UC Board of Regents approves raises for campus administrators, lawyers

As police faced off with protesters at the UC Board of Regents’ meeting Monday, the board approved over a quarter million dollars in raises and stipends to 10 campus administrators and lawyers.

The raises — finalized at a chaotic meeting during which protesters forced proceedings to a halt — were approved for three campus vice chancellors and six campus lawyers and will cost the university about $234,000 annually. The board awarded the raises, effective Dec. 1, with only Regent Eddie Island voting in opposition.

The highest raise was awarded to UC Davis Chief Campus Counsel Steven Drown, whose salary will jump 21.9 percent from $205,045 to $250,000. The board also approved an annual stipend of $17,625 for UC San Francisco Vice Chancellor for Student Academic Affairs Joseph Castro to serve as the interim dean of the campus Graduate Division.

Although Drown’s raise was the most dramatic by percentage, UCLA Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer Steven Olsen will receive the highest yearly earnings of the vice chancellors given raises at the meeting, with a $316,842 annual salary as a result of a 9.9 percent raise.

UC President Mark Yudof said the raises were necessary to keep important administrative employees at the university from leaving and pursuing employment at other institutions.

“These retention efforts are critical,” Yudof said. “I understand it’s not a great time, but we can’t really close down shop and say we’re not going to make any effort to retain our best people.”

The financial decisions of the university came repeatedly under fire during a public comment period almost three times as long as the one-hour allotted time, as audience members said the Regents demonstrated poor handling of finances and a lack of commitment to students.

“I’m not here to talk about your mismanagement of police action on campus,” said Charles Schwartz, UC Berkeley professor emeritus of physics, as he addressed the board at UCSF. “I’m here to talk about your mismanagement of finances at the university.”

Students also greeted the raises with skepticism. Charlie Eaton, a UC Berkeley graduate student and financial secretary of United Auto Workers Local 2865 who participated in the protesters’ meeting that interrupted the UCSF regents’ meeting, said the raises showed irresponsible leadership.

“It’s a sign that the bankers and millionaires on the Board of Regents are out of touch with what Californians want from our university system,” he said.

Many present at the meeting also shared concerns that the university is leaning dangerously close to privatization, including Assembly Speaker and ex officio Regent John Perez D-Los Angeles, who received audible praise from the audience at UCLA after touting the importance of providing affordable education for the state’s students.

“It is appalling that we have gone down the route of charging for educational services,” he said.

Damian Ortellado covers higher education.

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  • Anonymous

    The argument of having to provide these raises because ‘otherwise they will lose good staff to other institutions’, is one used by many within the public sector. 

    Some years ago, in the City of Poway it was revealed that the council had provided a VERY low mortgage in the form of a loan, to its new City Manager. 

    Why? it was asked – this person had come from a similar area to Poway – it was not as though the housing costs in Poway were any more than where he had come from.  Well everyone does it was the answer; and indeed, upon investigation, this was true.

    Practically every City Manager in Southern California gets a low interest mortgage or some other ‘perks’ in order to entice them to the area.   This is tax payers money which could be better invested than providing it to  members of staff who are  earning well above what the average person earns.

    The Public sector unions, over the years, have  negotiated city, county and state wide contracts so that ALL public authorities are obliged to provide exorbitant salaries and perks. 

    Where will it all end?

  • Another Cal Alum

    This additional $250,000 annual cost should be discussed relative to other relevant amounts, such as the $650,000,000 budget cut UC took in June.  Withholding these raises would have done very little to help ease UC’s financial problems.  The question — which I don’t think many of us are equipped to answer — is if the benefit of retaining these funds would have offset the cost of possibly losing some of these administrators to better job opportunities.  It is irrelevant to base an answer to this question solely on our personal opinions of these people; it would cost time and money to carry out a search for qualified replacements, and considering many former UC chancellors seem to think we should raise tuition even more, I doubt the search would fix anything.

