How does a yearly salary of $591,084 sound? How about a 13,000-square-foot mansion on 10 acres of land, complete with a large staff? Oh, and did we forget to mention the $8,916 car allowance and an extra $228,000 in pension payments?
It all adds up to what the UC is calling a “total compensation package” of $828,000. This package is all going straight into the pocket of one man: Mark Yudof, the new president of the University of California.
It’s hard to believe, but the University of California website claims that the amount they’re paying Yudof is, in fact, low. According to the website, Yudof’s proposed salary is “below the midpoint salary ($606,200) set for this position by the Board of Regents and below the median salary ($644,900) of leaders of similar public and private universities.”
However, this number is higher than Yudof’s current salary as chancellor of the University of Texas and is nearly double the yearly salary of the UC’s current president, Robert Dynes. Not only that, but a 2002 report in the Chronicle of Higher Education listed Yudof, with his University of Texas salary, as the highest-paid person in public higher education.
This “total compensation package” is, in total, a lot of money.
The University of California is a publicly funded university facing severe budget cuts. The UC is talking about increasing student fees, again. Academic departments and majors, due to a lack of funding, are downsizing or disappearing.
Instead of lining one man’s already padded pockets, maybe some of that money going towards his salary could go instead toward fulfilling the mission statement of the UC: serving the top 12.5 percent of California’s high school graduates. The $828,000 is a hefty sum that could make a big difference.
For example, this money could help fund new departments or the many that are currently under-funded. It could go toward scholarships for students. It could provide assistance to floundering student organizations. It could go toward new sports equipment, improved on-campus housing, or research grants.
And that’s just for starters.
Giving this much money to one person, no matter how highly placed he is in the university hierarchy, isn’t going to solve the myriad of problems that the UC faces. Funding one man’s 10-acre mansion doesn’t further the prospects of the about 200,000 currently enrolled students at the UC.
We look forward to welcoming Mark Yudof into the University of California. However, the money that he will receive as compensation for his work at the UC could do a lot of good for a university that is teetering on the brink of privatization.
In short, the university needs to take a step back and reevaluate the allocation of the money that’s supposed to go toward helping students achieve their goals. Right now, spending $828,000 a year on one person doesn’t line up with the goals of the university or its students.