Administrative and Leadership Decisions


Administration and Leadership Response Recommendation No. A-3:

The Task Force recommends that campus leadership develop NIMS/SEMS-compliant procedures and protocols in order to achieve standardized procedures for planning, managing, communicating, and collaborating to manage a large scale event or incident.

The procedures and protocols will include:

  • Delineation of the appropriate engagement of University administrative procedures as opposed to law enforcement engagement, clearly defined thresholds for activating and leadership roles in ICS (Incident Command System), and regular meaningful rehearsals (outside of state mandated training) of emergency preparedness, including rigorous after-action analysis of ICS. In particular, all members of the Leadership Team, including the Chancellor, should become familiar with NIMS/SEMS standards;
  • Designation by the Chancellor of a senior administration official who has explicit responsibility for managing all matters related to incidents of this nature. This management responsibility includes protocols and procedures for collecting and validating information on the nature of the incident and participants. The official should be the direct liaison with the police department and the portal through which other senior officials funnel information;
  • Establishment by the Leadership Team of clear and concise procedures that delineate policy decision-making from tactical implementation. Related training for both administration and police leadership must be undertaken on this issue.
UC Davis Action

A-3: The University created an Event and Crisis Management Team (ECMT) and guide to direct how and under what conditions university staff and police will engage with protestors. In addition, participants on the Event and Crisis Management Team have undergone NIMS/SEMS training and continue to participate in ongoing training exercises. Both administration and police personnel are included in these exercises.

Police hosted an exercise directed by the Department of Homeland Security to allow police supervision to practice what was learned in a recent police all supervision NIMS/SEMS update provided by CALEMA and the Department of Homeland Security. The exercise included other campus community members and executives. All police supervisors have completed both NIMS/SEMS training. Also all police supervisors have been provided with advance small group leadership training and various supervisors have attended critical incident training for management.


8.1 UC Davis Leadership Team: The creation of the Leadership Team, an inter-disciplinary team to address developing campus issues and potential crises, was an excellent idea, but the Leadership Team must include a clearly defined structure and set of operating rules. While the UC Davis Administrative Code makes clear that the Chancellor “is the person ultimately responsible for all functions of the campus community,” 612 the Chancellor told Kroll investigators that she favors a participatory style of leadership involving consensus-building rather than an authoritative style of leadership.

For the Leadership Team, we recommend:

  1. A clear statement of membership with a defined chairperson to guide the meetings.
  2. Scheduled meeting times that are communicated to all members and, when communicated, identify whether meetings are mandatory or can be attended by a substitute if necessary.
  3. Decisions that are clearly summarized at the conclusion of the call/meeting, and that the various decision-makers are given the opportunity to state their positions.
  4. A simple “listserv” be created to insure that each member of the team receives all team-wide communications.
  5. Training in the incident command system, as well as the California Standardized Emergency Management concepts and guiding principles, should be provided to the members of the Leadership Team. The training needs to be tailored to the type of situations the Leadership Team is likely to encounter, in other words, especially including public protest.
  6. A review of available legal options, including the difference between “administrative violations” and “criminal violations.” Put another way, the Leadership Team should rethink how best to use their various ‘tools,’ including Student Affairs or the Police Department, in addressing problems, with input and direction from Counsel.
  7. Recognizing that the University is a unique environment with a special culture, the University of California should provide clear policy guidance as to what is acceptable protest behavior and what is not. At what point does protesters’ behavior become serious enough to warrant police response and the application of criminal law, instead of administrative sanctions and referral to internal campus enforcement mechanisms?

UC Davis Action

8.1: In addition to the reforms spelled out in the previous sections of this action plan, the Davis Campus Emergency Operations Plan was updated to ensure full compliance with the National Incident Management System/Standardized Emergency Management System (NIMS/SEMS), and standardized procedures for planning, managing, communicating and collaborating to manage any size event or incident.

  1. The Event and Crisis Management Team (including administrators and faculty) provides leadership and oversee the campus response to demonstrations. Membership is defined and the group is chaired by the Chancellor.
  2. In addition to the reforms spelled out in the previous sections, the standardized procedures for planning, management, communication, and collaboration have been adopted.
  3. Roles and responsibilities have been clarified and assigned. Participants received regular training.
  4. Listserv is complete and operational. All members of the team are able to participate in team-wide communications.
  5. The ECMT has received NIMS/SEMS training in campus specific incidents and scenarios, including public protests, and will undergo periodic training.
  6. Student Affairs has developed a set of criteria to facilitate the use of Student Judicial Affairs as an alternative to the court system when considering appropriate response to violations of campus rules or regulations.  In addition, the campus now participates in a “Neighborhood Court” process that provides an alternative to the use of the court system when addressing violations committed on campus.
  7. On April 11, 2013, Chancellor Linda Katehi created a Blue Ribbon Committee on Freedom of Expression to review eight specific recommendations made to the university by the Academic Senate on freedom of expression and related areas, and to solicit campus input on a broad range of areas related to free speech. The Committee is chaired by King Hall Law School Dean Kevin Johnson and is slated to hold a number of public forums on freedom of speech and expression in the Fall. A final report with policy recommendations is due by October 31, 2013.