    (source: http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/education&id=8383071)

  • The Captain

    “These retention efforts are critical,” Yudof said. “I understand it’s not a great time, but we can’t really close down shop and say we’re not going to make any effort to retain our best people.” Hey, Yudof!! Here’s a thought: Maybe your STUDENTS and FACULTY are your best people. I mean, that’s why this university exists, right? For teachers to teach and students to learn?! Try thinking a little more critically about who you should really be trying to retain here…

    • Guest

      Well, the University sure isn’t doing a good job in terms of attracting the best students, that’s for sure.

  • Genuinely curious

    Dear Daily Cal – Could not get a straight answer from UCB financial aid office.  Do kids of UC regents (or senior administrators or professors or janitors) get to go to UC for free or for a discount?  

  • Disgusted Alum

    So UC values its administrators more than its students I see. That much is clear. Why are they putting so much of the financial burden on students? They say they’re afraid of losing administrators. Well what about losing good students? If tuition is being greatly increased on students in a bad economy and a budget crisis, the last thing they need to be doing is handing out big raises to administrators. I mean, HELLO? It’s like BEGGING students to protest. Do they seriously not expect ugly protests over this?

    • Stan De San Diego

      Yet the protesting students are distracted with their Occupy Cal nonsense, engaging in pointless physical confrontations with the campus gendarmes instead of confronting those who have some semblance of control or complicity in the problem. This is by design. Anyone who thinks that ANY of these Occupy (fill in the blank) protests represent some organic, spontaneous, grass-roots uprising by the 99% is seriously deluded, or without a clue. All of these protests have been orchestrated by groups with their own obfuscated agenda, and Occupy Cal is no exception. What better way to divert attention from the Regents, administration, bureaucrats, and the rampant fiscal waste and mismanagement than by blaming some ill-defined “1%” then getting in scrapes with the cops. The current brouhaha over “police abuse”, “free speech”, whatever is merely the diversion from the real issue that the UC administration wanted in the first place.

    • Stan De SanDiego

      While you malcontents are wasting your time in school and protesting for lower tuition, I WORK and get a paycheck, of which 28-30% disappears
      right off the top to pay federal and state taxes, INCLUDING the college
      tuition of some student in the UC system. Need I repeat for the FOURTH time what kind of work I do? I work configuring
      and troubleshooting a network communications system for a prototype piece
      of equipment (specifically, configuring a 2-wire RS485 MODBUS system so
      the AC drives and the position encoders can communicate with a PLC used
      to run a 2-axis solar tracker). I also have been wiring panels, writing software,
      poring through manuals and trying to keep a project on time and on track
      that will (hopefully) provide our company with an enabling technology
      to reduce the cost of concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) solar power by
      tracking the sun more accurately and making the cells work more
      efficiently. So who’s being more
      productive again?

      • Anonymous

        Boo hoo Stan.  I was a Marine in Iraq; I’ve paid income tax though I don’t brag about it; now I’m working on curing cancer by understand cell-cell signaling.  Do you want a medal for your network programming (sounds like geek work to me, and I bet real EEs do the actual stuff anyway)?  You can have one of mine.  

        • Stan De San Diego

          Clue for the clueless – that’s not me (if you look closely). That’s my little stalker puppy dog, who has been parsing my posts and spamming them all over dailycal.org as solace due to the fact he’s incapable of engaging in serious debate.

  • Whatswrong

    OMG how could this happen?  What can we learn from this episode of poor Judgement?

    It is such an incredible honor and privilege to serve as a Regent, and
    in the best interest for everyone concerned, being a Regents should be
    unpaid volunteer positions.

  • Erin

    There are other people who would happily be paid half of the salaries of these “important” administrators and would likely do a much better job. As a UCLA student, a 21.9% raise in these economic times is insulting. Mark Yudof, along with the other Regents and Chancellors, have proved repeatedly that they are not fit for their jobs and have failed the Universities and the students. They should be immediately and permanently removed from their positions.

  • Anonymous

    John Perez D-Los Angeles has a talent for hypocrisy.   “It is appalling that we have gone down the route of charging for educational services,” he said.  But what’s truly appalling is that his Democrat-controlled legislature has failed to fund the UC system.  He is blaming the victim when he is the perpetrator. 

