From the January 21, 2010 edition of the San Francisco Chronicle:
Finances are so dire at the University of California that it might have to turn away qualified students, but UC’s regents still found a way to reward hundreds of employees with more than $4 million in incentive pay and raises.
At the regents meeting Thursday in San Diego, UC officials reported giving rewards of $150 to $41,205 to nearly 1,500 UCSF employees who met performance targets, raising the pay of some campus executives to above market rate, and providing 10 percent raises of about $20,000 a year to three executives at their Oakland headquarters.
The executives, who have various financial responsibilities for the UC system, will earn between $216,370 and $247,500 in base pay.
“Whether a budget crisis or not, the university still has to be able to pay competitive salaries and incentives consistent with industry standards,” said Steve Montiel, a spokesman for the university. “The university has no problem paying incentives to be competitive.”
The compensation report came one day after UC President Mark Yudof told the regents that UC will need to close a $1 billion budget gap next year. He said layoffs and course reductions are inevitable, and that he expects to have to turn away 20,000 to 30,000 qualified students over the next decade because the university won’t have the money to educate them.
The UC system is not alone in rewarding upper-level administrators while slashing money for instruction. In 2009, University of Michigan officials “froze” the salaries of upper management. Then, in 2010, Michigan’s top-level administrators were given double-figure pay raises.
So, do universities really need to give bonuses and pay hikes to these managers stay competitive? Is keeping a Vice President of Instruction happy more important than, say, paying faculty to do the instruction, or is this just another ploy for upper-level administrators to funnel money and benefits to themselves?