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Linda Katehi named UC Davis chancellor

May 7, 2009

Praised as ‘accomplished researcher, inventor’ and ‘proven manager’

Photo: Linda Katehi, Larry Vanderhoef and Ruth Asmundson

‘I am proud to be a part of a place that understands that this is a campus living within a community, and that the well-being of the community is a prerequisite to the success of this institution.’

UC Davis Chancellor-designate Linda Katehi

Pictured above, from left to right: Davis Mayor Ruth Asmundson, Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef and Chancellor-designate Linda Katehi

First impressions
Flash video (3 mins 7 sec)

Videographers: Ken Zukin, Sylvia Wright and UC Davis Academic Educational Technology - Mediaworks; produced by Ken Zukin and Mitchel Benson.

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Katehi’s campus welcome
Flash video (24 mins 5 sec)

Produced by UC Davis Academic Educational Technology: Mediaworks

Katehi’s biography

With national awards and leadership roles, 16 patents and a career of nurturing students and their research, Linda Katehi has experience as an administrator, researcher and teacher. [ More on Katehi’s biography… ]

Linda Katehi, provost and vice chancellor of the 41,000-student University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a renowned researcher and educator in the fields of electrical and computer engineering, has been named chancellor of the University of California, Davis, by the UC Board of Regents.

The appointment takes effect on Aug. 17. It was made on the recommendation of UC President Mark G. Yudof.

“Linda Katehi is a great success story and a great fit for UC Davis,” Yudof said. “She is a brilliant academic with experience at three Big 10 universities.”

“She understands the mission and aspirations of a multidisciplinary, land-grant institution dedicated to solving society’s problems. She is also an accomplished researcher and inventor, and a proven manager and fundraiser.”

Two degrees from UC

“And she comes from the UC family, holding two degrees from UCLA.”

Katehi will replace Larry Vanderhoef, who will step down this summer after serving 15 years as UC Davis chancellor.

“Under Larry Vanderhoef,” Yudof said, “UC Davis has made incredible strides and become one of America’s great research universities. Now we want to build on that progress and I’m confident Linda has the ability to make that happen.”

A native of Greece, Katehi first became interested in science as a young girl while watching the Apollo moon landings on television.

“I was impressed by the images I saw, primarily the shots from the control room in Houston,” recalled the 55-year-old Katehi. “It was then that I decided I wanted to be an electrical engineer.”

Experience at UCLA changed life

After receiving her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the National Technical University in Athens, Greece, in 1977, Katehi came to UCLA’s Electrical Engineering Department, where she earned her master’s degree in 1981 and a doctorate in 1984. Her experience at UCLA, she said, “changed my life substantially.”

In addition to serving as provost at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Katehi also held a joint appointment with the Gender and Women’s Studies program.

Previously, she served as dean of engineering and professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University, and as associate dean for academic affairs and graduate education in the College of Engineering and as professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan.

Her work as both a professor and researcher has earned her several national and international awards, including 16 U.S. patents and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ distinguished educator award in the field of Microwave Theory and Techniques.

Chairs National Medal of Science committee

A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Katehi was selected by President George W. Bush to chair the President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science. She was named the Distinguished Alumnus of the year in 2006 of UCLA’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science.

As chancellor of UC Davis, Katehi will receive an annual salary of $400,000. This is a 12.4 percent increase above her current salary of $356,000 at the University of Illinois. Vanderhoef currently earns $315,000 as UC Davis chancellor.

UC seeks to be competitive in the employment markets relevant to its faculty and staff hires, and the base salary of $400,000 is still substantially below the 2008 median of $628,000 among chancellors at UC’s comparison group of 14 public and private U.S. campuses with medical schools.

Other benefits

Consistent with university policy, Katehi also will receive:

  • University-provided housing;
  • An annual automobile allowance of $8,916;
  • A relocation allowance of $100,000 (25 percent of base salary) to offset various costs associated with her relocation to California, subject to proportional repayment if the position is resigned within the first four years of appointment;
  • Payment of packing and moving costs for household effects, library and related equipment;
  • Reimbursement of travel expenses for business-related visits to the campus during the transition period; and
  • Eligibility for a Mortgage Origination Program loan and payment of relocation costs if she continues in a tenured faculty position after stepping down as chancellor. An annual allocation of campus funding will be established if an active research program is maintained during the appointment as chancellor.

Katehi will receive standard pension, health and welfare, and senior management benefits, including senior management life insurance, executive business travel insurance, executive salary continuation for disability, accrual of sabbatical leave and an administrative fund.

Katehi’s husband, Spyros Tseregounis — who like Katehi did his graduate study at UCLA, completing a Ph.D. in chemical engineering — holds an adjunct faculty position at the University of Illinois. UC Davis will be considering him for a similar or equivalent appointment.

About UC Davis

For 100 years, UC Davis has engaged in teaching, research and public service that matter to California and transform the world.

Located close to the state capital, UC Davis has 31,000 students, a work force of 21,000, an annual research budget that exceeds $500 million, the UC Davis Medical Center and 13 specialized research centers.

The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and more than 100 undergraduate majors in four colleges — Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences, Engineering, and Letters and Science — and advanced degrees from six professional schools — Education, Law, Management, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing.

Among their many public contributions, UC Davis scientists and alumni have transformed California agriculture, influenced the course of art history, helped to protect Lake Tahoe and other environmental treasures, and fueled the growth of the $45 billion California wine industry.