    • Tf49665

      Pretty scary when a state legislator doesn’t understand that tuition increases are because they have significantly reduced funding to the UCs. These are the kind of clowns running our state…

  • Tommy

    As a parent my sympathies are with students protesting higher tuition. But the students need to be coherent and concise in articulating the problem and offer solutions.Why higher tuition?First, is the explosion in the size and scope of the UC administration. There are simply too many administrators, being paid too much.Second, union wages and benefits for employees (instructors, professors, administrators, other unionized staff). A major problem is the ability to retire relatively young with lavish pensions.Third, waste of money on diversity degrees and classes (black studies, woman studies, chicano studies) which only lead to jobs teaching diversity studies.  Fourth, a State which is broke. If students go to Sacramento they should be protesting the excessive amount of public sector union control over the legislators and budget.  If California continues to run a Greek style public sector then tuition will necessarily sky rocket.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WRACM77JT2RXUR3LMGDPPUGUYY Tony M

      Good job posting a reasoned argument. Expect the idiot Occupy Whatever types to start flaming you at any moment.

  • Sdrahhal

    The worst part is that they can be so blatantly hypocritical, because who’ll stop them? 

    • Anonymous

      Not the Cal Kiddies, they are busy being Occutards.

      • Kayanowsc

        I see you leaving little snide remarks on everyone’s comments but I don’t see you proposing a solution or even intelligently replying to what the comment is about. Are you in high school?

        • Stan De San Diego

          I believe libsrclowns has offered some solutions to the current budget debacle. I won’t put words in his mouth, but I believe that several of us have noted the presence of numerous departments that could be combined to reduce payroll and overhead, the elimination of non-academic advocacy positions, as well as for the UC system to stop spending money on legal challenges to the will of the California voters (a la prop 209). What have you offered, other than perhaps pitching tents in Sproul Plaza and getting into pissing matches with the cops?

        • Stan De SanDiego

          And, if I may add, we should combine worthless departments like English, Philosophy, Rhetoric, Psychology, Sociology, Language studies, Political Science, Art, History, Film and about 50 more departments into one department. Then we should make UC Berkeley a FOR PROFIT college like my alma mater: ITT Technical Institute of San Diego. Yes, I paid more for my education, most of my classes were online and it took me about 10 years to complete my degree in computer appreciation, but it was worth it! Now I can do things like configuring and troubleshooting a network communications system for a prototype piece  of equipment. For example, I recently worked specifically with configuring a 2-wire RS485 MODBUS system so the AC drives and the position encoders can communicate with a PLC used to run a 2-axis solar tracker. I also have been wiring panels, writing software,  poring through manuals and trying to keep a project on time and on track that will (hopefully) provide our company with an enabling technology  to reduce the cost of concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) solar power by tracking the sun more accurately and making the cells work more  efficiently. So let’s see you Psychology, English or History majors do that!

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WRACM77JT2RXUR3LMGDPPUGUYY Tony M

            I smell a troll.

          • Stan De San Diego

            I see my little stalker puppy, still smarting from having his ego bruised, is still trying to impersonate me by cutting and pasting snippets of various posts. It must be pathetic be so intellectually challenged that the only way you can win an argument is to distort and misrepresent what others have posted.

  • Guest

    “UC President Mark Yudof said the raises were necessary to keep
    important administrative employees at the university from leaving and
    pursuing employment at other institutions.”

    And what makes them so “important”? Administrators bring nothing special to the table. Administrators are easily replaceable, whereas nobel laureates and other equally important faculty are not. It’s not like there’s a nobel laureate administrator on the cutting edge of some groundbreaking administrative research, bringing in millions in grants and the luring the best students from around the world. Come on! If anything, our administrators are doing the opposite — I can’t imagine top academics and top grad students being thrilled about being at a school that administrators run like fascist police state.

  • Guest

    “UC President Mark Yudof said the raises were necessary to keep
    important administrative employees at the university from leaving and
    pursuing employment at other institutions.”

    Okay, but they see no problem with seeing the best and brightest students and faculty leaving and pursuing education or employment at other institutions? Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

  • Guest

    WTF. Seriously, WTF.

