley and Sons from 2011 to 2014 complied with UC policy. My goal in accepting that position was to help Wiley improve the quality of its educational materials, while making them more accessible and affordable for students. While I recognize and appreciate the concerns raised by many in our community about my service on the Wiley board, my work on the board had no impact on UC textbook purchases.
I served on an unpaid advisory panel of King Abdulaziz University from 2012 to 2013, which included the former president of Ohio State University; however, I did not participate in any meetings. My appointment complied with University of California policies. My goal was to increase student diversity.
To further our work together on behalf of California students, here is my commitment to our UC Davis community: I will establish a $200,000 scholarship fund for California undergraduate students at UC Davis from my Wiley stock proceeds.
Service on private and public boards is widely recognized as a responsibility of academic leaders. As a woman and a STEM scholar, my service has helped to correct the chronic lack of diversity on a number of boards. My pledge to the UC Davis community is to more carefully vet such invitations and to meticulously follow UC approval procedures in the future.
To students, parents, faculty, alumni, donors, staff and to the broader UC community, please know I remain deeply committed to this great university. I am proud of what we have accomplished together. Since 2010, UC Davis has enrolled more undergraduate Californians than any other UC campus. We are a world leader and one of just four universities anywhere with two colleges and schools ranked number one in the world — agriculture and veterinary medicine. I am proud that The New York Times ranked us second, behind only one other UC campus, for serving economically diverse students. Our economic contribution to the state of California exceeds $8 billion annually.
It is a privilege to work on your behalf to ensure that UC Davis retains and exceeds its remarkable stature. I am eager to continue developing the path-breaking collaborations we have launched together and which will propel us forward as a world-ranked university far into the 21st century.
If you'd like to discuss any concerns or ideas with me, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Linda P.B. Katehi