Gas station without pumps

2010 December 30

UC execs clearly out of touch with reality

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 08:55
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Yesterday’s SF Chronicle article on the UC executives call for bigger pensions for themselves shows the executives of the University of California so out of touch with reality that they think that they deserve enormously larger pensions (larger than the already generous ones they get).  I guess that those making over $250,000 a year are constitutionally incapable of saving for retirement, as I have been doing on my much smaller salary for the past 30 years.

I think that UC is overdue for a purge at the top, calling the bluff of the executives who claim that no one would take their jobs at only $250,000. Let’s get rid of the half of the executives in Oakland, and simply not hire replacements.  The dirty secret is that no one would notice any change.  They are pushing paper around for their own benefit, not for the benefit of the campuses and certainly not for the benefit of the students.  The real work at Oakland (what little there is) is probably being done by much lower paid staffers anyway.

Chris Newfield in Remaking the University has a strong argument that the UC executives have been systematically destroying the University as a public good, with the sole goal of lining their own pockets.  Unfortunately, letters like the current one by the UC executives make his case for him.

I fear that our current president, who stands head and shoulders above the rest in lining his own pockets (his $800,000 compensation package speaks loudly here), will either cave to the administrators, or arrange some sort of “compromise” in which he cheers for himself in giving them somewhat less than they ask for.  Raiding the public till (and extracting more and more from students) for himself and his friends seems built into the way he has run the University for the past several years.


  1. “I think that UC is overdue for a purge at the top, calling the bluff of the executives who claim that no one would take their jobs at only $250,000. Let’s get rid of the half of the executives in Oakland, and simply not hire replacements. ”

    I whole-heartedly agree with this idea. It would be, at the very least, an experiment certainly worth trying. I’d like to see the same done with the presidents/chancellors. I think the main problem is that they might be more likely to jump ship. But, they do, anyway. In good economic times, there’s no way a university can compete on salary, so if that was the incentive in the first place, they’ll be gone, anyway, soon enough.

    Comment by bj — 2010 December 30 @ 10:25 | Reply

  2. Keep in mind, too, that UC isn’t proposing limiting the salary of any UC exec. Rather, they’re capping pensions at the equivalent of a $245K salary. This is a federal limit, not one imposed by the UC system, and it would limit the pension for a $400K/year employee to $183,750; if the limit were lifted, that employee would get $300K (both after 30 years at UC). I fail to see why highly-paid execs can’t just contribute to their own retirement accounts, as many faculty (including me) already do.

    To be fair to Yudof, though, he actually opposes the increase, but I agree that he might well cave and trumpet it as a “success”. Also, only 10 of the 36 are at UCOP; many are affiliated with the professional schools at various campuses.

    Comment by UC prof — 2011 January 3 @ 12:56 | Reply

    is a petition for UC faculty and staff to hold the line on executive pensions:

    We, the undersigned faculty and staff of the University of California,
    urge you to resist the request by 36 top executives and deans to raise
    the pensions of those making over $245K.

    At a time when the UC pension system is endangered and the entire
    instructional and research enterprise of UC is imperiled we find it
    outrageous that these managers — whose very job it is to steward the
    system — would demand exorbitant pension compensation. They cannot
    have it both ways: private sector salary levels and public employee

    The damage to the image of the university from excessive pay and
    benefits, and now from this ill-timed threat of a lawsuit from the 36
    signees, has been immense. In order to restore public faith in UC, you
    must come forward quickly with a statement of intent to hold the line
    on pensions to elite employees.

    The principle here is greater than this incident: this is a public
    university, one in dire straits financially. Most of us work for
    reasonable salaries but also for the public good. If the elite earners
    do not care enough about the public university to stay, then let them
    depart for the private sector. We believe you can find dedicated
    people within and without UC who would would be willing and able to
    replace these individuals.

    Note: I did not start this petition (I would have phrased it a bit differently), and I’m just passing on the link.

    Comment by gasstationwithoutpumps — 2011 January 3 @ 13:09 | Reply

  4. […] UC execs clearly out of touch with reality […]

    Pingback by Blogoversary « Gas station without pumps — 2011 June 5 @ 10:52 | Reply

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