12 April 2012

Leadership failure

If there is one thing the Reynoso report makes clear is that leadership failure was pervasive and widespread on Nov. 18. Here are some facts that we learned from the report, and some questions we'd like to see raised:
  1. The Chancellor's "Leadership Team" convened to address "extraordinary events" on campus was in fact a half-assed affair: the "team" met by conference call, nobody kept minutes, there was no record of what was  decided.
  2. The Chancellor exercised executive privilege when she shouldn't have and failed to exercise it when she should have: she is responsible for the tactical decision to remove the tents in the middle of a sunny Friday afternoon, as opposed to the wee hours of the morning, as Chief Spicuzza suggested; and she failed to communicate her indication that "no force was to be used".
  3. Chief Spicuzza comes across as particularly feeble: she failed to stand up to the Chancellor as to the timing of the police action (timing was a tactical decision, which was properly the Chief's purview). And she failed to stand up to her own police officers, when they insisted on taking riot gear, pepper spray, and paint guns to the Quad. After she delegated authority for the police action to "Officer P", she was still seen on the Quad relaying orders on her cell phone and taking video of the event.
  4. Officer Pike and the other unnamed police officer used an unauthorized weapon (MK-9 10% pepper spray, instead of the regular-issue MK-4 2% pepper spray), for which they had received no training, and used it improperly (MK-9 is "long range" to be used at least 6 feet from target). How and when did an unauthorized weapon end up on campus?  
  5. UCDPD repeatedly failed to follow proper police procedure: the supposed "plan" was in fact not consistent with guidelines and large portions were left blank.
Two people come across as eminently reasonable in this whole fiasco. Justice Reynoso, for those who attended the meeting yesterday or logged on to the webcast, turns out to be an objective, moral, principled figure. Appointing him was one of Yudof's wisest decisions. But the other person that should be commended is Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Griselda Castro: when the "Leadership Team" went apoplectic about the presence of "non-affiliates" among the protesting students, she kept a cool head and pointed that there was no evidence to that effect. She spoke forcefully to the Leadership Team for forty minutes about the need to buy time end explore options, but she was completely ignored, and the contrary view of Vice Chancellor Meyer (Chief Spicuzza's direct superior) that the tents had to be immediately removed prevailed.

1 comment:

  1. The Chancellor (as well as the rest of the "leadership") does indeed come across as resoundingly incompetent. Unfortunately the UCD Academic Senate faculty already have given Katehi a resounding vote of confidence. I wonder if any of them now regret casting their votes the way they did.