Update: 05/16/2016: This article has been updated to reflect new information from a document addressing concerns raised about the objectivity of Melina Haag’s appointment.
The UC Office of the President has appointed Melinda Haag, a former U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California and current San Francisco attorney, to lead an independent investigation into Linda Katehi’s administrative and executive decisions as chancellor of UC Davis, according to a press release from UCOP.
Katehi was placed on a 90-day paid administrative leave last week to allow outside investigators to look into allegations that Katehi may have violated university policies.
On May 13, the Chair of the UC Davis Academic Senate drafted a document addressing concerns raised regarding the objectivity of Haag’s appointment, considering her former position as a United States Attorney. In this role, Haag represented Napolitano, who is the former Secretary of Homeland Security.
“Questions have arisen about possible professional and social interactions between President Napolitano and Ms. Haag, who has been retained to investigate allegations involving Chancellor Katehi,” said the document. “These questions have raised concerns about the objectivity of the investigator, and as a consequence, the investigation itself.”
The investigation is happening amid controversy concerning UC Davis administration’s decision to pay consultants more than $175,000 to dilute search results pertaining to police pepper-spraying student protesters in 2011, as reported by the Sacramento Bee. Both the pepper spray incident and the subsequent clean-up efforts occurred while Katehi was serving as chancellor.