Robinson-Edley Review

Recommendation 7. Establish a standing event response team on each campus to plan and oversee the campus response to demonstrations — include on the team faculty members and/or administrators recognized by students and faculty to be sensitive to the University’s academic mission and values.

UC Davis Action

7. The ECMT is an integrated, multi-level emergency management team of administrators and faculty members with clear delineation of roles and responsibilities; requirements for administrators to be present at major events or incidents where direct police involvement is contemplated; and systematic weekly review by a policy-level team of emerging (potential crisis) issues.

Recommendation 11. Place a senior administrator on-site within viewing distance of the event and with instant communication to the police Incident Commander — that administrator must (Edley) or may (Robinson) be a member of the Academic Senate.

UC Davis Action

11. This is now required by campus policy and state law.

Recommendation 12. During the course of an event, continuously re-assess objectives, and the wisdom of pursuing them, in light of necessary police tactics — seek to pursue only important goals with the minimum force necessary.

UC Davis Action

12. The Police Department has established its first crowd management policy consistent with POST guidelines (POST is the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.)

Recommendation 13. Absent exigent circumstances, bar commencement or escalation of force by police unless the Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee approves it immediately before the action is taken.

UC Davis Action

13. Commencement or escalation of force by police is quite rare and does require Chancellor or Chancellor designee approval absent exigent circumstances. This is focused on a mass arrest or protest situation and not normal course of business.

Recommendation 22. Implement formal training of administrators, at the system and campus levels, in the areas of crowd management, mediation, de-escalation techniques, the incident command system, and police force options, to be refreshed annually.

UC Davis Action

22. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s “Introduction to the Incident Command System, ICS-100 for Higher Education” was completed by all members of the Council of Vice Chancellors (COVC) and the Event and Crisis Management Team (40 individuals in all), and a separate course in event management training and participation in a series of trainings to improve understanding of the NIMS/SIMS vernacular and decision-making processes was completed.

The entire police department has attended alternative force methods known as "soft hands" training. All of the police departments in the system have attended the training, but UC Davis is the only police department to ensure that all the officers attended the training.

UC Davis Academic Senate

In general, the committee endorses the findings and recommendations of the Reynoso and Kroll reports as a minimum first step toward addressing the conditions that led to the incident on November 18. In some cases, we consider their recommendations to fall outside the scope and charge of this committee. With regard to system-wide recommendations, including NIMS-SEMS compliance, we defer to the expertise of appropriate parties.

We recommend the following actions based on specific areas of concern to our committee. In some cases (indicated below), we recommend the creation of committees or task forces composed of administration, senate faculty, federation faculty, staff and student members. To address the problems that we have identified, and in the spirit of representative democracy, all representatives should be chosen by their respective groups.

1. Benchmarks and Metrics

A major concern of our committee is the lack of substantive response by the administration at UC Davis and other UC campuses to findings and recommendations following comparable incidents. This troubling pattern of behavior and lack of accountability by administrators motivates the recommendations that follow in this report. For example, after the Mrak Hall occupation in November 2009, the chair of the Academic Senate at the time, Robert Powell, recommended the creation of a Police Review Board to the administration. This recommendation was ignored. This is one in a string of such examples. To avoid this pattern, it is imperative that the following recommendations be coupled with benchmarks and metrics to assess progress. For each recommendation, we offer what we regard as a reasonable timeframe for implementation, but recognize that some adjustments may be necessary. We also recognize the need for oversight. Executive Council will be charged with constituting a committee to monitor progress and comprehensively review the status of the recommendations made by this committee, Kroll and Reynoso. Each group described below should submit a quarterly report to this oversight committee, indicating progress in meeting charges and goals, as well as detailing activities. This oversight committee should issue public reports on Nov. 1, 2012 and June 1, 2013 assessing whether or not the groups are meeting the established metrics. In addition, the oversight committee should consider the full range of possible responses and whether or not the administration is making progress in building collaboration.

UC Davis Action

AS-1: Reports were submitted to the Administrative Oversight Special Committee in accordance with the deadlines imposed by the Committee. Each report detailed work accomplished or in progress with attendant metrics where appropriate.

3. Decision-Making

The administration and its “leadership team” failed both in its judgment of the situation and to establish a management structure that would lead to sound and well-informed decisions. Decision-making entails multiple elements of communication and consultation such that in some sense it is artificial to break them apart. However, because of the complexity of the issue, we need to bring clarity to the different elements that contributed to the problem. Both reports emphasize that there were dissenting voices within the process, but clearly, they were ignored. The deliberate decision to ignore dissenting voices — among them Griselda Castro’s characterization of the demonstrators as primarily students instead of non-affiliates (Reynoso, 22; Kroll, 28-9, 56), the chief of police’s agreement with this assessment (Kroll, 28-9), as well as the police objection to moving the operation to 3 p.m. (Kroll, 62) — is a function, in part, of ignoring what constitutes meaningful consultation.

