By Mandy Honeychurch, staff writer
The UC Regents meeting ended with several approved salary increases for administrative positions, many of which will be paid for with public funding. Given recent protests against tuition increases, this decision has brought controversy. Protestors who attended the November 28 meeting ended up shutting it down and it wasn’t till it reconvened later, in front of a much smaller audience, that the pay increases were approved.
The Regents voted to give a vice chancellor at UCLA as well as two vice chancellors from UC Irvine raises of 9.9%. After this pay raise, the UCLA vice chancellor’s salary will be $317,000 while the UC Irvine vice chancellors will make $247,000. Another executive pay raise will go to Joseph Castro of UC San Francisco, who will receive a 7.5% pay bump. He is the interim dean of the university’s graduate division and will make about $253,000 a year. In addition to the executive pay increases, six campus attorneys also will receive pay raises. The largest went to an attorney for UC Davis, Steven Drown, whose salary will increase by 21.9% from $205,045 to $250,000. The other attorneys will receive pay raises from 6.4% to 14.3%.
The Regents also approved a few other compensation measures. First off, they appointed a dean for the University Extension at UC Santa Cruz, who will make $165,000 a year. The Regents also voted to create a new position for the UC Davis Health System, a chief strategy officer. Additionally, the chief operating officer of UC Davis’s Medical Center received a 23% pay hike. However, unlike the pay raises for the UC executives and attorneys, the compensation for these three positions will not be paid with public funding.
The Regents also voted to request that the state increase funding for the next fiscal year from $2.3 billion to $2.7 billion.
According to UC President Mark Yudof, these pay increases are to help the universities retain their best employees. “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,” Yudof said at the meeting.
However, given concerns about tuition increases, specifically a possible 81% increase over the next four years, many have already issued concerns about handing out these raises, particularly those that are publically funded. Before the Regents could approve these decisions, the Regents listened to three hours of complaints from the public, most of which were about the pepper spray incident at UC Davis and other issues of police brutality at UC Berkeley, in addition to complaints about tuition increases.
The Regents have said they will not vote on tuition increases, though, until at least March, and that they are waiting for the governor to release his budget proposal to make any decisions.
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