Editorial

At a time when UC officials have repeatedly made references to a tight budget, the UC system is looking to give its executive vice chancellors and engineering deans raises of as much as 25 percent — this while faculty and staff can expect raises only in the range of 0.5 to 2 percent. The UC Board of Regents will consider the management raises during its Thursday meeting at the Laurel Heights campus of UC San Francisco.

While the Guardian acknowledges that paying top officials is a good business practice, the intrinsic inequity in the proposed plan will cause more harm than good.

UC spokesman Paul Schwartz has tried to justify the move by stating that the salaries the UC system pays its senior managers have fallen behind what other universities offer. He said that “”preserving top-caliber leadership, especially during these extremely challenging economic times, is critical to maintaining UC’s competitiveness and institutional quality.””

This is a noble goal set forth by the UC system. It would keep the salaries of the system’s top people competitive with those of other universities, enabling the system to attract the top talent and preserve the quality that people have come to expect from the University of California.

The problem with the proposal is that the large discrepancy between what the top chancellors would be given and what the professors would be given is inexcusable. It has the distinct possibility of creating a lot of disgruntled professors. While it is the senior management that ultimately is responsible for the overall quality of the UC system, it is the professors who are in constant contact with the students. They educate the students and are directly responsible for the quality of education that UC students receive.

We feel that even a 2 percent increase of professors’ salaries — the most optimistic for professors under the new proposal — would simply not be enough in light of the 25 percent increase that the executive vice chancellors and engineering deans would receive. According to the proposal, only one-third of UC professors would get the 2 percent raise. The remainder would only be getting a 0.5 percent cost-of-living increase.

With so much being made of economic hardship of late, we simply cannot support a move like this by the University of California.

If money is tight, then we urge the UC system to not spend what money it does have on large raises for its top brass while leaving professors — the ones directly responsible for our education — with small raises that are scarcely above normal cost-of-living increases.

We urge the UC Board of Regents to reject this proposal. We acknowledge the good intentions of the proposal but cite its blatant inequality as well as the current times of economic hardship as reasons enough not to enact such large raises for the senior managers of the UC system.

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