Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Student Fee Hikes Continue to Line Pockets of UC, CSU Executives

While students and low-wage workers suffer, Regents and Trustees continue to hand out pay hikes for administrators

SACRAMENTO – Once again, the University of California Board of Regents and the California State University Board of Trustees are set to increase student fees. The action comes just two months after Regents hiked salaries for top executives and a month after the state increased funding for the UC and CSU.

“There they go again,” said Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco). “Instead of ensuring our public universities are affordable and accessible for all California families, the Regents and Trustees would rather line the pockets of their executives. These are not the priorities and principles our schools should have during tough economic times. Unfortunately, the UC and CSU administrations just do not get it.”

Yee has authored several bills attempting to crack down on UC and CSU student fee and executive pay hikes. Last year, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Los Angeles) vetoed legislation that would have prohibited executive pay increases in bad budget years.

This week, CSU Trustees are set to increase student fees by 10 percent, which would be a 242 percent increase since 2002.

Next week, the UC Regents are also expected to increase student fees by 8 percent – a 224 percent increase since 2002.

The student fee increases come less than two months since the latest executive pay hike at UC, which brought the total executive salary increases and bonuses in fiscal year 2010 to an additional annual commitment of $11.5 million.

The latest example of UC excess is a “retention salary adjustment” for UCLA Medical Center CEO David Feinberg. Feinberg’s salary was increased by an additional $160,300 per year to $900,000. The Regents also voted to award him an additional $250,000 annual retention bonus. With his annual Medical Center incentive payment, Feinberg's annual compensation is now $1,330,000 per year.

Recently, the Regents and Trustees were able to get Schwarzenegger to veto legislation that would have ensured greater transparency of campus subsidiary organizations – entities that often receive student fees.

Yee’s SB 330 would have resulted in greater accountability of how student fees and private donations are used at the CSU, UC, and California Community Colleges by placing the institutions’ subsidiary organizations – known as “auxiliaries” – under the scope of the California Public Records Act (CPRA).

Schwarzenegger’s veto allows these public institutions to hide billions of dollars within their auxiliary organizations and foundations, which are often staffed by public employees. This secrecy has encouraged colleges and universities to create an increasing number of auxiliaries to run campus operations such as food services, parking facilities, housing and bookstores – all of which would be subject to public oversight if they were administered by the agency and not an auxiliary.

source: http://dist08.casen.govoffice.com/

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