Accreditation Board Rebukes UC Governance

    A report recently authored by the main association for California
    college accreditation criticized the University
    of California
    for having
    “significant governance issues” that are still inadequately addressed by
    administrators from the 10-campus system.

    The report from the Western Association of Schools and
    Colleges centers on general ambiguities regarding the roles of the UC Board of
    Regents, the UC president and his staff, as well as ongoing issues regarding
    executive paychecks and compensation. Specifically, the WASC report argues that
    the system lacks a consistent, annual evaluation of the president or regents,
    or any consistent procedures for how the regents come to decisions.

    WASC found that the UC Office of the President decides which
    elements of compensation to report “on a case-by-case basis” due to a lack of
    compliance with WASC standards, including the absence of an internal audit
    system and central system of personnel records.

    Though the report does not jeopardize the current
    accreditation of UC schools, its authors warned officials that failure to
    address these issues could threaten the UC system’s reputation.

    A university-released response countered that the WASC
    report did not detail past and ongoing efforts made to fix the cited problems.

    For example, the rebuttal said, an annual evaluation of the
    president was already adopted in 2006, and put into practice thereafter. In
    2007, the evaluation was renewed, but UC President Robert C. Dynes announced
    his resignation in August. Since that time, university officials said they have
    relied on committee meetings to foster “an excellent understanding of duties.”

    UCOP officials also defended their recent push for
    compensation reform.

    “The reforms we have implemented over the last two years
    ensure that compensation is not withheld,” UCOP Communications Director Brad
    Hayward said. “We have gone to extraordinary lengths to provide each and every
    detail of compensation publicly for those employees whose compensation must be
    approved by the Board of Regents.”

    Though Hayward
    said the report does not focus on individual compensation, media scrunity has
    been strong regarding UCSD Chancellor Marye Anne Fox’s paycheck, the highest
    among all UC chancellors.

    UCSD spokeswoman Dolores Davies declined to comment on the
    report.

    In addition, efforts are already underway to restructure the
    office of the president, with the Regents’ Committee on Governance discussing
    the roles and responsibilities of the governing board, Hayward
    said.

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