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Katehi assembling panel to review reforms

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From page A1 | November 04, 2012 | Leave Comment

UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi. Courtesy photo

Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, legislators Lois Wolk and Mariko Yamada and Mayor Joe Krovoza are on Chancellor Linda Katehi’s wish list for a task force that will be charged with evaluating UC Davis’ reforms since last year’s pepper-spraying incident.

Katehi has invited 18 people (see box) to take part, according to a story posted Friday to the university’s online publication Dateline.

In a Nov. 1 letter to the prospective members, Katehi said the task force should “engage in a rigorous and independent evaluation of our progress on recommendations issued in the wake of” the Nov. 18, 2011, pepper-spraying of unarmed Occupy UC Davis protesters.

She asks that the task force complete a draft by March and a final public document by July.

Gloria Alvarado, president of the UCD Retirees Association, will chair the panel.

Others invited to take part include Paul Cappitelli, executive director of the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, or POST, and Michael Risher, an American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California staff attorney. He represented protesters in a federal lawsuit against the campus tentatively settled for $1 million.

On Friday, UCD also announced it is recruiting an ombudsman, who will be tasked with providing conflict resolution services to staff and faculty.

“Faculty and staff need and deserve to have this important resource available to them, as we continue to encourage all members of the UC Davis community to express themselves freely in an honest, candid and respectful manner,” Katehi said in Dateline.

“When and where those expressions result in conflict, there will now be an established and effective way to resolve any concerns that might arise in a constructive fashion.”

Former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso, who headed a task force that looked into the pepper-spraying and recommended an ombudsman, told Dateline he was “extremely pleased that the administration has been able to follow through on this.”

“I think it’s a very positive step forward in terms of the overall issue of making sure there is access to folks close to the decision-makers in the university,” Reynoso said.

The ombudsman will report to the chancellor’s office but is meant to act independently, according to Dateline. The new office will not replace existing formal grievance, investigative and appeal processes, according to Dateline.

The Offices of Student Affairs and Graduate Studies will be among the offices that continue to assist students in resolving conflicts.

UCD will become the ninth campus in the system with an ombudsman. Only UC Santa Cruz does not have such an office. The new ombudsman will be paid between $85,524 and $153,936 annually.

Among other actions taken by UCD:

* All police operations plans are required to identify the difference between passive and active resistance and lay out the appropriate use of force. Such plans are to be reviewed by the provost or another designated administrator before being put into use.

* The creation of an information card by police, with student input, that can be distributed during protests explaining how students should behave and what they may expect.

* All 40 members of the campus’ Council of Vice Chancellors and the Event and Crisis Management Team have completed the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s “Introduction to the Incident Command System” for higher education.

* In September, all campus police officers completed training in a use-of-force practice dubbed “compliance, direction and take down” described as a “soft-handed control-restraint system that is easy to learn, maintain and apply, addresses personal well-being and subject safety while decreasing the liability factors of all concerned.”

* The Police Department has hired an expert in police accountability and oversight to lead campus discussions about creating a police commission or police auditor position.

* The Office of Student Affairs is reviewing the campus’ Student Judicial Affairs processes “to determine if and how they can effectively be used as an appropriate and effective alternative to police intervention.”

UCD has compiled a long list of recommendations from four main sources: the Reynoso task force, a fact-finding report by an outside security firm, a UCD Academic Senate report and a report penned by UC General Counsel Charles Robinson and UC Berkeley Law School Dean Christopher Edley examining the policing of nonviolent protests across the 10-campus system.

Online: http://demonstrationreviews.ucdavis.edu

— Reach Cory Golden at cgolden@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8046. Follow him on Twitter at @cory_golden

Task force invitees

Chancellor Linda Katehi has asked the following people to join a task force reviewing campus reforms chaired by Gloria Alvarado, president of the UC Davis Retirees Association:

Ellen Bonnel, chair, UC Davis Academic Federation

Nathan Brostrom, executive vice president, business operations, UC Office of the President

Tani Cantil-Sakauye, chief justice, California Supreme Court; UCD graduate

Paul Cappitelli, executive director, California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training

Meredith Niles, chair, external affairs, UC Davis Graduate Student Association

Dianne Gregory, chair, executive committee, UC Davis Health System Staff Assembly

Rob Kerner, chair, UCD Staff Assembly

Joe Krovoza, mayor, city of Davis

Bruno Nachtergaele, chair, Davis Division of the Academic Senate

Chuck Nichols, president, Cal Aggie Alumni Association

Bob Powell, chair of UC’s systemwide Academic Senate; former chair, Davis Division of the Academic Senate

Michael Risher, staff attorney, American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California

Rebecca Sterling, president, Associated Students of UCD

Lynn Tierney, associate vice president, University of California Office of the President

John Vohs, president, UCD Emeriti Association

Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis

Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis

Cory Golden

Cory Golden

The Enterprise's higher-education and congressional reporter. http://about.me/cory_golden
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