University of California officials said Monday they were reinstating the system's vice president for student affairs, Winston C. Doby, after a two-month investigation into several hiring decisions, but also reprimanded him for "a significant error in judgment" in one such case.
Doby, 65, was placed on paid administrative leave in November while the university's auditor looked into his role in hiring the son of the system's former second-in-command, M.R.C. Greenwood, for a senior internship position at UC Merced. Greenwood, UC's former provost, stepped down from her administrative position in November because of questions raised about her role in the hirings of her son and of a friend and administrator with whom she owned real estate.
A UC investigation last month concluded that Greenwood, now on paid leave from the university, had violated conflict-of-interest rules in the hiring decision involving Lynda Goff, a former UC Santa Cruz professor who is now a top administrator in UC's Oakland headquarters.
In the report released Monday, UC officials said Doby showed bad judgment in the role he played in persuading UC Merced administrators to hire Greenwood's son, James Greenwood, and said Doby had improperly helped create a one-year internship for the young man.
They said there was no evidence that Doby, a former top administrator at UCLA, was improperly influenced by the provost in making the decision or personally benefited from the younger Greenwood's hiring. The report by the university's internal auditor also said Doby appeared to be well-intentioned but criticized him for his failure to recognize the possible perception of favoritism.
Doby has largely defended his actions. But in a Dec. 15 letter to Acting Provost Wyatt R. Hume, which was released by the university Monday, Doby said he was wrong to authorize the funding for James Greenwood's hiring in August without fully considering the larger implications.
Hume said that although Doby did not technically violate university policies in the job decisions, he will no longer be allowed to hire staff or transfer funds within the student affairs budget on his own authority but must consult with the office of the provost.
Hume also said that he told UC Merced not to extend James Greenwood's job, which pays $45,000 annually, beyond the one-year internship.
The auditor also looked into Doby's involvement in two other hirings, one in which subordinates, according to the report, believe he pressured them to hire an unqualified young woman as an analyst. That hiring is now halted, the report said. In the other, Doby arranged for the hiring of a friend and former university employee as a special assistant in his office, but at a salary higher than the norm, according to the report.
The auditor said the hirings give rise to "at least the appearance of favoritism" and urged the university's human resources personnel to review the salary for the special assistant, who has not been identified.
Doby, who returned to work Jan. 5, is also required to meet with several unidentified staffers who have expressed concern about the hiring decisions, Hume said.