Thursday, December 01, 2011

At least 242 people believe she shouldn't be canned

Almost 250 faculty at the University of California-Davis have signed a letter indicating their support for embattled chancellor Linda Katehi.

She has been at the center of the controversy resulting from a police officer's (stupid) decision to pepper spray a group of students who were peacefully protesting on the campus. Katehi also has apologized to the university community, and she has promised to take time to listen to that same community.

Will the faculty letter, Katehi's apology, and her commitment to listen be enough to save her job? I don't know. But I do give her credit for being proactive in addressing what took place. Someone will be held accountable for the pepper spray, and I don't think the fall guy will be the officer. (Saying that, I think it will be impossible for him to remain at the university.)

The students were warned that they had to leave. That's clear. But their refusal to listen cannot be the justification for unleashing pepper spray on them. An investigation is about to begin, but there are questions being asked about how independent that investigating agency really is.

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