UC Rots from the head

By: crunchgodabruinknees

UC Regents chair George Kieffer issued this admonishment of the system's president, Janet Napolitano:

The President is responsible for setting an appropriate tone from the top and fostering a culture of transparency and accountability on behalf of the University, which operates as a public trust for the State and people of California. She is also responsible for the conduct of her staff, particularly her direct reports, including her Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff.

It is important to note that, in directing that the State Auditor’s campus surveys go through the Chancellors and also to her office for review, the President relied on the advice of counsel. We are also mindful of the context for the actions taken, including the lack of trust between the Office of the President and the State Auditor based on a previous audit. Finally, we view the President’s conduct in the context of a long record of public service and leadership, including strong leadership of this University. The Board continues to have confidence in and fully supports her continuing leadership.

Nonetheless, the President’s decision to approve a plan to coordinate the survey responses reflected poor judgment and set in motion a course of conduct that the Board of Regents finds unacceptable. Her decision and the then follow-on actions of her direct reports reflect negatively on the University of California community, which is committed to the highest ethical standards in furthering the University’s mission of teaching, research and public service. The Board has therefore made clear to President Napolitano that her decision in connection with the audit did not meet the high standards and good judgment expected of her. The Board has also directed the President to further examine the culture within UCOP that may have contributed to the failure of others to meet their respective responsibilities.

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