- Mark Yudof, President of the University of California
- United States of America
On December 29, 2010, the SF Chronicle ran a story on 36 top UC executives who are threatening to sue UC if their pension benefits are not raised above the federal limit on their first $245K that was in place when they were hired. (see http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/12/29/MNDC1GUSCT.DTL&tsp=1).
See also letters to the editor on this issue: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/01/01/EDLI1H1Q14.DTL&ao=2.
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At a time when the UC pension system is endangered and the entire instructional and research enterprise of UC is imperiled we find it outrageous that these managers -- whose very job it is to steward the system -- would demand exorbitant pension compensation. They cannot have it both ways: private sector salary levels and public employee pensions.
The damage to the image of the university from excessive pay and benefits, and now from this ill-timed threat of a lawsuit from the 36 signees, has been immense. In order to restore public faith in UC, you must come forward quickly with a statement of intent to hold the line on pensions to elite employees.
The principle here is greater than this incident: this is a public university, one in dire straits financially. Most of us work for reasonable salaries but also for the public good. If the elite earners do not care enough about the public university to stay, then let them depart for the private sector. We believe you can find dedicated people within and without UC who would would be willing and able to replace these individuals.