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UCOP failed to seek approval for many executive-pay components, audit confirms
Data details compensation packages provided to 64 top administrators, but points no fingers. Dynes charged with explaining to regents in May who authorized what for whom when

| 25 April 2006

More coverage
•  Read the full audit report
•  Statement from regents chair Gerald Parsky
•  Statement from UC President Robert Dynes

Two weeks after a regents-appointed task force reported its findings of widespread, systemic failures in administering the University of California's executive-pay policies and practices, an independent audit has yielded comprehensive new details showing that many of the benefits and salary "extras" - from auto, housing, and relocation allowances to bonuses and sabbatical benefits for 64 top administrators over the past 10 years - were not disclosed to the Board of Regents or the public as required.

As regents chair Gerald Parsky underscored repeatedly both during and after a special meeting of the board on Monday, the just-the-facts report, by the PricewaterhouseCoopers accounting firm, makes no judgments as to the merits of the packages, and points no fingers of blame.

"Let me stress that the focus of this audit is to provide the public with full disclosure of all compensation and to identify failures to comply with regental policy. It is not in any way to suggest any wrongdoing on the part of the recipients of this compensation," Parsky said in a statement following the special meeting. "In many cases, these individuals may be learning for the first time that there were failures to comply with policies in regard to their compensation."

The audit, ordered by the regents, confirmed that many perks and policy exceptions were never approved by the regents, as required by board policies, and that compensation items often were not disclosed to the public. Nonetheless, Parsky emphasized, the audit was "not meant to be an assessment of the reasons," but rather a straightforward gathering of data intended to help the regents in their efforts to help the university recover from months of embarrassing - and damaging - media coverage.

Regent Judith Hopkinson, the head of the newly created Special Committee on Compensation, called the audit "incredibly thorough and detailed," and said it "reinforces the conclusions of the task force." (See coverage of the April 13 task force report.)

This audit, the first of three to examine UC pay and compensation practices, looked at the 32 highest compensated senior-executive positions, including all chancellors, over the past decade. In all, the pay and benefits of 64 individuals were detailed. In many instances the noncompliance was due to the lack of disclosure to the public and the regents, though in some cases the benefits provided violated UC's own policies.

Parsky made a special point of contrasting the open-book nature of the audit with the longstanding lack of transparency documented in the report and reported widely in the media over the past months. "We wanted absolute full disclosure of everything for these individuals," he said.

The results of a state audit are expected to be released on May 2, followed by a second, internal UC audit. Parsky said the regents would not begin the process of determining appropriate responses to the slew of new data - including possible disciplinary action - until their May 17-18 meeting in San Francisco, when they have "full knowledge of the facts."

UC President Robert Dynes, Parsky added, will appear at the meeting "to provide us with a full explanation in open session of his views and understanding of what has transpired over these last few years."