  • Marco Hernandez

    Yudof  is incompetent and easily manipulated.

  • Thomas

    “UC President Mark Yudof said the raises were necessary to keep important administrative employees at the university from leaving and pursuing employment at other institutions.”

    Oh come on. Giving raises for doing well at one’s job is one thing. But raises to keep people from leaving – do these people not give a crap about their jobs at all? Public officials should first and foremost care about their duties. What happened to “with great power comes great responsibility”? Has it really turned into “with great power comes a shit ton of money, and maybe a little bit of duty but only when the students are angry and complaining that they’re being mistreated”? Does this sound a little bit like the bailouts – the state giving even more money to those who have messed up? If money’s the only incentive that’s making you stay, then you gotta go. 

    • Zorro

      The homily that we must pay exorbitant salaries for administrators and attorneys  “or they will leave” is and has been for my 40 years with the university OP administration, entirely bogus…The top UC administartors are treated by the Board of Regents the same way the boards of failing American companies treat their top executives — giving them outrageous salaries while students, faculty, and lower paid staff have to suffer. How about if the Board of Regents for once “tests” that threat? With unemployment as high as it is in this economically difficult time, I know that the line would be out the door with qualified applicants for any position vacated  by an employee who did in fact quit because they were refused a quarter million dollar  salary. I have for many decades been astounded that no one from the public ever challenges the threat by an existing employee that they will leave if they do not get what they demand. …Also, reply to Da Big Money– you are absolutely correct…most UC lawyers merely “accompany” the outside lawyers (“out-house lawyers”) who do all the work and who get paid millions on top of what the UC pays for its in-house lawyers. It is a great racket for the participants…Finally, why does no one ever ask for information about the fringe benefits– special retirement benefits,special life insurance, cars, of the most highly paid UC employees? That would REALLY open a Pandoras Box.

  • Guest

    That awkward moment when you give yourself a raise while instituting an 81% tuition hike. 

    • Tommy

      Too many administrators, being paid too much.

      Retirement benefits too high and retirement age too low for administrators, professors and other staff. UC employes should save for their own retirement like the rest of us.

      A State that is broke because its legislature is in the pocket of Greek-style public sector unions.

      Hey students, wake up.

      How ironic to see students AND SEIU together protesting high educational costs. Too funny.

      • Disgruntled grad student

        Agree with what you say except regarding professor retirement age.  They ought to be forcibly retired, or they don’t go until they die at 92, still drawing pay, drooling through incoherent lectures etc.  Forcibly retiring professors is the only way to create jobs for new, young faculty, who are actually the ones making the discoveries, teaching the classes, inspiring the students not to drop out of science/technology/engineering/math, etc.  

        Profs claim “I won’t quit until I’m dead” but start to become as useless as their reprints stack at around age 60.  The older a prof retires, the higher their pay and the higher their pension; they also start to require more doctor visits and go on sabbaticals and junkets to China when they’re team-teaching their one-third of a course every other year. 

        • Disgusted Alum

          I can understand 92, but around 60? Come on, that’s not necessarily true. There’s a lot of individual variance. How would you feel if you were 50-60, on top of your game, and you read an ageist statement like this that dismisses you outright based on nothing but false stereotypical assumptions? So wrong.

  • Gues

    What other public employees are getting these kind of raises?  Seriously, WTF?  They think they can just keep milking students?

    • Anonymous

      Yes, pay up Cal kiddies.

  • Da Big Money

    Raises for lawyers? UC already spends a pretty penny on legal counsel. (see links on right side of page linked below)
    http://www.ucop.edu/ogc/
    2010: $79.8 million
    2009: $84.2 million
    2008: $99.4 million
    Today Yudof pulls out the must find/retain “talent” excuse for handing out big raises. His other favorite excuse is “it was contractually obligated”, but he doesn’t have a problem breaking contracts with faculty and staff – just call that a furlough.

    • Alfonso the Great

      Yeah, I can’t think of any reason why DAVIS might suddenly need to keep a good lawyer around!