Linda Katehi

This is a semi-authorized guest post by Northern Gaijin, using his comments on another post here.

A friend of mine sent me this link claiming that UC Davis chancellor “Chemical” Linda Katehi, whose crackdown on peaceful university students shocked America, played a role in allowing Greece security forces to raid university campuses for the first time since the junta was overthrown in 1974. (H/T: Crooked Timber) I’ve checked this out with our friend in Athens, reporter Kostas Kallergis (who runs the local blog “When The Crisis Hits The Fan”), and he confirmed it–Linda Katehi really is the worst of all possible chancellors imaginable, the worst for us, and the worst for her native Greece.

This is a quotation from another post on the Naked Capitalism blog regarding the UC Davis chancellor. Once the thread begins to unravel, it’s interesting how far it goes. Never put yourself under the microscope of bloggers and especially well connected ones!

A little more information about the Greek education system from the New Apps blog. I’m just showing the first and last paragraphs from a lengthy post.

In September 2010 the Greek government announced the formation of an International Committee to assess the organization of Greek Universities. This was part of a broader attempt to reform Higher Education in Greece. Linda Katehi (UC Davis chancellor) was put in charge of coordinating the committee. A subset of the committee including Chancellor Katehi, President Sexton, President Naylor, President Hernes and President Ritzen met in Greece on December 17, 2010 and participated in discussions with Minister Diamantopoulou, Deputy Minister Panaretos, Rectors and Vice Rectors of various Greek Universities, and representatives of political parties. The result was a Report that was made public in April 2011. In the summer of 2011 the Greek government proposed a new legislative framework for Higher Education, which was passed through parliament in late August, despite fierce opposition by students and Academics, including a strong condemnation by almost all Greek University Senates and the Council of Greek University Rectors.

For anyone familiar with the debate regarding Greek Higher Education Reform, the authoritarian turn seems only natural. Neoliberal supporters of the entrepreneurial university always considered the strong radical and militant tradition of the student movement in Greece the main challenge to their plans. That is why they tend to endorse disciplinary practices and police brutality. The ideal of a truly public university includes the right to collective action and the need for strong social movements, both inside and outside academia. On the contrary, within the Entrepreneurial Higher Education, the pepper-spraying of peaceful protestors is not going to be the exemption but the rule. However, collective action, solidarity and mass mobilization can always change things. This has been the lesson and experience of student and university movements in Greece and we will do whatever is necessary to make sure that in the end we will be able to defend public Higher Education, against Linda Katehi and her colleagues’ vision of an authoritarian entrepreneurial university.

The post doesn’t discuss directly the neo-fascist (as in the Greek LAOS party) take over of higher education in Greece under the auspices of the EU bankers and their austerity pitch but it is happening without discussion in the mass media. Same thing with the Koch brothers and their sort with regard to the Florida State economics department or the University of Arizona Freedom (Philosophy) center where they impose their libertarian BS agenda through the back door using funding as a lever.


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