The UC regents on Thursday hired an executive of a Canadian investment fund to be the chief manager of the university system’s $82 billion in endowment and pension investments and to pay him potentially more than $1 million a year if he achieves good returns.
Jagdeep S. Bachher, who is an executive vice president of the Alberta Investment Management Corp. in Edmonton and handles public sector funds there, is to become UC’s chief investment officer and vice president of investments on April 1.
With little public discussion, the regents approved a $615,000 base salary for him and set a maximum total payout of $1,014,750 if UC investments meet a goal of excellent returns.
That total will be slightly less than the $1.2 million that Marie N. Berggren was paid before she retired from the position last year. The money comes mainly from investment returns, not tuition or tax revenues, officials said.
Labor unions and some student activists are sure to decry those levels of executive compensation. But regent George Kieffer, who heads the board’s compensation committee, noted that many other large universities, public and private, pay more for comparable positions.
“He is worth every penny,” Kieffer said.
In addition to his basic package and potential incentive bonuses, Bachher is to receive $184,500 in relocation expenses and hiring bonuses to be paid out over four years.
The pay level for another new executive hire attracted more public opposition at the regents meeting in San Francisco. Two regents — Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Norman Pattiz — voted against the $450,000 annual salary for Claude Steele, who is becoming UC Berkeley’s provost and second in command.
Steele is a social psychology expert and the dean of Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education.
Steele’s new pay, while below his Stanford salary, is higher than many UC campus chancellors and will set a bad precedent, the two regents said.
“We are a public university with a public trust,” Newsom said, adding that he could not “in good conscience support this.”
Steele’s package was approved by the regents.
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