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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Humor: November 18 marked 10th anniversary of former UCD Chancellor haunting Death Star bathrooms

“She’s just like Moaning Myrtle, but worse and she won’t stop complaining about lizards”

By IAN COSNER — iacosner@ucdavis.edu 

November 18, 2021 marked the 10th anniversary of the Occupy UC Davis protest, a terrifying incident where non-violent protesting students were pepper sprayed by UC Davis Police Lieutenant John Pike and Officer Alexander Lee. Subsequently, the date also marked the 10th anniversary of Linda Katehi, the former Chancellor of UC Davis, coming back from the ethereal realm to haunt students that dare to use the Death Star bathrooms.

For students not familiar with the girlboss that is Katehi, she served as the UCD Chancellor from 2009 to 2016, and while there are a numerous amount of things that we will most definitely get into, if you need a quick intuition on the kind of woman Katehi is beyond her brief but very colorful time as chancellor, please enjoy one of her most recent Tweets below.

While being the Karen that she is, there’s a lot to unpack from underneath the white sheet that this particular phantom has spent thousands to try and erase. So for the anniversary of the Occupy Davis movement, I want to arm you with as much info as we could of our former Chancellor, in case she attempts to spook you while you’re crying in the bathroom after a midterm.

Here’s all you need to know if you’re face-to-face with the spectral form of our former chancellor:

Our Protestors Are Built Different

  • In her apology to the campus on Nov. 21, 2011, Katehi referenced Nov. 17, 1973, talking about the Athens Polytechnic Uprising, where at least 34 students had been killed by the police sent to stop the protest. In 2010, Katehi was one of the co-authors of an international board of educators that argued for the repeal of the Greek “academic asylum” rules, thus allowing for police to return to campuses. In an interview with the Davis Enterprise, Katehi compared her views about Greek protestors in relation to the Occupy UCD movement as: “The anarchists in Greece, they kill people — they burned a bank (in May 2010) with three people in there. They burned them alive. You’re not talking about anything like this here. Our (protesters) here are very civilized.”

You Go Girl

  • Shortly after the incident, both staff and students pushed for Katehi to resign. At the same time, a group of professors signed a letter in support of her saying that, while they supported the student’s ability to peacefully protest, they believed that her resignation would not be “in the best interest of our university”. Many of these professors still teach or do research at UC Davis today. You can find their names and individual salaries at the time listed here, sourced from ucpay.globl.org

Wait, really? DeVry?

  • During her time as chancellor, Katehi was also moonlighting with both DeVry University (Yes, that DeVry University) and Wiley & Sons publishing (a textbook company that recently sued Internet Archive, a non-profit resource for free online books and textbooks, during the pandemic when people desperately needed online education materials). Katehi made $70,000 a year from DeVry as salary for her position and had also made $420,000 over three years as a board member of Wiley & Sons. This was all on top of her $424,360 salary as chancellor. At the time of Katehi’s resignation, the LA Times reported that DeVry was being “investigated by state and federal authorities on allegations of deceptive advertising about job and income prospects for its graduates.” While moonlighting is not illegal for UC senior managers, Katehi had not asked for the permission from UC required to work with DeVry.

Can’t Believe It’s Not Nepotism!

  • One of the other reasons for the 2016 investigations regarding Katehi were charges of nepotism for her husband, son and daughter-in-law, who all also worked at UC Davis. While investigators did not find evidence that she “was involved in employment or compensation decisions about her family members or that she misused student fees,”  according to the LA Times, it is important to note that Katehi filed the notification about her son, Erik Tseregounis, six months late and failed to file when his research center was moved under her daughter-in-law’s, Emily Prieto-Tseregounis, oversight. Her husband Spyros Tseregounis was also under investigation due to the fact that he worked as a lecturer and had the highest regular base salary of any lecturer, despite not being in the highest paying field or teaching the largest amount of courses. Also, for at least 5 years since the Davis Enterprise noticed it and most likely longer than that, Tseregounis’ faculty web page still lists nothing under “teaching interests.”

Pepper Spray Results Are For My OnlyFans

  • In January 2013, Katehi signed UCD on with a Maryland company called Nevins & Associates for a six-month, $175,000 contract to “clean up the negative attention the University of California, Davis and Chancellor Katehi have received” and to “to expedite the eradication of references to the pepper spray incident in search results,” according to the Sacramento Bee. A second contract in 2014 with Sacramento-based ID Media Partners or IDMLOCO for $82,500 was drafted for a similar purpose. Also, under Katehi, the UCD strategic communications budget went from 2.93 million in 2014 to 5.47 million in 2015. Overall, the school under Katehi hired three companies and spent $407,000 on search scrubbing, according to the investigation.

How Lit Can A Chancellor Get?

  • As part of the position as chancellor, Katehi was provided with on-campus housing. During both the 2013 to 14 and 2014 to 15 school years, Katehi spent $300,000 per year on staffing, maintenance and entertainment at the chancellor’s house. The entertainment bill totaled to $90,000 for each year and was mainly to wine and dine donors, host award luncheons and so on. This was nearly four times the amount of any other comparable university executive compensation.

While Being Kicked Out The Door

  • During the investigation, Katehi was placed under suspension that allowed her to take a year off at her full chancellor pay of $424,360 before returning to the university as a professor. The final legal bills of the investigation ended up costing the UC almost a million dollars. When she finally returned as a faculty member, her salary was agreed upon as $318,000 for the nine month school year. On Aug. 1, 2017 during a press meet-and-greet, Chancellor Gary May defended the number saying that “That salary is certainly consistent with others of that same [caliber]. As [a former] Engineering Dean, I’m familiar with those salaries and her salary is not in any way out of bounds.” Katehi officially resigned from the Chancellor position on August 9.

Off To Less Greener Pastures

  • Katehi currently works as an engineering professor at University of Texas A&M with a salary of $390,560 per year according to public records. OpenPayRolls calculates that “This is 452.9 percent higher than the average pay for university and college employees and 492.3 percent higher than the national average for government employees” throughout the country.

While sightings of the phantom of Katehi are rare, frequency is known to increase the closer it is to Nov. 18. So if you’re not looking to lurk around the lost soul of Linda, then make sure to avoid the Death Star at all costs and keep your bathroom crying reserved to the MU. 

But if you’re planning a pummeling of a particularly pernicious poltergeist, rumor has it that you can summon Katehi by shouting her name three times and pouring pepper up your nose. 

*Please note that I am not liable for the possible harm that can come to students from the busting of any ghosts, poltergeists, spectres, ghouls, phantoms, apparitions, ethereal beings or Ray Parker Jrs. 

Written by: Ian Cosner — iancosner@ucdavis.edu

Disclaimer: (This article is humor and/or satire, and it’s content is purely fictional based on facts about the former Chancellor).

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