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THE Nooner for July 29, 2017

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LET THERE BE BLIGHT: Former UC Davis chancellor Linda Katehi, who resigned in disgrace over spending on PR, is returning to the classroom under "retreat rights" at her chancellor salary. Oh, it's just $318,000 for a nine-month salary, the most of any non-medical professors (who receive money primarily through patient/insurance rather than student fees) at the university. The Bee's Diana Lambert reports.

"Retreat rights" are standard in administrator contracts in higher education, in which eligible academics are given the right to the return to the classroom unless they commit a felony. And, standard practice for UC administrators is to get a year off at their former salary upon resignation. 

So, Katehi also just had a year off with full chancellor salary. It's a systemic issue. I'm not calling for UC to stop it, but higher education overall needs to address it. I want UC to be competitive in the national market for leaders. The Legislature can't interfere because of the "constitutional autonomy" of the UC. But with ballooning student fees, this is ridiculous. When I graduated UC Davis law school in 2000, it was $11,000 per year. It's now $47,745 for residents. CPI would put it at $16,000. 

Of course, most of the cost increases are from disinvestment by the state. But, it goes beyond that. 

Don't get me wrong, I worked for college presidents for 20 years. They are not easy jobs. I don't dispute the annual salary. However, the year of work-free salary after resigning--even in disgrace--is a disgrace, and return rights to work with now-peers in departments at three-times their salary makes no sense. Katehi should be treated and paid like her peers. Otherwise, she is the scorn of the department of electrical and computer engineering for being the newest member and the highest paid. Return rights mean that she couldn't find a new high-level job. It's an embarrassment to return to the classroom, unless for medical or family reasons. 

I love my alma mater. I miss Larry.

 

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Jason Levin, Mars McCune, and Dolores Sanchez!

 

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