Editorial: Dynes Still the Right Man to Lead University

little luck illuminating the university’s own finances.

Taxpayers and students, who collectively pay many of the UC bills, have reason to be angry over recent revelations that the university allowed hundreds of millions in unreported compensation. However, their ire should be targeted toward the UC Board of Regents, which signs the checks, rather than UC President Robert C. Dynes.

Over the past few years, the governor-appointed regents have turned their positions into political bully pulpits: Former Regent Ward Connerly used his seat to launch an attack on affirmative action, and Regent John Moores used his presidency of the board last year largely to try to show (unsuccessfully) that the university discriminates against Asians. And ex officio regents like Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, on the board by virtue of their elected office, don’t even bother to attend meetings.

Little surprise, then, that the university’s bureaucracy has grown unaccountable.

If heads are to roll, the regents should be called to tax, not Dynes, who has escaped largely unscarred in the recent audits; other than the questionable housing allowances, he has not been accused of benefiting from the unreported compensation (in fact, Dynes cut his own pay when he became president). That’s more than most of the university’s other top leaders could say, including UCSD Chancellor Marye Anne Fox.

It would be a shame if Dynes became the scapegoat, while those truly to blame are left unscathed.

Needless to say, the university faces many challenging problems. But what it needs is accountable directors, not a new president — and maybe a little more light.