Senator says UC/CSU decisions are appalling, Trustees are out of touch.
SACRAMENTO – After the governing boards of the University of California and the California State University hiked executives’ pay while also raising student fees last month, Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) today reintroduced (SB 27×1) legislation to prohibit pay raises for top administrators during bad budget years.
Despite overwhelming bipartisan support in the Legislature, then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Los Angeles) vetoed Yee’s previous attempt in 2009.
“The action taken last month by the Regents and Trustees is appalling and reinforces the perception that they are completely out of touch,” said Yee. “UC and CSU are public institutions, not Wall Street banks. Once and for all, it is time to stop these egregious compensation practices and restore the public trust.
At the same meeting in which the CSU Board of Trustees raised fall tuition by 12 percent (on top of a 10 percent increase approved last year), they also awarded the new president of San Diego State a $400,000 salary – $100,000 more than his predecessor.
In July, the UC Board of Regents raised tuition by 9.6 percent (on top of an 8 percent increase already approved for the fall semester), whil e also giving the head of the UC San Francisco Medical Center a nearly $200,000 raise, bringing his yearly base salary to $935,000, as well as a retention bonus of $1 million over four years.
Yee’s legislation would prohibit such pay increases for the system’s top administrators, including campus presidents and chancellors, in years in which the university’s allocation from the state does not increase.
Yee, who voted against the state budget cuts to education, has long fought the executive compensation decisions by UC and CSU. In 2007, Yee passed SB 190 to ensure compensation decisions were made during a public session of the Regents and Trustees. Prior to the law, UC and CSU often made such decisions behind closed doors without public input.
It is still not entirely clear how much money, UC and CSU executives may be receiving from their campus foundations and auxiliaries. Today, the Legislature sent Governor Jerry Brown (D-Oakland) Yee’s SB 8, which would subject such entities to the California Public Records Act.
“Time and time again, rather than protecting the needs of students and California families, the Regents and Trustees line the pockets of their top executives,” said Yee. “While these public administrators are living high on the hog, many Californians are struggling. We deserve better.”