Tuesday, November 22, 2011

An Open Letter to Chancellor Katehi from Dean Dad.

An Open Letter 
to Chancellor Katehi 
of the University of California, Davis
November 20, 2011 - 10:26pm
By Dean Dad

Dear Chancellor Katehi,

I imagine you’re feeling burned right now. You trusted the wrong people, and find yourself in a completely untenable position.

You know perfectly well that what the police did to peaceful protesters was beyond reason. There’s really no disputing that. The right to peaceable assembly is well-enshrined in American law, and for good reason. The videos speak for themselves.

Your people overshot. But you know that.

I’m not writing you to educate you about free speech or police brutality. I assume you’re smart enough to understand both, and to see clearly that the University was badly on the wrong side here.

I’m writing as a fellow higher ed administrator. Like you, I’ve been on the receiving end of smug tirades by people who don’t have to balance competing goods. It’s frustrating. And I’ve also had to deal with the fallout when people who report to me make decisions I wish they hadn’t. It happens.

Now you’re in that awful position where the protesters are right. It’s hard to swallow, but it’s true.


  1. I sometimes find Dean Dad a bit annoying, but this time I think he's got it right: Katehi needs to either *really* step up or resign. My sense (from watching a very few video clips of her operating under difficult circumstances, so who knows whether I'm right), is that, while she isn't necessarily the villain some are making her out to be, she also doesn't have the temperament to carry off the kind of initiative described, and therefore should go ahead and resign, for the good of all, including herself. Then it's up to somebody else to make a really inspired appointment to fill the vacancy, permanently or temporarily.

    Rather than completely bury the blog in UC Davis stories (not that I'm complaining; I think that some combination of the Occupy protests, the UC Davis event, and the Penn State case may be bringing us to a pivotal moment; at least, I hope so), I'm going to point out here that Roxie's World has a very good UC UC Davis Link Farm up (as well as a post referencing the now-ubiquitous pepper-spraying cop mash-ups).

  2. People talking about "pain-compliance" is why Orwell should be required reading.

  3. sadly, there are a few commenting on the OP that are trying to blame the students..


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