Senator says UC/CSU decisions are appalling, Trustees are out of touch

SACRAMENTO – Last year, both the University of California and the California State University hiked executives’ pay while raising student fees. Today, Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) will introduce legislation to prohibit pay raises for top university administrators during bad budget years or when student fees are increased.

Yee’s bill will also prohibit incoming executives from earning more than 105 percent of their predecessors’ pay. UC and CSU have historically given new administrators more than double digit pay hikes. In May 2009, the UC Board of Regents approved a $400,000 salary for UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi, which equated to a 27 percent hike from her predecessor.

Later that year, then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Los Angeles) vetoed Yee’s previous attempt to stop executive pay hikes despite overwhelming bipartisan support in the Legislature.

“The exorbitant executive pay practices of the CSU Trustees and UC Regents are appalling and reinforces the perception that they are completely out of touch,” said Yee. “UC and CSU are public institutions designed to serve California’s students and not to be a cash cow for executives.”

“Once and for all, it is time to stop these egregious compensation practices and restore the public trust,” said Yee. “I am looking forward to passing this bill and Governor Brown signing it into law.”

Last year, when the CSU Board of Trustees raised fall tuition by 12 percent, they also awarded the new president of San Diego State a $400,000 salary – $100,000 more than his predecessor.

In July 2011, the UC Board of Regents raised tuition by 9.6 percent (on top of an 8 percent increase already approved for the fall semester), while 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 top administrators at CSU – including the chancellor and campus presidents – within two years of a tuition hike or within two years of the university not receiving an increase in their budget allocation. The bill will also stipulate that incoming executives can only receive five percent more than their predecessor. While the bill mandates the changes at CSU, due to UC’s constitutional autonomy, the Legislature can only recommend that the Board of Regents adopt the policy stipulated in the bill.

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.

“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 making more than the President of the United States, many Californians are struggling. We deserve better.”


[ Source: California State Senate ]