Payroll report shows UC employee compensation remains below market

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The University of California released its 2012 payroll report on Wednesday, which showed that funding from state and educational fees continues to go down while compensation for UC employees remains below market.

The total UC payroll of roughly $10.6 billion in 2011 grew to $11.2 billion in 2012. The highest source of funding for pay came from medical enterprises, such as teaching hospitals — which became the single highest source of funding at $2.8 billion — and the Medical Compensation Plan.

“The biggest jump was from medical enterprises,” said UC spokesperson Dianne Klein. “They were generating more money.”

Funding from the federal government and from general funds and educational fees dropped from 2011 by nearly $28 million and nearly $40 million, respectively. Funding from private gifts, grants and contracts increased by more than $24 million to $636 million during the same period.

According to a UC press release, the 10 highest-paid UC employees in 2012 were “health sciences faculty members (typically world-renowned specialists in their fields who are paid predominantly from their clinical practices) and athletic coaches (paid from non-state funds).”

Lecturers, other teaching faculty and clinical professors represented the highest percentage of academic personnel payroll, while those in the health care and allied sciences group were the highest percentage of staff payroll. There were no general merit increases for employees not represented by unions in 2012.

“UC salaries are below market,” Klein said. “That does make it hard to attract top talent.”

Klein cited several alternatives to compensation as incentives for working for the UC system, such as the university’s public service mission.

The report attributed the increase in payroll to “a combination of factors, including increased research activity and market pressures for more competitive compensation, particularly in the areas of health care, instruction and research.”

UC Academic Senate Chair Robert Powell stated that the decrease in public funding has made some people feel that the UC system is becoming less and less like a public university.

“We want UC to be for California,” Powell said. “Many of us regret that we have to take more out-of-state students and cut faculty and services. If state funding is there, we won’t have to do these things.”

The highest-paid UC employee in 2012 was former UCLA basketball coach Ben Howland, who earned roughly $2.2 million in gross pay.

Contact Sohan Shah at [email protected].