SACRAMENTO – State Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) on Dec. 3 officially introduced legislation that will prohibit executive pay hikes (using state or foundation funds) at the California State University or the University of California during bad budget years or when student fees increase.
In 2009, Yee passed similar legislation to this session’s SB 8, but the bill was vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Gov. Jerry Brown has publicly stated that UC and CSU should resist pay hikes for their top administrators.
Recently, the UC Regents approved a salary of over $486,000 for incoming UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks, which is a 10 percent increase from the current UC Berkeley chancellor. In addition, Dirks will be paid moving expenses, a more than $30,000 bonus, annual auto allowance, and a house on the Berkeley campus.
Yee said that $50,000 of Dirks’ salary will be paid for using foundation dollars, which otherwise could go to student scholarships and other campus services.
“Despite calls from the governor, UC and CSU continue to line the pockets of their top administrators,” said Yee. “The regents and trustees treat dollars meant for students as a personal slush fund for already wealthy executives. SB 8 will stop these egregious compensation practices and help restore the public trust.”
Yee has called on Dirks to follow the lead of incoming CSU Chancellor Timothy White, who refused to take a pay hike and reduced his salary by 10 percent.
“Taxpayers, rank-and-file workers, and students lose out to the fat cats at the top of the food chain,” said Sen. Joel Anderson (R-San Diego), who is co-authoring SB 8. “With tuition rates skyrocketing and students struggling just to get by, this legislation is needed to restore a responsible sense of perspective.”
SB 8 will be considered in a Senate policy committee in early 2013.