Davis Faculty Association

New chief lawyer at UCD: an open letter to the Chancellor from the Davis Faculty Association

The following letter was sent today from Davis Faculty Association Chair Scott Shershow to UCD Chancellor Linda Katehi:

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Chancellor Linda Katehi
Fifth floor, Mrak Hall
University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616

via e-mail

Dear Chancellor Katehi:

I write on behalf of the board of the Davis Faculty Association to ask for more information about your recent decision, announced in a press release of December 7, 2012, to hire a new top-level attorney in the Office of Campus Counsel.  Your stated rationale for this position is that “we need additional expertise and experience in negotiating research and service agreements with a diverse business community, broader experience dealing with a variety of increasingly complex political entities and additional resources to advise on the myriad legal decisions confronting a university of this size and stature.”  We find this description to be rather vague and not very informative; and we are now requesting more details as to why such a position is necessary.

As you know very well, our university has faced years of budget cuts that have seriously affected our academic mission.  Your press release speaks of the “lean staffing” of the  Office of Campus Counsel.  Yet many of our academic departments are also very leanly staffed at the moment, both in clerical staff and even faculty.  Many academic departments have lost top faculty members, and today face hiring freezes that make it increasingly difficult to teach their classes and maintain their curricular standards.  Many faculty, including in my own department, no longer even have telephones in their offices, as a way of reducing administrative costs.  It’s thus quite difficult to understand why, in such a climate, you are choosing to hire a new senior administrator who will obviously need to be very highly paid, and whose work will have little or nothing to do with educating our students.

We would thus like to request from you a more detailed rationale for this new position than has yet been provided, and also an estimate of approximately what salary you expect will be required for it.  We would appreciate receiving this information at your earliest possible convenience.  We intend to share this letter and your reply with our membership and with the faculty at large.

Sincerely,

Scott C. Shershow, Chair
Davis Faculty Association

cc: Ralph Hexter, Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor
The faculty of the University of California at Davis

This entry was posted on Thursday, December 20th, 2012 at 10:26 am and is filed under Calls to Action, Faculty Governance, UC Administration. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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