Davis Spent $100K on Crisis Consultant

UC spent $100,000 to hire a consultant to help with damage control after a UC Police officer doused a line of “Occupy UC Davis” protesters, damaging the university’s image and angering many people worldwide.
According to the Davis Enterprise, the consultant — a senior member of Marsh Risk Consulting — arrived on campus several days after the video of the incident surfaced and helped the university plan a response to the issue. UC Office of the President’s Associate Vice President of Communications, Lynn Tierney, suggested that UC Davis hire the consultant because the university was hit unexpectedly with the issue.
“In that situation, when you have the kind of worldwide attention they had at Davis, it would be easy to put out misinformation if it wasn’t well-contained,” Tierney told the Enterprise. “We wanted to make sure we got the most timely information to the right audiences.”
Some students at UC Davis were bothered by the fact that funds were used to preserve the UC Davis image rather than applied toward other areas.
“I would have rather the money go towards education,” UC Davis protester David Roddy told CBS Sacramento. “I think it just reinforces the position of the protesters here that the administration is willing to throw money around as long as they don’t face the actual problems that are facing students.”
CBS also reported that the money used to cover the consultant’s fees came out of a fund reserved for insurance costs.
UC President Mark G. Yudof had previously announced that former LAPD Police Chief William Bratton would lead a full investigation into the incident. The full report will be released Feb. 24.

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