Report: UC Davis Focused on Web Image After Pepper Spraying

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DAVIS (AP) —

A report says University of California, Davis, contracted with consultants for at least $175,000 to clean its online reputation following the November 2011 pepper-spraying of student protesters on campus.

The Sacramento Bee reports Wednesday documents it obtained through a California Public Records Act request show some payments were made in hopes of eliminating negative search results for the school and Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi.

The newspaper reports that in January 2013, UC Davis hired the Maryland-based Nevins & Associates to find ways to remove the incident from Internet searches.

The following year, the university contracted with Sacramento-based ID Media Partners to “achieve a reasonable balance of positive natural search results on common terms concerning UC Davis and Chancellor Katehi.”

UC Davis spokeswoman Dana Topousis says the contracts were part of an effort to ensure that the reputation of the university is fairly portrayed.

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