Your Tax Dollars at Work

UC System Paying Huge Salaries to Former Leaders, for Little Work. The University of California will pay former UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi $318,000 to teach one course in the next nine months, The Sacramento Bee reported July 31. Ms. Katehi resigned amid scandal, and was the subject of a $1 million investigation into possible conflicts of interest and questionable spending.

After resigning, Ms. Katehi was given a paid leave of one year, while retaining retirement and health benefits. Now, she will be paid the equivalent of the salary she received as chancellor.
On the heels of this news, the San Francisco Chronicle reported August 8 that outgoing UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks will get $423,000 for another year, and he will not teach even one course.

Mr. Dirks said he plans to spend the year attending conferences, giving lectures and working on a book.

The Chronicle wrote: “The executive salary perk raised questions about UC’s budget priorities three months after a state auditor found the office of the UC President Janet Napolitano amassed $175 million in reserve funds it failed to disclose before asking the regents to raise tuition this fall.”

According to the newspaper, Assembly Budget Chair Phil Ting condemned the practice of handing outgoing administrators an extra year’s pay.

The Chronicle said three main problems characterized Mr. Dirks tenure as chancellor: a $150 million budget deficit the campus is still trying to eliminate; a series of sexual harassment scandals; and the death of a football player “whose medical condition was all but ignored by the athletics department,” resulting in UC Berkeley paying a $4.75 million settlement to the athlete’s family.

When an audit turned up irregularities at the State Board of Equalization, the Legislature stripped the agency of most of its responsibilities, leaving observers wondering if the UC system similarly will be targeted for major restructuring when the Legislature returns from its summer recess. (Sources: The Sacramento Bee, July 31: San Francisco Chronicle, August 8.)



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