A day after UC moved to raise the minimum wages of its lowest-paid workers, the university's governing board on Thursday awarded 3% salary increases to 15 of its most highly paid executives.
Those officials include five campus chancellors and four hospital and healthcare leaders. New salaries for the 15 range from $231,750 for Anne Shaw, chief of staff for the UC regents, to $991,942 for Mark Laret, chief executive of UC San Francisco's medical center. Many of the them had salaries above $400,000 before the new increase.
The new pay scale for the five chancellors are: $772,500 for UC San Francisco's Samuel Hawgood; $516,446 for UC Berkeley's Nicholas Dirks; $441,334 for UCLA's Gene Block; $436,120 for UC San Diego's Pradeep Khosla; and $424,360 for UC Davis' Linda Katehi.
Others on the list include the UC system's chief investment officer, Jagdeep Bachher, whose salary now will be $633,450; UC's general counsel, Charles Robinson, $441,334; and UC Davis' medical center chief executive, Ann Madden Rice, $848,720.
Officials said that much of the raises will be paid from such budgets as medical center revenues and investment gains and not from state funds or tuition. But student leaders criticized the hikes and said such distinctions about funding sources don't matter.
The action extends to these highly-ranked UC administrators the 3% across-the-board raises given earlier this year to most other faculty and administrators. Because of their leadership roles, these 15 were not included in those raises, and the regents were required to take a separate vote on them.
Regents say that these executive pay scales, while impressive to the average UC student and employee, are often below rates at competitive universities across the nation.
Monica Lozano, the chairwoman of the regents, said the board approved the raises to ensure consistency across the system and to recognize that "these are people who are leading very large segments of a very complex enterprise."
The vote was unanimous. Gov. Jerry Brown, who is a regent and frequent critic of high executive pay at UC and Cal State, did not attend; he was participating in an environmental conference at the Vatican.
Kevin Sabo, who is board chairman of the UC Student Assn., denounced the pay raises as "shameful" and said the action would hurt future lobbying efforts in Sacramento to boost state funds for UC.
"Nothing is more sabotaging of student efforts to get increased funding for higher education," he said of the executive pay increases. Money instead should be going to increasing class offerings and hiring more faculty so students can more easily fulfill their requirements and graduate on time, he said.
In September, the regents raised salaries of the five other chancellors by as much as 20%, saying they had been paid significantly less than leaders of comparable campuses across the country.
On Wednesday, UC President Janet Napolitano announced that the minimum pay of thousands of UC workers, including those who are employed through outside contractors, would increase from the statewide floor of $9 an hour to $15 by 2017. Her action was considered a considerable success in the state and national movement to boost such wages.
Cal State trustees this week also raised the pay of its executives, approving 2% hikes for Chancellor Timothy P. White, 23 campus presidents and other top officials.
In another matter, the regents approved the start of a new research institute that would link UC Berkeley and Tsinghua University, a top science and engineering school in Shenzhen, China. The research focus will be on the environment, clean energy, bio-medical advances, public health and data science, according to Dirks.
Several regents expressed concerns about possible difficulties with Chinese laws, the project's financing and the potential theft of research materials. But Dirks described the project as "a relatively risk-free way" to foster exchanges between UC and Chinese scholars and promised the institute would have many safeguards to avoid problems. The effort, he said, could be ended if significant conflicts arose.
An educational foundation affiliated with the Chinese school is expected to provide $22 million over the first five years to cover most of UC's costs, including stipends for graduate students who travel to China.
Dirks said that the main costs to UC will be faculty time. He emphasized that the institute would not issue its own degrees and that participating students from China still would work toward a Tsinghua diploma, not a UC one.
In addition, the regents on Thursday heard an update report from university staff on efforts to reduce incidents of sexual violence on campuses, help victims and fairly adjudicate cases.
Among other things, starting this fall, all UC students will have to participate in new, university-wide training sessions on preventing and reporting of sexual violence. While UC's individual campuses previously had such training, the new in-person and online sessions will have university-wide material and standards, officials said. A systemwide training for faculty and staff is scheduled to start in January, they said.