Via Health Care Renewal, more corruption comes to light in this wrap up of recent problems in the University of California system. The Santa Cruz campus is my alma mater (and one of the bullet points of shady dealings).
Former UC Provost MRC Greenwood was charged with violating conflict of interest policies by hiring Lynda Goff, a friend and business partner, first as an executive assistant, then in academic affairs at a salary of $192 K. In addition, Winston Doby, UC Vice President for Student Affairs, who reported to Greenwood, hired Greenwood's son into a specially created internship position. When these events came to light, the university launched an investigation, but permitted Greenwood to resign her administrative position before it was completed, agreeing to give Greenwood 15 months of leave at her $ 301 K salary (per the San Francisco Chronicle).This caused major uproar on campus. The "friend and business partner" is actually (or at least was) Greenwood's lesbian partner, and when faculty (especially those non-tenured, who've gotten a bad deal with pay in the last five years) accused her of neoptism and misusing funds, Greenwood returned with claims of homophobia. Needless to say, a bad situation.
Then there's the debate over the salaries of top administrators:
The first was about lavish pay and other compensation given to many top UC administrators, while state support of the system shrunk, and fees paid by students grew. But UC leadership argued that high pay was needed to attract top quality executives.This I'm actually somewhat sympathetic to. I know a UC administrator well, have stayed at their home and spoken with them at length about their position. This administrator, though well paid, would absolutely be making 2-3 times their salary at a private institution. Further, if you consider the cost of living in the majority of the UC's campuses -- Orange County, West LA, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Berkeley -- these administrators need substantial salaries. Now, in the context of budget crises and student fee increases (because I was out of state, my tuition increased 20% every single year), administrator's salaries should be tied to other wage increases. But this problem is part of our current corporate culture. Public universities have the privilege of making that unacceptable -- the rest of the private sector employees do not.