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UC Berkeley Web Feature

Task force faults UC leadership on compensation policies and practices

More information
• Read the full report (5Mb PDF)
• UC President Dynes announces action steps in response to recommendations (4.17.06)
• UCOP press release on task force report
• Statement by Regents Chair Parsky
• Statement by UC President Dynes

– A task force on Thursday released a new study that presents a detailed critique of compensation practices and policies in the University of California system. The Task Force on UC Compensation, Accountability and Transparency was appointed in December 2005 by Gerald Parsky, chair of the UC Board of Regents. Its charge was to conduct an independent review of the university's policies and practices on compensation for faculty and senior managers, and on the release of public information regarding compensation matters, and to recommend improvements.

In a consensus report, the nine task force members describe the current situation as "wholly unacceptable" and call for immediate action to repair "outdated policies and practices" that have led to a decline in public confidence in the system's administrative leadership. The study details pervasive failures to follow established compensation policies, honor the obligation to public accountability, and establish norms for gathering and reporting compensation data. In addressing these areas of concern, the report presents 21 specific recommendations for corrective actions and changes in policy.

At the same time, the task force emphasized that no question has been raised about the university's academic leadership. It said Californians continue to view the university as "the capstone of public education in the state ... a global leader in education and scholarship," and an institution of vital importance to the economic and social well-being of the state. And while faulting specific compensation practices, the report acknowledged that UC faces an intensely competitive environment, particularly regarding faculty retention and recruitment, and must "spend what is required to maintain its position as one of the best university systems in the world."

The task force left no doubt that it expects the leadership of the university — both its senior executives and the regents — to accept full responsibility for rectifying the problems and ensuring full accountability. "To be effective — and accepted by the public whose trust and support are essential — accountability must include consequences, and the consequences must be consequential," the report states.

The task force report is but one of a number of official inquiries into compensation-related issues in the university system:

  • On April 24 a regents-commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers audit that surveys compensation packages for 32 senior-level positions across the UC system will be released.
  • On May 2 the Bureau of State Audits will release its report on UC compensation.
  • On May 17 the regents, in regular session, will receive the results of a UC internal audit of Senior Management Group compensation.