One of the two executives who resigned this week from the University of California president’s office wrote emails directing campuses to reveal and sometimes alter their answers in a confidential state auditor’s survey, which tainted the review and prompted the state to demand an investigation. The other was his boss, who was copied on many of the emails.
Seth Grossman, chief of staff to UC President Janet Napolitano, and Bernie Jones, his deputy, “resigned to pursue other opportunities,” a UC spokeswoman said Wednesday.
As a result of the emails, three of UC’s 10 campuses — Santa Cruz, San Diego and Irvine — changed their survey responses to reflect more favorably on the UC Office of the President, which was being audited by the state. Auditor Elaine Howle, who released the audit results in April, discarded the survey results and said the interference by the president’s office made them useless.
The emails, obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle, indicate that Napolitano was briefed on the reviews of campus survey responses. And Karen Petrulakis, who was chief deputy general counsel until her departure in July, was also copied on many of the messages between the president’s office and the campuses.