Proposed UC Budget Would Raise Salaries
The UC Board of Regents last Thursday approved a 2006-07 budget request that would provide employees a 4 percent boost in compensation; a second payment in a multi-year plan to restore the student-faculty ratio; and enrollment funding for another 5,000 students (including 1,000 new graduate students) across the system.
Other highlights of the budget proposal to be sent to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger include $17.3 million in permanent funding support for academic preparation programs (to combine with existing UC funds for a total of $29.3 million); and funding for financial aid to undergraduate and graduate students that would provide what the Office of the President terms “an average return-to-aid of 33 percent.”
Financial aid would draw in large part on the increases planned for mandatory, systemwide student fees in the coming academic year. These range from 5 percent for most professional schools to 8 percent for undergraduates and 10 percent for graduate students. Nonresident student fees would rise an additional 5 percent.
If UCOP projections are correct, the Regents were told that the increased fees and other institutional savings would allow “significant augmentation (of) student financial aid” over 2005-06 levels. Help is also proposed for “financially needy middle-income undergraduates who would not otherwise be eligible for fee-paying grant assistance,” according to President Robert Dynes’s recommendation to the board.
Along with the proposed budget, the Regents set goals for obtaining funds to move all University employees’ salaries up to levels that are competitive with other, similar employers within 10 years. At the behest of Regent Judith Hopkinson, discussing the controversial suggestion to augment senior management salaries with private funding was postponed.
Senior administrators’ compensation packages, however, were on the minds of many who attended the Regents’ Nov. 16-17 meeting at UC Berkeley. The San Francisco Chronicle newspaper ran a series earlier that week on the subject, suggesting that senior UC leaders’ compensation is too high when staff and faculty salaries are below par, and that the system lacks transparency and accountability to the public, among other criticisms.