Latest UC executive pay hike enrages politicians
November 27, 2012
• Lawmakers to consider bill freezing pay for top managers
• “UC and CSU are public institutions … and not to be a cash cow for wealthy executives”
An auto allowance. A free house. A $30,000 bonus. Plus a salary of over $486,000 a year, $50,000 more than the person being replaced. It’s all part of a pay package approved Tuesday by the University of California Board of Regents for their newest hire – Nicholas Dirks, who becomes the new head of the UC Berkeley campus.
It was enough to make a politician see a new law and set the governor to tsk-tsking.
Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, says he will reintroduce legislation that would prohibit executive pay hikes using state or foundation funds at the University of California or California State University during bad budget years or when student fees increase.
His bill was vetoed in 2009 by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and last year the bill fell one vote short of passage in the Senate Education Committee.
“Despite calls from the Governor, they continue to line the pockets of their top administrators. I hope that Chancellor Dirks shows the same leadership of incoming CSU Chancellor Timothy White by refusing this pay hike, and in fact reducing his salary by 10 percent,” says Mr. Yee.
The governor, who is a member of the board, participated in Tuesday’s meeting by telephone. He voted against Mr. Dirks’ pay package, saying the high salary “does not fit within the spirit of servant leadership that I think will be required over the next several years.”
By comparison, President Barack Obama, who gets a car, a helicopter, a jet and a house, is paid a base salary of $400,000 plus a $150,000 expense account and $19,000 for entertaining guests.
“UC and CSU are public institutions designed to serve California’s students and not to be a cash cow for wealthy executives,” says Mr. Yee. “I am committed to passing legislation to stop these egregious compensation practices and restore the public trust.”
He says he plans to reintroduce the bill when the Legislature reconvenes for the 2013-14 session on Monday, Dec. 3.