In contrast with Napolitano's summary of the probe's findings, Katehi wrote that "investigators have confirmed that as to material allegations concerning my service to this institution, I did not violate UC policies or laws."
But investigators' 102-page report, released after the Katehi and Napolitano statements, represents a mixed verdict on the accusations. (The full document is embedded below.)
Katehi was found to have committed a variety of missteps on issues ranging from concerns about nepotism involving her son and daughter-in-law, spending of student fee revenue reimbursement for her private travel. The report says that even in cases where Katehi, her staff or her family may have violated UC policy on such matters, investigators found no intent to deceive or defraud the university.
On two other sets of allegations, though, the report's findings are far more critical.
Katehi came under fire in April after reports surfaced that she had contracted with social media firms to try to whitewash negative publicity related to a 2011 incident in which a campus police officer doused student protesters with pepper-spray -- an episode that went viral online.
Investigators found that Katehi "was misleading, at best, or untruthful, at worst" when she told Napolitano and media outlets that she had nothing to do with the contracts and that they had been initiated by others.
The report concludes that Katehi's denials represented a violation of the University of California's Standards of Ethical Conduct.
"Based on the available evidence," the report says, "Chancellor Katehi appears to have violated UC policies requiring that she conduct herself “honestiy in ali dealings” when she represented to the public and [Napolitano] that she was not “aware of’ or “involved” in the social media and communications contracts. The evidence indicates that Chancellor Katehi was acutely focused on minimizing negative references to herself online. Multiple witnesses expressed concerns that Chancellor Katehi was inordinately concerned with her individual public image. At times, this fixation gave the appearance that Chancellor Katehi was directing university resources toward communications efforts that would benefit herself as much as the university.
But that "fixation," which at one point resulted in a contract with a firm that promised to "eliminate" and "eradicate" negative references to Katehi and Davis arising from the pepper spray incident, did not amount to a misuse of public funds or a policy violation.
"The evidence indicates that the consultants did not aim to 'erase” or 'rewrite' history," the report concludes. "Instead, despite the 'eradication' language ... the contracts generally aimed to improve the reputation of the university and the chancellor by producing positive content, thereby decreasing the visibility of negative
content on the Internet."
The investigative report is similarly critical of Katehi's response to conflict-of-interest charges that arose from her highly compensated service on the boards of directors for two educational concerns -- John Wiley and Sons, a textbook publisher, and the DeVry University.
Investigators found Katehi joined DeVry's board in February without the required UC clearance, disregarded information that the for-profit college was the target of government investigation, and lied to Napolitano in denying that she had begun serving on the board.
"Following DeVry’s press release announcing her board membership, and in the midst of intense media scrutiny regarding the issue, Chancellor Katehi’s statements to President Napolitano were not candid," the report says. "Chancellor Katehi told President Napolitano that she had not yet begun her service on the DeVry board, which was untrue. Chancellor Katehi had already attended two events related to her board service -- an orientation for new board members at DeVry’s headquarters near Chicago and a board meeting in Florida just two weeks before her conversation with President Napolitano."
Katehi quit the $70,000 a year position in February, just a week after it became public.
In her letter, Katehi emphasized that the she was cleared on the charges of nepotism and of misusing student fees. She said she accepted that her $70,000 a year post on one outside board, DeVry Education Group, created concerns on campus and noted she has apologized for what she now calls a mistake.
On the matter of the social media contracts, Katehi acknowledged that investigators had found her statements "misleading, at best, or untruthful, at worst."
But she denied any attempt to try to erase mentions of the pepper-spray incident, saying the investigative report's conclusion that there was no attempt to "erase" or "rewrite" history exonerated her.
"This finding is significant given that some have erroneously believed that the contracts were aimed at scrubbing the internet from negative stories about me or the campus," she wrote.
Napolitano's statement on Tuesday notes that Katehi will become a full-time faculty member "in accordance with the terms of her pre-existing contract."
The now-former chancellor holds UC Davis faculty appointments in electrical and computer engineering and in gender, sexuality and women's studies.
"As with all service positions, a time comes when we aspire to go back to where our roots are," Katehi said in her letter. "Being an academic who loves teaching, and seeks to always innovate, I am very happy to go back to what I always have aspired to be, a faculty member."
Napolitano said Tuesday that Ralph Hexter, UC Davis vice chancellor and provost, will continue as interim chancellor while UC conducts a search for a permanent campus chief.
"Today’s news ends a period of uncertainty at UC Davis,” Hexter said in a statement. “The resolution announced by President Napolitano permits us to focus all our efforts on moving the campus forward so that ever more effectively we can serve California, the nation and the world.”
More campus reaction, by way of the Davis Enterprise:
Academic Senate chairman André Knoesen, one of Katehi’s most vocal and ardent supporters, admitted that the circumstances surrounding Katehi’s leave and the investigation “have had a negative effect on the Davis campus and make it impossible for Linda Katehi to be effective as a chancellor.”
Knoesen looks forward to a “continuing relationship “with Professor Katehi as a full-time faculty member.”
And ASUCD President Alex Lee said he was surprised about the resignation, assuming the process would continue to drag on. Lee said, ” I am glad we can move out of the dark cloud (Katehi’s) cast on the UC Davis community and begin searching for a new chancellor who will be champion of their students.”