The committee recommends a specific definition of consultation that recognizes the need for dissenting opinions to be offered without fear of retaliation and to be heard without prejudgment. The outcome of such a process results in informed decisions and a sense of inclusivity of all parties. For example, the question of how to deal with the student protestors was on the agenda of the Executive Council meeting on November 18. Rather than consulting and collaborating with faculty leaders, the chancellor instead informed them that actions were already being taken. This does not constitute consultation. Meaningful consultation requires decision-makers who reserve judgment, consider all options, and state clearly the reasons for their ultimate decisions. The leadership of a community as diverse as UC Davis cannot legitimately function in any other way.

Benchmark: These concerns should be addressed immediately.

UC Davis Action

AS-3: The Campus Community Council, established on April 6, 2011, serves as the foundation for this effort. The council will hold a series of meetings throughout the fall and spring quarters to enhance and reinforce the campus’s commitment to consultation as an active practice.

In addition, adoption of the UC Davis Emergency Operations Plan and an Event & Crisis Management Team Guide outline specific roles and responsibilities for members of the team.

4. Leadership

This question of leadership comes into play in the “Leadership Team” described in Kroll and Reynoso, an informal advisory group with no official standing. Following the recommendations of Kroll Page 5 (section 8.1, Kroll, 127), a “clearly defined structure and set of operating rules” for such a team needs to be created. This “inter-disciplinary” leadership team should include representatives from relevant constituencies: Administration, Academic Senate, Academic Federation, Staff and Students. The leadership team, as it is presently understood, is made up of individuals from the Chancellor’s inner circle. The representatives of an official team should be chosen by their respective groups so that members of the leadership team are not beholden to the Chancellor. The leadership team should be an inclusive group that functions according to the principle of consultation outlined above. While we recognize that, on a variety of issues, it is advisable for the Chancellor to seek the opinions of individuals outside this team, responsibility for critical consultation must rest with an officially constituted body.

Benchmark: This group should be established by fall 2012.

UC Davis Action

AS-4: The administration formed the ECMT to address potential campus crises and emergencies. The team, comprised of campus administrators and the Chair of the Academic Senate, meets regularly to discuss issues. In addition, the ECMT has developed and the administration has approved the Davis Campus Emergency Operations Plan to ensure full compliance with NIMS/SEMS, provided training in NIMS/SEMS to the members of the team, including action scenarios, and put in place a number of other systems such as the All Hazards Building Notification process to augment campus safety and familiarity with emergency planning and response procedures.

5. Communication

The breakdown of communications was a major contributing factor to the unfolding of events before, during and after November 18, 2011. We acknowledge and support the findings of Reynoso and Kroll that poor communication lies at the heart of the incident. While it is difficult to separate consultation and communication, we also recognize that language was used by the leadership team in ways that did not clearly convey intended meaning. Examples include “we don’t want another Berkeley,” a phrase subject to multiple interpretations, and which may well be the source of the police apparently misunderstanding orders by administration prior to and during the incident. To avoid these kinds of situations, the administration should establish a set of procedural guidelines that provide a framework for ensuring that all parties understand commands and other communications in the same way. This may entail procedures for the party receiving orders to restate and acknowledge comprehension of the orders.

Benchmark: Procedural guidelines for checking comprehension and communication should be established by fall 2012.

UC Davis Action

AS-5: NIMS/SEMS training has been provided in a number of instances to the campus Event and Crisis Management team, including action scenarios and role playing response. Training is ongoing.

6. Police and Emergency Management Review Board

Alongside the system-wide recommendations made in Kroll (129) that remain outside our purview, the committee recommends the creation of a police and emergency management review board specific to the Davis campus. We reiterate our endorsement of the specific recommendations in Reynoso and Kroll and add our own concerns about appropriate and inappropriate uses of force. Mindful of the special nature of the campus community, we are concerned with the militarization of the police force on campus and the chilling effect that the use of force produces. We recommend that, whenever possible and appropriate, alternatives to police force should be used, such as Student Judicial Affairs (Kroll, 128). Indeed, the police should be the option of last resort, even when the intention is not to use force because of the ever-present potential for situations to escalate. Finally, we strongly urge the administration to establish a clear structure that defines and delineates the limits of civilian and police authority.

Benchmarks: The Review Board should be established by fall 2012.

An updated Emergency Plan (characterized by transparency, effectiveness and accessibility, consistent with NIMS/SEMS) should be established as soon as possible.

UC Davis Action

AS-6: The campus held a number of forums with an expert on police review commission on October 12. A new set of meetings took place in January. The police review commission consultant filed a report with the campus on June 6. The campus will hold a number of public forums in the Fall to solicit input prior to making a decision.