Students Rally in Support of Berkeley Law Dean Chris Edley

Student members of the UC Movement for Efficient Privatization held a “Save Our Dean” Rally in support of Dean Christopher Edley at UC Berkeley on Jan. 19.

Edley is one of over 200 UC executives threatening to sue the UC system in the absence of a pension increase and of the 36 executives who wrote to the Regents on the matter on Dec. 9.

Edley faced scrutiny following the letter’s publication by the San Francisco Chronicle in which he encouraged a “moral and ethical” approach to increasing UC executives’ pensions that exceed $245,000.

“UCPD had to show up at the rally to protect the pro-Dean Edley supporters. Almost no one supported what we’re doing. In fact, I don’t think one person did,” Steve Johnson* said, a spokesperson from Save Our Dean who wishes to remain anonymous in fear of “retaliation from UC Regents and a hostile environment at UC Berkeley’s Law School.”

About 25 people participated in the rally with about 50 onlookers. There were four speakers, including Edley.

“If administrators can’t make an unlimited amount of money at the UC while they effectively work to privatize it, then the privatization of the university is not going to happen as smoothly,” Johnson said. “We need to eliminate the public sphere and turn [the UC] over to private enterprise.”

The group of over 200 UC executives argued their retirement benefits should reflect a percentage of their salaries rather than the initial $245,000 that has remained capped.

“No one really feels that he is entitled to additional compensation during this crisis that the University of California finds itself in, and they don’t understand that Dean Edley’s future is going to be significantly threatened if the UC Regents don’t follow through with their promise to greatly increase his compensation,” Johnson said.

Edley has served as dean and professor of law for UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law for seven years, and taught at Harvard Law for 23 years prior.

Edley and the law school could not be reached for comment.

*Names have been changed.