A university's branding attracts funding, research initiatives, brandname professors and applications from students. In a relatively brief time, the University of California brand has taken two high-profile hits.
The latest, as reported by Thomas Fuller in The New York Times, is this: Chancellor at the Davis branch, Linda P.B. Katchi, has been put on administrative leave. She is being investigated for alleged violations of university policy.
Among the contentions are that she used university funds for managing the school's online reputation and she was involved in a conflict of interest for accepting money from a textbook publisher and for-profit university. In addition, there have been protests against her by lawmakers and students.
Another negative development has been at the U of C Berkeley branch. The dean of the law school, Sujit Choudhry, had resigned because of alleged sexual harassment. The school's president, Janet Napolitano, has banned him for campus. The internal investigation being conducted can result in his losing tenure.
In a surprise move, Choudhry pushed back with a letter of grievance about Napolitano's actions. Here is my coverage of that on my syndicated legal blog Law and More. And, here is how lawyer-journalist at Abovethelaw.com, Kathryn Rubino deconstructs that deepening scandal.
These problems at U of C follow those at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Its head, Garth Saloner, resigned after a lawsuit was filed by a former professor. It alleged discrimination and improper conduct with another professor.
In the feeder pool for these elite universities, St. Paul's School, has also been involved in a high-profile scandal. At the prep school, Owen Labrie, when a student, had been convicted of sexual misconduct. He is now in jail as he plans his appeal.
Both Stanford and St. Paul's became major stories in the influential glossy Vanity Fair. The odds are that U of C will soon also be featured. That could be a bad development for not only the institution but also its leader Napolitano. She had been head of national security.