State Controller’s Office publishes University of California’s salary data

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The State Controller’s Office, or SCO, updated its Government Compensation in California website, or GCC, with information on public employee benefits and compensation data from 2017, as first reported by Lake County News.

GCC includes the UC system’s payroll information — including the UC Office of the President, or UCOP — totaling $15.2 billion in wages. Average wage calculated using GCC’s data showed that UCOP, UCSF and UCLA had the highest average employee wages, respectively.

UC Berkeley ranked seventh in average wage, amounting to $35,434, calculated from a total wage of $1.2 billion for 35,045 employees.

“The database is from UC central records; there is no employee reporting required. All university employees are included,” UC spokesperson Claire Doan said in an email. “UC submits this systemwide salary database to the State Controller annually.”

The GCC started in 2010 as a way to “enhance government transparency” through a single statewide database accessible to the public. The state Legislature “explicitly authorized SCO to collect compensation data in 2014,” according to the SCO’s website.

The UC system annually discloses employee payroll information in its own report as part of “its commitment to transparency and public accountability,” according to the report’s summary.

“The top earning employees at UC in 2017 (based on total pay) were health sciences faculty members, typically world-renowned specialists in their fields, and athletic coaches,” the summary states.

The summary said about 42 percent of the funding for systemwide compensation came from clinical revenue and other sources associated with the UC system’s teaching hospitals. Only about “23 percent of compensation came from state funds, UC general funds, and tuition.”

In accordance with this data, the GCC website showed that athletic coaches and health science faculty were the most likely employees to have the highest wages throughout all UC campuses. The GCC shows that one of UC Berkeley’s head coaches had the highest employee wage at $1,945,449 in 2017.

“There is a supply/demand market for every job. We do not operate in a vacuum, particularly when other institutions are competing to hire or retain candidates for open positions on our campus,” campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof said in an email. “In that context, for every position there is a level of compensation that is required to recruit and retain highly qualified employees.”

According to the annual payroll summary, the UC system has not been able to comprehensively address salary lags because of “budgetary pressures.” General campus tenured and tenure-track faculty compensation lagged the market by 12 percent, according to the 2009 and 2014 studies of the UC system’s Total Remuneration Study for General Campus Ladder Rank Faculty.

That inability to address below-market salaries weakens the UC system’s ability to attract and retain high-performing faculty and staff, as other institutions can become more competitive, the summary stated.

Contact Sarah Chung at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @sarahchungdc.