Monday, November 21, 2011

 UC - Davis 

The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave?

The chancellor of the University of California Davis has been involved in some earlier experiences that did not exactly cover her in glory.  This pepper spray incident may be the straw that breaks the proverbial camel's back.

My friend Roy poses writes in an email:

(emphasis mine)
A very big story last week was how campus police pepper sprayed unarmed, peaceful student demonstrators at the University of California - Davis.  This lead to widespread calls for the resignation of the University Chancellor, Linda Katehi.  This aggressive, violent response to peaceful protest seems to be the latest example of the arrogance of some current leaders of our important organizations. 

This case appears directly related to the problems in leadership and governance we discuss on Health Care Renewal (   Ms Katehi has the distinction of having been already written up twice on Health Care Renewal for questions about her leadership.

On her arrival at UC-Davis in 2009, she showed ignorance of, if not hostility to the fundamental university mission by suggesting the university should enthusiastically embrace the development and marketing biotech products:

At that time, I called this an example of "how the leaders of academic institutions seem to be forgetting or radically deconstructing their academic missions."

In 2011, Ms Katehi showed her support for the self-interest of management by defending the entitlement of the medical center CEO to nearly a  million dollars yearly in compensation:

Although I could not have predicted that Chancellor Katehi would preside over the pepper spraying unarmed students for peaceful, legitimate protest, it is not surprising that a leader without respect for the academic mission and who supports executive exceptionalism would foster an authoritarian climate in which such an incident could happen.

You heard it here first on Health Care Renewal (

Keep your eye on Health Care Renewal for continued discussion of parallels between problems in health care and in the larger political economy.



I just put a longer version with quotes and an embedded video of the pepper spray story, and slightly longer discussion of our previous write up of Ms Katehi up as a post on Health Care Renewal:

Roy Poses, M.D.


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